10 Adventures in the Wild Worth Remembering

extreme wild adventures
Are you ready for wild adventures and amazingly new and different vacation experiences that you'll remember for a lifetime? Adventure travel comes in many flavors, extremes, and settings, for many budgets. Explore the rugged backcountry or zip high above lush terrain. Leisurely navigate calm waters or barrel through extreme rapids. Observe rare and endangered wildlife in its natural environment. Re-trace the steps of early explorers by bicycle or all-terrain vehicle. Here are 10 ways to immerse yourself in the wilderness on your next trip, at home or abroad.

10 Wild Adventures Worth Remembering

1. Explore a Designated Wilderness Area

wild adventures in the wildernessImage: CC0 Public Domain Free-Photos via Pixabay

Are you in the mood for wild adventures or to be alone with nature? Escape to the solitude of one of the vast wild spaces known as Designated Wilderness. Many of the continental U.S. states have rugged, undeveloped regions, perfect for long treks and backpacking.

River basins throughout the American West offer a rich variety of awe-inspiring beauty, from thick forests to winding rock canyons. Be sure to visit Washington's Yakima Basin, Methow Valley and other river areas along the Cascade Mountains. In Colorado, the Greater Dinosaur Region and the Dolores River Basin offer some of the greatest escapes.

Awe-inspiring scenery awaits in Montana's mountains, rivers, and forests. Idaho beckons with its own share of spectacular waterways and wildlife in its national forests and Clearwater Basin. In California, Arizona, New Mexico and Utah, you'll discover some of the most unique stone formations in the U.S., including remote reaches of the Grand Canyon and the Sierra Nevada.

On the other side of the country, venture into the wild forests and hidden river basins of North Carolina, Maine, Tennessee and New Hampshire. You'll connect with nature and truly get away from it all in these vast wilderness areas, far from any roads or signs of civilization.

2. Experience Backcountry Lodges in Alaska

Alaska's stunning landscape, wild animal, and marine life should be on everyone's bucket list. For the truly adventurous, an extended stay at one of several backcountry lodges offers a unique base to explore from. With a few intrepid companions, you'll get up close to the natural inhabitants. Birds, bears, fish, moose, sea lions and whales abound. Experience the incredible parks, glaciers, and fjords from a helicopter, a sea kayak, a horse or even a dog sled. Many of the best areas are very remote, accessible only by plane or boat, adding to that feeling of being one with nature.


3. Glimpse the Wild From Above on a Zipline

There's nothing quite like whipping through the wilderness, just above the treetops on a zip line. Also called zip wires, they will thrust you into the adventure from an entirely different perspective. These attractions have become popular over the years and you can find them almost everywhere, in the U.S. and abroad. Seek out those in magnificent locations, with long runs that make high-speed aerial views worthwhile. Amazing angles of Niagara Falls, the Irish coast, Wales and other beautiful areas make these wild adventures to remember.

4. Trek Through the Red Rock Canyons of Utah

Are stunning rock formations your thing? Then hike or backpack along the twisting canyons sculpted long ago in southern Utah. Not just wilderness areas, these are photography destinations that rival the Grand Canyon. You're rewarded with gorgeous views of sandstone cliffs and red rock caverns after a demanding trek of a few hours to a few days.

Why not supplement your multi-day wilderness hike with a photography workshop and capture the surreal beauty for others? Connect with nature yourself by starting each day with a yoga and meditation session in the wild. These slot canyons provide the perfect atmosphere for a wellness adventure away from the daily grind.

5. Canoe for Days

Canoeing is a great way to explore the wild at your own pace, alone or in small groups. Bring camping supplies and you can take an extended trip along connected waterways or simply explore a local lake, river or slough. Many organizations around the world offer custom guided canoe trips, from basic family-friendly fishing outings to extreme explorations for experienced backcountry travelers.

Are you craving a quiet adventure along the pristine shores of a remote lake in the Canadian Rockies, or ready to flex your skills in a busy river, bay or ocean? Canoeing is a fantastic way to get around while experiencing the wild up close, regardless of your skill level or location.

6. Leave Your Comfort Zone Behind at Niagara

When you think of Niagara Falls, you probably visualize the iconic rapids, thundering falls, and spectacle of nature from a safe, serene distance. Instead, picture yourself in the Niagara River, soaked to the skin in a powerful jet boat, fighting against the currents of a whirlpool for your very survival. Then imagine your stunning visual perspective from an agonizingly long and high zip line that whisks you along the river gorge at 40 miles per hour. It runs parallel to the falls, so you won't miss a bit of the majestic scenery. You probably won't forget your Niagara experience either. Extreme boating and exciting zip lines make this one of the wild adventures worth repeating.

7. Four-Wheel With the Gold Rush Pioneers

Retrace the perils of the Gold Rush on your next off-roading, four-wheeling adventure. The mountainous backcountry of Wyoming is the setting for this extreme historical experience, complete with long-deserted towns and trails.

You'll push deep into the Wind River Mountains to experience the hard lives of settlers headed west. Along the way, you'll be greeted by local wildlife, historic buildings, and unpredictable weather, including rain or snow. You'll experience the hazardous unknowns as the early travelers did in their wagons, crossing waterways and rough terrain with no end to the journey in sight. Bring your own vehicle to participate in this and another Wild-West-themed four-wheel drive (4WD) experiences run by the company 307 Adventures in Wyoming.

8. Cycle Around the World

Traveling by bicycle or mountain bike is a popular way to see the countryside in just about every place in the world. It's a very eco-conscious and inexpensive way to move around and makes it easy to get up close to wilder more fragile areas. In some countries, bicycles are more popular than cars, not only because of low operating expenses but for other practical reasons. Many historic towns and cities are filled with streets designed for horse and foot traffic, not modern vehicles. A bicycle may be the only way to get around easily, other than by foot, especially in hilly areas.

Bicycles are available for rent just about everywhere, and organized bicycle tours have become popular in places such as Peru, Indonesia, India and most European countries. Even in Alaska, your wild adventures can (and probably should) include long treks by mountain bike.

9. Float in an Offshore Eco-Lodge

Searching for a unique eco-experience with the luxuries of home while rugged, protected wilderness awaits at your doorstep? On your next trip to the west coast of British Columbia, visit Ocean House, a floating lodge nestled between a wild Canadian island called Haida Gwaii and the southern tip of Alaska. The lodge is owned by the local Haida people, and you'll learn all about their culture and history during your stay with them.

Bears, eagles, falcons and other native wildlife reside on the heavily forested island preserve behind you. When you arrive on the island by kayak or paddleboard, you'll find ancient sites, tranquil beaches and rainforest. Explore gently by foot, alone or with a guide, as whales and other sea life wander through the vast bay beyond. Ocean House is accessible only by plane and will leave you with many relaxing memories of both wildlife and culture.

10. Safari With the Animals in Africa

Many of the world's remaining endangered species can be found in Africa's game reserves and national parks. Elephants, lions, leopards, cheetahs and many others live among natural predators and prey in these vast, open spaces. The best way to share their adventure is to join an organized safari or a small, specialized group such as a photography workshop. The local expedition leaders can often get you into areas you wouldn't be able to experience as an individual traveler.

Plan Before You Travel into Wild Adventures

Planning is key. Research the best places and times of year to see your favorite species, as many can only be found in a specific region or country. Zambia is home to baboons, wild dogs, leopards, lions, elephants, hippos, rhinos, and buffalo. Many of these can also be seen in Botswana. Tanzania hosts cheetahs, lions, elephants, and rhinos, while Kenya has leopards, elephants, cheetahs, and lions. South Africa is known for hyenas, as well as lions, cheetahs, leopards, and elephants. No matter how long your trip is, observing Africa's spectacular wildlife and landscape in person will be an unforgettable experience.

There are so many ways to enjoy wild adventures, from treks across the tundra alone, to extreme whitewater rafting in groups, to tranquil nights in a floating eco-lodge. These 10 ideas should inspire you to seek out a unique perspective that will make your next trip one remember for a lifetime.

Featured Image: CC0 Public Domain Free-Photos via Pixabay