Rich Rudow
Rich Rudow
Canyoneering Explorer
Rich has an innate ability to explore remote canyons in Grand Canyon National Park. Since 1989, he has spent more than 500 days below the rim with over 60 first canyoneering descents to his credit. Outside magazine named him a 2012 Adventurer of the Year and, in summer 2012, his story unfolds in an adventure film called The Last of the Great Unknown. On weekdays, Rich is the general manager for Trimble Outdoors and MyTopo.
Adventure Map
According to Rich, the Grand Canyon holds some 300 really worthy slot canyons. He has explored almost 140 of them with 60 canyons as first descents. This map showcases many of these canyons with beautiful photos.
Insider Tip
How does Rich find these unknown canyons?
It's a powerful combo of old-school maps and next-gen technology. He first studies journals and hand-drawn maps of previous Grand Canyon explorers like Harvey Butchart and the Steck brothers, Allen and George. Next, he plans routes and studies topo maps and aerial photos using map tools at Then he prints a custom waterproof map of each trip from MyTopo. In the field he records and checks critical route info with the Trimble Outdoors Navigator app on his water-resistant Android phone, a Motorola Defy. All this helps him explore like never before.
The Movie
Great Unknown
Official Trailer
The last of the Great Unknown is the story of exploring remote slots, the canyoneers who systematically explored their drainages, and the secrets hidden deep within their walls of Grand Canyon. Watch the trailer.
The Guides
Todd's Hiking Guide
Many of the canyons discovered by Rich, and his canyoneering partner, Todd Martin, are detailed in Grand Canyoneering: Exploring the Rugged Gorges and Secret Slots of the Grand Canyon.