Our passion here at Redrock is leading guests into real wilderness. Not manicured front-country. Not crowded trails. Not places a thousand guidebooks have gone before. We specialize in custom hiking, backpacking, canyoneering, photo tours, and base camping – at reasonable prices. We run scheduled clinics and weeklong group tours, but we’re mostly about small-group backcountry adventure, and all about your experience, not our volume business plan.
We operate across the wildest, most scenic 2.4 million acres in all of southern Utah, a varied landscape that encompasses the sandstone labyrinth of the Dirty Devil River and Robber’s Roost Wilderness, the austere Caineville Badlands, the massive Henry Mountains, and 241,904-acre Capitol Reef National Park, the most magnificent – and least-visited – southern Utah park.
We can take you safely on off-the-beaten path excursions – at any level of challenge from relaxed to ambitious – because we’ve been wilderness travelers for 45 years, wilderness professionals for 30, and spent three decades exploring this matchless landscape. At your request, we can provide advice or informal clinics on local flora and fauna, history, archaeology, geology, navigation, rope work, and photography or videography. Enjoyment, instruction, and safety are our biggest priorities, and experience is our biggest difference. Scroll down for testimonials.
Who We Are
Steve Howe (62), founder and lead guide
Steve has been backpacking, climbing, kayaking, skiing and trail running for 45 years. He began planning and taking his own trips into mountain and desert environments at age 14. In the many years since, Steve has skied off 22,000-foot Andean summits, filmed on Denali for National Geographic, spent 60 days solo on Alaska’s North Slope, and undertaken dozens of month-long, deep-wilderness assignments as a Field Editor for Backpacker Magazine.
In 1990, after traveling professionally from Iceland to New Zealand and Alaska to Africa, Howe settled in Torrey, just outside Capitol Reef National Park, on the western boundary of 25 million acres of southern Utah wilderness. “Capitol Reef and Dirty Devil country are the reasons I’m here,” he says. “This is one of the finest wilderness expanses left on earth, and very few people truly see it.”
Jennifer Howe (56), guide, manager, hospitality specialist
Jennifer (also known as “Betty”) is an accomplished backpacker, hiker, photographer and horsewoman who has explored caves in Carlsbad, trekked 26 days through Montana and Wyoming’s remote Absaroka Mountains, and faced down bears in Alaska. In addition to leading photo tours, day hikes, and week-long Zion and Bryce trips, Jen is a Registered Nurse and former Torrey town councilwoman.
With her network of local contacts, Jen can easily arrange special catering for your group, or coordinate side trips to augment your time in the Capitol Reef area. She often accompanies our mixed groups “so the boys can’t run off with the agenda.” If you beg nicely, she might cook you the justly renowned breakfast special, Utah Betty’s Caramel French Toast ™.
When not guiding day hikes and photo tours, Jen monitors our satellite beacon communications for safety, shuttle, and resupply purposes. She also manages the half-acre wildlife preserve and petting zoo that is our backyard. When Steve is in the woods, she can be reached directly at 435-425-3330 / firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tim Pote (42) guide
Combine a relaxed personality and serious expertise with long-time experience, and that describes Tim Pote’s personality and guiding style. A native of Pennsylvania, he’s called the tiny hamlet of Teasdale home for 15 years, and spent much of that time single-mindedly exploring our Capitol Reef backyard by foot, rope, mountain bike, and skis. The lure of rock climbing drew Tim westward in the early 1990s, first to Yosemite, then Canada, Thailand, Panhandle Alaska, Idaho’s Sawtooths, and finally the big walls of Zion. Along the way, something happened. “The wilderness opened my eyes to a lot of avenues for growth in my life,” he explains. “And I wanted to show that to others.”
Tim began guiding seriously in 1996, planning and leading remote wilderness treks while teaching survival and primitive skills to at-risk and adjudicated teens. Eighteen years of guiding troubled youth, year-round, on committing, multi-week expeditions through Montana, Colorado, and Utah has honed Tim’s backcountry leadership and safety skills to a high degree. Aside from guiding, his personal outdoor landmarks include climbing Zodiac, a 2,000-foot overhanging wall on Yosemite’s El Capitan, exploring remote Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal, and spending days on desert survival treks with nothing more than shoes, shorts, t-shirt, and water bottle.
Tim’s the best kind of guide, someone who guides because they love it, not just because they want to be outdoors. “The biggest reward comes from subtly helping people expand their comfort zone, and seeing this familiar adventure landscape, in a fresh way, through their eyes.” Tim and his partner Beth Peisner, a gourmet chef, are devoted organic gardeners and proud parents of a 5-year-old son, Jasper.
Mike Hinkle (33), guide
Mike moved to Utah from Indiana 12 years ago to work summers as a wilderness therapy field guide. As a young man who was once in alcohol/drug recovery, Mike found the experience of working in the wilderness with troubled youth to be profound. This led him to pursue a professional career through Utah Valley University, where he graduated with a Substance Use Disorder Counselor License.
Since then he’s developed deep experience in both residential and wilderness therapy, and refined his wilderness experience as a key staff member for Legacy Outdoor Adventures, which combines traditional wilderness therapy with high adventure challenge settings. As Program Director, he oversees most aspects of staff training, residential and field operations, managing multiple groups in remote wilderness settings. He regularly leads groups in difficult, technical slot canyons, using challenge as a learning, growth lesson to be applied in daily life.
“Working in the wilderness, with people I’m privileged to accompany, doing the things we do, and going the places we go, has been amazingly good for my soul,” he says. “I’ve grown exponentially because of the experiences I have been afforded and the people I’ve met…”
In addition to his therapy and guiding, Mike is a husband, father of two young children, and coach of the Wayne High School basketball team. Within Redrock Adventure Guides, he adds to our growing tradition of employing only deeply qualified staff.
How We Roll
We help friends and guests into the wilderness, not ‘clients’. We’re your accomplices and mentors, there to interpret the human and natural history you wouldn’t otherwise hear of, point out cool places you might otherwise miss, teach the scrambling, navigation and rope techniques you need, arrange complex logistics to save you time, share our enthusiasm for this magnificent landscape, and keep you safe in its committing terrain.
Our philosophy is that outdoor expertise is mostly about experience in a given environment. Everybody, no matter their fitness or skill level, can benefit from our local knowledge of conditions, destinations, navigation difficulties, and water sources.
We get off on seeing people’s eyes widened, and their lives changed, by one of the most beautiful places on this planet.
And check out our reviews on TripAdvisor.com !
“Enough can never be said of the outstanding hospitality…I also feel like each time I go on a trip with Steve I should get college credit – the dude is a walking encyclopedia of backcountry knowledge and experience.”
“One of the best parts of my work is organizing and hosting outdoor adventure and gear testing trips for journalists and manufacturers. I’ve had the opportunity to explore some amazing places, but the most memorable trip I ever hosted was led by Steve Howe, into the heart of the Capitol Reef National Park. It was the result of dozens of exploratory hikes he had done over the years, a point-to-point journey that linked seven canyons over four days. The entire time I had the feeling I was passing over ridges and through slot canyons where no human had ever gone. Steve is an amazing leader with a lifetime of knowledge under his cap, and I hope to join him again on another desert adventure.”
Steamboat Springs, CO
“Steve Howe knows the biology and geology of Capitol Reef National Park inside and out. He can take you safely on spectacular scrambles and beautiful slot canyons rarely seen by anyone but himself – and you. A great wilderness experience.”
Penny B., M.D.
“Steve led us on a couple of off-trail day hikes and technical slot canyon descents that were beautiful, safe, and really, really fun – even for our 7- and 9-year-olds.”
“It was tough to get back to “real life”…you can’t beat time on the trail, and I can’t thank you enough for introducing us to your beautiful backyard. Capitol Reef is a special place. We were all blown away by the terrain.”
Where We’re Based
We’re located in Torrey, Utah, a half mile from the intersection of two Scenic Byways, Utah Highways 12 and 24 , and four miles from Capitol Reef National Park. Torrey sits on a broad saddle between the forested 11,000-foot plateaus of Boulder and Thousand Lakes Mountains – right on the edge of 25 million acres of designated and de facto wilderness.
Torrey is a scenic hamlet of 200 people set around a tree-lined Main Street. It sports 16 motels, RV parks or cabin complexes, 10 excellent restaurants (4 with full liquor license), and a quiet vibe that is refreshingly different from the average national park gateway. At 6,850 feet in altitude, nights here are cool, while summer days are warm, but not boiling.
Our home office, aka Rancho Elvis, is located at 241 East 100 North, only two blocks from downtown restaurants and shops, and less than a mile from area motels.
Airports > Torrey. Distances and driving times:
 Salt Lake City, Utah: 210 miles, 3.5-4 hours.
 Grand Junction, Colorado: 210 miles, 3 hours (most scenic route).
 Las Vegas, Nevada: 356 miles; 5.75 hours.
 Los Angeles, California: 630 miles, 10.25 hours.