Ward’s Mission


I know, that’s a big statement.   It’s meant to be.

Now, you’re asking: who’s Ward Luthi and what’s his mission?

The answer is found in NATURE — my office, home, and playground.  It’s my Sanctuary. It’s where I do my best. It’s where I live life most fully.

My background is quite diverse. It includes training with the National Outdoor Leadership School in Lander, Wyoming, serving as instructor and course director with Outward Bound, taking at-risk youth canoeing on the rivers in southern Georgia and northern Florida, leading groups of 30 high school students and staff, for six weeks each summer on rafting, backpacking, and mountaineering expeditions.

(For balance, I spent some time in the college classroom, earning an undergraduate degree in Recreation and Park Administration and a Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning.)

I’ve also served as staff on the President’s Commission on Americans Outdoors in Washington, D.C., helping recommend policy on outdoor recreation and natural resources to the Congress and President, consulted with the Best of the Alps, the top 12 resorts in the European Alps, and taken many personal journeys into the wild outdoors.


After the President’s Commission, in 1987 I started Walking The World as a way to get back on the trails and into the wild areas that feed my soul. With WTW, I’ve helped adventurous souls 50 years of age and better experience some of the world’s most vibrant cultures and hike some of this planet’s most magical destinations.

WALKING THE WORLD – Part II Thirty years later.

Last year, while preparing for another 30 years on the trail, something happened that impacted me deeply.  The administration in Washington, D.C., ignoring a hundred years of public lands tradition, drastically slashed the acreage of two of our national monuments.  Sadly, our National Parks were already reeling from years of being significantly underfunded.

And it’s not only our lands that are under stress, but our people, here — and in other parts of the world.  In the U.S., our Native American Elders, those who first walked these lands, often lack adequate food, shelter and medicine, and don’t have enough firewood to stay warm during the cold winter months.

Arbitrarily dismantling our National Monuments, underfunding our National Parks, and allowing local people to suffer needlessly, is unacceptable!


I’m issuing a challenge to the 50+ generation — more than 120 million strong in the U.S. alone. We represent a deep pool of work history, personal skills, life experience, and valuable connections with others all over the world.  If we accept the challenge, and work together, we can champion the protection and preservation of our public lands and help people worldwide, starting right here at home with our Native American Elders.


Inspire the 50+ to Get Up, step into the health we deserve, and live fully every moment of each day.  We’re made to walk.  As long as we can it’s important for our overall health and well-being to keep moving.  Every week I’ll be sharing my experience on how walking, and some strength work, can help us continue to lead full lives and have the adventures we’ve always dreamed of.

Remind us of the Grandeur of Nature, how amazing it is, and how endangered it’s becoming. To head to the wild outdoors, be an active participant in our own journey…to express the wildness within.

Of course, I’ll be lacing up my own boots and heading into the wild.  My walks will include visits to some of our most endangered public lands to remind us of their beauty and the value that these priceless lands hold for all of us. I’ll also be exploring some of the long walks of the world, like the Camino de Santiago in Spain, that are increasingly attracting more walkers.

Encourage us to Give Back to the deserving people and the exquisite places that make our adventures unique and wonderful.

Adopt-A-Native-Elder, based in Salt Lake, helps support 600 Native American Elders, all over 75 years of age.  Many have lost their ability to earn income from their traditional rug-making because of arthritis, diabetes, or vision loss.  Over the next six months — through the sale of our 50% organic cotton/50% recycled polyester T-shirts — my goal is to raise the funds needed to ensure each of the 600 Elders has the food, firewood, and medicine they need.

Your Help

I cannot do this alone.  I need your help.

I Invite you to share your ideas on how we can best protect and preserve our public lands, as well as the people and wildlife so under stress in the world.  I want to hear your stories, I want to know what our public lands mean to you.  I invite you to send photos of you, your family, and friends out enjoying the places you visit and hold dear.

I definitely want to hear about folks you know who are already supporting our public lands and local people.

I say it’s time we stand up for the people and places in the world that need our support.  It’s time to remind Mother Nature that we still love and appreciate her and that we will do everything we can to take care of her.

And it’s a perfect time to keep walking, one step after another for as long as we can.

Please join me.

Ward Luthi

Walking The World