In olden days, people showed off their strength by jousting or flexing their mustaches. But at Maverik Man Games, both men and women prove their mettle with less violent feats of strength, such as launching a fellow teammate from a giant slingshot. Designed for individuals as well as teams, the competition encompasses up to 10 challenges, which range from showcasing your basketball-shooting skills to wrestling pigs into a barrel. Along with its land-bound activities, Maverik Man Games includes a variety of aqua-centric events, such as a giant rope swing and human slingshot.
Held over two days, the eccentric decathlon takes about two to three total hours to complete. Participants that place in the top three overall or for each challenge are rewarded with cash and prizes. And, all participants are likewise rewarded at the end of the circuit with tasty food, and live music.
With views of surrounding evergreens, Midway City Ice Rink touts itself as Utah's most scenic outdoor skating rink and one of its largest. The glistening rink gets resurfaced every two hours, so skaters can smoothly execute their maneuvers, unless those maneuvers include using their skates to carve their own image into the ice. When skaters need a break, they can escape to the warming hut and sip hot chocolate, restoring heat to their fingers and toes.
For the past 20 years, Canyon Sports has helped adventurers safely scan the Wasatch Range with a series of shops specializing in equipment rental and maintenance. Throughout the winter, Canyon Sports equips mountain visitors with rental skis and snowboards. It also distributes lift tickets for local resorts including Alta, Snowbird, and Deer Valley, freeing skiers from alternative methods for getting to peaks, such as stowing away in a yeti's pouch. During warm seasons, the shops rent mountain bikes and road bikes and can also fine-tune riders' personal cycles.
Benjamin Allen believes outdoor pursuits can positively influence those in need. This belief has led him all over the continent, building a ropes course for an orphanage in Mexico and setting up two courses for troubled youth at Provo Canyon School, a bit closer to home. Wanting to share his knowledge of nature with the public, he set up a course, CLAS Ropes Course, near Utah Lake nearly 20 years ago. Benjamin and his crew have since erected more than 50 ropes courses around the country, continuing to inspect ropes and train others how to run them.
CLAS Ropes Course continues to grow each year, creating obstacles such as a giant swing that releases passengers 40 feet in the air, a 400-foot zipline that whizzes through forest canopy, and a "leap of faith," where adventure seekers jump from a treetop platform to a trapeze. A log balance beam hung 30 feet above the ground and a 24-foot-tall rock-climbing tower test agility and endurance, and a fleet of 20 canoes lets paddlers navigate a mile and a half of river. Many of these structures play host to team-building activities focused on developing a group's creativity and tolerance for hearing one another sing. Staff members tailor their instruction to families, dating groups, or athletic teams. They often apply their approach to athletes, such as a professional golfer who traveled all the way from Texas hoping to conquer her fear of not qualifying for tournaments. She defeated the log balance beam, departed victorious, and qualified during her next tryout two weeks later.
Though it began as a snowmobiling tour group in the early 1980s, the family owners of High Country Rafting 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 Rafting 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.
Blue Sky Adventures beckons adventure nuts with its 3,300-acre Blue Sky Ranch filled with abundant wildlife, mountain peaks, meadows, and canyons. The outdoor experts offer activities year-round. Summertime days are spent rafting, fly-fishing, horseback riding, biking, and spending warm nights in a yurt. During the winter months, nature lovers can take in the white-blanketed sights on a sleigh ride or dogsled, or try to sneak up on a rare species of snowman in a pair of snowshoes. Other group adventures include archery and a geo-cache scavenger hunt for the mountain's golden egg.