We Appreciate You, Jillian

When folks call and email Backcountry Journeys, it is more than likely they’ll be exchanging pleasantries with the fabulous Jillian Swalwell. 

For a bit over a year, Jillian has been Backcountry Journeys’ “Photo Adventure Specialist,” which means that she is the frontline person for all things customer service at BCJ. 

As the first person a guest, or potential guest, gets to speak with, the position of “Photo Adventure Specialist” comes with it extraordinary responsibility as the “face of the business.” We couldn’t think of ANYONE we’d rather have as that “face” than Jillian, and don’t want to think about what we might do without her (Never leave!) 

Yet, there is quite a bit more on Jillian’s proverbial “plate” than simply answering phone calls and emails. And there is nothing simple about answering calls and emails for Backcountry Journeys. Being able to effectively assist callers with questions and needs requires an immense amount of knowledge not only with cameras and photography but also with details about the god-knows-how-many tour locations Backcountry Journeys now has. 

And if we are going to talk about all that Jillian does for Backcountry Journeys (spoiler alert – we are!), those things, while exceptionally important, are only scratching the surface, so-to-speak. 

She also works diligently to iron out a number of our logistics and planning behind-the-scenes details, promotes our social media presence, updates trip packets, and makes certain that Backcountry Journeys is up-to-date with our commercial use permits, which is an enormous responsibility. 

We could go on and on but will spare you, the reader, an incredibly long, and overwhelming, list of duties that Jillian attends to each day. The gist of it is this: Jillian is indispensable here at Backcountry Journeys. Her work, and attitude towards work, are so incredibly appreciated. 

For all of your awesomeness and all of your efforts, everyone at Backcountry Journeys would like to say: 


Read more about Jillian here.

Kenton Krueger








Kenton Krueger grew up and spent the first 33 years of his life in the corn country of Omaha, Nebraska. After studying aviation at the University of Nebraska Omaha’s Aviation Institute, he “conned” his way into the newsroom at the award-winning Omaha World-Herald where for 3+ years he wrote and photographed news articles on a variety of topics such as community events, travel and even mixed martial arts for the sports department. Yet something was missing. While on backpacking trips to Grand Teton and Grand Canyon National Parks in the mid-2000’s he was quick to realize that the wildlands of the western United States stoked a fire in his heart as nothing else could. This realization led to relocation to Flagstaff, Arizona, and he hasn’t looked back. He has spent the past several years guiding backpackers, hikers and photographers into the wild places of the American West such as Havasu Falls, Grand Canyon, and Yellowstone National Parks as well as in the Grand Staircase Escalante in southern Utah. In addition to backpacking and camping, his adventures include rock climbing, exploring the slot canyons of southern Utah, mountain biking, and bagging 14ers in Colorado’s San Juan Mountain Mountain Range. Kenton is a trail runner, former pilot, newspaper photographer, and writer. Kenton looks forward to utilizing his years of guiding experience, combined with his passion and experience behind the lens to provide memorable and unforgettable experiences at the wild places we will visit together.

Don’t Miss the Next Session of BCJ “Live”

Backyard Bird Photography: Simple Techniques for Wildlife Close to Home

with Russell Graves
Tuesday, March 9th, 2021 at 11 am (Mountain)