An Epic Adventure for Each Month of the Year

Glac­i­er Nation­al Park, Mon­tana

What kind of life would it be like to have an awe­some adven­ture every month of the year? An awe­some one. That’s the answer. And if you want to start pur­su­ing the Amer­i­can dream, the best time to start plan­ning your expe­di­tions is now. While the epic­ness of an adven­ture isn’t nec­es­sar­i­ly defined by the loca­tion, dura­tion, or sport of choice, some places are always guar­an­teed to deliv­er on one hell of an expe­ri­ence. Check out this awe­some itin­er­ary for your­self and let us know if you have any epic adven­tures worth putting on the list.

Jan­u­ary — Ice Climb Ouray
Ouray Ice Park, Uncom­pah­gre Riv­er Gorge, Col­orado
To exer­cise your win­ter rights in Jan­u­ary, the Ouray Ice Park of south­west­ern Col­orado tops out as some of the best ice climb­ing in the coun­try. Man-made with­in the Uncom­pah­gre Gorge of the San Juan Moun­tains, the Ouray Ice Park has hun­dreds of estab­lished ice-routes to ascend, and a thriv­ing com­mu­ni­ty of peo­ple who put it all togeth­er. Jan­u­ary is a par­tic­u­lar­ly fun time to explore Ouray Ice park, espe­cial­ly dur­ing the annu­al Ouray Ice Fes­ti­val which brings in climbers from across the world.

 

Deer Val­ley, Wasatch Moun­tains, Utah

Feb­ru­ary — Ski Six Utah Resorts (in a day)
The Ski Utah Inter­con­nect Tour, Wasatch Range, Utah
While Feb­ru­ary opens a lot of adven­tures at all your favorite ski resorts, few expe­di­tions involve hit­ting mul­ti­ple resorts in a day. The Inter­con­nect Tour from Ski Utah does. By mix­ing back­coun­try with chair lifts, this epic day tour con­nects six dif­fer­ent resorts all down the Wasatch Range. This pro­fes­sion­al­ly guid­ed adven­ture is only open to advanced and expert skiers. Bring your skills to the slopes and you can find your­self hit­ting deep pow­der in the back­coun­try and enjoy­ing the groomed tracks at Deer Val­ley, Park City and Alta (just to name a few).

 March — Snorkel in the Flori­da Keys
Bis­cayne Nation­al Park, Flori­da
There are many ways to begin your win­ter thaw. One rec­om­mend­ed course of action is div­ing into the Flori­da Keys via Bis­cayne Nation­al Park. Found off the coast of Mia­mi, Bis­cayne is com­prised of the north­ern­most Flori­da Keys. It’s defin­ing fea­tures are the azure ocean waters and abun­dance of coral reef. Pop­u­lar activ­i­ties at Bis­cayne include snor­kel­ing, kayak­ing and camp­ing at either one of the two camp­grounds (which can only be accessed by boat).

 

Appalachi­an Moun­tains, North Car­oli­na

 April — Bikepack the Trans-WNC (West­ern North Car­oli­na)
Appalachi­an Moun­tains, North Car­oli­na
Rotate your crank this April and find your­self a great bikepack­ing expe­di­tion. Com­bin­ing the mul­ti-night util­i­ty of back­pack­ing and the big-amount-of-miles-in-a-day capa­bil­i­ties of a moun­tain bike, back­pack­ing expos­es a lot of wilder­ness in a rel­a­tive­ly short amount of time. Take the Trans-WNC (West­ern North Car­oli­na) for exam­ple, which com­bines sin­gle-track, dirt roads and min­i­mal pave­ment to cov­er 300 miles of prime North Car­oli­na Appalachi­an ter­ri­to­ry in a pos­si­ble five-day excur­sion.

 

Mult­nom­ah Falls, Ore­gon

 May — Water­fall Explor­ing in the Colum­bia Riv­er Gorge
Colum­bia Riv­er Gorge Nation­al Scenic Area, Oregon/Washington
Sit­ting at sea-lev­el and sep­a­rat­ing the Cas­cade-laden states of Wash­ing­ton and Ore­gon, the 80-mile long Colum­bia Riv­er Gorge Nation­al Scenic Area receives a con­stant inflow of water­falls through­out the year. Vis­i­tors have hun­dreds of water­falls to choose from when vis­it­ing the gorge includ­ing the dou­ble-deck­er Mult­nom­ah Falls which drop over 600 feet com­bined. Many of the water­falls in the gorge, like Mult­nom­ah, flow year-round, but April always brings a surge. Be sure to check trail con­di­tions before going as large parts of the Colum­bia Riv­er Gorge were affect­ed by the 2017 Eagle Creek Fire.

June — Camp on an Island
Apos­tle Islands Nation­al Lakeshore, Wis­con­sin
Fea­tur­ing 21 islands and 12 miles of main­land coast, the Apos­tle Islands extend into Lake Supe­ri­or in north­ern Wis­con­sin to reveal a tidal-swept world. There are many pop­u­lar ways to explore the Apos­tle Islands through­out the sum­mer. One of the most adven­tur­ous includes kayak­ing the open water to find an island camp­site. Overnight explor­ers can choose between devel­oped camp­sites and more prim­i­tive, seclud­ed options as well. Oth­er avenues for enjoy­ment while vis­it­ing the islands include fish­ing, scu­ba div­ing, and hik­ing the island ter­rain.

July — Dri­ve the Going-to-the-Sun Road
Glac­i­er Nation­al Park, Mon­tana
Giv­en the appro­pri­ate enor­mous land­scapes that bend over the hori­zon, the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glac­i­er Nation­al Park is apt­ly named. With road­side stops, mul­ti­ple trail­heads, and 50 miles of a sweep­ing alpine envi­ron­ment, the Going-to-the-Sun Road is snow-free for about a quar­ter of the year. July is a prime time to check it out. Stop and nab some oth­er buck­et-list adven­tures in Glac­i­er while you’re at it. Make sure to uti­liz­ing the many ways to get around so you can take your eyes off the road.

 

Teton Range, Wyoming

August — Back­pack the Teton Crest Trail
Grand Teton Nation­al Park, Wyoming
August is the month to head to the high coun­try. Across the Amer­i­can West, high-alpine back­pack­ing routes open from their snowy sur­round­ings and invite hik­ers to explore. A crown jew­el of those high-coun­try routes, the Teton Crest Trail tra­vers­es the Teton back­coun­try and expos­es glac­i­er-fed lakes, col­or­ful canyons, and amaz­ing wildlife. The Nation­al Park reserves two-thirds of back­coun­try per­mits for walk-up avail­abil­i­ty the day of or one day before your trip.

 Sep­tem­ber — White-Water Raft the Upper Gauley Riv­er
Gauley Riv­er Nation­al Recre­ation Area, West Vir­ginia
Con­sid­ered by many to be the best white-water action in the coun­try, the Upper Gauley Riv­er is released from the Sum­mersville Dam for six con­sec­u­tive week­ends after Labor Day each year. Fol­low­ing the dam release, world-class (and class V+) rapids drop 668 feet through 25 miles of rugged ter­rain. Ride the rapids on your own if you have the expe­ri­ence or uti­lize the many dif­fer­ent guide com­pa­nies that line the riv­er. Amer­i­can White­wa­ter also hosts their annu­al Gauley Fest which helps cel­e­brate and lend access to these wild rivers.

 

Adiron­dack Moun­tains, New York

 Octo­ber — Embark on the Adiron­dack Fire Tow­er Chal­lenge
Adiron­dack Moun­tains, New York
The Adiron­dack Fire Tow­er Chal­lenge entails sum­mit­ing a total of 23 Adiron­dack and Catskill fire tow­er peaks. Peak­ing the sum­mit is all that mat­ters for this chal­lenge as some of the fire tow­er struc­tures are closed to the pub­lic. Though it would be a seri­ous crunch to com­plete the entire chal­lenge in the cold morn­ings and ear­ly evenings of Octo­ber, it’s a good time of the year to at least knock out a few thanks to the crisp col­ors that define the land­scape.

Novem­ber — Explore Under­ground
Mam­moth Caves Nation­al Park, Ken­tucky
Any­time of the year is a great time to explore the under­ground labyrinths of Mam­moth Cave Nation­al Park in Ken­tucky. There is a lot to see with near­ly 400 miles of the cave mapped out. Thanks to its sub­ter­ranean sta­tus, the inside of Mam­moth Cave hov­ers around 54° through­out the year. The only way to expe­ri­ence the under­ground is on a guid­ed tour led by a park ranger of which there are many to choose from through­out the day.

Decem­ber- Go Hut-to-Hut
10th Moun­tain Divi­sion Huts, Col­orado
There is no bet­ter way to spend your Decem­ber than in the com­fort­able con­fines of the 10th Moun­tain Divi­sion Huts in Col­orado. Sur­round­ed by pic­turesque Rocky Moun­tain hori­zons, the 34 dif­fer­ent back­coun­try huts oper­at­ed by the 10th Moun­tain Divi­sion wel­come year-round recre­ation. Come win­ter, it’s a true par­adise of snow with over 350 miles of sug­gest­ed cross-coun­try ski and snow­shoe routes to explore. The only way to ensure an overnight stay in the win­ter sea­son is through lot­tery forms, which are due by Feb­ru­ary 15th.