Studhorse, Hoodoo and Cave Peak — Page, Utah
Situated on 600 acres in the Four Corners region, where the states of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona converge, the Amangiri Resort has been attracting well-heeled outdoor enthusiasts since it opened in 2009. The most recent addition to the resort is three via ferrata, ranging in difficulty and set on what many consider to be one of the most dramatic landscapes on the planet. Here, resort guides lead hotel guests on a scramble up imposing stone escarpment using vertical steel cables that follows a major crevasse through sandstone wall. The 1.5-mile Studhorse trail, the most challenging of the three, takes approximately three hours to complete. All, however, end at the top of slickrock domes surrounded by blue skies, towering stratified canyons and the needle-thin rock towers of Grand Staircase Escalante National Park.
Mount Ogden — Ogden, Utah
Set within privately owned land in Waterfall Canyon and designed by veteran climber Jeff Lowe, Mount Ogden is a via ferrata park in a deep quartzite canyon that features practice walls as well as three routes with elevation gain between 250ft to 350ft. Route No. 2 begins with an hour of uphill climbing along a juniper berry-dotted trail to the base of the climb, where the park’s namesake 350ft waterfall cools the air with its pleasant mist. Stout ladder rungs that jut out of the north-facing cliff start out easy but quickly give way to vertical sections. Along the 1.5-mile route, climbers clipped to the galvanised steel cable can sit back on their harnesses and take in the views of the city of Ogden and the Great Salt Lake.
Smugglers’ Notch — Jeffersonville, Vermont
Developed by a guide who has led international mountaineering expeditions since the 1980s, the Notch, or Smuggs, via ferrata — as locals call it — is perhaps the most family friendly in North America. It combines rock climbing and canyoneering techniques that get participants exploring along the Brewster River Gorge and a 75ft waterfall that ends at a boulder-covered river. Along the way, trekkers zipline across scenic chasms and gorges, scramble over huge boulders, traverse the river and play Tarzan and Jane on a treetop obstacle course through a lichen covered forest. Participants should be prepared to get wet.