Frequently Asked Questions about Guided Trips (FAQ)

 

Yes, we get questions with visitors planning trips, we love to help plan your vacation.

Here we have provided answers to some of the most common questions we are asked. Please contact us with any other questions and we will respond back to you and include those questions and answers here for others who may have that same question. Thank you for choosing North Wash Outfitters. We look forward to serving you in the outdoors.

What is a guided canyoneering trip?

A guided canyoneering trip consist of the group hiking through narrow canyons. Meeting times will vary depending on the trip you booked. Our meeting place is at our shop located at 88 West 100 North Suite B. We are in a basement location of a residential home. Enter through the gate on the East side and into the first door. Here we will have a safety briefing and instructions for the trip. We'll gear up and then depart for the canyon(s). During the trip we will be hiking over slick rock, in sand, through water, and between the walls of the canyons. We will be in and out of the sun and shade. There will be several steep inclines to hike up, and several steep descents into the canyon(s), some may require rappelling. Once finished we will hike out, inventory gear and depart to your various other destinations.

Who are your guides?

Click here to meet our Team.

Do I need to be in good physical shape?

No you don't need to be in peak physical condition. You do need to be able to hike for several hours on different types of terrain and different angles of terrain while carrying a pack with your personal gear and some group gear including ropes, harness, helmet, water, wetsuits, and any clothing you wish to have a long.

Do I need to have previous Canyoneering experience?

Aside from knowing what to expect, previous experience is not generally necessary. We offer trips for various skill levels and most of our Ruin hikes are easily accessible by most family members. During our Canyoneering Trips we offer enough instruction to get you through the canyon at key critical points.

Do I need to know how to rappel?

Rappelling know-how is not required and guides are more than willing to help instruct on the basics to get you down the canyon. Due to the heights of some of the drops, those with an extreme fear of heights should take into consideration whether or not they believe they would be able to finish once started on a hike that requires rappelling. Understand, Once started into some of the canyons the only way out is to rappel out. We can not turn around halfway through and climb out. Rappelling will have to be accomplished. Some people find the rappel either the most exciting part, or the scariest part.

Are your trips suitable for families?

Families are fun to watch together in the canyons. However due to the nature of some of the canyons and the drops trips are not recommended for children. Minimum age limit is 10 years old for Canyoneering routes. For ruin hiking trips we can go a little lower in age. Kids will need to be able to keep up, as we are often pressed for daylight and time constraints to complete the trip.

Will I be required to sign a waiver?

Yes. You will receive a copy when you arrive to sign, or you may download one here and have time to read and sign it and bring it with you when you arrive. There will also be an Emergency Contact Form to fill out. Each of these forms will need to be signed by each person participating. If the party participating is under 18 years old, the forms will need to be signed by a legal gaurdian. If a legal gaurdian will not be joining them on the trip, this form should be filled out and signed before leaving home and bringing it with you.

Do you ever cancel trips?

Very rarely do we need to cancel a trip. Most often if we do it will be because of weather related issues most notable the possibility for flash flooding. At this point some trips may be canceled or not scheduled due to excessive rain.

How do I register for a trip?

You can e-mail us or call to make the appointment. We will respond and let you know if we have any openings at that time. You can see our contact information on our Contact us link. A Credit Card # will be required for a deposit to keep on file is required at the time you call to make the reservations. This will not be charged until the morning of the trip. All trip registrations will need to be finalized via phone call in order to obtain the Credit Card information. Please do not send this via an e-mail.

What is your cancellation policy?

Our cancellation policy represents our pre-trip planning time as well as trip meals planned for and whether or not we can still book a trip that day or not. You may cancel your trip up to 5 business days in advance without any penalties. You may cancel within 5 business days of your trip with a 20% penalty of your trip amount. Any cancellations you make within 24 hrs of trip will result in a 50% penalty of the full cost of the trip.

 

If we decide that the weather is too bad to go out and we cancel the trip you will receive a full refund. These decisions will generally be made that morning depending on the weather. If it is lightly raining we may still go if we deem it to be safe. In such a case as we do make the trip and you decide not to go you will forfeit the cost of the trip. When making decisions we are looking at safety of the canyon and area we are entering. Our decisions are based on whether or not it will be safe, not necessarily whether it will be comfortable or not. Hence below it is suggested for rain gear if threatening.

What do I need to bring?

During the trips all technical gear (ropes, harnesses, helmets) will be provided. If you have your own equipment you are welcome to bring it. Your guide will need to inspect the equipment to make sure it is safe. Also bottled water, but you are welcome to bring a water bladder with you if you like. In preparing for the trips consider clothing selection carefully. Due to the harsh and abrasive nature of the canyon environment clothes and equipment can be easily damaged. Imagine running these items down a wall of sand paper. You should consider wearing inexpensive clothing that can be damaged. Each trip has a high probability to encounter some wading through water. To make the trips more enjoyable and memorable here are a few suggestions of items to consider bringing a long with you, although a heavy pack is also not desired.

    Sunscreen
    Insect Repellent
    Camera - Make sure that you have a way to protect the camera from hitting and scraping against the canyon walls as well as sand and water protection. We do have some Dry bags available upon request.
    Comfortable hiking / wading shoes - Shoes with ankle support as well as good soles, no open toed shoes or sandals. Shoes should be able to get wet.
    Comfortable socks - Without proper socks hiking can be miserable. Synthetic material keeps the feet warmer when wet. Wool, Pile (Fleece), Acrylic blends are good choices. Sometimes in cold weather neoprene socks are worn.
    Pants which could get wet - Clothing which are a synthetic make repel water better and keep you warmer when wet. Levis, Denim, and cotton blend pants are hard to move in when wet. Shorts are not recommended due to the abrasive conditions.
    Hat for sun protection - During the technical parts of the trip we will be wearing helmets, however a hat is nice for the hike in and out.
    Jacket and or rain gear - Weather forecast for possible rain we will still hike but need to be prepared.

How long are the hikes?

They vary depending on how many canyons we hike and how large the group is. Naturally we want to make sure everyone is comfortable and not rushed with frequent breaks after strenuous sections. Our trips range from 2-3 hours to full day hikes.

Do I need to provide my own transportation?

Not necessarily. Sometimes a car shuttle is nice and if the possibility to have another vehicle at the trailhead with us is doable, that's always a treat. Some clients like to drive out to the location and then spend some time on their owne exploring and driving around looking at scenery after the trip is over.
If the group size is larger than 5 people, you will most likely need to drive to accomodate the group size getting the trailhead destination.
We have also met groups at the trailhead and are able to do this for those clients who may be coming in from a different area that morning and it is quicker for them to drive and meet us on site than it is to come into our office to meet first.

I am flying in, what is the closest airport?

Larger Airports:

  • Albuquerque, NM International Airport - 320 miles (approx. 5 hrs 25 min drive time).
  • Salt Lake City, UT International Airport - 338 miles (approx. 5 hrs 55 min drive time).
  • Phoenix, AZ International Airport - 372 miles (approx. 6 hrs 10 min drive time).
  • Las Vegas, NV International Airport - 473 miles (approx. 7 hrs 50 min drive time).

Smaller Airports closer that have car rentals:
  • Cortez Municipal Airport - Cortez, CO 65 miles (approx. 1 hr 10 min drive time).
  • Four Corners Regional Airport - Farmington, NM 100 miles (approx. 1 hr 45 min drive time).
  • Grand County Airport - Moab, UT 117 miles (approx. 1 hr 50 min drive time).
  • Telluride Regional Airport - Telluride, CO 124 miles (approx. 2 hrs drive time).
  • Durango-LaPlata County Airport - Durango, CO 135 miles (approx. 2 hrs 35 min drive time).

What kind of facilities are available in Blanding?

Even though we are in a small town (population approx. 3000), we have all the modern conveniences available. I.e. Hotels, Motels, Gas stations, Restaurants, Grocery Stores, Library w/ internet access, etc. Although Most hotels now have internet and WiFi service. Blanding also has a couple of cell phone towers installed and they work with most carriers.

What Lodging options are available in the area?

We are asked frequently what lodging options are available in the area. Aside from the various hotels and motels and open public land to camp on, a lot of clients of ours have enjoyed staying in the rental properties provided by
Canyonlands Lodging
. They maintain dozens upon dozens of vacation rental properties in the area and all are generally very enjoyed by our customers.

Am I supposed to tip my guide?

Gratuities are not required, though they are an excellent way to show appreciation to your guide if you had a positive experience, especially if your expectations were exceeded. Some of our guides work for very little compensation and mostly for the thrill of watching others expereince something new. Tip amounts are at your discretion, but between $20 and $50 for full-day trips are typical.