Skye & Craig Copeland own and run Utah Slickrock Guides. They 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 the intensive, seven day, Wilderness Emergency First Responder (WEFR) training. Scroll down to learn more about Skye and Craig.
Denice Campbell guides with Skye & Craig. Denice's zeal for canyon country is evidenced by her constant exploration of the complex backcountry surrounding her home in Boulder, Utah. She's everything you could want in a guide: tireless, knowledgeable, attentive, kind, patient, and fun. Denice has mastered each route she leads with Skye & Craig. And, of course, she also has wilderness emergency medical training. Scroll farther down to learn more about Denice.
Skye & Craig Copeland
Skye and Craig 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, the Spanish and French Pyrenees, 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 now live in Boulder, Utah — slickrock hiking capital of planet Earth. 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 in January, Spain's Costa Blanca mountains in February, the Swiss Alps in July, and the Italian Alps in late August / early September. To learn more, visit CanaryIslandsHiking.com, CostaBlancaHiking.com, SwissAlpsHiking.com, or ItalianAlpsHiking.com
Denice has been hiking, backpacking, camping, trail running, mountain biking, and kayaking in Utah canyon country for more than a third of her life. And her desire to range across this bizarrely spectacular land has only intensified.
"Hiking here is what I love most," Denice says. "It's my fascination. My passion. My art. It's sustenance for my soul.
"My appreciation for this land just keeps deepening. I find the beauty of it endlessly inspiring, and the complexity of it constantly captivating.
"So it thrills me to share it with someone who's seeing it for the first time. And it excites me even more to guide hikers who keep returning here because they're as enthralled with Utah canyon country as I am," said Denice.
2021 is her third season with Utah Slickrock Guides, but she was Skye & Craig's hiking buddy long before that.
In the summer of 2018, Denice backpacked the 220-mile John Muir Trail—a challenge she researched, trained and prepared for entirely on her own.
Prior to moving to Boulder, she lived in Moab where she worked for more than a decade organizing, promoting and selling multi-day, guided backcountry mountain-bike tours throughout the Colorado Plateau: from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, to Canyonlands National Park.
Utah Slickrock Guides
Shred mundane existence.
Photo by Utah Slickrock Guides' guest Ake Almgren