Seven Unique Summer Adventures to Start Planning for Now

With longer days and sun­nier weath­er, the sum­mer is often the per­fect sea­son to make mem­o­ries that will last a life­time. Those gold­en days and nicer weath­er may seem far into the future still, but with spring­time among us, you can be sure that the sum­mer sea­son will reveal itself in no time. To start lay­ing the foun­da­tion for an epic sum­mer adven­ture, it’s worth plan­ning some trips now and request­ing the right days off work, and if you real­ly want a sum­mer to remem­ber, set your sights high and per­form the due dili­gence for these sev­en unique sum­mer adven­tures to start plan­ning for now.

Presidential-Traverse

The Pres­i­den­tial Traverse—New Hampshire
While you don’t need to have a pre-applied per­mit to tack­le the Pres­i­den­tial Tra­verse of New Hamp­shire, you do need the legs for get­ting the brag­ging rights of this ath­let­ic feat. Fea­tur­ing sev­en moun­tain ranges, all named after famous pres­i­den­tial fig­ures, and any­where from 20 to 24 miles of trav­el with near­ly 10,000 feet of ele­va­tion gain, get­ting an ear­ly start to this all-day adven­ture is your best bet to fin­ish. Dur­ing the sum­mer sea­sons, the trails are sus­cep­ti­ble to after­noon storms and unpar­al­leled North­east­ern land­scapes, and while your thighs and calves are scream­ing on your final ascents, you’ll be glad you took the time now to train for the Pres­i­den­tial Tra­verse and all that it entails. 

Chat­tanooga Moun­tains Stage Race—Tennessee
Fea­tur­ing three con­sec­u­tive big-mileage days tak­ing place in the month of July, the Chat­tanooga Moun­tains Stage Race doesn’t always reach capac­i­ty every year, but it would be well worth train­ing, for now, to com­plete each stage in the series. Each one of the three days of the Chat­tanooga Moun­tains Stage Race explores a dif­fer­ent scenic moun­tain, and aver­ages some­where around 20 miles a day. While that sounds fair­ly man­age­able now at the begin­ning of the warmer sea­son, wak­ing up for three con­sec­u­tive days to put down some big miles may take a lit­tle train­ing to get to.

Back­pack­ing the Supe­ri­or Hik­ing Trail—Minnesota
The Supe­ri­or Hik­ing Trail, which spans the west­ern shore­line of Lake Supe­ri­or in Min­neso­ta, doesn’t have a cap on the num­ber of hik­ers who can camp along its scenic cor­ri­dor, but to accom­plish the entire 260 miles that the tra­di­tion­al trail encom­pass­es, you prob­a­bly bet­ter start plan­ning your resup­ply strat­e­gy now, not too men­tion how to take a few weeks off work. But even if you have to quit your job, the many miles of amaz­ing rock out­crop­pings and cliffs, the abun­dance of lakes and rivers, and not too men­tion the con­tin­u­ous views of the daz­zling Lake Supe­ri­or shore­line, it will be well worth your time to explore this amaz­ing dis­play of North Woods wilder­ness in Minnesota. 

RAGBRAI—Iowa
While the state of Iowa might not be on the top of your adven­ture list, the state real­ly pulls itself togeth­er in the month of July for one of the biggest adven­tures in the Mid­west known as the Register’s Annu­al Great Race Across Iowa (RAGBRAI). This week-long, over a 400-mile event, makes it’s way east across the entire state, stop­ping at and cel­e­brat­ing the small towns of Iowa the entire way. More of a fes­ti­val than a race, RAGBRAI has been cruis­ing the rur­al roads of Iowa for 45 years now, and the good times and thou­sands of bicy­cles have nev­er stopped ped­al­ing since. To take part in this epic event, reg­is­tra­tion is required, and the dead­line for all online appli­cants ends on April 1st, mak­ing this for one sum­mer event to start recruit­ing friends for now opposed to later.

24 Hours of Horse­shoe Hell—Arkansas
A good goal to build up to through a sum­mer filled with climb­ing is the 24 Hours of Horse­shoe Hell at the Horse­shoe Canyon Ranch in Jasper, Arkansas. Tak­ing place on lit­er­al­ly the last week­end of the cal­en­dar sum­mer (Sep­tem­ber 20–24), this epic rock climb­ing event entices ath­letes to earn points and climb as many routes as pos­si­ble with­in a 12 or 24-hour time span. The climber who grabs the most vert claims 1st prize, but any­one who attends this week­end cel­e­bra­tion com­plete with live music, demos, and quite the col­lec­tion of fun peo­ple, is pret­ty much guar­an­teed to leave feel­ing like they didn’t lose out on any­thing dur­ing the 24 Hours of Horse­shoe Hell. 

Hut to Hut Moun­tain Bik­ing Trip through the 10th Moun­tain Division—Colorado
Not only does the high moun­tain atmos­phere of the 10th Moun­tain Divi­sion Hut Sys­tem require a lit­tle cross-train­ing before plan­ning a trip, but with the well-deserved pop­u­lar­i­ty of these well-main­tained huts is only grow­ing, and you need to book your stay well before your vis­it. With over 13 huts avail­able to rent through the 10th Moun­tain Divi­sion, there is a lot of space to share for sum­mer activ­i­ties, but come late win­ter and spring­time weath­er, the reser­va­tion cal­en­dar for the sum­mer is already well-vis­it­ed. Train your legs for the moun­tains, how­ev­er, and reserve your stay in the huts well ahead of time, and you can treat your­self to an unfor­get­table Rocky Moun­tain expe­ri­ence that will give you a well earned and com­fort­able night’s sleep. 

Rainier

Climb to the Top of Mount Rainier—Washington
To climb to the top of per­haps the most icon­ic peak in Wash­ing­ton, the Nation­al Park Ser­vice requires you to not only pay a climb­ing cost recov­ery fee, but once you’ve paid ($47 for adults), you are also required to obtain a climb­ing per­mit. While reser­va­tions for your per­mit are not required and you can gain one of these the day of your trip, the NPS does rec­om­mend mak­ing a reser­va­tion after the March 15th reser­va­tion win­dow opens up (espe­cial­ly for peak sea­son climbs). More impor­tant­ly, how­ev­er, to get to the top of this rugged, glaciat­ed peak you need to have the right toolsets to be work­ing with. Moun­taineer­ing expe­ri­ence, route nav­i­ga­tion, weath­er plan­ning, phys­i­cal sta­mi­na and even know­ing how to prop­er­ly dis­pose of your waste, these are just some of the ham­mers and nails that will lend to your suc­cess­ful sum­mit of Mt. Rainier and are things worth sharp­en­ing up now before you make the big push to the top.