What happens when an entrepreneurial spirit like Jonathan Zambella stays in the same place for sixteen years? As the head of new products at ZAC, Jonathan imagines, develops, and unveils at least one brand-new industry-standard trip each and every year. One of our new trips this year, Locals Adventures, was born during a mid-winter brainstorming session with local professors Anne and Jon Smith. Broadening our trip offerings outside the Zion National Park area to Cedar Breaks, the Pine Valley foothills, and even the Grand Canyon, Locals Adventures are an enticing way to see more of canyon country while using Springdale as your adventure basecamp.
Jon and Anne, leaders of Locals Adventures trips, serve as faculty at Southern Utah University in Cedar City. Anne currently teaches an Introduction to Outdoor Recreation class, a freshman orientation class called “Developing a Sense of Place through the Outdoors”, and serves as the Coordinator for the Outdoor Education Series (OES). Jon teaches photography and broadcasting at Southern Utah University. He has taught photography to thousands of college students and community members. As southern Utah residents with over 20 years of hiking and exploring under their belts, the Smiths are perfect guides for those who seek a tailor-made trip by experts on local history, flora, and fauna.
Locals Adventures feature three different trip options: High Country, Grand Canyon, and Ghosts Towns and Red Rocks. On the High Country tours, clients explore the cool high country above Zion National Park, reaching elevations of over 11,000 feet. Lava tube caves, bristlecone pines, and the spectacular headwaters of the Zion Narrows are all part of the itinerary. A recent ZAC Locals High Country Adventure concluded with a trip to swim and play in Toquerville Falls. The road to the falls goes directly into the water and ZAC Land Cruiser easily handled the wet terrain.
“Wow – that about says it all’ was a recent client’s comment when he and his family looked out over the North Rim of the Grand Canyon for the first time on a recent Locals Adventure. The trip also included a stop at Pipe Spring National Monument, fantastic views of the Grand Staircase, and a beautiful evening drive over Smithsonian Butte. “The day trip to the Grand Canyon was a great way to enhance a visit to Zion and add lifetime memories,” Jon said.
The Ghost Towns and Red Rocks trip visits the ghost towns of Grafton and Silver Reef, surrounded by spectacular red rock. Hiking in the Kolob Canyons section of Zion National Park and cooling off at a local swimming hole are also highlights of the day.