Making the most of your day is as simple as getting as much hiking, climbing and overall adventuring out of your 24 hours awake as possible.
24 hours is a long time – more than enough time to fit in a full onslaught of sports and adventure. No need to spend the whole day on a single sport, 24 hours is more than enough time to go rock climbing, BASE jumping and mountain biking, all in the same day.
Here are the 5 best 24-hour adventures in the U.S.
Hiking – Grand Canyon, Arizona
The Grand Canyon is a great adventure hotspot and one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Twenty-four hours may not be enough time to see all it has to offer, but adventurers looking for a complete, day-long trip will have more than enough to work with. Start early to witness a breathtaking sunrise from the South Rim. Then, take the Maverick Canyon Spirit helicopter flight over the Kaibab National Forest, home to the world’s largest ponderosa pine forest. You’ll also see the North Rim, the eastern end of the canyon and even the Painted Desert. Afterwards, hike along the Bright Angel Trail, a route used for millennia by the many Native American groups that have lived in the Grand Canyon. The trail takes you 19 miles over some of the roughest terrain in North America. End the day by cooling off with some rafting on the raging Colorado River, which carves a winding path through the one-of-a-kind canyon. Visiting in the off-season? Learn how to get a Grand Canyon backcountry permit.
Rock climbing – Yosemite
Like the Grand Canyon, Yosemite presents an array of adventure options with acres of serene woodland. The main event here, however, is rock climbing. Yosemite is an exceptional venue, offering 3000-foot rock walls and incredible ascents. Climbers come to enjoy a vast array of challenges, including the sustained crack climbs of the Merced River Canyon. To get in the swing, you might want to recruit the services of the Yosemite Mountaineering School and Guide Service – the only guide service allowed to operate within Yosemite National Park. Afterwards, you might then like to hike into Tuolumne Grove, where spectacular Sequoias bristle around you. Finally, you could drench yourself in the mists of Yosemite Falls or the gemstone lakes of the high country’s sub-alpine wilderness.
Whitewater rafting – Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Jackson Hole is one of America’s top winter sports hubs, but also a world-class adventure sports resorts. When the snow is thin or non-existent, you can start with an eight-mile-long whitewater trip down the Class II or Class III grade Snake River. En route, you will be treated to stunning canyon scenery, exhilarating rapids, and the two biggest waves on the river: Big Kahuna and Lunchcounter. In fact, it’s home to one of the best river surfing hotspots in the world. If you haven’t had enough of the water, you can go Stand-Up Paddleboarding (SUP) in Teton Valley. If Snake River was enough for the water-adventurer within, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Teton Village and Snow King Resort in Jackson offer tandem paragliding rides from the peaks of their mountains. The scenic flights can be tweaked to suit your urge for adrenaline, and your guide can cater to sharp turns and flips if desired.
Windsurfing – Hood River, Oregon
Dubbed the Windsurfing Capital of the World, the Columbia River Gorge is a magnet for wind sports enthusiasts. While you’re here, take on some windsurfing, kiteboarding or stand-up paddleboarding. You’re guaranteed to be whisked along because the wind rarely stops blowing along the gorge. The best winds are unleashed during the middle of the day. Afterwards, there are all kinds of other adventures to take on because Hood River County also boasts some of the best kayaking, mountain biking, skiing and hiking areas in the United States.
Paragliding – Telluride, Colorado
Another of America’s top outdoor adventure playgrounds is to be found at Telluride, Colorado. The top attraction: an ultra-high-altitude take-off spot perched at a height of 12,250 feet. Paragliders who take the plunge get to wheel over a breathtaking box canyon down to 8,750 feet. Check out this video that shows how it feels to fly with Telluride paragliding school. If you fancy taking your own solo glide, why not time it to sync with the sunset. After you get your adrenaline fix, you can try your hand at hiking, biking, skiing and snowboarding – Telluride serves up plenty of fresh powder. You can also do cross-country skiing and heli-skiing. The surrounding white-capped mountains of Colorado make for a magnificent view.