“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.” — John Muir


Yosemite Falls, the highest measured waterfall in North America, is framed by frosted trees during an early winter snowstorm. Photo by Eric Betz

Slotted for controversy: The fire in Illusions Canyon

Slotted for controversy: The fire in Illusions Canyon

Even in the long days of summer, the heart of Illusions Canyon is dark, cold and wet. The deep and narrow slot canyon feeds into the West Fork of Oak Creek Canyon. Its beautiful red rock colors are painted with lush hues of green from moss and ferns. And in a federally designated wilderness...

Rim-to-Rim record: Flagstaff pharmacist sets new Grand Canyon mark

Rob Krar and Jason Wolfe run up a trail near the top of Arizona Snowbowl Road. (Josh Biggs/Arizona Daily Sun)

The three friends sat at the top of the Grand Canyon’s South Kaibab Trail at about 8:30 a.m. last Friday. Covered in sweat and dirt, they gazed acr oss to the North Rim and admired their feat. Jared Scott, Jason Wolfe and Rob Krar had each just broken the rim-to-rim speed record, coming in...

Backcountry access dispute heats up at Grand Canyon

Backcountry access dispute heats up at Grand Canyon

The superintendent of Grand Canyon National Park has drawn the ire of avid backcountry users after a letter he sent to the chairman of the Havasupai Tribe popped up online. In it, he offered to seasonally allow just one permit a week into a piece of land that covers some 90,000 acres of remote...

John Wesley Powell’s grand ambition


It was a brutally hot day on August 13, 1869, when John Wesley Powell and his nine-man crew reached what he called the foot of the Grand Canyon. At this spot where the Little Colorado River flowed into the Colorado and the towering rock walls radiated the desert sun like a convection oven, the explorers...

Grand Canyon BASEjumper dies in fall

A Norwegian cliff parachutist plummeted to his death Tuesday afternoon after a 1,000-foot jump into the Little Colorado River near the confluence with the Grand Canyon. According to the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office, the victim was 37-year-old Eiliv Ruud, a highly experienced BASE (Buildings, Antennas, Spires, Earth) jumper and alpine climber. Two other BASE...

Cold feet on the West Fork

If you're willing to suffer some very cold feet, tranquility can be found on the busy trail. Photo by Eric Betz

If you’re not keen on sharing the trail with others, the West Fork of Oak Creek Canyon isn’t the best choice of weekend escapes. But there’s good reason why the trail is the most popular in the Coconino National Forest. The route winds its way in between ancient ponderosa pines and spectacular red rock...

Crimson and gold: A hike through Utah’s Paria Canyon

Photo by Eric Betz

BIG WATER, Utah — If someone would have told me how cold and dark Paria Canyon would be in November, I might have spent my weekend closer to home. I’m glad they didn’t. The small but occasionally furious Paria River has long sawed its way through the Vermilion Cliffs, creating towering red rock walls...

Massive effort rescues man from Meteor Crater mineshaft

Image courtesy of the Coconino County Sheriff's Office

A 28-year-old California man is listed in stable condition at the Flagstaff Medical Center following an all-night rescue in the bitter cold at Meteor Crater east of Flagstaff. The man says he illegally hiked to the bottom of the crater and jumped down a 100 foot mine shaft to “appease the gods,” according to...