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Top 5 Backpacking Trips in the Southwest

Top 5 Backpacking Trips in the Southwest

Top 5 Backpacking Trips in the Southwest

The American Southwest is a veritable buffet of life-list adventures.  From the tame to the rugged, there is something for everyone here.  Whether you are hiking and backpacking in Utah, Death Valley, Grand Canyon, or the wild Sonoran Desert, The Goat has compiled his top 5 backpacking trips in the American Southwest just for you.  Follow along with us as we take you on a dream tour of our epic backyard.

5.  Bucksin Gulch to Paria Canyon, Vermillion Cliffs National Monument, Utah Canyon Country

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Simply put, this is one of the finest canyon hiking experiences in the world.  This 43-mile, multi-day point-to-point takes hikers through the longest, deepest slot canyon in North America (and perhaps the world) the Buckskin Gulch.  Towering sunset sandstone walls lead you through this coursing labyrinth, crossing the Paria River over 50 times before it dumps you out at Lee’s Ferry, the official beginning of the Grand Canyon.  Along the way hikers are treated to epic canyon scenery, including several soaring natural arches, waterfalls, natural springs, the dreaded “Cesspools,” and a pleasant grade that makes it easy to revel in the scenic and geologic wonders.  Paria Canyon and Buckskin Gulch can be done separately, but it is The Goat’s preference to get them both done in this fabulous backpacking tour of quintessential canyon hiking.

4.  Sundance Trail to Dark Canyon, Dark Canyon Primitive Wilderness, Utah Canyon Country

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Potentially the best part of this fantastic hiking and backpacking experience in the depths of Utah’s Canyon Country is that you may have Dark Canyon all to yourself.  Intrepid hikers will travel at least 2-3 hours in any direction across 4×4 roads just to reach the trailhead, which makes getting here a fabulous adventure in and of itself.  Once here, Dark Canyon presents hikers with some of the most unspoiled scenery and geology in Utah and all of the American Southwest.  Often referred to as “the Little Grand Canyon” due to its ever-changing hues and sheer cliff walls, Dark Canyon is one of the premier canyon hiking destinations in the United States.  The Sundance Trail descends a particularly rugged and thrilling ridge down into the depths of Dark Canyon, and once there, gives nearly limitless opportunities for hiking into side canyons and tributaries, each more stunning than the last.  The Sundance Trail can also serve as a simple day hike, but The Goat recommends at least two or more days in this outstanding Utah canyon wilderness.

3.  Marble Canyon via Cottonwood Canyon, Death Valley National Park, California

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Death Valley: hot, barren, and boring, right?  Wrong.  Death Valley is perhaps the most ecologically diverse and geologically astounding place in North America, and the Marble Canyon via Cottonwood Canyon backpacking route puts that on full display.  Running natural springs surrounded by towering cottonwood trees?  Check.  Polished billion year-old marble?  Check.  Slot canyons?  Check.  Solitude?  Check.  Adventurous route-finding and scrambling?  Double Check.  Backpackers and hikers typically do Marble Canyon only, however, The Goat prefers to make the Cottonwood to Marble Canyon traverse via Dead Horse Canyon, a rugged and wild adventure that will truly give you appreciation for the grandeur and diversity of Death Valley.

2.  West Canyon, Arizona Red Rock Country

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West Canyon is regarded by many (including The Goat) as the finest slot canyon on the Colorado Plateau.  It does not hold any particular distinction as far as length, depth, or width, but its scenery and slot canyoning experience is absolutely second-to-none.  Backpacking through West Canyon, the hiker is almost immediately confronted with swimming opportunities, old hogans, several dry falls that require exciting scrambling, and all this within the first mile of the canyon.  As the backpacking continues, the hiker will reach waterfalls, enormous and outrageous alcoves, and numerous opportunities for hiking into side canyons, ducking through thrilling narrows that often require a headlamp, and quintessential sunset sandstone walls that seem to bathe in the soft sunlight that reaches into the depths of the canyon.  What really puts this adventure over the top, however, is the boat trip required to reach the canyon, making West Canyon a unique and powerful experience in Red Rock Canyon Country.

1.  Tanner Trail to Grandview Point via the Escalante Route, Grand Canyon, Arizona

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This is the #1 backpacking trip in the American Southwest for one simple reason: the ultimate combination of geology and scenery.  As with any hike in the Grand Canyon, hikers are confronted with nearly 2 billion years of Earth’s history painted on the walls.  However, on the Escalante Route, hikers and backpackers get up close and personal with two of the Grand Canyon’s greatest scenic and geologic features, the Great Unconformity and the Butte Fault.  We’ll leave one of our geologist/guides to walk you through the finer points of these fabulous features, but let’s just say that they add a fabulous spice to this outrageously scenic hike that includes a class 3 scramble up the Papago Wall, delving into a slot canyon, camping at the beach, and utter solitude.  The Escalante Route presents exciting challenges and sweeping grandeur, all in the eastern part of Grand Canyon before the Colorado River enters the Inner Gorge.  This wide-open expanse will give you a true perspective on the grand scale of Grand Canyon, as you confront literal mountains within the canyon, all the way down to narrow slots and three separate Colorado River-side camps that do not disappoint.

So there you have it ladies and gentleman, the Top 5 Backpacking Trips in the American Southwest.  You can tackle them yourself, or to enhance your experience, you may choose to tackle them with our fabulous geologist/guides that will school you on every whit and whimsy in these beautiful rocks.  See you on the trail!

Going Guided

Hiking and exploring Grand Canyon, or any of the National Parks, is a special experience.  Although it is possible to see these places yourself, hiring a guide is a great idea.  For instance, guiding services provide logistical support, and plan everything for your best possible trip.  They provide a great safety net on the trail, and are trained in backcountry medicine. Above all, they provide a depth of knowledge of the region that turns a walk into a true adventure.

Blue Marble Adventure GeoTourism provides all of the support you need, and pairs that with expert geologist/guides.  Our backcountry meals use fresh ingredients, and are planned by a professional chef.  Furthermore, we provide top-of-the-line gear and passion for the places we explore.  In conclusion, you can visit National Parks, but going with a guide can create and even more memorable experience.  Don’t be shy, and call us!

Read our blog!

For adventure hiking vacations in a geologic time machine, see our epic tours in Grand Canyon, Utah, and Arizona!

For geological musings read The Goat’s geology blog.

Follow us on Facebookand Instagram

Explore Further, Be Wild, See Through Time — Blue Marble Adventure GeoTourism

 

 

Who is the Hermit of Grand Canyon?

Who is the Hermit of Grand Canyon?

Who is the Hermit of Grand Canyon?

Every trail in the Grand Canyon is unique and special, and the Hermit Trail is no different in that respect.  Far enough from the park’s bustling corridor trails of Bright Angel and South Kaibab to yield a feeling of solitude, yet close enough that it has amenities and its own bus stop, this is The Goat’s favorite trail on the South Rim.

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A view of Hermit Canyon coming down the Hermit Trail

The Hermit

Louis Boucher, better known as “the hermit of the Grand Canyon”, had a homestead here in the late 1800’s into the early 20th century, and built this foot-trail to access his mine.  The trail, improved by the Santa Fe Railroad in the early 1900’s as a route for hopeful mining riches, also yields one of the park’s best day hikes; to Dripping Springs.  This 6.5-mile out-and-back is a wonderful adventure for those looking to bite off a piece of the canyon, but not more than they can chew.

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Our intrepid guests descending the Hermit Trail

The geology of this hike gives a unique perspective on how the canyon took shape over the eons, particularly how the colorful buttes and mesas that make the canyon so unique were formed.  A process called “spring-sapping” is most responsible, and Dripping Springs allows its intrepid visitors to see firsthand how this process takes, and is taking place.

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Dripping Springs

As groundwater is forced to the surface at permeable/impermeable geologic contacts, it creates weaknesses along bedding planes, mechanically weathering (eroding) at the surface.  Over time, these areas break down and are subject to fallout.  As they crumble, they leave behind the impressive buttes and mesas such as Zoroaster Temple, Chuar Butte, and Vulcan’s Throne.

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Zoroaster Temple, product of “spring-sapping”

The spring itself is groundwater forced to the surface at the geologic contact between the permeable Coconino Sandstone, and the impermeable Hermits Shale.  The water coursing its way through the sandstone hits the clay-based shale and can no longer matriculate downwards, so it is therefore expelled at the contact, creating the surface spring.

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A view to the Esplanade from the Hermit Trail

Hiking Down the Canyon

On the way down to Dripping Springs, there are several other spots of tremendous geologic interest including a wall of fossils in the Kaibab Limestone, as well as reptile and amphibian tracks in the Coconino Sandstone.  The best thing about this day hike is that, once you trudge through the Kaibab, Toroweap, and Coconino formations and reach the junction of the Dripping Springs and Hermit Trails, the trail levels out and is a wonderful cruise through the bright reds and oranges of the upper reaches of the Supai Group.  A great lunch spot awaits the hikers while they watch the spring quite literally drip from the ceiling of the large Coconino Sandstone overhang.

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Sweeping views of the “Grandaddy of Them All”

The return hike, while strenuous at times once you reach the Coconino and Kaibab switchbacks, is relatively easy compared to many Grand Canyon ascents, and an early start will ensure that you escape the late afternoon southern-exposed sun rays.  The most enjoyable way to take this hike is, as always, with one of our geologist/guides; and we hope to see you on the trail soon!

Going Guided

Hiking and exploring Grand Canyon, or any of the National Parks, is a special experience.  Although it is possible to see these places yourself, hiring a guide is a great idea.  For instance, guiding services provide logistical support, and plan everything for your best possible trip.  They provide a great safety net on the trail, and are trained in backcountry medicine. Above all, they provide a depth of knowledge of the region that turns a walk into a true adventure.

Blue Marble Adventure GeoTourism provides all of the support you need, and pairs that with expert geologist/guides.  Our backcountry meals use fresh ingredients, and are planned by a professional chef.  Furthermore, we provide top-of-the-line gear and passion for the places we explore.  In conclusion, you can visit National Parks, but going with a guide can create and even more memorable experience.  Don’t be shy, and call us!

Read our blog!

For adventure hiking vacations in a geologic time machine, see our epic tours in Grand Canyon, Utah, and Arizona!

For geological musings read The Goat’s geology blog.

Follow us on Facebookand Instagram

Explore Further, Be Wild, See Through Time — Blue Marble Adventure GeoTourism

 

Hiking on the Mogollon Rim:  Arizona’s Hidden Gem

Hiking on the Mogollon Rim: Arizona’s Hidden Gem

Hiking on the Mogollon Rim, Arizona

With so many jaw-dropping natural features, Arizona can be almost overwhelming in terms of choices.  Let us simplify things for you: go to the Mogollon Rim.  Why?  Lakes, canyons, spectacular scenery, wildlife, solitude, cool summer weather, history, and of course, geology.

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Geology

“The Rim” is the actual edge of the Colorado Plateau, famous for the Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce, Arches, Canyonlands, volcanoes, rivers, and some of the most outrageous displays of sedimentary geology in the world.  To the south lies the Transition Zone and the Basin and Range, geologic provinces characterized by extensional faulting and the Sonoran/Mojave Deserts.  It is the last bastion of the flat-lying sediments, the precipitous drop-off to the ends of the Earth.

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History

Sitting over 1000ft. higher than the land just to the south, The Rim provides a dramatic gateway to Plateau country, and has indeed been the sentinel of our beloved Plateau.  As civilization expanded with the railroad and the Westward Migration of the late 19th century, the Mogollon Rim kept large swaths of civilization away with its foreboding cliffs and complex topography.  In 1871, General George Crook was given the task of creating a throughway across The Rim from Fort Apache near present day Show Low, AZ to Fort Verde near present-day Prescott, AZ.  Today, this road serves as The Rim Road, and is the main route of travel on The Rim, providing access to all the lakes and scenic points that it offers.

Hiking

The Mogollon Rim offers nearly limitless hiking opportunities.  Simply hiking along the rim itself is a great experience.  Exploring the many canyons carved into the rim provides adventures for all levels, from easy strolls to technical descents.  The Arizona Trail runs through the rim, and is a great trail to explore if this is your first time here.

Going Guided

Hiking and exploring the Mogollon Rim is a special experience.  Although it is possible to see these places yourself, hiring a guide is a great idea.  For instance, guiding services provide logistical support, and plan everything for your best possible trip.  They provide a great safety net on the trail, and are trained in backcountry medicine. Above all, they provide a depth of knowledge of the region that turns a walk into a true adventure.

Blue Marble Adventure GeoTourism provides all of the support you need, and pairs that with expert geologist/guides.  Our backcountry meals use fresh ingredients, and are planned by a professional chef.  Furthermore, we provide top-of-the-line gear and passion for the places we explore.  In conclusion, you can visit National Parks, but going with a guide can create and even more memorable experience.  Don’t be shy, and call us!

Read our blog!

For adventure hiking vacations in a geologic time machine, see our epic tours in Grand Canyon, Utah, and Arizona!

For geological musings read The Goat’s geology blog.

Follow us on Facebookand Instagram

Explore Further, Be Wild, See Through Time — Blue Marble Adventure GeoTourism

How Can I Stay Safe While Hiking? Staying Alive with The Goat

How Can I Stay Safe While Hiking? Staying Alive with The Goat

Surviving the Wilds’ Fury

Accidents happen.  It is a fact of life, and a solid fact of outdoor adventure.  We felt compelled to write this blog post in response to the latest tragedy in our backyard, as a young women perished in the Grand Canyon after falling at Ooh-Ahh Point on the South Kaibab Trail.  Hiking with friends, she snapped a few photos, posted them to Instagram, then in a moment she was gone.  As gut-wrenching as this story is, it paints an all-too-real picture of the perils faced daily by adventurers not just in the Grand Canyon, but all over the southwest and around the world.  A moment’s carelessness or inattention can have serious and potentially fatal consequences, and it is important to remember that whether we like it or not, Mother Nature is a cruel and unforgiving mistress.

It’s not all doom and gloom, and of course nothing should discourage you from getting outdoors and maximizing your adventure.  However, a few things to remember may save your life or your health the next time you are on the trail here in the desert southwest.

1.  Plan Ahead

Knowing where you’re going and what it’s going to be like when you get there is key.  Will there be a reliable water supply?  What is the terrain like?  What are the weather conditions going to yield?  What kind of special gear do you need?  Will there be quick help in the case of an emergency?

Having all the information may seem obvious, but it is amazing how many people we run into, especially in this part of the world, that are woefully unprepared for even a short hike in the desert.  They don’t know where they’re going, they don’t have enough provisions or the right gear, they are wildly arrogant, or badly misinformed.  Any of those shortcomings can result in peril, so know what you’re doing and have a plan.

2.  Bring Water

This falls into preparation, but it is almost unbelievable the amount of people we see every year carrying nothing but one bottled water.  It’s 90 degrees, no shade, no moving water, and you and your group of 7 want to make it 6 miles?  People, bring more water than you think you need, and cache it along the trail.

3.  Bring More Water

See above.

4.  Bring even more water

— And drink it consistently, not gulping gallons after long periods of not drinking.  If you feel thirsty, dehydration is already setting in.

5.  Beware the edge

The edge of cliffs, the edge of trees with thorns, the edge of the trail, the edge of sharp rocks, the edge of potential wildlife (snake) burrows, and so on are all things you should be aware of.  Don’t venture out on perilous outcrops, don’t stick your hand where you can’t see, and be on notice that everything in the desert will fight back (even the prettiest of flowers)

6.  Protect yourself from the sun

Hats, sunscreen, sunglasses, and light-colored synthetic clothing are essential to avoiding sunburn, and even worse, heat stroke.  Although a sunburn may be uncomfortable, heat stroke can be deadly, and out here in the desert it will creep up on you much quicker than you think.

7.  Make Common Sense Decisions

Again, this may seem condescending, but common sense can save your life.  Do you really need to snap that outrageous selfie?  Does your dog really need to come with you into a slot canyon?  Is finishing this hike more important than living?  People that find themselves in a bind have almost always made a series of decisions that put marginal gains ahead of group safety.

8.  Carry the right gear

Before you set out on any hike, you should have these things:  Proper footwear, water, first aid, and navigation materials (map, compass, GPS).

9.  Have Fun!

Walk at a reasonable pace, keep the group together, take breaks, drink plenty, eat plenty, stay in the shade, and enjoy the views.  If you can do this, you will make it back to tell everyone of your grand adventures.

Of course, instead of taking this all into your own hands, you could let one of Blue Marble Adventure GeoTourism’s geologist/guides take care of all of this for you.  We are Wilderness First Responder Certified, First Aid/CPR trained, and have years of wilderness experience.  We will make sure that you have fun, and make it back in one piece!  However, we just want to make sure that any adventure you take, with or without us, is memorable and safe for you and everyone that you are with.  See you out there!

Going Guided

Hiking and exploring Grand Canyon, or any of the National Parks, is a special experience.  Although it is possible to see these places yourself, hiring a guide is a great idea.  For instance, guiding services provide logistical support, and plan everything for your best possible trip.  They provide a great safety net on the trail, and are trained in backcountry medicine. Above all, they provide a depth of knowledge of the region that turns a walk into a true adventure.

Blue Marble Adventure GeoTourism provides all of the support you need, and pairs that with expert geologist/guides.  Our backcountry meals use fresh ingredients, and are planned by a professional chef.  Furthermore, we provide top-of-the-line gear and passion for the places we explore.  In conclusion, you can visit National Parks, but going with a guide can create and even more memorable experience.  Don’t be shy, and call us!

Read our blog!

For adventure hiking vacations in a geologic time machine, see our epic tours in Grand Canyon, Utah, and Arizona!

For geological musings read The Goat’s geology blog.

Follow us on Facebookand Instagram

Explore Further, Be Wild, See Through Time — Blue Marble Adventure GeoTourism

 

What Should I Pack for Backpacking Grand Canyon?

What Should I Pack for Backpacking Grand Canyon?

Grand Canyon Backpacking Packing List

About to embark on the trip of a lifetime, Fred reaches into his bag.  He expects to find his sunglasses; and he needs them quite badly in fact.  Fred is about to begin a hike in the Grand Canyon, just a couple of days in paradise.  However, he got so caught up dreaming about how much fun he was going to have that he remembered to pack three sweaters and some long underwear, but forgot his sunglasses.  Fred now has a problem: His pack is too heavy with items that he doesn’t need (it’s July), and he lacks an item that will save him from three days of squinting and headaches.  Fred should have read this blog.

We have all been Fred at some point in our lives; not focused on the task at hand and blanking on something that we really needed.  Here, we will outline must-have items for hiking and adventuring in all of the wonderful places that you will go with Blue Marble Adventure GeoTourism (in all seasons).  We will assume a three-day hiking/backpacking trip in Grand Canyon National Park.  Although we will send you a packing list for any of the trips you go on, this is a good reference point for any adventure you may have.  See you out there!

Clothing:

2 short-sleeve synthetic (not cotton) shirts

1 pair shorts

1 pair light pants

1 rain jacket

3 pairs underwear

3 pairs socks

1 brimmed hat

1 pair sunglasses

Gear:

Large backpack

1-person tent w/ footprint

35-degree sleeping bag

Sleeping pad

3L Water bladder, full

1 32oz. water bottle, full

Map

Compass

Headlamp

Fire starting materials (lighter, flint)

Knife or Multi-tool

Toothbrush

Toothpaste

First-Aid kit (disinfectant, bandages, tweezers, etc.)

Sunscreen

Insect repellent

Cell Phone

Water purification gear (tablets or apparatus)

Cooking gear (pots, spoons, backpacking stove, propane)

Food:

Meals for every day you will be on the trail (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks).  Dehydrated meals are best, or check out our backpacking recipe blog

Luxury Items (At your discretion):

Books

Travel board games

Balls, recreational items

Ipod

Binoculars

This is not necessarily a complete list, but should give you some idea of how to go about packing for adventures in the outdoors.

Going Guided

Hiking and exploring Grand Canyon, or any of the National Parks, is a special experience.  Although it is possible to see these places yourself, hiring a guide is a great idea.  For instance, guiding services provide logistical support, and plan everything for your best possible trip.  They provide a great safety net on the trail, and are trained in backcountry medicine. Above all, they provide a depth of knowledge of the region that turns a walk into a true adventure.

Blue Marble Adventure GeoTourism provides all of the support you need, and pairs that with expert geologist/guides.  Our backcountry meals use fresh ingredients, and are planned by a professional chef.  Furthermore, we provide top-of-the-line gear and passion for the places we explore.  In conclusion, you can visit National Parks, but going with a guide can create and even more memorable experience.  Don’t be shy, and call us!

Read our blog!

For adventure hiking vacations in a geologic time machine, see our epic tours in Grand Canyon, Utah, and Arizona!

For geological musings read The Goat’s geology blog.

Follow us on Facebookand Instagram

Explore Further, Be Wild, See Through Time — Blue Marble Adventure GeoTourism

 

What is the Best Diet for Hiking and Backpacking: Eating Like a Goat

What is the Best Diet for Hiking and Backpacking: Eating Like a Goat

Blue Marble’s Crushin’ It Diet

To get step-by-step recipes for these tasty dishes visit The Goat blog.

There are things that simply go together.  Peanut butter and Jelly.  Rum and Coke.  Coffee and Chocolate.  Wine and Cheese.  Fresh air and Happiness.  These combinations represent pairs that, although they are good individually, are even better when found with their complimentary partner.  Blue Marble believes that diet and exercise are a pair that perfectly compliments each other, as a good diet begets exercise as exercise begets a good diet.  When executed in tandem, they perfectly compliment each other to form excellent health and  a positive state of mind, both of which are imperative for goal-setting and achievement.

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Although it’s rather cliche at this point, as I’m sure that it has been beaten into your head time and again, it is the topic of this blog post so I’ll make it simple:  Proper diet and consistent exercise are necessary for a happy, active lifestyle.  This is not groundbreaking, it’s not new, it’s not a revelation; it is simple fact.  However, you don’t need to max out at the gym or starve yourself on some crazy crash diet.  This is where Blue Marble’s Crush Diet comes to your rescue.  When paired with our three stage exercise program, it will quickly get you in the physical, and most importantly mental state that you need to tackle you outdoor fitness goals.

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Hiking, backpacking, rock climbing, canyoneering, or kayaking are all activities that require good physical and mental conditioning.  Although Blue Marble’s geologist/guides are always here to help you, being in good physical and mental condition makes our trips and your lives much more enjoyable.  Fueling your body the right way for a day on the trail or in the gym will make you exercise regimen that much easier and more enjoyable .

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Let’s begin by dispelling the greatest myth about dieting.  A diet is not some quick fix, two-week, crash starving or specialty food nonsense.  A diet is a lifestyle change and commitment.  A diet is something that you teach yourself and your body to become habit.  Many of the crash diets that are advertised as the newest fad are counterproductive to your health and long-term fitness.  As soon as this diet is “over”, many people go right back to their old ways and immediately reverse everything that this “diet” was supposed to fix.  This is because your body adjusts itself over time to interact with the diet, and when the diet stops or changes, your body cannot readjust, and the fat that was lost comes right back.  The  best way to combat this is to make a wholesale lifestyle change.

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Making a commitment to portion control and balanced nutrition along with consistent exercise is the best, and frankly only way to truly make the long-term change that you want.  Does this mean never eating some foods (pizza, burgers, ice cream, fried chicken, etc.)?  No.  Does this mean eating only spinach and water?  No.  Does this mean spending hundreds of dollars on some kind of newfangled nutrition program?  No.  It simply means making good choices in appropriate portions.  Fresh fruits and vegetable, locally sourced lean meat proteins, nutrient-packed smoothies, nuts, and eggs will provide your body and mind with the fuel and motivation that it needs to push through any training regimen.

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Below is a week of Goat-Approved meals.  One week for the rest of your life.  This will give you an idea of what, how much, and when you should eat so that your body burns fat, is ready for exercise, and will, with time, achieve a maximum fitness level.  Most importantly, this pattern of eating will train your brain to make a long-term adjustment to your new lifestyle.  Several small meals, no gorging, and regular exercise will promote endorphin flow, and your body will soon crave these activities.  Always remember that a great breakfast is the foundation for an active, productive day, and so you will see that we like to front-load our menus with a breakfast that is likely your largest meal of the day. Cheers!

This menu is meant to be used in conjunction with Blue Marble’s Fitness Program, which can be found here. After this week of meals following the recipes and portion suggestions, you will have an excellent grasp on how you need to be eating and thinking about food, and you will be able to create your own menus using the volume and type of ingredients/meals that we have suggested.  Of course, you are certainly welcome to continually repeat your favorites, and if you have any suggestions we would love to hear them!  What worked for you?  What didn’t?  Taking control and being accountable for your own health is one of the most empowering things you can do, so be in charge!

See The Goat’s personal blog for recipes at www.bluemarblegoat.blogspot.com

Week 1:

Day 1:

Breakfast:  8 oz. Chocolate-Banana Smoothie, 1.5 cup whole grain w/ protein cereal with 1/2 cup whole milk or plain yogurt

Mid-AM snack:  4 oz. Cranberry-Almond Trail Mix

Lunch:  Toasted BLAT with Turkey Bacon on Sourdough Bread, 1 fresh peach, 3 oz. kettle-cooked or oven baked potato chips

Mid-PM snack:  4 oz. Yogurt and Classic Granola Parfait

Dinner:  Classic Pizza Nopalitana w/ Whole Wheat Crust

Day 2:

Breakfast:  8 oz. Berry Peachy Smoothie, 2 flaxseed pancakes with Blueberry-Maple Syrup and Honey Butter

Mid-AM Snack:  1 hardboiled egg

Lunch:  Grilled Eggplant and Couscous salad with Roasted Green Chili Vinaigrette

Mid-PM Snack:  4 oz. Pita chips with Hummus

Dinner:  Seared Alaskan Salmon w/ Caramelized Vegetable Quinoa and Avocado Butter

Day 3:

Breakfast:  8 oz. Pineapple-Mango Smoothie, Veggie-Stuffed Omelet with Boursin Cheese

Mid-AM Snack:  1 Blueberry-Chocolate Chip Muffin

Lunch:  French Onion Soup with Gruyere Slider

Mid-PM Snack:  Caprese Salad w/ Fresh Mozzarella and Heirloom Tomatoes

Dinner:  Grilled Chicken Caeser Salad with Parmigian Croutons

Day 4:

Breakfast:  8 oz. Strawberry-Coconut Smoothie, 1 cup Brown Sugar Oatmeal w/ Bananas

Mid-AM Snack:  1/2 cup frozen raspberry “custard”

Lunch:  The Goat’s Cobb Salad

Mid-PM Snack:  1 cup Health Nut Trail Mix

Dinner:  Red Curry Chicken w/ Basmati Rice

Day 5:

Breakfast:  8 oz. Peach Tahini Smoothie, 2 Whole Wheat Waffles w/ Rum-Maple Syrup and Honey Butter

Mid-AM Snack:  1 cup Fruit n’ Nut Grab Bag

Lunch:  Smoked Salmon and Dill Quesadilla

Mid-PM Snack:  The Goat’s Fruit Salad

Dinner:  Fire-Grilled Turkey Burger w/ Sonoran Coleslaw

Day 6:

Breakfast:  8 oz. Strawberry-Mango Smoothie, 1.5 cup whole grain w/ protein cereal in 1/2 whole milk or yogurt

Mid-AM:  1 cup Cereal Nut Mix

Lunch:  Mayoless Tuna Salad w/ Rye Toast

Mid-PM Snack:  1 Slice Banana Walnut Bread

Dinner:  Shrimp Scampi w/ Whole Wheat Pasta

Day 7:

Breakfast:  8 oz. Mountain Berry Smoothie

Mid-AM:  1.5 cup whole grain cereal w/ protein in 1/2 cup whole milk with fruit of your choice

Lunch:  2 slices Banana Walnut Bread w/ Apple Butter

Mid-PM:  2 Hardboiled Eggs and 1 cup Health Nut Mix

Dinner:  Your Favorite Meal (Earned!)

Closely following these workout and diet suggestions will turn you, relatively quickly, into a lean, mean, mile-crushing machine.  Whether with a 30lb. backpack, climbing/canyoneering gear, water, or just a camera, you will have the fuel, knowledge, and confidence to tackle your mileage and terrain goals.  See you out there!

Going Guided

Hiking and exploring Grand Canyon, or any of the National Parks, is a special experience.  Although it is possible to see these places yourself, hiring a guide is a great idea.  For instance, guiding services provide logistical support, and plan everything for your best possible trip.  They provide a great safety net on the trail, and are trained in backcountry medicine. Above all, they provide a depth of knowledge of the region that turns a walk into a true adventure.

Blue Marble Adventure GeoTourism provides all of the support you need, and pairs that with expert geologist/guides.  Our backcountry meals use fresh ingredients, and are planned by a professional chef.  Furthermore, we provide top-of-the-line gear and passion for the places we explore.  In conclusion, you can visit National Parks, but going with a guide can create and even more memorable experience.  Don’t be shy, and call us!

Read our blog!

For adventure hiking vacations in a geologic time machine, see our epic tours in Grand Canyon, Utah, and Arizona!

For geological musings read The Goat’s geology blog.

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Explore Further, Be Wild, See Through Time — Blue Marble Adventure GeoTourism