Utah Slickrock Guides have decades of combined hiking experience in Utah canyon country. They're among the few who hold a permit issued by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to guide in Grand Staircase—Escalante National Monument (GSENM). And they’ve completed Wilderness Emergency First Responder (WEFR) training.
Skye & Craig Copeland
Craig and Kathy (Skye to her friends) are hikers whose writing and photography have empowered hundreds of thousands of people to explore wild lands worldwide.
Their second date was a 20-mile (32-km) dayhike in Arizona. The distance they’ve since hiked together exceeds twice the earth’s circumference.
In 1989, hiking in the Canadian Rockies inspired them to immigrate from the U.S. to Canada. They soon covered so much ground in the Rockies, their co-workers who’d lived there decades were asking Skye and Craig where to go hiking. That was the inspiration for their first, refreshingly unconventional book: Don’t Waste Your Time in the Canadian Rockies, The Opinionated Hiking Guide.
Skye, an ESL teacher, and Craig, an advertising-agency creative director, eventually erased the line between work and joy. They abandoned their careers, started their own publishing company—hikingcamping.com—and began writing uniquely compelling guidebooks. They’re now the authors of twelve titles, including the bestseller Hiking from Here to WOW: Utah Canyon Country.
Because hiking is their life, not just their livelihood, they often explore beyond the purview of their books. They’ve trekked through much of the world’s vertical topography, including the Nepalese Himalaya, Patagonian Andes, and New Zealand Alps. In Europe, they’ve hiked the Scottish Highlands, Spain’s Costa Blanca and Els Ports mountains, the Canary Islands, Madeira, Mallorca’s Serra de Tramuntana, the Alpes Maritimes, the French, Swiss, Austrian and Italian Alps, Italy's Dolomiti and Apennini, and the mountains of Norway. In North America, they’ve explored the B.C. Coast, Selkirk and Purcell ranges, Montana’s Beartooth Wilderness, Wyoming’s Grand Tetons, the Colorado Rockies, the California Sierra, and Arizona’s Superstition Wilderness and Grand Canyon.
No place in their experience, however, has resonated with them as profoundly as Utah canyon country. While their publishing company remains in the Canadian Rockies, they’re now in Utah for long periods. When not guiding, they frequently probe the high-desert wilderness, exploring new cross-country routes.
The transition from writing guidebooks to guiding in person was a natural one for Skye and Craig. "Whether writing or guiding," Skye said, "our motivation has always been to share the joy, wonder and exhilaration we find in the world’s supreme hiking destinations. We've done it with our readers for nearly 30 years. Now we're doing it with our guests."
In addition to guiding hikers in Utah canyon country, Skye and Craig now lead small groups of ambitious hikers in the Canary Islands each winter, and in the Italian Alps each summer. To learn more, visit CanaryIslandsHiking.com, or ItalianAlpsHiking.com