Posts Tagged ‘family adventures’

No Roads, No Towns, No Connectivity: Families Focus on Nature and Whitewater Rafting the Green River in Utah’s Desolation Canyon

May 31, 2018
Western River Raft-family1e

Western River Expeditions’ offers a 5 Day Desolation Canyon family rafting vacation on the Green River.

SALT LAKE CITY –  Utah’s Desolation Canyon, carved over millennia by the 730-mile Green River that is spawned by glacial melts on the Continental Divide in the wilds of northern Wyoming, is one of the most remote (no roads, no towns, no cell or data service) destinations in the continental United States. It also tops the list when it comes to family rafting vacations.

From June 1 through Aug. 8, a small plane transports guests from Moab, Utah, on a scenic, 40-minute flight to a desert plateau overlooking the Green River where after a short hike, Western River Expeditions’ 5 Day Desolation Canyon family rafting vacation begins.

The Green is less strident than the Grand Canyon’s rollicking Colorado River. Instead of the world-class rapids on the Colorado, whitewater on the Green is playful, marked by over 60 warm-water Class I-III rapids, packed with more than enough splash to elicit excitement for ages 5 and up.

While paddling on the Green, guests typically surrender their senses to twisted mountains, dramatic cliffs, and towering plateaus carved by an ancient inland sea. Rates are $1,645 for ages 16 and up and $1,025 for ages 5-15 including…

  • exploring 88 river miles
  • the option to paddle two-person inflatable kayaks
  • or, relax in a guide-powered oar boat
  • witnessing 40 million years of geologic history
  • maneuvering 60+ fun-filled Class I-III rapids. One of the greatest features of this expedition is that the rapids are spread fairly evenly throughout the length of the trip so the action keeps it exciting all journey long.
  • visiting famous Wild West outlaw hideouts. Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch found that the rugged terrain here offered a perfect hideaway.
  • wondering about the past at now-derelict homesteads built of native materials
  • getting to know an ancient culture that both foraged and planted corn from the 7th to the 13th centuries, leaving behind Fremont Native American petroglyphs
  • hiking off-river with a seasoned guide well-versed in the region’s history and geology
  • deluxe camping on broad, sandy beaches along the river bank
  • enjoying host-prepared adult and children’s meals sourced from local farmers and producers
  • sunbathing on and off the water shaded by ancient cottonwoods
  • watching a Trip Jester entertain the children so parents have some down time

On its journey south through Utah towards the confluence with the Colorado River in Canyonlands National Park, the Green has created such an unforgettable universe that Desolation Canyon has been singled out as a National Register of Historic Places.

Calling this “the ultimate, back-country family river trip,” Jason Taylor, an operations manager who oversees all of Western River Expeditions’ trips in Utah, noted that the five-day program is appropriate for children as young as 5. It’s also a great river trip for extended families and first-time rafters. Five guides are assigned to trips that accommodate up to 25.

One plus that families come to love is the fact that in this remote environment cell and data service are non-existent. Instead of connecting to electronic devices, the connection is with family, guides and other guests. Children focus on the designated Trip Jester who, in a fun and informative way, shares insights with kids of all ages into this world of wonder. Creative games, swimming, arts and crafts are all part of the fun.

While some time- and career-stressed parents may have difficulty connecting with their own children, Taylor said that by trip’s end, they’re melding with their families and creating stronger family bonds and memories.

“We see children transform from being needy and whiney to independent and happy. Everybody grows on this trip. In fact, this truly is the perfect family vacation. Some families come back every couple of years,” he said.

For more details on this trip see https://www.westernriver.com/desolation-canyon

For a copy of Western River Expeditions’ 2018 catalog, questions, availability and reservations call toll-free: 866.904.1160 (Local: 801.942.6669) or visit http://www.westernriver.com/.

Western River Expeditions is an adventure travel company headquartered in Salt Lake City, with operations and offices in Moab, Utah and Fredonia, Arizona. From March through October, the operatort escorts more people down rivers on professionally guided rafting trips in Utah, Idaho and Arizona than any other company. It is the largest licensed outfitter in the Grand Canyon and the largest single tour provider in Moab, UT, through its Moab Adventure Center division (http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/).

Western River Expeditions, providing Grand Canyon rafting, Utah and Idaho rafting, and international multi-sport trips, was founded in 1961 by Colorado River rafting pioneer Jack Currey. It has been named one of the “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth” by the editors of National Geographic Adventure magazine. The company is the proud recipient of the “Best of State” award through Utah’s Premier Recognition and Awards Program for fourteen consecutive years (2004-2017).

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Vail Resorts to Launch On-Mountain Epic Discovery Summer Adventures

March 1, 2016
Vail Resorts is set to introduce on-mountain Epic Discovery adventures this summer at Vail Mountain in Colorado and Heavenly Mountain Resort at Lake Tahoe.

Vail Resorts is set to introduce on-mountain Epic Discovery adventures this summer at Vail Mountain in Colorado and Heavenly Mountain Resort at Lake Tahoe.

VAIL, Colo. – Want to soar like an eagle? Travel through the forest canopy like a squirrel? Find out if you’re as strong as a bear? See the world through the eyes of a trout? This summer, Vail Resorts is introducing Epic Discovery at Vail Mountain in Colorado and Heavenly Mountain Resort at Lake Tahoe. Epic Discovery provides an on-mountain summer experience, immersing guests in activities which provide big-time thrills, allow them to challenge themselves physically, guide them to explore and better understand their natural surroundings, and ultimately create lifelong memories.

“Epic Discovery will provide an avenue for our summer guests to experience our alpine settings in a new, immersed way, similar to what our ski and snowboard guests experience in the winter,” said Chris Jarnot, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Vail Mountain. “Vail Resorts, along with our partners at the U.S. Forest Service and The Nature Conservancy, envisions Epic Discovery as a catalyst for helping to foster a lifelong appreciation for the outdoors among a diverse audience of summer visitors to the mountains.””

This new comprehensive on-mountain summer adventure will feature components such as zip lines, canopy tours, alpine coasters, wildlife trail exploration, and interactive, “learn-through-play”  activities, which will debut at Vail and Heavenly in June and at Breckenridge in 2017.

“Epic Discovery offers families the opportunity to learn through play together in the national forest,”” Jarnot continued. “For kids, it will be the ultimate playground in an alpine setting.””

Vail Mountain’s Epic Discovery proposal received final approval from the U.S. Forest Service in October 2014, and the resort began construction the following summer. Vail’s existing Adventure Ridge has already undergone enhancements with the addition of two rope challenge courses, summer tubing, a four-line Zip Flyer, as well as a kids’ challenge course and kids’  zip line.

In June, Vail Mountain, located on the White River National Forest, will debut these Epic Discovery experiences:

  • Game Creek Canopy Tour: The ultimate outdoor experience, this guided tour will immerse guests in the forest habitat with an array of zip lines and aerial bridges as high as 300 feet above the valley floor. Guests will learn about the mountain environment from interpretive guides while working their way through the course.
  • Forest Flyer: This gravity-based alpine coaster allows guests on individual sleds to descend on a raised track through the forest while giving riders full control of their speed.
  • Expanded Trail System: A wildlife exploration trail, featuring mountain flora and fauna and a series of installations that each resembles a different animal ability, such as vision, stride, agility and strength. Vail has partnered with The Nature Conservancy, the USFS and Walking Mountains Science Center to bring interpretive elements to the Epic Discovery experiences and will be contributing one percent of all summer lift ticket and activity revenue to The Nature Conservancy for forest restoration projects.

Heavenly’s Epic Discovery project, which received final approval on May 14, 2015, has already seen the implementation of several new on-mountain adventures, including a permanent rock climbing wall and kids ropes course and zip line, all located at Adventure Peak at the top of the Heavenly Gondola.

Opening in June, Heavenly’s Epic Discovery will feature:

  • Canopy Tour: Set amongst the pines surrounding the mid-station observation deck of Heavenly’s Gondola, this guided tour will immerse guests in the forest habitat with an array of zip lines and aerial bridges featuring an unfiltered view of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding mountains.
  • Alpine Coaster: This gravity-based alpine coaster allows guests on individual sleds to descend on a raised track through the forest and natural rock formations, with incredible scenic views of Lake Tahoe. Located near the existing summer tubing hill, the alpine coaster will utilize gravity for the descent while giving riders full control of their speed.
  • Guided 4×4 Mountain Tours: Guests will enjoy Heavenly’s stunning view from the cab of an off-roading SUV. These 4×4 tours offer the best of an alpine summer with views of Lake Tahoe, the Carson Valley and Desolation Wilderness.
  • Interpretive Learning: Heavenly’s project integrates a robust interpretive learning component with curriculum created in collaboration with the Forest Service, the League to Save Lake Tahoe and The Nature Conservancy.

Breckenridge Ski Resort’s Epic Discovery proposal to the USFS received its final record of decision on Nov. 16, 2015, and includes adventure hiking zones, plus additional activities including zip lines, canopy tours and ropes courses, all with extensive environmental and interpretive programming. Construction is expected to begin during summer 2016 and will include the following primary activities and enhancements:

Full details on all the Epic Discovery activities at Vail and Heavenly, as well as online ticket purchasing will be available soon online at www.vail.com or www.skiheavenly.com.

Epic Discovery: A Summer Mountain Adventure

Summer in the mountains is taking on a whole new feel thanks to legislation passed in 2011, the Ski Area Recreational Opportunity Enhancement Act, and Vail Resorts is the first in the ski industry to submit and implement a comprehensive new summer activities plan to the U.S. Forest Service. Vail Resorts’ Epic Discovery program encourages “learn through play,” promoting environmental education and forest stewardship with numerous fun experiential activities across three different mountain resorts, Vail Mountain, Breckenridge and Heavenly. The Epic Discovery experience will incorporate extensive environmental and interpretive programming that offers guests a unique opportunity to try new outdoor activities, challenge themselves physically, discover an appreciation for nature and create lasting family memories. Each of these new activities will capitalize on the existing summer visitation at each resort and leverage existing infrastructure, creating the opportunity for high-impact and high-return projects. Through a partnership with The Nature Conservancy, a leading conservation non-profit organization, Epic Discovery will complement the eco-discovery experiences across the mountain with scientific content. Subsequently, Vail Resorts will utilize its new “1% For The Forest” program as a means to contribute one percent of all summer lift ticket and activity revenue to The Nature Conservancy for forest restoration projects on national forest lands.

To learn more about Epic Discovery, visit www.epicdiscovery.com.

Vail Resorts, Inc., through its subsidiaries, is a leading global mountain resort operator, operating nine world-class mountain resorts and two urban ski areas, including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada; Perisher in Australia; Afton Alps in Minnesota, Mt. Brighton in Michigan and Wilmot Mountain in Wisconsin The Company owns and/or manages a collection of casually elegant hotels under the RockResorts brand, as well as the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estate planning and development subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc. Visit www.snow.com.

 

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andBeyond Introduces ‘WILDChild’ Program to Family Safaris

July 31, 2013

wildchiild-1

andBeyond, a company specializing in luxury experiential travel, is introducing a new children’s program, WILDchild, at the company’s lodges and safari camps throughout Southern Africa and will also be offered at its East African properties from the end of August.

WILDchild is designed to create opportunities for families to engage not only with each other but with their environment, in a new and stimulating way that will change the way they see the world. With a growing trend for multi-generational travel, andBeyond believes in giving adventurous families the reare privilege to see the world through different eyes, encouraging them to grow and learn through unforgettable experiences.

Carefully thought out and presented by rangers trained to share their knowledge in a way that sparks the enthusiasm of even the youngest guests, WILDchild is designed to do more than just keep children occupied while their parents enjoy their safari. While it is essential that the program remains entertaining enough to capture youngsters’ imaginations, it also has a strong conservation message at heart.

“The WILDchild program is just another way that andBeyond is encouraging family travel. We have also provided additional family suites at select andBeyond lodges in South Africa, as well as in Tanzania. Whether at our own lodges and camps or throughout the African countries where we operate, andBeyond has the ability to put together specialized family itineraries designed to help travelers create life-enriching experiences for themselves and their children,” says Jacky Humphries, andBeyond Chief Marketing Officer.

andBeyond’s safari experiences offer the luxury of a leisurely pace, ideal to reconnect and renew relationships among families, as well as to form new connections between the children and the land, animals and people of Africa. Through the relationship created between younger guests and their ranger or guide, the WILDchild program is filled with interactive activities that offer opportunities to learn and discover new experiences and cultures. Deeply rooted in the love for the African bush, it not only creates a series of unforgettable moments for the whole family, but forges strong bonds between the children, our planet and its people.

As part of the WILDchild program, each  young  traveler  receives a WILDchild backpack with a scrapbook and a gift, such as a flash light, a magnifying glass or a compass. Throughout the safari, the family’s ranger helps the child to fill up the scrapbook with notes, drawings, stickers, dog tags and badges that the youngsters earn for completing a series of bush-related activities that are selected for them according to their interests and age. The activities attempt to tie in with the lodge’s environment, as well as the local heritage of the region. For example, children staying at andBeyond Klein’s Camp in Tanzania might be taught how to shoot with a bow and arrow or how to build a fire in the Maasai way. Meanwhile, at andBeyond Phinda Private Game Reserve in South Africa, they may be taught tracking skills by a local Zulu tracker or set out on a fishing expedition on the Mzinene River.

andBeyond lodges that specialize in children’s programs, creative menus and have child-minding facilities are: andBeyond Phinda Mountain Lodge, Ngala Safari Lodge and Kirkman’s Kamp in South Africa; Sossusvlei Desert Lodge in Namibia; Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp in Kenya; Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, Serengeti Under Canvas and Mnemba Island Lodge in Tanzania; and Xaranna Okavango Delta Camp, Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge and Nxabega Okavango Tented Camp in Botswana.

The WILDchild program is included in the rate at the lodges at which it is offered. The starting rate is $490 per person, per night at Ngala Private Game Reserve.

Established in 1991, andBeyond has become one of the world’s leading luxury experiential travel companies, designing personalised luxury safaris in 16 African countries, as well as India, Bhutan and Sri Lanka. The company also owns and operates 32  lodges and camps in Africa and India’s wildlife high spots.

For more information, visit www.andBeyond.com.

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Costa Rica Tourism Board sponsors Get Going Costa Rica Family Adventure Sweepstakes

January 3, 2011

The Costa Rica Tourism Board, together with the National Aquarium and Los Angeles Zoo, is excited to announce the Get Going Costa Rica Family Adventure Sweepstakes that will send two lucky families of four on an all inclusive family eco-adventure to Costa Rica for six nights and seven days, the summer of 2011. Winners will be accompanied by Los Angeles Zoo and National Aquarium conservation experts to learn more about the biodiversity of Costa Rica’s rich lands, fauna, and flora, as well as gain insight on existing research being done to preserve Costa Rica natural habitat.

The Get Going Costa Rica Family Adventure Sweepstakes has already opened its first entry period with the National Aquarium and will remain open until April 8, 2011 at 5:00 pm EST. Participants can register on a weekly basis by visiting www.visitcostarica.com , the National Aquarium Facebook page, or by opting in while registering to receive weekly email reminders that will include a sweepstakes registry link. Winners from the National Aquarium sweepstakes period will be announced on www.visitcostarica.com in April 2011.

Sweepstakes winners will be flown to Costa Rica’s capital, San Jose, and begin their adventure by enjoying the sun and beach in Manuel Antonio National Park, one of Costa Rica’s top-rated coastlines. Throughout the week, the families will observe dolphins and whales in Costa Ballena, explore the wildlife and pristine beaches of Corcovado National Park, while spending time with the National Aquarium and Los Angeles Zoo conservation teams learning about the important conservation work being done to in Costa Rica.

“The National Aquarium is excited to have the opportunity to show these families parts of one of the most biologically diverse areas of the world,” commented Laura Bankey, conservation manager of the National Aquarium. “Through our exhibits and conservation initiatives, we hope to inspire people to enjoy, respect, and protect these amazing habitats. Allowing families to experience, first-hand, the rich natural resources of Costa Rica will provide a once in a life time experience that will create lasting memories and a renewed sense of stewardship to our natural world,” she added.

With the help of the National Aquarium and Los Angeles Zoo, Costa Rica can showcase their country as a family oriented, sustainable, tourism destination heaven.

For more information regarding sweepstakes, visit: www.visitcostarica.com.