Though it began as a snowmobiling tour group in the early 1980s, the family owners of High Country Adventure quickly expanded their territory to the water, the trails, and the forest canopy. Conducting most of their trips on a 6-mile stretch of the lower Provo River and a 12-mile canyon-clad expanse of the Weber River, High Country's guides encourage locals and visitors alike to explore the area's rugged terrain and take in the natural treasures made possible by its ecosystem. The company frequently puts this love of the environment into practice, urging catch-and-release during fishing excursions and often lending their gear to others for trips down the river to collect drifting garbage.
The group's more than 20 guides lead rafting trips down the Provo River's class I and II rapids or the Weber River's class II and III rapids, pointing out local flora and fauna as well as unique rock formations along the way. Combination trips set out on a mountain train ride before rafting commences or add ziplining to a day of rafting, sending guests out of water and sweeping through overhead tree canopies over the Provo River. Prospective guides with High Country Adventures commit to internalizing the local rivers and terrain on their own before they're trusted with leading groups, ensuring each one knows how to handle excursion variables and what the river gods' favorite appeasing snack is on Tuesdays.
Birdman Academy takes its name from the pseudonym of its founder, Kevin Koonce. The Birdman estimates that he has trained thousands of hang-gliding lessons, and during that time he’s taught nearly 8,000 first-timers. Currently, he nests at Point of the Mountain, a spot known for what the Academy calls, "legendary conditions." This means consistently smooth winds, which are ideal for training new hang-gliders, paragliders, and baby pterodactyls recently thawed from blocks of prehistoric ice.
From its origins in the Uinta Mountains’ Washington Lake, the Provo River descends to Utah Lake. On its way, thousands of years’ worth of the river’s water has carved the nearly 7,000-feet-deep Provo River Canyon. The water carries adventurers as well, bearing expeditions toward the landmark’s geological contours in vessels furnished by Runoff River Adventures.
Owned and operated by its guides, Runoff River Adventures has attracted some of the best river navigators in the business. Each guide has personally traversed more than 200 rivers, whose collective currents criss-cross countries across the world. The aquatic experts wield this experience as they guide kayaking and rafting expeditions down courses that can pass through roiling rapids or stick to calmer areas, such as goldfish bowls. Instructors also helm paddling and rafting courses, which focus on oar work and the art of the lake roll and river roll. Once they have mastered the basics, adventurers can confidently sally forth for self-guided tours in inflatable or non-inflatable kayaks, rafts, and innertubes that function as both flotation devices and very large headbands.
After years of training and diving around the world, owners Colby, Darren, and Tony decided to spread their love of scuba by opening North American Divers. They instruct classes such as Discover Scuba Diving, where be-finned students try breathing underwater for the first time. During Advanced Open Water classes, more experienced divers earn certification across five dives at locales such as Sand Hollow and the California Channel Islands. They also rent out gear such as regulators, oxygen tanks, and wetsuits. Additionally, the trio’s team of in-house certified technicians fixes nearly all makes and models of scuba and snorkeling equipment with a simple twitch of their nose.
The safety-certified coaches at Olympus Gymnastics have taught talented tumblers that have gone on to participate every year in the Junior National Olympics and Utah State Championships. Students ages 3 to 15 years can pick from a schedule of floor-tumbling classes, dropping into the facility once a week to increase their physical dexterity, hone their mental determination, and develop their vocabulary for pommel-horse whispering. Coaches teach tots the basics during classes, and leaping adolescents limber up their bodies in tiered levels and earn their way toward airborne flight, vaulted exploration, and bar-gripping acrobatics. The experienced staff evoke a positive and encouraging atmosphere, in which every child receives individual attention, support, and an opportunity to take an honest bow that wasn't earned by being the first to throw pudding across the school cafeteria.