Since extreme adventurers come in different forms and sizes, it stands to reason that the greatest extreme adventure vacations in the USA cover a wide range of activities. This country is known for its extreme sports, and there are plenty of exhilarating activities to choose from whether you’re looking for a heart-pumping thrill or just want to test your limits.
Consider this list to be your own personal bucket list of exhilarating experiences. There are jewels that take careful planning (like doing heli – skiing in Alaska) and those that you can do on a whim, with numerous things in between (like paragliding in Maui).
These heart-pounding, adrenaline-fueled activities are a terrific way to develop a relationship with a family member, friend, or someone important. Additionally, attempting one of these activities at such well-known locations will give you the boost you need to get over any hesitations if you’ve ever wanted to do it but lacked the courage.
While some of these don’t require any prior expertise and are suitable for beginners, others are not, so you’ll need to develop your talents first. Curious to know more? Keep reading!
The best extreme sports to try in the US
1- BASE jumping in Twin Falls, Idaho
BASE jumping is one of the most extreme experiences you can engage in. This is partly due to the relatively low-altitude launch places, which give your parachute less time to open. An it so happens that Idaho is one of the best locations int he world to try it.
Perrine Bridge, which is perched roughly 500 feet above the Snake River, is well-known throughout the world for the action-packed sport and, unlike many other locations, doesn’t call for a permit. The only requirement is bravery, although some skill is necessary to land the parachutes safely!
2- Aerobatic flight in Las Vegas, Nevada
Getting a bird’s eye view of Las Vegas is exciting enough as it is, but experiencing G-forces while flying an aerobatic aircraft ups the adrenaline ante. However, in the land of extreme experiences, nothing is quite as it seems.
You’re unlikely to find any aerobatic flight experiences that will allow you to get behind the wheel for the authentic Top Gun experience in any other place. But in Nevada, that’s exactly what you can do!
Before letting you put your own abilities to the test, however, your pilot will allow you to enjoy each movement, doing things like barrel rolls, hammerheads and loops. We assure you, it’s a pretty extreme experience!
3- Ice climbing in Ouray, Colorado
In the dead of winter, most people are trying to escape the cold. But for extreme sports enthusiasts, the freezing temperatures are nothing but an opportunity to try a new extreme activity: ice climbing!
While it may seem like a daunting task, rest assured that you don’t have to be an experienced rock climber to enjoy this extreme sport. In fact, many people who have never even attempted regular rock climbing are surprised by how much they enjoy this freezing version climbing.
If you’re looking for the perfect place to try it, look no further than Ouray, Colorado, which is known as the ice climbing capital of the world. With more than 200 frozen waterfalls, there’s no shortage of extreme adventures to enjoy here!
4- Heli-skiing in Alaska, Anchorage
Heli-skiing pushes the boundaries of the off-piste idea by taking you to slopes only reachable by helicopter. It is only for expert skiers because to the deep, untracked powder.
The Chugach Mountains are a stunning natural feature of Anchorage, Alaska. The mountains provide a breathtaking backdrop to the city, and offer numerous opportunities for outdoor recreation. From hiking and climbing in the summer to skiing and snowboarding in the winter, the Chugach Mountains have something to offer everyone.
If you find the idea of traditional winter sports a little boring, then this is the extreme sport for you!
5- Scaling a hillside in Yosemite National Park, California
Yosemite National Park is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country, and it’s easy to see why. With its massive granite cliffs, lush forests, and waterfalls, it’s no wonder that this extreme sport has become so popular.
While rock climbing is a bit of a challenge, big wall climbing is an extreme adventure that shouldn’t be attempted without proper training and preparation.
That being said, if you’re looking for an extreme activity that will give you an unparalleled sense of accomplishment, then this is it!
6- Cave diving in Florida
While most people would never even consider venturing into a dark cave, let alone diving underwater in one, there are some extreme adventurers who thrive on this type of challenge.
And if you’re one of those people, then you’ll be happy to know that Florida is home to some of the best cave diving in the world.
With crystal-clear water and an abundance of marine life, it’s no wonder that this extreme sport is so popular. Just be sure to heed the warnings and only attempt this activity if you’re truly up for the challenge!
7- Waterfall rappelling in New Hampshire’s White Mountains
Few experiences are as thrilling as lowering oneself down a rock face while being pelted by frothy spray. While waterfall rappelling is sometimes associated with far-off places like Costa Rica, you only need to visit the Northeast to enjoy it.
New Hampshire welcomes explorers of all abilities all year round. Take a quick trek to the top of a 100-foot drop, then rappel down it with a guide’s assistance. Simply be ready to get wet!
8- The Mr. Toad Wild Ride in Lake Tahoe, California
No, we’re not referring about the ride at Disneyland. The majority of this single-track mountain biking path descends more than 2,000 feet from the Tahoe Rim Trail.
It really lives up to its name with numerous abrupt drops, areas that are only made of rocks, and breathtaking lake vistas. If you’re looking for a new experience in California that doesn’t involve going to LA, this can be it!
9- Paragliding on Hawaii’s Maui
Paragliding from the slopes of the largest dormant volcano in the world is the best way to experience it. On a daily basis, different companies launch flights from the slopes of Haleakala, the highest point in Maui at 10,000 feet.
Beginners can try their skills with the shorter 1,000-foot descent, but for the truly adventurer, the 3,000-foot option offers up to 15 minutes of airtime over the gorgeous tropical landscape and lavender farms of the island.
10- Ziplining in the Smoky Mountains, Tennessee
Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, two towns nestled in the Great Smoky Mountains, are home to some of the best ziplining locations in the US. It includes five different lines that range from beginner to extreme, with the longest line stretching nearly a mile.
And if that’s not enough of a thrill, you can also take a leap of faith off their 50-foot free-fall option!
As you can see, the US is home to some extreme adventures, no matter what your interests may be. So get out there and start exploring!
And if you want to learn more about new adventures to be had and extreme sports to try, whether in the US or abroad, make sure to follow us on Instagram or subscribe to our newsletter!