Everett Ruess

Everett Ruess

Page Type Page Type: Article
Activities Activities: Hiking

Everett Ruess

"I thought that there were two rules in life - never count the cost, and never do anything unless you can do it wholeheartedly. Now is the time to live." ~ Everett Ruess

Everett Ruess was an irrepressible wanderer, adventurer, and artist who loved and sought out the wild places of the Colorado Plateau. In 1934, at the age of twenty, he disappeared in the Escalante canyons. His independent spirit and profound love of the beauty of canyon country has inspired me and many others to continue to explore and preserve this wonderful area.

In his chapter entitled Episodes and Visions in Desert Solitaire,
Edward Abbey mused on Everett Ruess:

"Even after years of intimate contact and search this quality of strangeness in the desert remains undiminished. Transparent and intangible as sunlight, yet always and everywhere present, it lures a man on and on, from the red-walled canyons to the smoke- blue ranges beyond, in a futile but fascinating quest for the great, unimaginable treasure which the desert seems to promise. Once caught by this golden lure you become a prospector for life, condemned, doomed, exalted. One begins to understand why Everett Reuss kept going deeper and deeper into the canyon country, until one day he lost the thread of the labyrinth; why the oldtime prospectors, when they did find the common sort of gold, gambled, drank and whored it away as quickly as possible and returned to the burnt hills and the search. The search for what? They could not have said; neither can I; and would have muttered something about silver, gold, copper -anything as a pretext. And how could they hope to find this treasure which has no name and has never been seen? Hard to say -and yet, when they found it, they could not fail to recognize it. Ask Everett Reuss."

When I heard that Everett Ruess' body had been found, I have to admit, I was a little disappointed... No doubt his discovery provides closure to his family, but I loved the mystery of it all... A young man who fell in love with the canyon country of southern Utah and Northern Arizona so deeply, he spent his life wandering and exploring it, until one day he simply disappeared... National Geographic Adventure Article "Finding Everett Ruess"

But, the story of him being found turned out to be false, it was another person's remains. How the DNA Test Went Wrong. And here's another recent article.

So the mystery endures...

External Links

The Legend of Everett Ruess


Everett Ruess Days in Escalante, UT

A few of my favorite Ruess Quotes

"I prefer the saddle to the streetcar and star-sprinkled sky to a roof, the obscure and difficult trail, leading into the unknown, to any paved highway, and the deep peace of the will to the discontent bred by cities...it is enough that I am surrounded with beauty.."

"Always I shall be one who loves the wilderness:
Swaggers and softly creeps between the mountain peaks; I shall listen long to the sea's brave music; I shall sing my song above the shriek of desert winds."

"I have always been unsatisfied with life as most people live it. Always I want to live more intensely and richly. why muck and conceal one's true longings and loves, when by speaking of them one might find someone to understand them, and by acting on them one might discover oneself?"

"say that i starved, that i was lost and weary
that i was burned and blinded by the desert sun
footsore, thirsty, sick with strange diseases,
lonely and wet and cold, but that i kept my dream!"


Post a Comment
Viewing: 1-6 of 6
Tomek Lodowy

Tomek Lodowy - May 6, 2009 5:22 pm - Voted 10/10

great story

That's really great story of a man that followed his heart's voice, his dreams.

I learned about Everett Ruess while reading Krakauer's "Into the wild" some time ago.

Thanks for the page.



Dean - May 6, 2009 7:01 pm - Voted 10/10


I just got through (while camped near Arches) reading the National Geographic Adventure article and was fascinated by the story. Thanks for posting this.


mvs - May 8, 2009 9:52 am - Voted 10/10

Still tragic, years later..

This kid, like a lot of us here, lamented city living and the discontents it breeds. How sad that he was murdered by some local people of that untrammeled wilderness. That place where man's spirit should level at a higher plane. I guess it doesn't work on everybody.

R.I.P. Everett. Your spirit lives on in those who find God in the crags, the eternal snows, the deep forests.


BeDrinkable - May 8, 2009 9:54 am - Voted 10/10

Almost too bad ...

... that they found him. I think I prefer the story of a young man who gradually succumbed to the lure of the land.


visentin - May 22, 2009 2:37 am - Voted 10/10

you could attach this to...



jdzaharia - Mar 24, 2010 10:43 am - Hasn't voted

New Info

A new dinosaur species was discovered in southern Utah and named after Ruess--Seitaad ruessi.

In other news, it looks like new evidence has proven that the found body was not that of Ruess' http://ngadventure.typepad.com/blog/2010/02/everett-ruess-how-the-dna-test-went-wrong.html

Viewing: 1-6 of 6



Parents refers to a larger category under which an object falls. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports.