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The company was founded as Roads Less Traveled in 1988 by David Clair, an engineer working at the time in the data storage industry. After completion of a feasibility study, Mr. Clair began operating multi-day mountain biking and hiking tours the following year for small groups in the Colorado Rockies and Utah's Canyonlands.

In response to requests from clients to offer tours with a variety of activities, Roads Less Traveled pioneered the concept of the multi-sport trip in 1992. These tours allowed our guests to experience several fun-filled and exciting activities in a single trip, including hiking, mountain biking, whitewater rafting, and horseback riding.

A dispute arose in 1998 when a Chicago-based company trademarked the name "Roads Less Traveled". Rather than engage in expensive litigation, we switched our name to "The World Outside" only to learn that Outside Magazine had an issue with that decision. A new owner, Brian Mullis, quickly changed the name once more to "The World Outdoors". An appropriate choice it proved to be as we are now present in 40 countries throughout "the world" with our continued focus on active vacations in the "outdoors".  

Bill Marriner, a former corporate executive became the third owner of The World Outdoors in 2002.  Bill expanded The World Outdoors international presence and lived out his fantasy of being an adventure guide.

In 2014, The World Outdoors returned to being operated by an outdoor industry professional.  Scott Phillips a former combat veteran Army Ranger, professional guide, and risk management professional acquired the company from Bill and focused on growing The World Outdoors while maintaining the history, tradition, and values that the company was founded on.

Since our introduction of the multi-sport concept in 1992, The World Outdoors has rapidly expanded beyond its tour offerings in the Rockies and Canyon Country with the addition of hiking vacations, multisport tours, wildlife safaris and adventure cruises on all seven continents. To meet the growing and ever-changing needs of the adventure travel community, our offerings now include activities ranging from rock climbing, canyoneering, and sea kayaking to scuba diving, ziplining and bungee jumping.

The World Outdoors' unwavering focus on providing extraordinary off-the-beaten path adventure vacations has resulted in continued growth and widespread recognition for our unique approach to backcountry travel. We have been featured in National Geographic Adventure, Outside Magazine, Bicycling Magazine, Better Homes & Gardens and numerous newspapers throughout the country, including USA Today, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Mission of The World Outdoors

The company's mission has remained consistent throughout our history—to help others appreciate the magic, beauty and wonders of nature through a fun-filled, social, cultural and educational experience. We strive to deliver high-quality outdoor adventures with professional leadership, personalized service, and excellent value. To further our mission we have made the strongest commitment to the following objectives:

To surpass our guests' expectations for service while maintaining our personal touch

  • By encouraging safety awareness in all of our guests and providing a high level of safety in our activities
  • By providing the highest quality equipment for all of our adventures
  • By providing a range of clean, comfortable and memorable accommodations
  • By serving food that is both healthy and delicious
  • By working with all types of people in a positive atmosphere
  • By delivering a fun-filled, social, educational and cultural experience
  • By fostering in all staff an attitude of helpfulness, personal attention, and flexibility
  • By being an innovative industry leader

To provide the highest quality of life for our staff

  • By operating all programs in a manner that encourages staff involvement and pride in The World Outdoors
  • By focusing on continuous improvement through timely and constructive feedback to our guides and staff
  • By fostering an environment of trust and understanding and open and effective communication
  • By paying fair and competitive wages and benefits and providing a fun working environment

To contribute actively to the environment

  • By committing ourselves to the conservation and sustainable use of the world's lands and waters
  • By educating and fostering environmental awareness in our guests
  • By contributing to environmental causes near and dear to our hearts
  • By recycling wherever and whenever possible, both in the office and the field
Backroads | 801 Cedar St. | Berkeley, CA 94710 |
800-462-2848 or 510-527-1555 | Fax: 510-527-1444 | Office Hours: Daily, 6:00 am to 6:00 pm Pacific Standard Time
©2017, Backroads, All Rights Reserved.

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