Category archives for Adventure Travel

See more photos like this in our Extreme Photo of the Week gallery. Twenty-year-old German climber Alexander Megos is quietly making quick work of some of the most famous sport climbing routes in the world. Just earlier this month he ascended Biographie, also known as Realization, one of the most famous sport-climbing routes in the…

Walk one of the park’s newest, toughest trails, then enjoy an easy lake paddle. What Is It? Looking to get off the beaten path and avoid the crowds in one of Maine’s most heavily visited state parks? Try the Traveler Mountain Loop. It’s a lung-busting, 10.6-mile circuit that includes three separate mountain summits and climbs…

Hike the Wild Azalea National Recreation Trail. What Is It? Central Louisiana’s Wild Azalea National Recreation Trail, located in the southwest of Alexandria, travels the length of a marathon (26.2 miles). You could hike the whole thing in a day or spend three days backpacking through this rich, biodiverse region. Even though the Bayou State…

See the related National Geographic magazine “Empire of Rock” feature story, 3-D cave tour, and 3:30-minute video from the July 2014 edition. This expedition was supported with a grant from the National Geographic Expeditions Council. I’m teetering on a precarious stack of limestone “Jenga” blocks on a huge spire in Enshi Grand Canyon in southern China. None…

Slither, crawl, and climb on the Wild Cave Tour. What Is It? With more than 400 miles of explored area, Mammoth Cave National Park boasts one of the world’s longest cave systems. The Park Service offers an array of tours varying in length and focus so you can pick the best ones for your needs.…

Find solitude with a backpacking trip in a hidden Iowa wilderness.             What Is It? The nearly thousand-acre Coon Creek Wildlife Management Area offers hikers, backpackers, and nature lovers a largely untouched, rarely visited spot to explore. Spend a day or the weekend bushwhacking off-trail or wandering the dirt paths and roads that snake through…

Hike the Crown Jewel of Indiana’s State Park System What Is It? This series of 11-day hikes allows you to delve into the deep canyons, sandstone cliffs, and serene hemlock groves of stunning Turkey Run State Park. The trails are short, but don’t be fooled—most are rugged and challenging. Definitely don’t miss Trail 3, a…

On June 16, 1971, Bill Briggs stood alone atop Wyoming’s 13,770-foot Grand Teton, one of the most iconic peaks in North America. He surveyed his surroundings, saw a storm gathering in the distance, and quickly clicked into his 210-centimeter fiberglass K2 skis. Then, he skied off the summit and into history. Four hours later, when…

The journey planned is rarely the journey taken. The Nobody’s River expedition team had no idea how true this would be as they prepared to leave for a two-month expedition in Mongolia and Russia. Today, the team released the trailer to their film that documents their journey along the Amur River, one of the few remaining free-flowing…

Climb and hike in one of Illinois’ most pristine places. What Is It? Combining climbing and hiking is the preeminent way to explore this hilly, 4,055-acre oasis hidden amidst the largely flat Corn Belt. Rock climbers can score great sandstone, top-roped routes ranging from 5.6 to 5.13 at Shelter 1 Bluff and the Devil’s Standtable…

Every adventure needs trust. There must be faith in yourself, your partners, the environment, or the experience and not just for safety, but also value. You must deem the exploration important, either immediately or at some nostalgic point in the future. Belief in the experience is what makes it come alive. These thoughts are subconsciously…

Climb, float, and soak among the serrated peaks of south-central Idaho. What Is It? A varied weekend full of high-adrenaline adventure starts with a quick boat ride across Redfish Lake. This shuttle ushers you to some of the best hiking and climbing in the state. After a short trek up the glacially sculpted Redfish Canyon,…

Hawaii: Catch Waves in Oahu

Learn to surf from the pros in a tropical paradise.   What Is It? Never surfed before? Have a lot of experience? Either way, lessons or a full-immersion surf camp on Oahu’s legendary North Shore will improve your skills in no time. Beginners: You’ll gain confidence and all the information you need to catch your…

Enroll in hang gliding flight school in the gorgeous hills of northwest Georgia. What Is It? Learn the nuts and bolts of hang gliding from lovely Lookout Mountain. In just two days, you’ll acquire all the skills necessary to successfully complete the requirements for the United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association (USHPA) Hang 1…

Top ultra trail runners gathered in Silverton, Colorado, last weekend to take on the glory and suffering of the Hardrock 100, considered one of the hardest trail races in the world. Competitors ran 100 miles with 33,992 feet of climb and 33,992 feet of descent for a total elevation change of 67,984 feet at an average elevation of…

Florida: Bike Big Shoals Country

Tour the diverse terrain along the Suwannee River on bicycle. What Is It? This ride combs through the hidden gem of Big Shoals Conservation Area and can be 5 to 25 miles, depending on your energy level. We definitely recommend cycling at least the ten-mile loop along the Suwannee River that starts from the Little…

Delaware: Fly High

Get a bird’s-eye view as you parasail hundreds of feet over the ocean. What Is It? A thrilling experience where up to three people attached to a parachute fastened to a motorboat soar high in the air while the boat cruises along the ocean below. Why Do It? This bucket list item is the most…

Connecticut: Trout Unlimited

Fish the Housatonic River, considered one of the best trout streams in the East. What Is It? Test your fishing skills along northwest Connecticut’s beloved and beautifully forested Housatonic River. Because managers have created a 10.4-mile Trout Management Area that begins in West Cornwall and have designated another stretch as “fly-fishing only,” this spot provides…

Colorado: Hike High

Hike from Crested Butte to Aspen. What Is It? Hike a butt-busting 11 miles from the tiny mountain hamlet of Crested Butte, over West Maroon Pass to the extravagant ski town of Aspen. From the Butte, you’ll climb 2,200 feet through patches of aspen and spruce that dapple a narrow, grassy valley. Even in summer,…

Scale exquisite, vertical rock in a wilderness setting. What Is It? Lassen Volcanic National Park features a giant volcanic dome, hot springs, and a variety of secluded, high-country cliffs and outcrops that provide excellent climbing for all levels. Spend the weekend scaling cracks, arêtes, and crags that rival those of Yosemite. You’ll find that the…

Explore the Ouachita Mountains on foot, by mountain bike, or with fishing rod in hand. What Is It? Located in west-central Arkansas, the Ouachita offer a weekend full of options and a setting for being as active or as relaxed as you wish. The Ouachita Trail boasts 222 miles of sweet single-track perfect for riding…

At 13,770 craggy feet in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park, the Grand Teton is an icon. Mention you’re tackling it, and climbers’ eyes light up. It’s not the tallest nor hardest mountain, but it delivers every component of a classic adventure: 7,000 feet of elevation gain, technical climbing, dramatic exposure, thrilling rappels, and breathtaking views.…

Arizona: Hike Mount Humphreys

  Enjoy unfettered views from 12,633 feet after hiking to the top of the tallest peak in Arizona. What Is It? A moderately strenuous nine-mile round-trip hike to the apex of Arizona, a peak deemed sacred by many southwestern tribes. The Mount Humphreys Trail, located just 14.5 miles outside of Flagstaff, climbs over 3,300 feet…

Mountain endurance athlete Kilian Jornet set a new speed record on 20,322-foot Mount McKinley, or Denali, in Alaska, on June 7, 2014. The 26-year-old Catalonian’s ascent and descent took 11 hours and 48 minutes, which was five hours faster than the previous record of 16 hours 46 minutes set by Ed Warren in 2013. Jornet used skis…

Mike Libecki is not typical in any way. The veteran adventurer has a goal to do 100 expeditions by his 100th birthday—and, at 41 years old, he is more than halfway there. This is a guy who truly loves to suffer—the colder, harder, longer, more remote, less known, and more challenging the better. He recently…