Tom has over 19 years experience planning, organizing and guiding multi-day outdoor adventures. He has been guiding our Grand Canyon Backpacking trip since we started it in 2006, and to date has made over 150 trips into the Canyon. Tom has guided backpacking and kayaking trips all around the west, loves to travel and sail to exotic locations, and is passionate about astronomy and graphic design. Originally from Salt Lake City, Tom says he feels reverence for the environment that comes from understanding and experiencing nature on a personal level. Guiding people in the great outdoors is his dream job.
Todd grew up in the countryside of south Georgia and first saw and fell in love with the American West during a backpacking trip to Yosemite. Prior to becoming a backpacking guide, Todd was a teacher in NYC and Atlanta. He has been guiding REI’s Grand Canyon north and south rim backpacking trips since 2008. Since then, he has completed nearly 130 backpacking trips into the canyon. Todd loves meeting each unique group and learning about people’s varied backgrounds and experiences while sharing his knowledge and love of the one-and-only Grand Canyon. A highlight of each trip is seeing the smiles on people’s faces when they reach the rim after four physically challenging but exhilarating days exploring one of nature’s greatest wonders.
Eden has been guiding backpacking trips for almost a decade now. He has guided and backpacked all over Hawaii, Joshua Tree, Yosemite and the Grand Canyon. He has been guiding in the Grand Canyon for almost the entire time and its one of his all time favorite places to hike and backpack in the world. He has done every South Rim route to the Colorado, many of the North Rim routes and a significant portion of the Tonto trail. He is a many times over certified Wilderness First Responder, a former CPR instructor, and a former US Marine Corps officer. In his free time he does marathons, triathlons, snowboards, ski's, manages a local outdoor gear shop and is going to graduate school in the arts. Eden can't wait to show you the unparalleled beauty of THE Canyon!
Marci gives credit for her love of the outdoors to her family experiences as a youth, growing up in the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Utah, hiking, exploring and backpacking. She enjoys the adventure of travel and exploring new sights which goes hand in hand with her desire to guide groups into the Grand Canyon year after year. Meeting new people and seeing them experience the incredible sights along the trail for the first time is always rewarding. Marci loves spending time with her family and supporting them in reaching their goals in life. She is an avid trail runner, ultra marathoner and triathlete and makes an effort to fuel herself with homemade foods and likes to try out new recipes on family and friends. Marci is thrilled to be part of the REI team and looks forward to the adventures that lie ahead.
Kristen’s philosophy is to explore and appreciate the wilderness experiences often overlooked by others. Born and raised in the concrete jungle of Chicago, Kristen first discovered a connection to the outdoors during family camping trips. She now makes her home in Boulder, Colorado in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Kristen enjoys hiking, trail running, snowshoeing, snowboarding and moving. She also volunteers as a snowboard instructor for people with disabilities and is training her first Search and Rescue canine. When she’s not guiding, Kristen moonlights as a broadcast engineer around the world at sporting events such as the Olympics, FIFA World Cup, and the XGames.
Neil Locke is an avid outdoor enthusiast with a love of mountains and canyons. He tries to spend as much time as he can in the outdoors, whether it be backpacking, hiking, skiing, mountain biking or exploring new and varied terrain. Guiding is his 3rd outdoor career, as he is also a ski instructor during the winter and an emt on a wild land fire crew during the summer. His favorite places in the world to spend time is in the deserts of southern Utah and northern Arizona. His outdoor enthusiasm and experience come together naturally when he’s guiding, exploring and studying the Grand Canyon.
Andrew has been guiding and outdoor event planning for almost a decade and loves to pass along his experience to those eager to learn. Meeting others that have a genuine interest in the outdoors has always had a positive impact on his life and has formed the person he is today. After extensive international travel and living all across the United States with his wife, they now enjoy living deep in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado enjoying all that nature has to offer. Andrew is an avid summit hiker, backpacker, traveler, kayaker, and much more. When he's not playing in the great outdoors, you will find him running his marketing and design firm.
Caitlin is an enthusiastic, passionate Emergency Department Nurse and Nurse Educator who fell in love with the Grand Canyon 7 years ago on an REI trip just like the one you are about to take. Her enthusiasm and passion is just as evident when it comes to nature, the great outdoors and most especially the Grand Canyon. She looks forward to sharing all the fun facts and her love for the canyon with you and guiding you through this incredible place! When not serving her community in Northern Colorado she is practicing yoga, playing with her furchild, Franklin the Corgi, hiking with her husband and just enjoying/exploring the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.
Brian grew up at the foothills of Shenandoah National Park in Virginia and found his love of the outdoors at an early age. Through cycling he discovered the Colorado Rockies and quickly made the transition to calling Carbondale, Colorado home. His passion for the outdoors has brought him to become a guide in the Aspen area, focussing on activities such as hiking, rock and ice climbing, mountain biking, and ski mountaineering. When he’s not guiding, Brian is the head bike mechanic at a local cycling shop in Basalt, Colorado. In his free time he tries to spend as much time as possible rock climbing, exploring new areas on foot, bike, or skis, and loves sharing these adventures with others.
David Spies first laid eyes on the Grand Canyon in 2005. While floating through the great abyss on a raft he fell deeply in love with the canyon. The connection was so strong that he promptly drove home to New Hampshire, sold everything he owned, quit his career, and moved to Flagstaff. That began a continuing obsession with the canyon. He has been guiding at the Grand Canyon since 2006 and spends free time exploring off trail summits and side canyons throughout the canyon's beautiful backcountry. When not in the canyon David is usually rock climbing or mountain biking throughout the Colorado Plateau region. Sharing knowledge about the canyon and instilling outdoor stewardship in others is a life passion. Beware, exploring the Grand Canyon can become an unhealthy addiction. You have been warned!
Caitlin Jaramillo is an outdoor enthusiast who spends most of her time on top of the tall mountains or in the deep canyons of the West. Growing up on the southern California coast, she had little exposure the the prominent peaks of the intermountain west or the expansive desert of the southwest. It wasn’t until she moved to Flagstaff, AZ for her undergraduate program that she really found a connection with outdoor spaces. Caitlin quickly found every way to get outside whether that be backpacking, white water rafting, rock climbing, or snowboarding. Caitlin is a lover, supporter and steward of the places she spends time in and is passionate about sharing those places with others. While she’s not backpacking, you can find Caitlin running the rivers of the southwest as a river guide. She is excited to share her love and enthusiasm for the Grand Canyon with you!
Phil has over 4 years experience guiding in the Grand Canyon. Born and raised in the Great state of Arizona, Phil is considered by many of his colleagues to be an ambassador for Arizona. His love for the outdoors led him on a journey through many parts of the state, but his greatest passion lies in the Grand Canyon. Some of the trips/trails on Phil’s favorite list are Havasupai, Rim to Rim, Thunder River-Deer Creek loop, and South Kaibab to Bright Angel trail. A WFR certified guide, Phil also runs river trips on the Colorado River through Glen Canyon. Other hobbies are rock climbing and kayaking. Phil achieved a Bachelor’s in Communications and Technology through the University of Phoenix. Phil also works with iHeart Radio in his spare time as a promotions technician. Guiding in the Grand Canyon gives him the opportunity to match his skills with his passion for the outdoors: “They say do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life… Well here it is.”
Sabrina Walz's love for all things backpacking started on her first trip to the Grand Canyon with REI six years ago. Since then she has backpacked stateside and internationally and can't get enough! Sabrina also enjoys cycling, anything on a lake and spending time with her husband, two cats and two dogs. Other than enjoying the outdoors, she works as an Emergency Room Trauma Nurse and Intensive Care Unit Nurse. She is excited to see others experience and fall in love with the Canyon as she did.