Working as a park ranger at Phantom Ranch, Cottonwood Camp, and Indian Gardens, my duties included emergency medical services, trail patrols, law enforcement, search and rescue, interpretive ranger talks, and last but not least, providing encouragement for exhausted hikers.
After years of working as a Grand Canyon National Park backcountry ranger and then as a field instructor for the Grand Canyon Field Institute, I decided to share some of the things I’ve learned while working with the public and during my own backpacking experiences. So often while working in the canyon, I would see people having the worst time of their lives in one of the most glorious places on earth! And with just a little more knowledge and preparation, they could actually be having a good time. I know that’s a radical concept, but stick with me. I’ll do my best to prove it to you!
To say I’m an outdoor enthusiast is a major understatement! I live for the wilderness. I’ve always worked to supply my habit and have been very fortunate to have made the outdoors my workplace.
I love to share my experiences and feel very privileged when I’m able to watch the emergence of a self-confident, competent person that often happens after backpacking in the Grand Canyon. It’s like watching a butterfly emerge from a cocoon. Many people share my feeling that you cannot come to the canyon without feeling an incredible impact on your personal life.
Denise Traver’s love for wilderness in general, and the desert southwest in particular, is rivaled by her commitment to sharing these treasures with others. In her capacity as a Grand Canyon National Park backcountry ranger, and a lead instructor for the Grand Canyon Field Institute, Denise has treated outdoor enthusiasts from around the world to her unique blend of knowledge and enthusiasm for the rich natural and human resources found within our public lands. A journey with Denise into the backcountry has been routinely described as “the trip of a lifetime” by veterans of her numerous outings. Their appreciation of her practical tips on the art of backpacking are as well received as her grasp of the “hard” sciences that pertain to the terrain they’ve encountered together. Though no longer a full-time GCFI instructor, Denise has played a major role in the direction, popularity, and continued success of one of the leading field seminar programs in the country.
Director, Grand Canyon Field Institute