American Adventures

AWIU #010 – Sarah Shumaker

Every week, we ask an Adventurist Who Inspires Us (AWIU) the same three questions. How much do we have in common?

Sarah Shumaker
Cover: Adventurist
Location: Las Vegas, NV, USA

Canyoneering, Hiking with my dog, Moto

SITE: on Facebook


What makes an adventure truly remarkable or meaningful, and why do you seek that? In other words, why must you go?

To me, adventure has become an addiction. I crave the feeling I get when I see a new place, some place that takes my breath away. I crave the serenity I get the second I step off that cliff on rope and hang there with nothing but air below me. I crave that heart pounding feeling that jumps inside me right before I jump off that waterfall into the pool below me. I want to explore places many haven’t seen or will ever get to see, and be able to capture that in my own way and perspective. The natural high from the adrenaline, the peacefulness of the outdoors, the awe that comes from the beauty of the mountains—there’s no other feeling in the world that compares. I need it in my life, to the point where it has overcome my every thought, all day every day.

Heaps Canyon 2 by Sarah ShumakerSarah Shumaker


When are you most confident while on your adventures and what makes that possible?

I’ve been growing more and more obsessed with the mountains for the last 10 years now. About 4 years ago was when I decided to step it up to a more technical level and learn how to canyoneer and climb. I’ve always pushed myself harder and harder to achieve the next best thing, whether it be a more technical canyon or a longer hike or more difficult dirt trail. Because of my experiences and the variety of situations I have been in, I am very confident in my ability to get through my adventures safely and proficiently. I am a strong, independent individual. Even when something terrifies me, like the final 500 foot rappel sequence in Heaps Canyon in Zion for example, I am able to calm myself down and follow through with the steps I am familiar with and confident in to get me down safely and finally relax and enjoy the ride.


Be honest, now, where do you feel least confident?

Like I mentioned before, there are things that terrify me. Some include very exposed heights before rappel or while climbing, gnarly dirt roads on my dual sport, snakes swimming in the pothole you need to get in and escape out of.. haha and lead climbing a new route.

Milky Way reflection by Sarah Shumaker

KNOWN LOCATIONS (most recent 3 adventures)

  • 07/16: Heaps Canyon in Zion National Park, canyoneering
  • 06/16: Seven Teacups Canyon in Sequoia National Forest, canyoneering
  • 05/16: Reflection Canyon in Escalante, hiking and photography


Heaps Canyon | This canyon is my all time favorite place in the world. It took me years to work up to this route and I’ve been lucky enough to run it 6 times now, in all different conditions. There are 25 rappels (sometimes more, sometimes less depending on water levels) and the canyon takes anywhere between 12-16 hours over a distance of 6 or 9 miles in just the approach to get to the start of the canyon and then 3 technical miles. This place is dark and mysterious and ever changing. It ends in an epic 3 stage 500 foot rappel sequence with the final drop being a 300 foot free hanger from the infamous bird perch.

Seven Teacups | I’ve gotten to see the canyon a couple times now, but this time particularly was in very high water conditions. This place is a blast, a true adult water park. Jumping off cliffs, rappelling through waterfalls, sliding down natural water slides, the whole thing is a spectacular.

Reflection Canyon | A group of friends and I decided to make the 10 mile hike into Reflection Canyon to shoot the Milky Way, something I’ve recently grown very passionate about. There is no defined trail into here, so it’s backpacking with GPS points and maps. My puppy/adventure partner was there with me every step of the way, like he usually is when I’m not doing technical stuff.

We ended up there a little later than we had planned and had to scramble up and down a few cliff faces before we found our spot, but it was worth it. Quite the amazing view to wake up to. We hiked back out the next morning, was quite the trek for a few hours of sleep and a couple pictures.

American Adventurist Life empowers our viewers to go confidently in the direction of their dreams. We’re a photography and design rich digital magazine that focuses on adventure experiences; with skill, gear, vehicle, and personality features to compliment those adventures. Inspiring imagery, and editorial which digs deep into the realities of living the adventurist life.