Though there is still a fantastic amount of snow coating the tops of Utah's peaks in June thanks to our record-setting winter, summer sporting is well underway with the foothills blanketed in wildflowers.
Summer in Utah is a time for everyone to enjoy the great outdoors and two local organizations in Salt Lake City and Park City work tirelessly to foster community and provide recreation access for all. Wasatch Adaptive Sports and The National Ability Center are two places where those with adaptive needs can make friends, learn new skills, and promote healthy and active lifestyles. Learn more about the programming each organization offers and what events to expect this summer.
WASATCH ADAPTIVE SPORTS
Wasatch Adaptive Sports (WAS) encompasses an incredible group of people who provide year-round instruction, guidance, and support for veterans and those with adaptive needs. With scholarship and financial help available, it’s the aim of WAS to get everyone outdoors no matter the challenge or financial hardship.
In the summer months, WAS offers cycling and mountain biking lessons and group rides, adaptive yoga, paddleboarding, and kayaking. In the winter, you’ll find WAS focusing on adaptive ski and snowboard lessons, yoga, and snowshoeing. Rental equipment, lessons, community events, and more are on offer from the friendly folks at Wasatch Adaptive.
To get started, visit the WAS website to view an event calendar and begin the online enrollment process. An awesome way to get involved is to join the annual Wasatch Adaptive Hustle, a community-wide challenge that invites participants to track mileage and hours of physical activity while supporting a fundraiser that helps WAS keep its programming accessible for those who benefit from financial assistance. This year, the Hustle runs July 15 through August 19, 2023 and anyone, anywhere can participate!
Just ask former WAS adaptive student and now volunteer, Camron Gabler (pictured above). Last summer Cam recruited his friends and family to join him in The Hustle and together they raised over $5,000 and covered 2,300 miles! About joining in on The Hustle’s fun, Cam says it best:
“Participating in the Hustle was a transformative experience that both challenged my own capabilities and allowed me to create a meaningful impact in the lives of others with adaptive needs. Combining my love for adaptive sports and my commitment to helping individuals push beyond their limitations, the fundraiser became an exciting event that stretched my comfort zone and filled my days with purpose.”
Register for the Wasatch Adaptive Sports 2023 Hustle here:
The Hustle is a great excuse to meet members of the WAS community and challenge yourself with physical activity goals. WAS meets multiple times a week for group rides and lessons so committing to the Hustle is great for local participants who want to meet like-minded outdoor enthusiasts and learn more about the programming WAS offers. Their monthly activity calendar can be found here.
NATIONAL ABILITY CENTER
Another fantastic local organization providing unparalleled access to the outdoors is the National Ability Center (NAC) located in Park City, Utah with an additional basecamp in Moab. NAC prioritizes crafting an inclusive environment alongside a diverse menu of activities, programming, and educational opportunities.
The summer options provided by NAC feel limitless and include rafting, mountain biking, climbing, paddlesports, camping, horseback riding, ropes courses, archery, and aquatic sports. This is in addition to their winter programming which includes snowshoeing, Nordic skiing, fat biking, skiing and snowboarding.
At the NAC, the programming is designed to create socialization and recreation experiences that promote independence, confidence, and self-advocacy. Their 26-acre ranch in Park City is just minutes from three amazing ski resorts and the hub of historic Main Street. Their Splore Outdoor Adventure Outpost in Moab is home to rafting, mountain biking, camping, and outdoor climbing programs in addition to providing accessible National Park visits.
To get started at the NAC, simply create a registration profile and select the area of focus you’re interested in pursuing.
One of the biggest events on NAC’s annual calendar is their Summit Challenge ride. It typically takes place in August (August 26, 2023) and will host over 800 riders in a celebration of community and camaraderie. Approximately 100 or more of these riders will be adaptive riders and all participants can choose between 1, 16, 25, 50, 80, or 100-mile routes. Music, food, drinks and fun are on offer to lend an air of accomplishment and fun to the festivities. A fundraising component is encouraged but not mandatory in order to better support all the programming that NAC offers.
Click here to register for the 2023 NAC Summit Challenge Ride:
Guide to Scenic Chairlift Rides in Utah - Click Here
TRAILS | New Adaptive Ski Technology - Click Here
Skiing & Snowboarding for Everyone - Click Here
Altitude Adjustment: Prep for Your Mountain Town Visit - Click Here
Trail Tips & Biking Etiquette - Click Here
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