Three-Day Basic


  • NGA-PNGFeatured by National Geographic Magazine. Taking the journey into this three-day course will not only prepare you for many years of self-guided canyoneering, but also introduce you to skill sets which are useful in any outdoor adventure. Nine years of fine-tuning have produced hundreds of graduates with precise attention to detail, hands-on ability with both theory and application, and strong decision-making expertise. This is a beginner level course, yet it is comprehensive and empowering. Consider this course an investment toward a lifetime of exploration.

    “A long overdue email to thank you and Nick for a great canyoneering adventure just a few weeks back. Kelly and Rosa have been talking about Zion Adventure Company since last year when they first engaged with you, and now I understand why. I'm not sure how to explain how my journey through canyoneering with you and Nick has changed my world. I just know you both created an environment that was physically and emotionally safe for me, and intense all at the same time. It made a difference in my life and I wanted to thank you both.” Jean D. Konnoff
      • Age 16 or older recommended, or accompanied by an adult
      • Mandatory group size between 3 and 7 for greater mobility and efficiency in the canyons
    When you register, we will send you some pre-course homework, so you can show up ready to demonstrate:
      • Competence with knots: Figure 8 (on a bight, follow-thru, equalizing), Overhand, Water Knot, Double Fisherman's
      • Competence with hitches: Munter, Clove, Girth (Lark's Foot), Auto-Block/Prussik
  •       On Day 1 we lay the groundwork early with a four-hour intensive ground school to introduce a series of technical set-ups and sequences. In the afternoon, we head into a compact canyon for another four hours of application and competency tests.
          Days 2 and 3 take place in wilderness canyons outside the boundary of Zion National Park, where we solve unforeseen problems with limited resources, calculate risks, and begin to discover our potential. Depending upon seasonal conditions, we will deal with flowing water, pool swims, and both hot and cold air temperatures. Your instructor will be very demonstrative and involve everyone early in the course, in hopes of "shadowing" more and more as the course goes on, gradually becoming a quiet observer as you become more comfortable with your choices and skills.
          By the middle of Day Three, your group may be ready to prove its ability to operate independently, a sign you are ready for your own descents after the course.
  • We cover the entire One-Day Basic curriculum plus:
      • Additional knots and hitches
      • Down-climbing logs, chutes & dryfalls
      • Stabilizing packs and weight
      • Lowering & traversing rope systems
      • Natural anchors (logs, trees, boulders, pinches, constrictions, etc.)
      • Pool ingress and egress
      • Self-rescue, retreat, and recovery
      • Energy and time conservation
      • Group problem solving
      • Further development of critical thinking ability
      • Extended in-canyon time as both student and leader
      • Increased responsibility determining the outcome of your days

    Canyons in Zion National Park recommended after class:

    - Echo Canyon - Pine Creek - Mystery Canyon
    - Spry Canyon - Telephone Canyon - Behunin Canyon
    - Fat Man's Misery

    We recommend you try to plan extra days after the course to descend a few of the above canyons
  •       We provide all the necessary technical gear, some of which you will keep at course completion. A course packet (mailed to you upon trip confirmation) contains items you will need to gain familiarity with prior to your arrival: Knot book, sample rope, and sample webbing. We recommend owning your own harness and helmet if you foresee using them after class. We use and sell the Petzl Aspir seat harnesses, which provide a combination of security, simplicity, low weight, and water repellency. There are many neat toys and gadgets out there, but many are unnecessary. Request a dialogue with your class instructor prior to investing in a bunch of gear for this trip.
    Please also bring each day to class:
      • 2 quarts of water/person + lunch/snacks for the day
      • Sunscreen
      • Warm synthetic clothes, hat, gloves, any time of year
      • Rain gear (course goes out even in inclement weather)
      • Camera
  • Please choose your dates when registering. If the schedule provided does not coincide with yours, please request custom dates. Early reservations advised. All trips leave from Zion Adventure Company at 36 Lion Blvd., across from the Quality Inn. First day of class meets at 7:30am.

    DATES FOR 2017

    April    2-4 September   2-4
    April 28-30 September 17-19
    May 27-29 October   8-10
    June 4-6 October   22-24
    Don't see the dates you need?
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to ask about the dates you would prefer.

    One on One: N/A
    Two Only: $822/person
    Three or More: $552/person
    Group Discount: (6 or more) 10%


  • Courses are 100% refundable up to 30 days prior to departure. Once inside the 30-day window, we deduct a 25% cancellation fee from any refunds.  You may apply this 25% fee toward any future services or products we offer within two years from the date of cancellation. Cancellations within 24 hours of trip departure are non-refundable.