Top 10 Unexpected Adventure Trips In The USA

America has much to offer beyond its usual tourist trails. Dare to do something different and be rewarded with sights and experiences that will expand your horizons and create memories of a life time. From mountains to lakes, from national parks to canyons, these top 10 unexpected adventure trips will let you discover another exciting face of America.

Rafting through the Grand Canyon, Arizona
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/granick

1: Rafting through the Grand Canyon, Arizona

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Address: Grand Canyon National Park, AZ

Challenge yourself to an adrenalin-pumping rafting expedition as you encounter the furiously running rapids in the Grand Canyon, Arizona. The 88 mile long serpentine river in the Canyon flows through innumerable bends and every bend generates new, almost life changing experience for the rafters. Your journey alternates with extreme serenity and excitement as you raft across the most breathtaking scenery of the world. In one phase you are floating lazily savouring the spectacular beauty of the route; in the other, you are negotiating a violent rapid. The entry into calmer waters and the widening canyon walls heralds the end of the expedition. You finally reach the take-out point on the upper waters of Lake Mead.

Hiking Zion National Park, Utah
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Don Graham

2: Hiking Zion National Park, Utah

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Address: Springdale, UT 84767
Website: www.nps.gov

Zion National Park provides exciting hiking opportunities almost all through the year. There is some form of excitement for everyone including the differently-abled. The lower trails of the park are accessible to wheel chairs. The park has a shuttle system with frequent stops at several trailheads. There are dozens of hiking trails and routes suitable for all kinds of hikers. Worth exploring are the Angels Landing, Canyon Overlook, East Temple Saddle, Emerald Pool-Lower, Emerald Pool-Middle, Emerald Pool-Upper, Grotto Trail, and Hidden Canyon trails. Located at various heights, these trails offer unique perspective of the scenic surroundings. The most popular hiking trail goes into Narrows of the Virgin River. It has a paved path and passes through hanging gardens and sparkling streamlets. You can also visit Zion Park even in the extremely harsh winters. The Park has a low-elevation desert which offers wonderful hiking.

Climbing Denali, Alaska
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/sandybrownjensen

3: Climbing Denali, Alaska

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Address: George Parks Hwy, Denali National Park and Preserve, AK
Website: www.nps.gov

The mysterious beauty of Denali Mountain in Alaska seems to cast a magnetic pull on hikers from all around the world. The hike on Denali in unique in the sense that it is extremely challenging and at the same time, equally rewarding too. The summit rises to 18,000' from the base, an unsurpassable gain anywhere in the world. It is 20,000' on the northern side. The ascent to the summit provides extremely diverse and magnificent views including those of Mt. Foraker, Mt. Hunter and Mt. Huntington standing in all their spectacular majesty. The climbing conditions are, of course, extremely harsh. You may encounter above 100-mph winds, snow storms lasting a week at a time and - 40F temperatures alternating with scorching sunshine lasting upto 20 hours.

Biking through the wine country in Napa and Sonoma, California
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/lightsamples

4: Biking through the wine country in Napa and Sonoma, California

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Address: Napa Valley Welcome Center, 600 Main Street, Napa, CA 94559

The adventure level for biking through the wine country in Napa and Sonoma, California ranges from the easy to the tough, but whichever trail you choose, you will be rewarded by panoramic vistas along all of them. Some trails worth a mention are:

  • West County Regional Trail
    This is a 5.5 mile trail and is easy for everyone-- kids, families and even inexperienced cyclists. Built along with the former railway line, the trail is flat, paved and without any car traffic.
  • Dry Creek and Alexander Valleys
    This trail has moderate level of difficulty. Starting from Healdsburg, this 30-mile loop is the most popular bike trail in the world.
  • Jenner/King Ridge/Meyers Grade Loop
    This 55 mile long loop with a 4,500' elevation gain is for the tough and experienced cyclists. It winds along the Pacific Ocean passing through redwood forests and by the side of the Russian River.

All the three routes take you past gorgeous scenes, vineyards, wooden barns, red barns, picturesque wine yards, cafes and restaurants among the rising hills and mountains.

5: Surfing Jaws, Hawaii

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Address: Haiku-Pauwela, HI 96708

Hawaii is a home to big wave surfing. Hugely ferocious waves as tall as 25-50 foot rise at Peʻahi Island in Hawaii giving it the name, Jaws. The North Shore of the island is particularly known for generating legendary winter waves that draw the best and the toughest surfers from across the world especially during the months of November and December.
This place is also called the Super Bowl of Surfing. It is here that the mighty surfers take to the monster waves. They get inside them, conquer them and thus enjoy the thrills they seek so avidly. In the words of Giora Koren, a filmmaker and photographer, who has often captured these waves and the brave surfers grappling with them, "Jaws is a very, very fast wave. Nothing is there to stop it until it hits the reef shelves and breaks. It comes at full speed, as opposed to other spots, where they gradually slow down."

Also Read: Hawaii Top 10 Attractions

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