7 Outdoor American Adventures You’ve Never Heard Of

From New York to California, here are seven great outdoor American adventures to check out.

Havasu Falls, Arizona Photo © Getty Images/Fernando Espinosa

Road trip itineraries around the USA usually include Vegas, the Grand Canyon, New Orleans, New York City and Hollywood. But, if you're looking for something off the beaten track, here are some alternative destinations.

Kayak Lake Yellowstone, Wyoming

What better way to see Yellowstone’s natural phenomena than from the seat of a kayak? Yellowstone Lake is the largest freshwater lake above 7,000 ft (2,100m) in North America. The lake has steamed and simmered in a geothermal flux for thousands of years; steamy geysers burst at the water’s edge, mud pots bubble and hot springs sear. Enjoy a unique experience in this popular national park by paddling your way around Yellowstone Lake, taking in the volcanic forces that helped forge the American Rockies.

Check out O.A.R.S if you’re looking for a great operator to guide you around.

Kayaking in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. Photo credit: Getty Images/Danita Delimont

Canoeing the Lakes of the Adirondacks, New York

Adirondack National Park consists of six million acres that are a unique combination of one-half public and one-half private land. There are several designated wilderness areas and many wild forest areas that are very attractive to paddlers. The terrain is hilly and sometimes mountainous, yet the base is level enough to provide ideal canoeing waters. The scenery is superb, and mountain day hikes are possible from your paddling route.

Upstate New York will give you a whole new appreciation for the state, too many people stay in the city and never experience all the wonderful outdoors that New York has to offer.

Check out these great self-guided day trips from Canoe Outfitters.

Camping in the Adirondack Mountains, New York. Photo credit: Getty Images/Cavan Images

Wreck-diving in Lake Superior, Minnesota

Wreck-diving might not come to mind in a place like Minnesota, situated in the middle of America. Believe it or not, Minnesota is also known as the land of 10,000 lakes, and in one or two of these lakes, you’ll find some pretty awesome wrecks to explore beneath the surface of the water.

The Ely, a 200ft (60m) wooden schooner, sank during a storm in 1896, and lies inside the breakwater of Two Harbors. The protected location and shallow depth (25ft/7m) make it a great dive for Lake Superior novices and wetsuit divers.

Hollow Rock, Lake Superior, Minnesota. Photo credit: Getty Images/Matt Anderson Photography

The Maine Island Trail, Maine

The Maine Island Trail is regarded as the top kayaking destination on the east coast and was the first coastal water trail created and protected in America. This 375mi (603km) water trail connects more than 200 islands, and across these islands, there are campsites you can reach by boat.   

Check out the Maine Island Trail Association website to plan your visit.

Walking on Beach Mountain in Arcadia National Park, Maine. Photo credit: Getty Images/Jerry Monkman

Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona

Visitors are drawn to this unusual park to see trees that turned to stone more than 200 million years ago, but this isn't the only attraction. Take a drive through the Painted Desert, a rainbow-striped landscape of eroded hills and grasslands. Hike the 1mi (1.6km) Blue Mesa loop trail to see the bluish clay of the hills. Stop at the visitor center to see fossils of prehistoric reptiles that roamed the area when it was once a humid, sub-tropical river basin, approximately 225 million years ago.

Plan your visit using the Petrified Forest National Park's website.

Blue Mesa, Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona. Photo credit: Getty Images/Charles Davies

Havasu Falls, Arizona

The pictures of these falls are well known, but not so many actually make the effort to see it in person. It's an 8mi (12km) hike through the hot Arizona desert to get there. Start hiking at dawn, and watch out for the pack mules that come barreling around corners. Wear sturdy hiking shoes, pack lots of water and food, and don't forget your swimmers.

Plan your adventure by reading the Havasupai Tribe’s website carefully, and always check the weather reports before you go. 

Havasu Falls is part of the Grand Canyon, Arizona. Photo credit: Getty Images/FilProductions

Mojave National Preserve, California

Halfway between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, Mojave National Preserve is a 1.6 million-acre park, with singing sand dunes, volcanic cinder cones, Joshua tree forests, and carpets of wildflowers. Exploring the canyons, mountains and mesas will reveal long-abandoned mines, homesteads, and rock-walled military outposts. Take a scenic drive through the park, go hiking, four-wheel driving, camping or horseback riding.

Learn more on the Mojave National Preserve website.

Walking in Banshee Canyon, Mojave National Preserve. Photo credit: Getty Images/Lisay

Want to know more about the USA? Check out our podcast. Embracing the kitsch in America’s South, what are the bees up to in Brooklyn? The budget travel idea proving a hit, and exploring New York with the Bowery Boys.

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1 Comment

  • London Is Cool said

    Amazing places, I especially would love to get the opportunity to visit <br>Havasu Falls and Kayak Lake, they are the sort of places that excite me big time. <br>

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