Editor's note: The following guest post was written by Robert Reid, the US travel editor for Lonely Planet.
The definition of what defines an "adventure" is all over the map. For some, it’s a row in the Thames or a bike ride on Prince Edward Island. For others, it’s something a bit more, well, adventurous. Like taking canoes up Amazon tributaries with a full bottle of DEET mosquito spray, running with the bulls in Pamplona, or eating live bugs. All are good. All test and reward in their own ways. At Lonely Planet, we have just released a book called Great Adventures, a gorgeous pictorial of the world’s best adventures in various categories according to interest. I thought I’d share a few classic American adventures from the book that are somewhere in between — wild yet accessible and possible to do.
Read on to find out what they are.
About three million people a year visit Yellowstone, one of the USA’s most beloved national parks. But few get to dance with the wolves. Wilderness lovers can take a weeklong hike into the wildlife-rich interior, but another great way to experience the wildlife is arranging a boat shuttle to take you, a tent, and a kayak to the interior lakes around the Trail Creek trail, which you can explore at your own pace.
Source: Flickr user Alaskan Dude
The Grand Canyon is mostly seen from trails above. But the best view is from below. You can do it — heck, even the Brady Bunch made it down to the Colorado River. You can make the trek by foot or horse, but what’s even more fun is rafting down part or all of the 277 miles of river, from Lees Ferry to Lake Mead. It's epic, with riverside camping spots on isolated sandbars, and detours to trek into side canyons hidden from above, while the sun bounces off the red rocks from all angles.
Source: Flickr user Grand Canyon NPS
If you’d rather bike, ready your legs for the mecca of mountain biking: Moab, Utah. The whole area, near Arches National Park, looks ripped from a Road Runner cartoon. There are trails and tours for all levels of cyclists, but if you’re ready for the toughest, take the Slickrock Trail, a rough dozen miles that skirt the edge of a rock ridge, up over box canyons to precipitous viewpoints. Yee haw!
Lonely Planet’s Great Adventures showcases some of the world’s best adventure experiences with compelling content, beautiful photography, and practical planning tips.