Healing in the Outdoors

Healing in the Outdoors

An opportunity for all

Perspective by Ashlee Lundvall

One August morning in 1999, I swung my legs out of my bunk and pulled on a stiff, new pair of Wrangler jeans. I was at a teen camp in Wyoming, and I had chores to complete before we left that afternoon on a backpacking trip. Little did I know that day would be the last day I stood on my own.

A teardrop trailer parked roadside.

Over Look / Under Foot

Two artists road trip through Utah’s national parks

Text and photographs by Katie Hargrave and Meredith Lynn
Captions by Birch Malotky

As tent campers and national parks enthusiasts, we spend a lot of time in the company of Airstreams, Winnebagos, and Jaycos, and have come to appreciate that for many, the RV makes a kind of relationship to nature possible.

Amenity Trap

Amenity Trap

Skyrocketing housing prices drive residents out of desirable outdoor recreation communities

By Kristen Pope

Jackson, Wyoming, is famous for its amazing outdoor access, but finding an affordable place to live there is a perpetual struggle.

Illustration of pronghorn running alongside a bullet train.

Train Trek

A vision for bringing passenger rail back to the rural West

Words by Nick Robinson, artwork by Graham Marema

Steel wheels glide along a track as the conductor announces, “Next stop, Thermopolis!” Outside the window, pronghorn antelope gallop across the sagebrush. The train slows to match their speed and then enters a tunnel. On the other side, striking granite walls of the Wind River Canyon come into view.

Cliff Notes

Cliff Notes

How place and technology meanings shape conflict around outdoor recreation development

By Wes Eaton and Curt Davidson 

In the fall of my first semester as a visiting professor at the University of Wyoming, a stranger knocked on the half-open door to my new office and said, “There’s a town in Wyoming where people are saying that an outdoor recreation development proposal is tearing their community apart. Want to look into it with me?”

A rock climber ascends a sport route in Tensleep Canyon, Wyoming.

Ascending to the Challenge

Rock climbers in a remote Wyoming canyon may help shape national public lands climbing management

By Nita Tallent

On an early summer day in 2018, a group of sport rock climbers—packs laden with ropes, quickdraws, harnesses, shoes, and chalk—clambered up a makeshift trail in Tensleep Canyon, Wyoming.

A mountain biker threads between boulders at Curt Gowdy State Park. (Brian Harrington/BHP Imaging)

Happy Trails

Lessons from Curt Gowdy State Park on outdoor recreation design

By Katie Klingsporn

Between Laramie and Cheyenne, amid the rocky shrubland and aspen groves of Curt Gowdy State Park, 45 miles of trail unfurl in ribbons of dirt, ramps, jumps, and berms.

A bunch of tents pitched in the desert with red rock buttes on the horizon

When You Gotta Go—Pack It Out

Finding solutions for human waste in the backcountry

By Kristen Pope

Among stunning red arches, balancing rocks, canyons, pinyon-juniper, and cacti, a hiker in southern Utah sees something white in the distance. Is it a wildflower? Approaching the “blossom,” the hiker instead finds something far less picturesque—used toilet paper and human feces.

White dog and man walking on a trail.


Managing off-leash dogs on public trails

By Sabrina White

“Boulder, as a town, has always been super supportive of dogs and people recreating together off-leash,” says Lisa Gonҫalo, recreation management coordinator for the City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks.

Creating a Sustainable Destination

Creating a Sustainable Destination

Jackson Hole seeks a better tourism future

By Kristen Pope

Hiking mountain trails festooned with larkspur, lupine, and arrowleaf balsamroot flowers; paddleboarding on an alpine lake beneath the Tetons; seeing playful bear cubs frolic; and watching bison graze by the Moulton Barn with a backdrop of towering peaks—these are just a few of the reasons people come to Jackson Hole.