12 North American Adventure Festivals to Celebrate What You Love

Com­pared to tra­di­tion­al team sports, adven­ture sports like moun­tain bik­ing, rock climb­ing, and kayak­ing seem like soli­tary pur­suits. It’s not every day these com­mu­ni­ties get the chance to come togeth­er, but when they do, you know it’s going to be a good time. There are adven­ture sports fes­ti­vals hap­pen­ing through­out the year, all giv­ing good rea­son to take some time off work and join the fun.

Ouray Ice Fes­ti­val, Ouray, Col­orado
While this man-made ice climb­ing mec­ca draws big crowds through­out the entire sea­son, the three days in Jan­u­ary that encom­pass the Ouray Ice Fes­ti­val deliv­ers the most fes­tive expe­ri­ence. Fea­tur­ing demos, clin­ics and plen­ty of tal­ent­ed ath­letes dis­play­ing their skills dur­ing the day, plus live music, pre­sen­ta­tions and dance par­ties at night, the Ouray Ice Climb­ing fes­ti­val is great way to find some com­mu­ni­ty warmth dur­ing the cold days of win­ter.


Sedona Moun­tain Bike Fes­ti­val, Sedona, Ari­zona
You don’t have to look very hard for some world-class moun­tain bik­ing in Sedona. The annu­al Moun­tain Bik­ing Fes­ti­val is right in the mid­dle of the action in the Coconi­no Nation­al For­est, pro­vid­ing the per­fect back­drop for a very fes­tive time. With bike demos avail­able, shut­tle rides upon request, and a night­ly beer gar­den to top off your ride, the Sedona Moun­tain Bike Fes­ti­val will find the right way for you to enjoy your time.


World Ski and Snow­board Fes­ti­val, Whistler, British Colum­bia
Span­ning 10 packed days of ski­ing and snow­board excite­ment, patrons of the World Ski and Snow­board Fes­ti­val can expect demos, live music, fes­tive events and of course, plen­ty of snow to play on. Any vis­it to Whistler dur­ing the win­ter is going to pro­vide a fun time, and any vis­it dur­ing the World Ski and Snow­board Fes­ti­val will pro­vide a full dose of the cul­ture, com­mu­ni­ty and style of rid­ing that tru­ly defines the sport.


Trail Days, Dam­as­cus, Vir­ginia
While the main cel­e­bra­tion, includ­ing a hiker’s parade, live music and plen­ty of like-mind­ed thinkers, hap­pens at the end of May, Trail Days has some­thing to offer for every­one through­out the entire month. Whether it’s free gear repairs, hik­ing-ori­en­tat­ed pre­sen­ta­tions, or just a good excuse to bust out the tent and go camp­ing, Trail Days is for every­one that has thru-hiked the Appalachi­an Trail, those who dream to, and every­one in between.


Out­door­Fest, New York City, New York
Whether you’re look­ing for a les­son on back­coun­try cook­ing, a Namaste Nature hik­ing and yoga event, or even just a hap­py hour to meet some like-mind­ed adven­ture indi­vid­u­als, Out­door­Fest can help sep­a­rate the city from the world around you. Pick what kind of expe­di­tion you are look­ing for, keep an open mind, and be ready to explore new horizons—the fun won’t stop after the 10 days of this urban out­doors fes­ti­val.


Inter­na­tion­al Climb­ing Fes­ti­val, Lan­der, Wyoming
Cel­e­brat­ing 24 years of being part of the climb­ing com­mu­ni­ty, the Inter­na­tion­al Climb­ing Fes­ti­val is a huge draw for climbers around the world. They gath­er in the crags of Lan­der, Wyoming to climb, com­pete, and enjoy the par­ty. The main draw is the fes­ti­val, but it’s real­ly the com­mu­ni­ty that is the life of the party—plus all the food, beer, and art to view between route grab­bing. With spon­sored film screen­ings, fun side events and notable keynote speak­ers includ­ing the likes of Tom­my Cald­well for 2017, the five days this fes­ti­val encom­pass­es is almost not enough time for all the action to be had.


Inter­na­tion­al Surf Fes­ti­val, Man­hat­tan Beach, Cal­i­for­nia
Enter­ing its 56th year, the Inter­na­tion­al Surf Fes­ti­val always takes place in a South Bay beach city; 2018’s host is Redon­do Beach. Sig­na­ture events include a life­guard med­ley race, a pier-to-pier swim, and a six-per­son vol­ley­ball tour­na­ment. Oth­er fes­tiv­i­ties take the form of beach runs, sand cas­tle cre­ations, and surf­ing and pad­dle­board com­pe­ti­tions. The aim for this sun­ny cel­e­bra­tion is to help sup­port and grow the South Bay com­mu­ni­ties that put on the event, as well as the many dif­fer­ent orga­ni­za­tions and indi­vid­u­als that con­tribute to the surf­ing scene.


Gigan­tic Bicy­cle Fes­ti­val, Sno­qualmie, Wash­ing­ton
Fea­tur­ing three days of cel­e­brat­ing the bicy­cle, the Gigan­tic Bicy­cle Fes­ti­val is a meet­ing ground for ath­letes, musi­cians, and lovers of life to enjoy the fresh Pacif­ic North­west air. A line­up stacked with musi­cal acts, mul­ti­me­dia pre­sen­ta­tions, work­shops, and guest speak­ers will give you plen­ty to do here. Sig­na­ture events like the 50-mile ride on Sat­ur­day or the fam­i­ly-friend­ly blue­ber­ry farm ride on Sun­day take you far from the camp­grounds to see some spec­tac­u­lar views.


Gauley Fest, Sum­mersville, West Vir­ginia
Con­sid­ered by many to be the best white­wa­ter in the world, the Gauley Riv­er pro­vides pre­miere Class III‑V runs that are sure to get your heart pump­ing. The best time to run the Gauley is dur­ing the Fall Gauley Releas­es that occur for six week­ends fol­low­ing Labor Day week­end. Here you ccan con­nect with oth­er pad­dlers, demo some gear, and get a lit­tle wet. Host­ed by the Amer­i­can White­wa­ter Asso­ci­a­tion, all pro­ceeds for this annu­al event help sup­port the con­ser­va­tion of our nation’s rivers.


Trail Fest, Kanab, Utah
A great cap to a long sea­son of trail run­ning, Trail Fest cel­e­brates not only the com­mu­ni­ty behind the self-pro­pelled sport of trail run­ning, but it also pro­vides patrons some of the best trail run­ning routes found in the coun­try. Each day of this three-day fes­ti­val starts with a trail run­ning race in either Bryce Canyon, Zion, or Grand Canyon Nation­al Park. Besides pro­vid­ing shut­tles and sup­port to these dif­fer­ent pic­turesque run­ning loca­tions, Trail Fest also pro­vides fam­i­ly-friend­ly events in the evening rang­ing from live music to yoga ses­sions and film fes­ti­vals, mak­ing for a healthy and fun week­end to always remem­ber.


Roanoke GO Out­side Fes­ti­val, Roanoke, Vir­ginia
Cel­e­brat­ing all the out­door activ­i­ties found in Vir­ginia and beyond, the Roanoke GO Out­side Fest (GO Fest) col­lects all your favorite out­door pur­suits into one cen­tral loca­tion and puts on a three-day fes­ti­val that cov­ers it all. Fea­tur­ing activ­i­ties such as bike rides, disc golf, and a wood-chop­ping lum­ber­jack show, GO Fest puts no lim­its on the types of adven­tures you can enjoy. Fam­i­ly and dog friend­ly, plus free admis­sion, the goal of GO Fest is to get peo­ple excit­ed about spend­ing time out­doors.


Riv­er Rocks, Chat­tanooga, Ten­nessee
There is a near­ly unlim­it­ed num­ber of events, activ­i­ties, and things to do at Riv­er Rocks, with hav­ing a good time guar­an­teed. Locat­ed in the adven­ture-rich city of Chat­tanooga, Riv­er Rocks is the per­fect fes­ti­val to par­tic­i­pate in your favorite adven­tures and try some­thing new. Whether you are inter­est­ed in urban repelling or open-water swim­ming, per­haps moun­tain bik­ing or live music, if you hap­pen to be in the Chat­tanooga area any­time dur­ing the month of Octo­ber, do your­self a favor and con­nect with the Riv­er Rocks fes­ti­val and hap­pen­ings.