Prepare yourself for the newest way to experience the Grand Canyon.

No doubt you can grab a trail map and go hike the Grand Canyon on your own. But the opportunity to cross rim to rim to rim with a group of professional adventure racers and health crisis survivors makes for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

The Project Athena Foundation (PAF) is offering two such trips this summer: June 1-5, and September 21-25. With PAF, you’ll see the Grand as you’ve never seen it before, push your levels of endurance, bond with an amazing group of people and help others looking for a new lease on life. When you sign up for the trip, you agree to become a god or goddess for PAF, raising money to pay for your trip and to help other survivors make their athletic dreams a reality.

My trip last year was under the guidance of PAF goddess Robyn Benincasa. Our group experienced two long days of hiking, eye-popping scenery, crappy lows, euphoric highs and a bit of rule breaking—PAF ignores the signs saying “Do Not Attempt To Hike From Rim to Rim in One Day!” We actually broke that one twice, in a span of 36 hours, starting at the South Rim, overnighting at the North Rim, and then heading back to the South Rim the next morning.

A minimum donation of $1800 covers shuttling to and from the Phoenix airport, meals, two nights lodging on the South Rim, one night’s lodging on the north rim and one nights lodging in Sedona for a bit of post hike rejuvenation. Participants also receive a Project Athena Headsweats hat, Project Athena Tech shirt, pair of Wigwam socks and free pair of Merrell shoes. Learn more at

—Allison Pattillo

Choose Your Adventure
Here in Colorado, we love adventure-based vacations. And places like Rocky Mountain National Park are such an ideal setting, that we need go no further than our own backyard. As for our out-of-state friends, we direct them to Fitness Adventures USA. Owner Scott Colby’s Choose Your Adventure vacation lineup features a Colorado rafting, hiking and biking trip based out of Estes Park. Added bonus: Colby ran a bootcamp business in Dallas for five years and incorporates bootcamp-style workouts into his trips. We strongly advocate whipping vacationing Texans’ butts at high altitude. If you’d like to get your own butt whooped, you’re welcome to sign up too, or consider Colby’s adventure trips to California’s wine country and Vermont’s leaf-peeping trails.