10 Incredible Outdoor Adventure Vacations in the US
Zion National Park Utah
Less than 100 miles north of Grand Canyon National Park, Zion National Park is famous for its extraordinary rock formations, stunning vistas, and plenty of hiking and camping assets. For those who want to experience amazing American adventures, Zion NP has a lot going for it.
Zion is the ideal place for those looking for adventure in the outdoors. The park offers magnificent singular canyons, outcrops, and valleys perfect for hikers of all abilities, including the famous Zion Narrows hike.
There are also two impressive scenic drives – the Zion Scenic Canyon Drive and the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway. You can go horseback riding, try slot canyon canyoneering or take an adventure ATV tour or a Zion jeep tour.
Mammoth Cave National Park Kentucky
Mammoth Cave National Park is one of the 13 natural sites in the US given UNESCO status. Home to the longest known cave system in the world, only 400 miles of Mammoth Cave have been explored. It is estimated the cave extends a further 600 miles.
Tours change according to the season with a choice of kid-oriented tours, tours for those with limited mobility, historical tours, and for the more adventurous, you can try a guided spelunking tour.
See the National Parks Site for season tour availability. Tours book up quickly, so it’s best to book in advance.
While the impressive cave system is the park’s main attraction, there are also lots of adventure activities above ground. The forested landscape above the caverns is an excellent place for camping. There are miles of hiking trails covering diverse habitats, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, and horseback riding.
Yosemite National Park California
One of the most popular national parks in the USA, described by John Muir as “by far the grandest of all the special temples of nature”, Yosemite National Park is the perfect destination for those looking for the ultimate American outdoor adventure vacation.
Yosemite is 1,200 square miles of vast wilderness ripe for adventure. From majestic waterfalls over 1000ft high, ancient sequoia forests, magnificent rivers, unique rock formations and majestic mountain peaks. There are many opportunities for rock climbing, hiking, fishing and boating, rafting and swimming. Yosemite has something to offer outdoor enthusiasts all year round.
Olympic National Park
Olympic National Park on the Olympic Peninsula west of Seattle is close to 1 million acres of insanely beautiful and diverse wilderness. A one of a kind natural destination with a range of ecosystems and terrains, from lush rain forests to rugged coastlines, an alpine region, and a dry area. You’ll never get bored in Olympic National Park.
For those who like the outdoors and adventure travel, there is plenty to do at Olympic NP. An easy day trip from Seattle, it’s no wonder it’s one of the most popular national parks for both locals and visitors to the state.
With over 611-miles of trails suited to all hiking levels, there are some incredible hikes in Olympic National Park. From the ethereal moss-covered Hoh Rainforest to Hurrican Ridge where you have sweeping views of the famous glacial mountain Mt.Olympus and, on a clear day, the Straits of Juan de Fuca and across the water into Canada.
Lake Tahoe California and Nevada
Nestled in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, Lake Tahoe straddles two states, split down the middle by the California and Nevada state line.
The largest alpine lake in North America, the serenely beautiful sapphire blue lake offers a multitude of water sports, hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails, stunning beaches, and world-renown ski resorts for downhill, nordic skiing, sledding and snowshoeing. Whether it’s the pristine pine forests, sandy shores, or snow-capped mountains, Lake Tahoe has something for every adventure traveler.
The lake is dotted with numerous state parks offering so many varied outdoor experiences. The 55 acre Sand harbor State Park in North Tahoe. offers swimming, scuba diving, kayaking, sailing and boating.
Kauai Island Hawaii
Kauai, “the Garden Isle,” is Hawaii’s fourth-largest island and the ideal place for those looking for summer adventure vacation ideas in the USA. It is also one of the most popular winter escapes in the US for its gorgeous winter climate.
There are loads of incredible adventure activities, from ziplining through the lush valleys of Kauai to surfing and snorkelling at Poipu Beach park – with the possibility of an up-close encounter with a Hawaiian monk seal. You can kayak down the Wailua River or hit the hiking trails in the Kokee State Park. The formidable 22-mile round trip Kalalau Hike or Waimea Canyon lookout hike are just some of the more notable hikes worth tackling on the laid back island.