Some people are natural-born adrenaline junkies. Relaxing vacations don’t appeal to them.The outdoors is their playground, and they actively seek out new challenges. They burn through hiking shoes without abandon, their bookshelves are teeming with maps, and, to them, scrapes and bruises are nature’s merit badges.
Does this sound like you? If you’re searching for a new adventure, check out “The Adrenaline Junkie’s Bucket List: 100 Extreme Outdoor Adventures to Do Before You Die” by Christopher Van Tilburg. Whether you’re an experienced outdoorsman or new to the game, this guidebook will bring out your inner explorer.
Here’s a selection of 10 adventure trips selected from Van Tilburg’s book. Next
1. Road ride to fall foliage (New England)
What: An adventure trip right in our backyard. Take in New England’s fall foliage by bike with a chance to explore quaint towns along the way.
Where: Ride the three-state , a 314 mile loop from Portland, Maine, through New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Climb Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park in Maine and circumnavigate Oneida Lake and New York’s Finger Lakes.
When: October is the best month for “leaf-peeping.” Next
2. Take a long walk: Hike the Appalachian trail (Georgia to Maine)
What: One of the world’s most famous treks, the 2,184-mile trail passes through 14 states and a wide variety of terrains: valleys, hills, streams, and woodlands. According to Van Tilburg’s book, the whole trip takes 3 to 7 months, depending on rugged you are.
Where: The Appalachian trail starts in Springer Mountain, Ga., and ends at Maine’s Mount Katahdin.
When: Most hikers begin in Georgia around March and finish in September. Next
3. Surf an elephant or rhino: The North Shore (Oahu, Hawaii)
What: Elephants? Rhinos? Big, bad waves, of course. If the beach is more your scene, the North Shore is a must-visit spot. Experienced surfers will delight in this thrill; the waves here are some of the most challenging in the world.
Where: Waimea Bay, Sunset Beach, and Ehukai Beach, aka Banzai Pipeline.
When: Van Tilburg says that Winter is the best time for big waves. Next
4. Kayak and snorkel in the Barrier Reef (Belize)
What: Thousands of vacationers flock to the Costa Rica and the Caribbean each year, but for uncrowded beaches and remote tropical lagoons, Van Tilburg suggests a trip to Belize. Bordered by the longest reef in the western hemisphere and augmented with jungles, forests, and Mayan ruins, there’s plenty to explore.
Where: You can snorkel the Saddle Caye mangrove wilderness, the remote Queen Cay’s white sand beaches, and Glover’s Reef. Lighthouse Reef Atoll and Half Moon Caye Wall are teeming with wildlife and beautiful coral. The Great Blue Hole, a 1,00-foot-wide, 440-foot-deep chasm, is one of the world’s best dive sites.
When: You’ll find the best weather December through April. Next
5. Ski Mountaineer the Alps: the Haute Route (France, Italy, Switzerland)
What: Van Tilburg lists this as his favorite trip of all. The Haute Route is the most sought-after ski route in backcountry skiing. Along the way, stop to rest in refurbished and fully staffed Swiss Alpine Club huts. Warm up with soup and floral tea or a sit and indulge in hearty dinner. The huts provide overnight bunks—all you need is a travel sheet.
Where: The route passes through France, Italy, and Switzerland and takes roughly seven days to complete. It begins in Chamonix, France, and continues on throughout the snowfields of the Alps.
When: Ski season on the Haute Route is late March to May. Trips earlier in the season provide better snow, but trips later in the season provide better weather, according to Van Tilburg. Next
6. Hike the Inca trail to Machu Picchu (Peru)
What: Located at 7,970 feed in the cloud forest above the Urubamba River, Machu Picchu is one of the best preserved of the Inca Ruins. See the polished stone of the Temple of the Sun and the Inca Bridge, two marvelous feats of engineering.
Where: Begin the trip in Cuzco and get a chance to explore the colorful markets and the Plaza de Armas public square. Pass through the Sacred Valley en route to the trailhead, and end up at Aguas Caliente, a small town at Machu Picchu’s base.
When: No specific travel time is suggested, but whenever you go, make sure you prepared. Bug spray, a sunhat, long-sleeve nylon shirts and long pants are a necessity, Van Tilburg says. Next
7. Dogsled the Iditarod: Anchorage to Nome (Alaska)
What: The Iditarod Trail is one of the world’s most grueling competitions. If you don’t believe that, consider that the 1,149-mile weaves through jagged peaks and miles of harsh frozen tundra, and competitors are subjected to snow blizzards and sub-zero temperatures — all while racing with a pack of 12-16 dogs in less than two weeks.
Where: The Iditarod runs from Anchorage to Nome.
When: The race starts the first Saturday in March Next
8. Trek to Everest Base Camp (Nepal)
What: To reach the summit of the highest peak in the world requires thousands of dollars and a year of training and climbing. The trip to Everest Base Camp is less risky and less expensive, and it provides a taste of what a larger climbing expedition is like.
Where: Fly into Kathmandu, then to Lukla. Trek up the Dudh Kosi River, Tengboche, and Pheriche, and finish the trip at 17,575 feet at Everest Base Camp.
When: The best months to climb are March and April, before monsoon season. Next
9. Dive the Red Sea (Egypt)
What: Teeming with marine life and rich in history, the Red Sea is one of the saltiest bodies of water on the planet. Marsa Alam provides great diving spots; swim alongside reef sharks and stingrays along coral gardens and sea grass fields. There are dive and snorkel trips for visitors of any level of expertise.
Where: Most dives are located near Cairo. Van Tilburg suggests the dive center in the Sentido Hotel in the Marsa Alam resort.
When: You can dive here year-round. Next
10. Backcountry Ski Hokkaido: Land of the Rising Sun (Japan)
What: The second-largest island in Japan, Hokkaido boasts sheets of deep powder snow, hot springs, and lava-rock moonscapes. Largely untraversed, it’s a great destination for those seeking the road less traveled.
Where: Fly into Tokyo, then head to Hokkaido by flight or underwater railway. Van Tilberg suggests hiring a guide from Hokkaido Power Guides to lead you along your route.
When: Hokkaido’s best ski season is December through March. Back to the beginning
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