Millions of people visit Yellowstone, Yosemite, and the like each year, but you'll never see America's stunning national parks like you will on one of the National Park Field Institutes' new, more adventurous outings.
Nature is never entirely silent if you have time to really listen. Here in the Grand Canyon, the midday Arizona heat hums, a bird cries, and the runnings of the Colorado River 3,000 feet below us issue a whisper like the distant sound of breaking surf. Erosion, the ruling force if this grand place, has carved us a tidy little slash in this cliff - worlds away from the crowds and tour buses - a lovely box seat fat with the cool press of sandstone.

Ken Walters, our Grand Canyon Field Institute instructor, has spent most of his adult life exploring the Canyon. For more than 30 years he has poked over roughly 10,000 miles of its backcountry for many reasons, not the least of which is the canyon's lovely penchant for surprise. Until five minutes ago, Walters never knew this overhang existed.