Local outdoor adventure organizations gain ground

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William Taylor and a small group of people he had never met tried to summit Mount Nebo in September 2013, a feat no member of the group had accomplished before. Taylor said finding trail descriptions for the hike on the Internet was nigh impossible.

As they made their way along the trail, they expected to climb, but instead ended up descending until they lost confidence in their route. Little did they know they were on the right trail. Although their summit attempt failed, the experience led to the start of a successful adventure group.

Taylor said he doesn’t know how he got the idea to start an adventure group, but when asked about the beginnings of Adventures With Will, he tells the story of the midnight attempt to summit Mount Nebo.

The former group of four has grown into an official Facebook group of about 500 members. Taylor said the adventure group capped its upcoming event, Havasupai Round 3, at 150 people.

Taylor said Adventures With Will is a community organization designed to invite people to go outdoors and learn new skills. They hike, rappel and attend social events.

Taylor said the group hopes people will use their experiences and the skills they learn to enjoy new activities in the outdoors. Taylor said they are transitioning to a Facebook page as opposed to a closed group.

Experience Utah is another adventure group based locally that has expanded its reach since founders Casey Yardley, Hope Carr and Vincent Bradley started it in mid-2015. Carr said Bradley felt like he had “wasted the first half of his life in Utah” by spending too much time on activities such as playing video games.

Bradley was out of a job for a few months and found himself spending a lot of time outside. Carr said it frustrated Bradley to have to search different sites for information when he wanted to go hiking.

Carr said after Bradley told her about his idea of making one site for finding trails, she started to help by writing trail descriptions.

This group has seen tremendous growth in recent months. Carr said Experience Utah has its biggest presence on Instagram. They had 5,068 followers as of Jan. 20, 2016.

“It’s really exploded the last month or two,” Carr said.

Carr said the idea of Experience Utah is to form a community for outdoor enthusiasts to get together and enjoy Utah by getting outside. They host photo competitions sponsored by local companies. Carr said they also plan on writing product reviews in the future.

Outdoor adventure groups such as Adventures with Will and Experience Utah are giving residents a resource for hikes, trails, social events and other opportunities to make the best of Utah.

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