Our Guides

The guides of Black Mountain Adventures are dedicated professionals who consider your absolute enjoyment as their #2 priority — because SAFETY comes first.

Most Black Mountain Adventure guides are EMTs, and many are members of the local Mountain Rescue team. Most have college degrees, and many hold advanced degrees.

All Black Mountain Adventure guides are extremely fit, well-trained, and are seasoned experts in desert hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing.

Come on out and catch our enthusiasm for the amazing Sonoran Desert!

Rico Riley

3yearoldricoRico Riley was born in Indiana and raised on the shores of Lake Michigan. He began riding his bike at the age of 3 and was able to convince neighborhood kids he could jump over them on a ramp just like his hero Evel Knievel. His love of the outdoors started at a young age as his parents took him on family vacations to the mountains of Tennessee, the caves of Kentucky, and the beautiful woods of southern Indiana. Having Lake Michigan at your doorstep was an amazing thing to have as a child growing up and Rico takes his own children back to this magical place every summer.


RicoRico graduated from Indiana University in 1992 and participated in the Little 500 made famous by the movie Breaking Away. He continued racing after college including several Ironman triathlons with a top finish of 84th in the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. In 1995, he received two masters degrees from Arizona State University in Business and Health Administration. Rico worked in corporate America for a while including stints in pharmaceutical sales and finance. In 2001, he found his true calling when his friend Kerry Ecker called him out to help guide a bike ride. This serendipitous call was the beginning of a passion that continues to this day. The passion to provide amazing outdoor experiences and the thrill of adventure.


ricoandkidsRico is a registered EMT with the state of Arizona and has earned his series 7, 63, and 65 in the financial world. He has four amazing children, two annoying dogs, and one cat that doesn’t care about anyone. When he is not guiding the amazing guests at the Boulders, he is on the local trails running or riding with the other guides of Black Mountain Adventures. Other hobbies include a love of reading, collecting vintage lunch boxes and all things 1970’s related.


Joyce Kirkpatrick

DCIM100GOPROJoyce is an accomplished hiker with specific expertise in desert trekking. With over three decades of experience and intense devotion to the sport, few can match Joyce’s proficiency or her enthusiasm. Many hiking enthusiasts know her by name, because she rarely misses a day on the trail.

Joyce has been guiding and entertaining guest at The Boulders Resort for over 20 years with her knowledge of the local Native American history, flora and fauna. When she is away from the resorts spends her time volunteering and serving on the board of The Love House Kids Program.

Joyce is a licensed FAA commercial sUAV pilot, guest and groups at the resort can reserve her to capture incredible aerial drone videos and pictures of their rock climbing, mountain biking or hiking adventures. Please call the spa for additional information.



Half Dome, California:
8,842 ft elevation;  One day 17 miles;  Challenging and steep – 2014

Grand Canyon NP:
Two night backpack; South Bass Trail to Ruby Falls.  Filtered water, drinking out of puddles. 30 miles – 2015

Wheeler Peak, Grand Basin NP:
Highest peak in Nevada, 13,044ft elevation, 8 miles
Alpine meadows, Incredible scenery – 2018

Borah Peak, highest peak in Idaho:
12,667ft elevation; Lots of exposure, scary snow shelf. Crazy steep. 8.3 miles – 2018

Water CanyonParia Canyon Wilderness, Utah:
three day Canyoneering. Lots of waist deep water, 38 miles – 2018

Aravaipa Canyon, Arizona:
2 night backpack. No official trail, water hike, best birding in the country, 220 different species of birds. Highest land-mammal diversity in the world. 20 miles – 2019



Alex Montgomery

Alex and friendsAlex Montgomery was raised a little bit of everywhere. He was born in Wisconsin, spent most of his childhood in London, Ontario, Canada, and graduated high school in Northern California before moving to Arizona for school.

He attended the Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences in Tempe in 2009 and has resided here since. He still works part time as a freelance audio engineer here in the valley. Though his true passion is the outdoors!

From a young age his family began fueling his love for the outdoors. It began with tree forts in the forest of southern Wisconsin and exploring the shores of Devils Lake. The Great Lakes were a favorite summer hangout when living in Canada and during his time in Northern California his father introduced him to backpacking and camping in the Sierra Nevada’s.

Llama-machu Pichu-AlexHe has done some world traveling too. Including the backpacking through South America, hiking the Inca trail to Machu Pichu and traveling to remote parts of the Amazon jungle. He and his wife are always planning new destinations to visit.

Once he moved to Arizona, he was introduced to rock climbing and instantly fell in love. He has now climbed most of the iconic routes in the valley and has begun to branch out to Tucson and Flagstaff as well. He also has a passion for general fitness and well being.

Alex - rock climbingHe currently lives with his wife and awesome dog Sam, who both love to hike and backpack as well. He owns a house in Northern Phoenix, though some day wishes to live the van life and travel the country hitting all the famous rock-climbing crags the states have to offer.