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Before I get started, I want to introduce myself – my name is Andy Austin. I’m a guide and the lead photographer here at Austin Adventures. About a year ago, I went to photograph Southern Utah with Austin Adventures for two weeks. Southern Utah is a photographer’s dream and with or without experience you’re guaranteed to leave with some great shots. I’m not going to talk specifics of gear or… Continued

By Andy Austin /

South Dakota adventure

South Dakota doesn’t quite have the pole position on most people’s bucket list, but it ought to be up there. South Dakota has as much U.S. and Native American history as anywhere and enough trails to hike and bike for the rest of your days. In case you needed any more intrigue, here are a few more tidbits about South Dakota: 1) Deadwood, SD became infamous in the 1870s for… Continued

By Ted Hayes /

My Alaska Sea Kayaking Experience

I have to say that one of my most amazing trip experiences I have had would have to be the afternoon that my Alaska group sea kayaked in Resurrection Bay. After traveling by train from Anchorage to Seward and seeing a very rare sighting of beluga whales, which I didn’t think anything could top, we took a short boat ride to Fox Island which is where we spent our first… Continued

By Christy Hamill /

kachemak bay

At the end of the Austin Adventures guiding season, people always ask similar questions: What’s next? What are you going to do after this? Do you have any plans for after the trip? Where will you go? For most guides, the end of the season means gearing up for off-season adventure travel. For others, it means returning home to a spouse or to a job for the winter. Having recently… Continued

By Austin Adventure Guides /

Grand Teton National Park

The national parks in the U.S. and Canada preserve some of the most beautiful and diverse places in the world. On our adventures we take you inside these unique habitats to learn about and enjoy all that they offer. While the towering Montana mountains do make for some world-class views and hiking trails and the canyon cutting Colorado river is one of the planet’s best rafting waterways, there is more… Continued

By Ted Hayes /

Arches National Park

Utah is a mecca for adventurers – from world class hiking and biking trails through the red rock, hoodoo-filled valleys to top tier, white water rafting on the canyon-carving Colorado and Green rivers. At Austin Adventures, we like to show off the country’s best, which is why all of our North America adventures tour national parks. We explore four of Utah’s five national parks and each is unique but equally… Continued

By Ted Hayes /

amy in bryce zion

At Austin Adventures, we spend countless hours orchestrating each of our fabulous adventures. We want every aspect of the trip to be perfect for our guests, down to the smallest detail. One of the things we can’t plan, however, is the weather. We can tell you the best time of year to visit the area you want to explore, but no matter how much we plan, weather can always throw… Continued

By Amy Barron /

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Obviously, every guide carries the necessities in his/her pack: extra water, first aid kit, two-way radios, potty packs, some snacks.  But what you may not know is that every guide has his or her own secrets in their guide pack of tricks to help make every Austin Adventures trip special.  I am going to give you an insider’s view into SOME (not all, a guy has to have some secrets)… Continued

By Austin Adventure Guides /

10 Fun Facts about National Parks

It is no secret that we, at Austin Adventures, love national parks. After all, each and every one of our domestic trips goes to and through at least one national park. But do you know what else we love? Fun facts.  Thus, we bring you ten fun facts about national parks. 1.    As you may know, the National Park Service sets aside land for all of us to enjoy in… Continued

By Ted Hayes /

CATALONIA = DALÍ = CATALUNYA

It is surprising how few North-Americans know where Catalonia or the Costa Brava is located. But if I mention Barcelona (the capital of Catalonia, situated south-east of the Costa Brava), it will ring more than just a bell. Barcelona is one of the main cultural centers in Europe, competing with Paris, London, and Rome. Catalonia is a region of Spain with a high degree of autonomy. In fact, its people… Continued

By Ron van Dijk /

The “Wild” of Wildlife, Wildflowers, and Wilderness in Glacier Naitonal Park by Laurie

Where the heck is Glacier National Park and why would anyone want to go there? Tucked away along the northern border of the Montana Rockies bordering Canada lies Glacier National Park. Glacier and Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada are joined together to form an International Peace Park, the only national park, which is formed by two countries. So what makes Glacier National Park so wild? Is it the jagged… Continued

By Guest Bloggers /

The #1 Must-See Destination in the US for 2014

What’s my top choice for the must-see-destination in the US for 2014? Hot Springs, South Dakota.  Ok, I know what you’re thinking, is she crazy? Let me clarify, specifically, Wind Cave National Park is my top choice for the must-see-destination in the US for 2014.  Wind Cave NP is the first cave in the world to be named a National Park.  It’s also the sixth place in the United States… Continued

By Austin Adventure Guides /

Chacos are a Good Choice (and Other Gear Tips)

So, you’ve officially booked your dream adventure over Spring break, you’ve just received your pre-trip planner complete with packing list, and you’re now trying to figure out exactly which type of sandal or brand of rain jacket to pack in that suitcase that always seems just a little bit too small. Not to fear, Kasey is here…with a few suggestions for gear that might help make your decisions for which… Continued

By Kasey Austin /

Five Tips for Traveling to a Country with a Different Language

Traveling when you don’t know the language can be intimidating and daunting but don’t let it keep you from going. Just because you haven’t spoken Spanish or French (or God forbid, Latin) since high school, doesn’t mean you can’t be the explorer you always wanted. A little effort, a couple tools, and a sense of humor will get you a long way.  Here are five tips that will make your… Continued

By Ted Hayes /

Are You There Yet? No Seriously, Are You?

Why aren’t you in Europe right now?  You are missing out on coastlines, vineyards, wineries, lush valleys, metropolitan cities juxtaposed with Roman Ruins, food and flower markets, cheeses, chocolate, castles, sleepy villages, and century upon century of history and art! I was graciously invited to attend the annual end-of-season guide dinner in The Netherlands by our European Operations Manager and our European guides this last December (how is it already… Continued

By Mandi Graham /

The Legend of Havasupai

I’m not positive this is right, but I think it’s close. Like, 40 million years ago, Water and Rock got together and Rock said, “Hey, let’s make awesome waterfalls together. Your water can be turquoise and my rocks can be red. And 40 million years from now, people will live around us and share cool photos of us on the internet.” Water agreed. And that’s the story of how we… Continued

By Ted Hayes /

Overcoming Adversity When Traveling by Matty K

When you’re traveling and you hit that proverbial bump in the road, it can be a blessing in disguise. As the great comedians of Monty Python said best, “Always look on the bright side of life.” Whenever I hear that, it makes me want to whistle. Or as my father would say, “Son, things are tough all over.” Meaning, things could always be a lot worse. After guiding for Austin… Continued

By Guest Bloggers /

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Ted was born in Washington D.C. and raised in Phoenix. He got the travel gene from his mother, a travel writer, and has always wanted to incorporate travel into his career.  While  getting his education at Montana State University in Bozeman, he decided he needed to see more of the world so he left and lived in Ecuador for five months. There, he taught English, improved his fluency in Spanish,… Continued

By Ted Hayes /

How to Plan an Adventure Vacation

Now, this is ironic. I was just sitting down at my desk to start the planning process for my upcoming travel season, when I got an email from Blake, our director of digital marketing, asking me to pen a quick blog post on “How to Choose an Adventure Vacation.”  I like to look at getting as much of my traveling done from January through May so I am here at… Continued

By Dan Austin /

Just another day in the African Bush

Having never experienced an African safari before, traveling throughout Namibia, Botswana, and South Africa for an entire month via Land Rover was everything I imagined yet nothing like what I expected. Does that even make sense?! Just think of it this way – conjure up memories of every African movie you’ve seen, news you’ve heard about the great southern continent, and your own opinions on what traveling in an African… Continued

By Kasey Austin /

Antarctica is Hot!

Antarctica was once a destination only for ambitious researchers and the most daring of explorers. The windiest, driest, and coldest place on Earth, it is a land of extremes. Most of it is covered in mile-thick ice and each year the sun disappears for months. There are no true “Antarcticans” nor can you even get there in the winter. The land and climate bare such resemblance to that of Mars… Continued

By Ted Hayes /

Getting ready for your African adventure

  My first memory of Africa was when I was a little girl watching the movie Born Free, the story of Elsa and her cubs. Intrigued by the beauty of the land and the wildlife, I’ve always had a deep appreciation for nature and the desire to explore. It is amazing what you can see or learn about a country without even leaving home, but at a certain point it’s… Continued

By Carol Austin /

Another Day at the Office

Working for an adventure travel company is both as cool as it sounds and entirely ordinary. Most days are spent in front of a computer doing website management, social media updates, responding to emails and the like. Some days however are spent exploring the beautiful nooks and crannies of the world so that we can share them with all of you. Fortunately for me, yesterday was such a day. The… Continued

By Ted Hayes /

Why Travel with a Tour Operator?

Swakopmund, Namibia – have you heard of it? I hadn’t either until I learned that the Adventure Travel World Summit would be taking place there earlier this year. I was fortunate enough to attend the Summit just this past week for my second time (it’s been running for ten years now), and I met some wonderful and interesting people (imagine 700 high-energy adventure travel enthusiasts networking in one common area)… Continued

By Kasey Austin /

Stand Off: A Black Rhino Encounter

It is right around high noon with a merciless sun beating down out of a cloudless sky when our trackers stop their safari vehicles and jump out with their binoculars. Everyone in our vehicle is frantically scanning the surrounding hills, trying to figure out just what it is we are looking at. About a mile away, a Black Rhino lies sleeping under a shady tree about halfway up a red… Continued

By Kasey Austin /

The Golden Mantled Ground Squirrel by Guide Joe Catron

Each summer urban dwellers arrive in our nations majestic parks eager to see something grander than pigeons or the occasional sparrow. Most often their wishes are granted.  Tourists exploring Alaska’s Fjords National Park aboard small cruisers can be heard shouting, “Over there! Do you see the Killer Whale?  Wow, its black and white!” families’, driving through Lamar Valley in Yellowstone, children might declare “Mom! A buffalo! and it’s chasing someone”… Continued

By Austin Adventure Guides /

A Rainy Day in Zion by Emily Todd

This summer I had the pleasure of guiding for Austin Adventures through my favorite National Park, Zion! And if you think a rainy forecast will dampen your vacation, think again! While it’s true that rain in the park or even the surrounding area can quickly turn destinations such as The Narrows or Angels landing into areas too dangerous to visit, that same rain can transform Zion’s sandstone walls into a… Continued

By Austin Adventure Guides /

From Guest to Guide by Zach Kellman

As a stubborn teenager, being with my family on vacation was not exactly a favorite activity. Needless to say, being in your teens can be an extremely crazy and confusing time that every family comes to understand through experiencing it. My parents informed me they had planned a trip to the Canadian Rockies with Austin Adventures in the middle of summer.  Even though I possessed a great passion for the… Continued

By Austin Adventure Guides /

Two Decades of Guiding in the Canadian Rockies

by Marcy Lee McLellan If you’ve ever been to the Canadian Rockies, you’ll understand why I have such a love and fascination for this beautiful and natural playground. I refer to the Rockies as my back yard. For the last two decades, I’ve had the opportunity to choose a lifestyle career of guiding adventure tours throughout Banff, Jasper, Yoho and Kootenay National parks.  On a geological time scale, 20 years… Continued

By Austin Adventure Guides /

What in the World is there to do in Jackson Hole, WY?

Your plane has landed.  Your clothing is still perfectly folded in your bags and your excited for your awesome adventure to begin. However, you have three days of down time prior to the start. You’re wondering how to get the real Jackson experience without overlapping with the activities on your Austin Adventures tour.  The answer is easy; there are a million activities in the area that can be an excellent… Continued

By Austin Adventure Guides /

When is the best time to go to Costa Rica?

Let’s talk about Costa Rica. I don’t want to waste your time with why you should go there because as a fellow traveler, you’re already hip to the popular things like the sometimes-spewing Arenal Volcano, the uber-lush rain forests and national parks, and the “pura vida” life style. If you haven’t been there already, I highly recommend putting it on the top half of your bucket list. So, let’s talk… Continued

By Ted Hayes /

Wonderland Revealed: Winter in Yellowstone by Guide Corey Meyer

When the crowds of Yellowstone National Park dwindle as the earth is covered in a striking blanket of white; a dramatic environment of fire and ice remains.  An adventure into this place known as “Wonderland” in the winter time is other-worldly.  Bison, elk and wolves all endure the wrath of Mother Nature as they wander through the snow covered valleys.  The geothermal features are simply jaw dropping in this frigid… Continued

By Austin Adventure Guides /

Tremendously Awesome Yellowstone Trip

An Ode to Yellowstone: I signed the check Not knowing what to expect I wanted to explore Someplace I have never been before Yellowstone was the chosen destination The backyard of the nation Taken around in a van With a new found traveling clan Bryan and Corey were our guides A bromance just ever so disguised They picked us up at our hotels Knowing everything would turn out swell Happy… Continued

By Austin Adventure Guides /

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This summer has flown by and as the nights get cooler and the days get shorter we are all trying to squeeze in one last adventure before we trade in our sandals and sunglasses for skis and winter coats. If you have one more summer getaway in you or you are already planning for next year, Yellowstone, the world’s first national park, is an excellent destination for travelers of every… Continued

By Ted Hayes /

Hiking in Bryce and Zion National Parks

When you start to think about where you’d like to spend your vacation next summer, you might want to consider Bryce and Zion National Parks in Utah. I’ve lived in the west for the last 20 years, I’m an avid hiker, and I just visited this area for the first time. I have to be honest…I thought both parks would be about the same….a lot of sandstone with very little… Continued

By Amy Barron /

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This past week, my family experienced a remarkable journey with new friends from Texas, North Carolina and D.C. It was remarkable due to the knowledgeable and nurturing guidance of Toby and Blair, simply fantastic tour guides who were as pleasant as they were informative. The tour itself was filled with outdoor adventure, from kayaking to hiking to biking, raising our heart rates as well as our appreciation for the true… Continued

By lehmantravelwtp /

Big Sky, Yellowstone and Paradise Valley Family Adventure Trip

There are no words to explain how AWESOME our trip was last week to Big Sky, Yellowstone and Paradise Valley. It was the easiest, most enjoyable and fun filled vacation our family has ever had! Our guides, James, Heather and Pam worked so hard so everyone could to relax and enjoy every activity. The accommodations, food (including the picnics and snacks!) were great! Our experience could not have been any… Continued

By lehmantravelwtp /

Glacier

My trip to Glacier was amazing. Our guides, Carrie and Jeremy were terrific. I loved all the activities. I was nervous about biking the road to the sun, it was awesome. It was the Princess adventure, can’t wait to plan my next trip. Name: jane City: tinley park State: il Country: usa

By lehmantravelwtp /

Wow! A review of the Montana and Yellowstone Family Adventure

Wow! I’ve been to Montana and Yellowstone previously, but when my wife and I decided to take our two boys to see one of the natural wonders of America we chose to go on tour with Austin Lehman. We’d never gone on vacation with a tour and were a little apprehensive. The trip exceeded our wildest expectations. Anyone can drive through Montana and Yellowstone and appreciate the grandeur of the… Continued

By lehmantravelwtp /

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As we turn the corner to the half way mark in our summer season, I find myself eager to get to my desk each morning.  Why you ask? Simple. There is always a stack of guest evaluations waiting for me, and as I sip my coffee, I get the distinct pleasure of living vicariously through all the great adventures. From Alaska to Argentina, Austria to Zion, the one thing each… Continued

By Dan Austin /

How do I plan a Family Vacation to Europe?

When planning a family vacation there is a lot of blood, sweat and tears that go into it. OK, maybe that is a bit dramatic, but you get my drift. It’s not an easy task, especially if you don’t know where to start. Fortunately, there are various ways to go about planning an international trip. To name a few, we have the independent route—where you are doing all the foot-work.… Continued

By Jandi Farnsworth /

Australia: The Land Down Under

Up to this point, I’ve written several posts to build up to my dad’s and my Australian Adventure that you can read here and here. Now, to jump into Australia itself! Our flights to get to the “Land of Oz” went off without a hitch. We even managed to sleep most of the 16 hour leg of the flight from Los Angeles to Sydney, landing us into this stunning town… Continued

By Kasey Austin /

Planning Big – Australia Adventure

  If you read my previous post, Tagging Along to “Tag, You’re It,” you’ve come to learn that I have somehow picked up the responsibility of planning a big trip to Australia for my dad and I. This is coming from someone who’s followed her dad around the world, never holding such accountability for the planning, the details, and the headaches that go into creating the perfect trip.  At first,… Continued

By Kasey Austin /

Tagging Along to “Tag, You’re It”

  Growing up in the adventure travel business has its perks. My father, Dan Austin, director of Austin-Lehman Adventures bought into Backcountry Bicycle Tours after taking a biking adventure in the Tetons himself, when I was six years old. From there, I led a life in Montana that was a bit different from that of my peers, although the realization of that fact didn’t hit me until I grew older.… Continued

By Kasey Austin /

Why Botswana?

by Marian Myers of WIlderness Safaris Botswana has a well-deserved reputation as one of Africa’s best wildlife countries. The jewel that is the Okavango Delta offsets the unique dry central region of the Kalahari and the Makgadikgadi pans.  Its clear blue waters sparkle in the light of the warm African sun, its main watercourses and rivulets trickle and flow and spread out in the shape of a hand resting in… Continued

By Austin Adventure Guides /

A look into a guide’s life in the off-season

Howdy Folks, The season for adventure is fast approaching and I am excited to stretch my legs on the trail while exploring one of Austin-Lehman’s amazing trip locations with everyone!  I know some of you are curious about what the Austin-Lehman guides do during the off season, so here is an example of the craziness that often occurs when we are set free to explore the world.  Although most of… Continued

By Guest Bloggers /

Preparing for Glamping on the Inca Trail

Austin-Lehman Adventures is excited to present our special Inca Trail “Glamping” (glamorous camping) departure Sept 7-16, a sneak preview for our 2014 trip.  Enjoy upgraded spacious camp accommodations, chef prepared food, wine, cocktails and even a portable hot shower -hey, this is glamping after all!!  We are going all out for this high end, trekking experience on the classic Inca Trail and want our guests to be prepared.  For all… Continued

By Austin Adventure Guides /

6 Reasons Why You’ll Love Argentina by Darcie Connell

There’s only one word to describe Argentina… Tranquillo. It translates to calm, peaceful and, well, tranquil. And during my trip to Argentina last year, I fell in love with Argentina and immersed myself in a tranquillo state of mind. As the eighth largest country in the world, Argentina has something for everyone.  From lively Buenos Aires to the wildlife haven of Patagonia and Mendoza’s wine regions, this South American country… Continued

By Austin Adventure Guides /

The Top 5 Things I love about Biking in the Netherlands and Belgium by European Guide Adam Beecham

5.  Tasty treats Whether your vice is hot stroopwafel (a crispy carmel filled flat cookie pressed to perfection) made fresh in front of you.  Or if it’s a piece of delectable Belgian chocolate.  Here you are never more than a few minutes away from a tasty treat.  For me it’s Belgian fries smothered with a green pepper sauce (And no, it’s not the mayonnaise they put on their fries in… Continued

By Austin Adventure Guides /

Europe Guide Training: An American Perspective

  Exiting out of Schiphol International Airport in Amsterdam early Wednesday morning, I was met by the blowing wind and light snow of a not-so-spring-like day in the blustery Netherlands. At the end of March, the weather seems just not able to make up its mind, just as its doing back home in Montana right about now. I search the rows of taxis and busses for my friend and Austin-Lehman’s… Continued

By Kasey Austin /

A great adventure begins with happy feet by Jim Darroch

When you’re exploring a beautiful new location, the last thing you want to think about is your feet. That’s why NOW is the time to check out the many different footwear options available to you, choose the shoes that work best for you, and put a few miles on them before your big trip. Here are a few things to think about when deciding which shoes to pack for your… Continued

By Austin Adventure Guides /

How do I prepare for an adventure vacation?

After talking with hundreds of people about adventure vacations, I believe there are basically two types of travelers: those who prepare weeks or even months in advance and those who throw a few things into a suitcase the day before a trip. Personality probably has a lot to do with which type of traveler you are, but everyone can benefit from a little thoughtful preparation before travel. Not only will… Continued

By Amy Barron /

Germany’s Romantic Road

Having lived in Heidelberg for 16 years through the 1980´s and 90´s, I am often asked which regions to travel to in order to find authentic German culture. While there are many to choose from, the Romantic Road is most certainly one which I will recommend. Running from the Alps and fairy-tale castle at Neuschwanstein to the River Main in central Germany, the Romantic Road is Germany’s best known and… Continued

By Ron van Dijk /

No Matter Where You’re Going, Layer Up! By Jim Darroch

Eastern Mountain Sports is proud to be the official gear outfitter of Austin Lehman Adventures. All of us here at our Peterborough, NH headquarters and in our 68 retail stores throughout the northeast hope you have the time of your life on your upcoming trip and that you return home with stories that never get old.  As your departure date draws near, chances are the only thing that could possibly… Continued

By Austin Adventure Guides /

See It Before It’s Gone

Did you know that one of our country’s treasures is part of a disappearing act? Scientists are predicting that the last glacier in Glacier National Park will melt by 2030! Only open approximately 100 days a year, the time is ticking to visit this remote haven. Lucky for us, there is still an opportunity to freeze time in Glacier on the Austin Lehman Montana Family Glacier National Park trip. Hotels… Continued

By Guest Bloggers /

A Day in the Life of a Yellowstone Bison

A day in the life … well let me see.  Let’s start with a bit of history of who I am.  I am a Bison but a lot of people think of me as a Buffalo.  True buffaloes are my relatives but they live in Africa and Asia, the cape buffalo and water buffalo.  Only North American buffaloes are bison and two of the largest herds of bison live in… Continued

By Christy Hamill /

Top Five Reasons to Take a Crater Lake Adventure with your Family

1.    Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States. Formed by a volcano that collapsed over 7,000 years ago, Crater Lake is almost 1,950 feet deep at its deepest point!  You’ll see the lake for the first time from the caldera rim.  As you stare into the stunningly blue waters, you’ll understand why this lake is world renowned as a scenic wonder. 2.    Your kids can become Junior… Continued

By Austin Adventure Guides /

Jackson Lake

  As I sit here staring out my window at a melting, muddy landscape, my mind wanders to brighter summer days past filled with sunshine. Specifically, I keep dreaming of days spent on Austin-Lehman’s Yellowstone-Tetons Adventure, kayaking the cool, clear waters of Jackson Lake, the Teton Range seemingly shooting up out of its west side. You just can’t beat kayaking or canoeing on Jackson Lake. Getting away from the crowds… Continued

By Kasey Austin /

Experiencing Havasupai by AOA Guide Maryanne Heald

For a Southwestern tour guide, December in Phoenix can be a culture shock. We spend our other three seasons essentially as visitors to the Valley of the Sun: dropping off trip gear, meeting our next group of adventurers, and departing for the Southwest’s most iconic locations, week after week. Many of us spend over 100 days between March and November in Havasupai, the heart of the Grand Canyon. Forty-five miles… Continued

By Guest Bloggers /

Navarra and Rioja, combining culture and wine

Spain is hot! No, not temperature-wise (unless you travel in July or August), but as a new/old destination. When we think of travelling to Spain, we often think of Madrid, Barcelona, Catalonia, Andalusia, the many ‘Costa’ and beaches, and – to a lesser degree – Galicia. However, Navarra and Rioja are often ignored as vacation spots, even though they have a lot to offer. Navarra, in northeastern Spain, was for… Continued

By Ron van Dijk /

Action Jackson by Eric Keely

Good ole Jackson, Wyoming. One of the most b-e-a-utiful towns in the West. It’s surrounded by mountains with the Grand Tetons right up the road. Not to mention, Yellowstone National Park being just a little further up that road. This place is full of adventurous opportunities. You can raft the Snake River, hike multiple trails, go paragliding, kayak Jackson Lake and bike just about anywhere as this is one of… Continued

By Guest Bloggers /

Top Ten Reasons to Take a Yellowstone Winter Tour

1. Fewer Crowds.  Not only does Yellowstone take on a whole new look in the winter, there are less people there to see it, meaning more space for you to enjoy. 2. You get to ride in a snowcoach. No doubt the frigid temperatures scare some people away from taking a Yellowstone winter vacation.  However, nothing beats enjoying this unique perspective of the park from a heated, comfortable snowcoach.  The… Continued

By Austin Adventure Guides /

Attack of the Begging Burros!

  What is my funniest memory I can think of from an Austin-Lehman adventure? Well, from growing up in the guiding business, a list of my funniest recollections literally has no end. But for some reason when thinking back in time, a certain adventure that took place in the beautiful Black Hills a few years ago comes to mind. If you think that Mount Rushmore is all that the wide… Continued

By Kasey Austin /

Tasting Tuscany

It’s seven pm. you’ve just finished an intense day of biking through the hills of Tuscany.  You’re exhausted but invigorated by the complete high of accomplishment.  How do you celebrate? By diving into an incredible bowl of fresh pasta with homemade tomato sauce, paired with a glass of local chianti. With the first bite, you finally understand the meaning of true Italian food, and wonder why you ever wasted your… Continued

By Austin Adventure Guides /

Learning about the Galapagos

  The Galapagos Islands are an archipelago of sub tropic, volcanic islands that straddle the Equator 600 miles west of Ecuador.  They are made up of primarily 13 main islands and 13 smaller islands, with volcanic activity still present to this day. The Galapagos are accessed by the vast majority of travelers from the mainland via flights from Quito or Guayaquil (most flights to/from Quito also make a quick stop… Continued

By Austin Adventure Guides /

Experiencing South Dakota’s Black Hills, Austin-Lehman Style by Nick Mann

Just 6 hours southeast of Billings lies one of the west’s greatest destinations for history, recreation, and western culture. South Dakota’s Black Hills offer all of this and more. If you have lived in Billings for any period of time and still have not visited Mount Rushmore, than you are desperately in need of a vacation. For those of us who have visited the hallowed tourist trap a few times,… Continued

By Austin Adventure Guides /

Give Me 5 Minutes — And I’ll Show You An Unbelievable Arizona Bike Tour

As we roll in the New Year we have new adventures to plan, new goals to be made, and new sites to be explored.  This New Year’s why not set a resolution to see some of the most glorious locations on earth atop a bicycle?  Arizona is one such location that will leave you speechless as you roll through endless buttes, cliffs, and plateaus.  Soak up the warm sunshine during… Continued

By Guest Bloggers /

Experiencing Red Mountain Resort!

Having spent the last 14 years in the adventure travel business you can imagine that I have had the chance to visit many a wonderful place! Whether you’re looking for someplace to host a corporate retreat or a romantic weekend, when it comes to spas Red Mountain is my personal favorite, hands down. How can you beat the location! St. George, Utah is nestled in the vibrant red rock landscape,… Continued

By Carol Austin /

Yellowstone – Where the Wild Things Still Roam

Yellowstone National Park, our first National Park, is the only place in the continental U.S. where visitors can still see substantial herds of large mammals and the predators that hunt them. If you choose to visit the greater Yellowstone area this summer, you will likely see bison, elk, moose, deer, and big horn sheep. More rare, yet argueably more exciting are sightings of Grizzly bears, black bears, coyotes and the… Continued

By Amy Barron /

birds

I have to say that one of my most amazing trip experiences I have had would have to be the afternoon that my Alaska group sea kayaked in Resurrection Bay. After traveling by train from Anchorage to Seward and seeing a very rare sighting of beluga whales, which I didn’t think anything could top, we took a short boat ride to Fox Island which is where we spent our first… Continued

By Christy Hamill /

A Look at Dordogne (Part 2)

The Dordogne flows between castles, From Souillac to Beynac, many of which date to the Hundred Year War between the French and the English. No doubt, this is mainly because the river was the route of passage, in the days of bad roads over the uplands, or no roads at all. The cliffs that border the valley might have been created to please warriors who sought a high rock to… Continued

By Ron van Dijk /

Win a Trip for Two to Montana When You Share Your Adventure with ALA and EMS!

As you know, adventure travel is what we do.  It’s near and dear to our hearts, and we strive to share our love of adventure with as many people as possible.  Now it’s time for you to share your adventures with us!  Best way to do that? Enter Austin-Lehman’s and Eastern Mountain Sports’ “Your Most Adventurous Moment Photo Contest” on Facebook!  To celebrate the partnership between ALA and EMS, we’re… Continued

By Austin Adventure Guides /

A Look at Dordogne (Part 1)

I can think of something special to say about every region where we offer our bicycle trips, because otherwise we would not be offering them at all. But the region which is most special to me is the Dordogne Valley. The Dordogne River rises in the Central Massif of France and runs westwards towards the Atlantic. This river region is a land where the towns have hardly spread beyond the… Continued

By Ron van Dijk /

Highlight on Chiapas

The state of Chiapas is on Mexico‘s southern border with Guatemala.  In general the climate is tropical, hot and humid, with most travelers entering via the capital city of Tuxtla Gutiérrez.   Not far from Tuxtla, the Sumidero Canyon plunges 3000 ft into the Grijalva River, but before you plunge in yourself, be warned that big river crocodiles will be sharing the murky water with you.   Better to take one of… Continued

By Austin Adventure Guides /

The Lost City

Slowly I place one foot carefully in front of the other and moderate my breathing as I chug up the ancient steps walked by thousands of Incans far before my time. “I think we’re almost there,” my brother calls out, pausing to take a sip of water as we both stop to snap a photo of two stones perched at a narrow passage in the crevice of a mountain above… Continued

By Kasey Austin /

My Favorite Adventure…

I get asked all the time, almost daily actually “Where is your favorite adventure?”  My answer is quite often “canned” – “Why, the last place I visited” or, maybe, “the next place I go.”  We all know that these answers serve little purpose.  Folks ask me for advice because, let’s face it, I’m blessed to have seen a big chunk of the world (actually in reality just the tip of… Continued

By Dan Austin /

Three of our Peru Guides, Santiago, Mauricio and Jesus, Share Their Favorite Parts from Their Country

It’s not about the destination…it is about the journey!!  That’s all you need to know  before starting on any trip I lead!! I am a guide on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.  The trail that was hidden for more than 400 years when my people escaped from the Andes into the jungle; where we are able to see beautiful views and the several sections of the trail in a… Continued

By Guest Bloggers /

10 Tips for Staying Stress-Free and Healthy while Traveling!

Personally, I believe that there is nothing better than traveling.  I think it’s important to have not one, but several “trips of a lifetime.”  However, as the best places to visit are often some of the hardest to get to, you will inevitably find yourself on planes, trains and automobiles, all of which can be overwhelming.  Add that to visiting an unknown locale for the first time, and it’s understandable… Continued

By Austin Adventure Guides /

Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula: Where Nature is Still Wild and Untamed

As I step out of the San Jose airport into the warm, humid air a feeling of peace and relaxation washes over me, much as it does every time I arrive in this tiny country in Central America, except this visit will be different than all of the others. This adventure will take me to the Osa Peninsula, one of the least visited areas in all of Costa Rica. Suddenly… Continued

By Amy Barron /

Discovering Patagonia

It’s hard to find a place more visually stunning or seemingly untouched than Patagonia, the region in the Southern Andes shared by Argentina and Chile.  Home to the world’s third largest ice field, after Greenland and Antarctica, as well as staggering peaks and some of the most brilliant scenery on Earth, Patagonia is the ultimate adventurer’s paradise. Though the mountains in Patagonia are not nearly as tall as their Himalayan… Continued

By Austin Adventure Guides /

My Life-Changing ALA Experience by Denise Reynolds

A word from Denise Reynolds, an ALA Guest… I am ALA’s Grateful Seeker. I have recently discovered a new perspective of life I hadn’t seen, or had chosen not to notice, before. Or, perhaps, it is that I just hadn’t considered it before. Did my brain tuck it away as irrelevant or not applicable? Or did it decide that it was just too scary and uncertain to consider?   It appears… Continued

By Austin Adventure Guides /

5 Great Ways to Tantalize Your Senses in Holland

During your next visit to The Netherlands, when you stroll through Holland, give your senses a treat at a few of the famous locations of the different cities.  See what makes these locations so beautiful, and better yet, even magical. 5.  Stop by the famous city of Gouda.  Gouda didn’t become famous for its gorgeous canals, alleyways, midlevel mansions, or friendly locals, although all of these are great reasons to… Continued

By Guest Bloggers /

Austin-Lehman Adventures Teams up with Red Mountain Resort!

Red Mountain Resort John Ibach, Director of Outdoor Recreation at Red Mountain Resort, talks a little bit about some of the great opportunities that March brings to the resort.  The month of March in Southern Utah is a time of anticipation, looking forward to a long spring and anticipating the warm months ahead.  The mornings and afternoons are perfect for the outdoor activities that our corner of Utah is so… Continued

By Austin Adventure Guides /

Nicaragua Adventure Travel – Cerro Negro to San Juan

  Looking for the adventure of a lifetime?  Thrills, adventure, thick rich jungles, and the most spectacular views you could ever imagine.  Nicaragua Adventure Travel is one of the newest and incredibly exciting tours Austin-Lehman Adventures will be offering in 2013.  With too many activities to count in this culturally rich country, Austin-Lehman has narrowed down the hot spots to visit including the ancient city of Granada, the Capital Managua,… Continued

By Guest Bloggers /

Namibian’s No Border USA Exchange Visit Highlights by Ketji Jermain of Wilderness Safaris Namibia

The idea, why….. The idea of an exchange visit was conceived in a unique open air “board room”, in Namibia’s great Kunene region, Omatendeka conservancy at Otjomumbonde. Otjomumbonde area is the Omatendeka conservancy’s wildlife sanctuary. The area is endowed with much needed natural springs and great vegetation making it well suited for farming; however the conservancy has set it aside for wildlife therefore its attractiveness for tourism development. In this… Continued

By Austin Adventure Guides /

Thanks for a great summer, ALA!

John Hinrichsen, who guided several Montana/Wyoming trips this summer, including Nam Fam, writes the following: This was my first year guiding for Austin-Lehman and I will never forget it. Thank you to Dan and Kasey Austin for taking a chance on me.  I can’t wait for next year.  Thank you to the staff at Austin-Lehman for being so patient (anyone who has to decipher my hand writing on time sheets… Continued

By Guest Bloggers /

John Hinrichsen’s Reflections on Nam Fam 2012

Have you ever had an experience where you knew, at a cellular level, that its very essence would impact you and stay with you for the rest of your life?  My recent experience guiding 14 dignitaries from Namibia, Africa through Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park is one of those special moments that I will carry with me forever.  The name of our adventure was called “No Borders” and the… Continued

By Guest Bloggers /

Nam Fam 2012!!

After an amazing ten days spent guiding and exploring the expansive regions between Billings, MT and Jackson, WY with fourteen wonderful new friends from Namibia, I felt the need to write about a few learnings I took away from this remarkable opportunity of a trip. As a short background, my father, Dan Austin, took a trip to Namibia (his favorite place in the whole world) back in May. After lively… Continued

By Kasey Austin /

Amy Weidlich – Travel Consultant

Amy grew up on the side of a mountain near Anchorage, AK where she developed a deep-seated passion for all things wild, rugged and slightly dangerous. After many childhood excursions with her family, Amy began traveling on her own and working in adventure travel as a consultant and guide in the San Juan Islands, the Greater Yellowstone region and Costa Rica. Amy has a B.S. in Biology from Montana State… Continued

By Amy Barron /

Bike Tours in France

  Enjoy the delights of the past from ruins and medieval streets, historic churches, and famous artists, to the wonders of the present day from fashions, farms, and delectable wines.  If you cannot decide which style of vacation you want to enjoy, why choose?  With an Austin-Lehman France Bike Tour you get the story telling and time travel to ancient eras, along with the beauties and wonders that locals today… Continued

By Guest Bloggers /

Cowboy Corey’s Coke and Peanuts Cocktail

The final dog days of summer are holding strong here in “SOUTH DAKOTA VACATION” and I have the perfect remedy to beat the late season heat.  A few years ago I was introduced to this peculiar treat while living in the mountains of North Carolina.  This sweet and savory concoction explodes with flavor as it fizzes upon your taste buds. Ingredients: Coca Cola in a bottle served on ice (Mexican Coke is preferred because… Continued

By Guest Bloggers /

The Mosel: History, Riding, & Riesling

  I believe that I have a German soul, not just because that is where 75% of my family heritage comes from, but because there is no other place on earth that I feel more myself!  I love Germany.  I love the people and the culture and the geography!  This is a country of huge metropolitan cities, rolling country side hills, and a world renowned river, the Rhine. Personally, I… Continued

By Guest Bloggers /

Tannins and Titans: Wine Tasting in Chile and Argentina

Imagine yourself surrounded by the kind of scenery that most people only visit in their dreams: 22,000-foot, snow dusted peaks; valleys filled with soft rows of grape vines; and beautiful, cloud-speckled blue skies. Now, imagine that you are holding a tantalizingly good looking glass of Malbec.  You breathe in the tannins and take your first sip. It is balanced, smooth, easy to drink, and, most importantly, delicious.  Not only is… Continued

By Austin Adventure Guides /

Savegre Cloud Forrest, The Ultimate Costa Rica Adventure

Warm water beaches, volcanoes, jungles and amazing surf.  Costa Rica has become known as the adventures paradise and there is little mystery as to why.  With pristine beaches providing perfect lefts and rights on the Pacific Coast, and miles of crystal clear blue snorkeling waters on the Caribbean side, this Country is literally filled with adventure from coast to coast!  No matter what activity the adventurer in you is searching… Continued

By Guest Bloggers /

World’s Best Family Adventure Outfitter

I can’t quite explain the feeling of opening Travel + Leisure Magazine and seeing Austin-Lehman ranked the World’s Best Adventure Outfitter For Families, but I can tell you it feels pretty darn good. We have always strived to provide the absolute best family adventures, but to see that we received a 98.11 from past guests is truly humbling. The news couldn’t have come at a better time, we just wrapped… Continued

By Dan Austin /

A guides tales from the San Juan Islands

So, picture this… 5 guys (and me) standing on a cliff at Lime Kiln Point State Park overlooking the Haro Straight in the San Juan Islands off Washington Coast.  To our right is a pile of old lime discarded from the Lime Kiln Days.  Below us is a seal skirting around and peeking at us through the kelp.  The restored kiln behind is us.  The dock the men used to load the lime in… Continued

By Guest Bloggers /

Crater Lake National Park

Located in southwest Oregon, Crater Lake National Park is an extraordinary mixture of serene natural beauty, unspoiled alpine grandeur, and authentic National Park charm all with an intense volcanic history.  It is a place of deep fascination for visitors and scientists alike. Crater Lake is best known for its intense blue color and pristine water.  This stunning lake was formed when the volcano Mount Mazama collapsed after an enormous eruption. … Continued

By Guest Bloggers /

Don’t Run From a Griz & 9 Other Things Our ALA Guides Taught Us

This past July, my family- myself, my husband and our daughters ages 5 & 7, took our first family adventure vacation- the Montana Family Adventure.  To say it was life-changing really isn’t far off.  But beyond that, our terrific guides- Patrick, James and John- taught us quite a few things…  About Montana, about nature and about ourselves. If you’re lost in the woods, you should start liken’ the lichen Not… Continued

By lehmantravelwtp /

Bike Tours in France

A country known for delectable wines, mouthwatering cuisine, cultural depths, and romantic locations, France is a great place to experience your next adventure vacation.  Can’t leave the kids home alone? Perfect, bring your family on a France Normandy Family Trip with Austin Lehman Adventure. They will love the impressive sceneries, the beautiful views on their bike rides, and the exciting histories and visits to the battlefields.  Delicious meals to impress… Continued

By Guest Bloggers /

Holland on a Budget

I’ll just come out and say, traveling to Europe isn’t cheap. When you factor in airfare, hotels, activities, food, guides and transportation… it adds up to be a lot. That is why we’ve designed a 5 day/4 night Holland bike tour that shows you the highlights of Holland but without the major costs of a luxury adventure vacation. But don’t think just because it isn’t a luxury tour that you… Continued

By Guest Bloggers /

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