Three rafts approach a set of rapids with rock wall behind them.
The Colorado River has some intense whitewater rafting that is sure to give you thrills (and get you soaked).
Photo Credit: Getty Images

8 Incredible Adventure Travel Experiences You Can Have Without Leaving the USA

How Daring Are You?

Racing along at breakneck speeds, falling from thousands of feet in the air — these are just a few of the adrenaline pumping experiences felt during adventure travel in the U.S.A. When ordinary vacations just don’t cut it anymore, an adventurous vacation that pushes the limits of your body and mind while letting you enjoy the outdoors can be just what the doctor ordered.

Take a look at some of the best adventure travel activities offered in the U.S.A.

Whitewater Rafting

Often one of the first U.S. adventure travel experiences that comes to mind, whitewater rafting has been a popular vacation choice for thrill-seekers since the 1950s. While the sport has been enjoyed the world over, the most popular rafting trips in the United States are within national parks.

In particular, the Grand Canyon’s Colorado River ranks as a bucket list-worthy spot for its challenging rapids and breathtaking scenery. California also boasts two favored whitewater rafting destinations — Yosemite’s Merced River and the North and South Forks of the American River near Sacramento.

Day trips or week-long tours are available and are often combined with additional adventure sports like hiking or mountaineering.

A man wearing a red jacket mountain bikes down a single track trail in a hilly landscape.The Colorado Trail is a top mountain biking location in the US.Photo Credit: Getty Images

Mountain Biking

Mountain bikers are hard-pressed to find better single-track or back road trails than the ones scattered across the United States. Incredibly diverse landscapes abound along the Colorado Trail where you’ll travel across multiple mountain ranges and wilderness areas on either self-guided or scheduled tours.

If booking via a travel company, accommodations will include either camping or inns along the way depending on how remote the locations are. Trails may run smooth or include natural obstacles like roots and pebbles so proficiency in handling all kinds of terrain will come in handy.

Ultimately, mountain bike adventures are coveted for their combination of technical proficiency and skill, with thrilling turns and hills that’ll have you flying along with a grin on your face.

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A man in a harness hangs from a wire with trees in the background.Zip-lining in Hawaii will give you an exhilarating ride through forests, mountains and ravines.Photo Credit: Getty Images


Adventure parks have become popular the world over, particularly near the Bavarian Alps, but have also sprung up across the United States in the last decade. If you’re looking for a way to experience flying, while safely hooked in via harness and cable, zip-lining provides an exhilarating ride among forests, mountains and ravines.

Multiple long-form zip lines — with speeds reaching up to 100 miles per hour — are popular on both coasts of the United States. Many adventure parks also feature obstacle course style zip lines, with varying degrees of difficulty and features.

Aside from the actual zip lines themselves, experiences can include rigorous hikes, ATV rides and walking among the canopies of forests via sky bridges. Day passes for up to three hours are typical in addition to half-day trips when booked through an adventure travel tour.

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