Legacy’s course area is comprised of over 2500 square miles of public land administered by the US Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the State of Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration. The lower elevation desert country to the east of Capitol Reef National Park is warmer and dryer than the higher, more mountainous areas in the western part of our course area.
We use the San Rafael and Henry Mountain desert areas more in the winter due to the warmer temperatures and less snow. It is a great area for canyoneering, hiking, exploring, and observing wild horses and desert bighorn sheep.
We spend most of the summer months in the mountains. Fishlake, Thousand Lake, and Boulder mountains have over 75 square miles of area at elevations over 11,000 feet. There are hundreds of small lakes and vast expanses of forest. Boulder and Thousand Lake are plateaus with rolling hills, patches of timber, and meadows resembling arctic tundra. Wildlife includes mule deer, elk, and antelope as well as coyotes, bobcats, and even a few bear and mountain lion. The mountains are great for hiking, fishing, and climbing peaks.
Native Americans have lived in this area for nearly 10,000 years. Archeological studies have found human artifacts intermingled with the bones of wooly mammoths and extinct camels and horses in desert caves in the area. There are many locations where we can observe ancient rock art in the form of petroglyphs and pictographs. It is not unusual to find artifacts when hiking. Arrowheads, scrapers, pottery shards, and grindstones are reminders that others were here first and had found a way to live in harmony with this amazing land. When early settlers first arrived in the area in the 1860’s, Native Americans were still practicing a nomadic lifestyle as they had for millennia.
There is power and healing to be found in the wilderness. A young man seeking refuge from the ravages of substance abuse or addiction can find peace. Coupled with comprehensive therapy from a master’s level clinician, the wilderness affords space to slow down and re-connect with what really matters in life. We facilitate weekly adventures such as canyoneering, summiting mountain peaks, fishing, and wildlife viewing. These fun and engaging activities offer a great deal of support for people trying to make change in their lives.
Several of us who work here at Legacy grew up in this area. These mountains, deserts and canyons shaped us as we matured from the boys that we were then, to men that we are now. To be able to facilitate a condensed version of that journey for the young men who come to Legacy to work with us is deeply meaningful. Whether standing on a mountaintop or exiting a challenging canyon that tested us to the core, we find ourselves surrounded by great things that make us feel small and at the same time, small things that make us feel great. We can all benefit from an experience like that.