Some of the most spectacular parts of the Wasatch Back are tucked away in remote locations, best experienced by immersing yourself in Utah’s lush and rugged landscape. But getting “down and dirty” in the backcountry is easier than you might think thanks to a trio of local outfitters who are ready to lead you on adventures you may have previously only dreamed about.

Whether you’re looking to explore Park City’s surrounding scenery and wildlife by land, on the water, or in the air, these outfitters not only offer the opportunity for truly genuine backcountry encounters, but also provide a healthy dose of adrenaline sure to elevate your personal excursions to epic levels.

Not every outdoor exploit needs to be a hair-raising adventure to make it truly epic. Try grabbing your bestie and beating the heat on a whitewater-fueled float down the Provo River with High Country Adventure.

Summer is the perfect time to take in the spectacular scenery along this six-mile excursion, which features views of soaring canyon walls, historic train bridges, lush greenery, and the majestic Mt. Timpanogos. High Country Adventure offers custom-made, heavy-duty river tubes, perfect for a morning or afternoon on the world-famous Provo. But bear in mind, this isn’t your standard amusement park “lazy river” ride—several Class I and II rapids as well as other obstacles can appear along the route, and adventurers should be confident in their swimming ability.

Located between Heber and Provo, approximately 25 miles from Park City, HCA prides itself on being the first and largest rafting outfitter located in Northern Utah and the only outfitter with private parks on the river for take-out and parking. A quick shuttle ride delivers you to the river’s edge, where you’ll be outfitted with a tube, personal floatation device and navigation instructions. Shuttles are conveniently scheduled to leave on the hour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays, and every 30 minutes on weekends. While the typical float time is 90-120 minutes, timing will depend on the seasonal flow.

Looking to add a little more thrill to your river experience? HCA offers stand-up paddle boards, available for those looking to blaze their own trail or for guided experiences down the Provo. This moderately strenuous activity requires good balance and core strength, and HCA notes it offers the most stable paddle board for river running, the ChargAIRE inflatable SUP.

Additionally, consider a double tube and/or a cooler tube to bring along snacks and drinks to round out your day. HCA offers cooler tubes (you bring the cooler!), available for an additional fee, as well as wetsuits, river booties and small paddles available for rent.

Tubing is recommended for kids 12 and older, but kids 8 and older can participate on a double tube with a strong adult swimmer. Smaller rafts that hold 3-5 people are available for parents with younger children or less confident swimmers.

Looking to feel that breeze in your hair, sun on your face and perhaps fling yourself from an 80-foot-high tower? Then get ready to test your mettle in completely new and unexpected ways when you take your adventure to new heights, quite literally, at Zipline Utah.

Located in picturesque Deer Creek State Park at Rainbow Bay, about 20 miles from Park City and 10 minutes southwest of Heber, Zipline Utah offers seven different tour packages involving some or all of the zipline sections, which can easily accommodate a variety of ability levels. But for anyone with a “go big or go home” mentality, Zipline Utah boasts several record-setting experiences, including the world’s longest zipline over water—the 3,900-foot Screaming Falcon zipline. They also feature the world’s longest continual zipline course, which comprises a full two-mile loop that never touches the ground.

Thrill seekers can rest assured this is no Disneyland ride: Zipline Utah courses are extremely hands-on experiences, with elevated suspension bridges, hundreds of stairs and 10 ziplines, including the second longest zipline in the lower 48 states. The most comprehensive tour, the Screaming Falcon Full Tour, can take about three hours and features all 10 ziplines including its namesake zipline over Rainbow Bay, seven increasingly challenging suspension bridges and 500 stairs.

“I definitely like to highlight that the tour is physically and mentally strenuous,” said Zipline Utah Manager Olivia Barrus. “It’s difficult; it’s a high intensity course. It’s challenging but fun, and set against these amazing views, I think that’s what makes us unique.”

While multiple guides are with you every step and zip of the way, and you’re also continuously tethered to the course for safety, expect to find yourself outside your comfort zone at times during your tour, which can also be quite demanding. However, overcoming challenges and experiencing the excitement of adventure with family, friends or coworkers can be a real bonding experience, which has been a goal from the beginning for owner Jon Johnson, who recognized Deer Creek’s spectacular mountain setting and reservoir views were tailor-made for zip lining.

Getting you off the beaten path is the primary mission for Wasatch Excursions, which prides itself on being the only company authorized to offer guided tours on the pristine 22,000 acres of the Wasatch Mountain State Park.

Nestled at the base of the Wasatch Mountains, Wasatch Excursions (WE) is approximately a 30-minute drive from Park City and conveniently located in the golf course clubhouse at the state park. WE assures that adventurers will be riding only the best-rated, safest, industry-leading equipment on their tours, which offer exclusive access to breathtaking views along some of Utah’s best available trails. What’s more, riders don’t lose a single minute of adventure time thanks to WE’s onsite location at the state park trailheads.

Kick up the adrenaline rush by choosing from one of WE’s three UTV options: the two-seater or four-seater Maverick Sport, or the six-seat Defender. These vehicles can go a little faster than the single-rider ATV machines (also available at WE), thanks to the full roll cages and power steering.

“If you can drive a car, you can drive one of these,” said WE Manager Braxton Morgan, who suggests the two- or three-hour guided tours to ensure maximum adventure with minimum stress.

“If you’re unfamiliar with the terrain, or looking for a safe family experience, it’s absolutely worth it to have a knowledgeable guide lead you through the park.”

Wasatch Excursions’ tours cover approximately 25 miles round trip, climbing 2,500 feet in elevation from base camp to the top of ridgeline and offering 360-degree views of the Heber Valley and American Fork Valley before dropping into verdant valley below. Morgan notes that WE is able to accommodate all skill levels and can structure trips to satisfy personal requests.

Prepare to also kick up some dirt along the way—and maybe a splash or two as tours make their way through shallow water ways and over rocky terrain. Frequent wildlife sightings are also part of the adventure, so be on the lookout for deer, elk, wild turkeys, moose and more. The park also offers two historic areas: Historic Tate Barn and Huber Grove. Tate Barn stands as an important architectural landmark and a sentry at the southern end of the park, while Huber Grove features the Huber Farmhouse and Creamery.


Wasatch Excursions
wasatchexcursions.com | 435-729-9595

Zipline Utah
ziplineutah.com | 866-923-1063

High Country Adventure
highcountryadventure.com | 801-224-2500