The Great Outdoors: 26 Amazing Experiences
Collected by Serena Renner , AFAR Contributor
Natural wonders that make you feel small.
Lake Maninjau, Tanjung Raya, Agam Regency, West Sumatra, Indonesia
This is what I think of when travel comes to mind. I think untrammeled territory, wide open country, bits and pieces of the world I've never seen before, people doing things I didn't know they still do or ever did, and a big, booming landscape....
Magdalena Bay, Baja California Sur, Mexico
While on a cruise in Baja, Mexico we had the incredible opportunity to spend several days in a small lagoon called Magdelena Bay on the Pacific side of the peninsula. We would take the small boats, called Zodiacs, out each morning and sit and wait...
Roys Peak, Otago 9381, New Zealand
The guidebooks say this is a difficult trek but well worth it. After a huffing and puffing trek to the top of Roy’s Peak, I would most certainly like to concur. 11k in approximately 4-5 hours, a decent level of fitness is most needed for this...
Mt Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
A photo of our trekking group on an acclimatization trek up the flanks of Mawenzi. Our assistant guide Musa is on the left. Sitting is a collection of Englishmen, an Irish honeymooner couple, a group of Swiss friends. The Swiss spoke mostly French...
Mono Lake, California 93541, USA
Driving south from Reno, Nev., my then-fiancée and I were slightly anxious. We were on our way to the wedding of one of Kate’s best friends to a Patagonia-sponsored rock climber who had completed first ascents and other impressive feats throughout...
Sierra Buttes, California 96125, USA
One of the most spectacular views in the central high Sierra (about one hour's drive north of Truckee, CA) is surprisingly accessible. This wasn't always the case. The first time I saw these lakes--near to far, Young America, Upper Sardine, Lower...
Black Sand Beach, California, USA
We began our walk up the Lost Coast Trail by enjoying Black Sands Beach, which doesn't really have very much sand, in the Kings Range National Conservation Area. For the next 24 miles from Black Sands Beach, the Lost Coast Trail is primarily on...
Lake Tekapo 7999, New Zealand
Lake Tekapo is a sweet little slice of heaven, and a paradise you'll have all to your own, should you visit outside the high season. The glacial waters running out of the Southern Alps are every bit as mesmerizing as they are refreshing - which is...
Page, AZ 86040, USA
Here at Horseshoe Bend, hundreds of feet above the Colorado River just south of the Utah border, my wife and I had, for company, a group of French high schoolers on a summer trip. At cliff's edge, there was no shortage of adolescent posing....
The little city of Banos is situated on the side of volcano Tungurahua and has gorgeous waterfalls like this one, the Pailon del Diablo or Devil's Cauldron. To get up this high the trail first drops about 1000 feet into the valley and then climbs...
Kalispell, MT, MT, USA
After an hour's drive down a dirt road from the tiny town of Polebridge, Montana, we did a steep one-mile climb to our home for the night--the Hornet Peak Fire Lookout Tower. Before modern technology, Forest Service employees lived in towers like...
Skradinski Buk is the name given to the series of tiers of cascades and waterfalls located in Krka National Park. The water flows from the Krka River and the volume is so great that it literally thunders as it rages, full force, over the karst...
AB-93, Alberta, Canada
745 U.S. 89, Kanab, UT 84741, USA
If you don’t win a coveted lottery permit to visit “the Wave” off Highway 89 in Utah, consider the nearby Buckskin Gulch. Covering more than 15 miles, Buckskin is a backpacking paradise for many avid hikers, but all you really need is an afternoon...
Cannonville, UT 84718, USA
About 20 minutes outside Bryce Canyon National Park, along the red-and-white striped Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, lies the underrated Kodachrome Basin State Park. For about $15, you can camp beneath oddly-shaped sandstone spires...
Lummi Island, WA 98262, USA
On Lummi Island, about three hours from Seattle, you can bike miles of farm roads, search for an ancient Native American petroglyph on Sunset Beach, and take a “wild foraging-and-feasting” sea kayaking trip with Elakah Expeditions to prowl the...
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