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Green River

Rewarding visitors with a combination of rich river history and exceptional bouldering, eastern Utah's Green River sets the stage for accessible adventure. Row the river that continues to make history, wind your way into the primal beauty of Joe's Valley to climb or venture into Black Dragon Canyon on foot. Pictographs from ancient Fremont peoples dot the landscape, one fertile enough to yield sweet delights for the annual September Melon Festival. Mellow and affordable, Green River allows guests to unwind from the first.

Moab

Moab Few places provide such ready -- and varied -- outlets for all the adrenaline you can muster. Beyond the acclaimed single-track and slick rock mountain biking that draws riders from around the globe, the Colorado River tempts all categories of paddlers with strong flow rates and singular vistas. Ken's Lake makes base camp a bonus experience as memorable views of the La Sal Mountains and red rock fins surround with startling beauty. Full amenities make launching into the wild convenient even for first-time visitors.

Torrey

Home to the towering Capitol Reef National Park, Torrey's tree-lined streets provide welcome rest from the rigors of hiking to the day-capping Sunset Point and the humbling scale of Chimney Rock. As the southern Utah sun illuminates a mind-blowing cornucopia of formations, Glen Canyon beckons with cool water and deep shadows found few other places in the United States. Lodging choices keep the traveler content as does a wide range of dining options.

Blanding

Modern-day time travelers are welcome in a place characterized by ancient landscapes and human history stretching back to the resilient Anasazi peoples. Touring Arch Canyon by ATV or wandering the gargantuan formations of National Bridges allows appreciation of Utah's grand scale on your terms. Nearby Indian Creek sends climbers heavenward with crack climbing worth the trip alone. Small-town hospitality encourages guests to stay, play and be changed forever simply by embracing the moment.

Kanab

Even beach lovers will forget the ocean's majesty when encountering the expansive Lake Powell in the sands of Lone Rock Beach. Camping among the granular dunes of Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park tops the charts for campfire bliss as the night sky stretches well beyond human comprehension. Shooting stars point the way to even greater exploration as rappel-inducing canyoneering in Hog Canyon brings on classic slots no Vegas casino can match.

Springdale

Dig deep back to your school day language lessons as you encounter fellow travelers drawn to amphitheaters, alcoves and flows forged in Earth's early days found only in Zion National Park. Checkboard Mesa is a must-hike formation close to towering Ataxia with the 250-foot Ashtar multi-pitch route found on nearly every climber's Life List. Springdale itself sets the table for adventurers with cuisine both humble and sublime.

WaypointsPursuing Places of Passion

16 Adventure Trip Ideas Right Outside of Colorado

Published on 04/14/2014

by Arya Roerig

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  • Sailing the Great Salt Lake, Utah

    Members of the Great Salt Lake Yacht Club, known as the "World's Saltiest Sailors", have learned that the sunsets on the Great Salt Lake are among the best in the world. And the sailing isn't so bad, either. It’s said that the density of the salt water and the other minerals of the lake intensify the sunset in the reflection. 

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  • Kayak the Black Canyon, Arizona

    Just below the Hoover Dam, the Colorado River carves a harsh, rocky desert canyon punctuated with icy cold water. And with the put-in just an hour and a half from downtown Las Vegas, the Black Canyon is the perfect desert paddling respite for sun scorched desert dwellers. 

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  • Climb the Cathedral Traverse, Wyoming

    Scaling Wyoming's 13,770 foot Grand Teton is a dream for many a multipitch climber. And, combined with nearby Teewinot and Mount Owen, this three-summit route, known as the Cathedral Traverse for its Gothic spires, is considered some of the best continuous climbing and scrambling in the country. 

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  • Image Source Photo Credit: Binh Pham

    Camp on the Green River in Goblin Valley State Park, Utah

    Think all the grandeur, hoodoos, and towers of the more name-drop-y National parks, but with a whole lot fewer people. Goblin Valley boasts 3,000 acres of canyon solitude, plus access to the Green River, making it perfect for hot summer weekend trips. 

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  • Raft the Grand Canyon, Arizona

    Probably on just about everyone’s bucket list, rafting the Grand Canyon is a classic trip for good reason. Mind-blowing geology, spectacular side hikes, and world-famous whitewater make this river trip the ultimate adventure. But it does take considerable planning- traversing the entire 277-mile canyon can take the better part of a month.

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  • Climb in Diablo Canyon, New Mexico

    Just 15 minutes from the crowds of Santa Fe are the steep cliffs of Diablo Canyon.  Slices of hard, dark basalt with cracks formed by cooling lava spot these canyon walls. This dream habitat for climbers offers almost 100 routes varying from single and multi-pitch to bolted and trad climbs.

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  • Whitewater Raft on the Rio Grande, New Mexico

    New Mexico's most notorious river trip, the Taos Box, takes rafters over 18-miles of intimidating white-water. Remote and pristine, the "Box" flows through the heart of the Rio Grande Gorge some 800 feet deep. This infamous run is not for the faint of heart.

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  • Fish Lees Ferry, Arizona

    A unique fishery for Rainbow Trout, the clear, 46-degree water coming from the base of Glen Canyon Dam allows for almost 15,000 fish per mile. Spectacular desert scenery only ups the ante.

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  • Mountain Bike in Sedona, Arizona

    With rides ranging from easy dirt roads to gnarly rock-strewn trails, the majestic red rocks of Sedona are a mountain biker’s paradise. Catering to all skill levels, most of the area trails encircle sandstone buttes and can go from slick rock to dirt to sand and  single-track in the blink of an eye. 

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  • Backpack the Wind Rivers, Wyoming

    One of the wildest stretches of mountains in the lower 48, The Wind Rivers epitomizes Wyoming with huge views, wildlife, and very few people. The Titcomb Basin offers up 35 peaks taller than 13,000 feet, 2,300 alpine lakes, and more than 600 miles of trails. And don’t forget your fly rod.

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  • Canoe the Niobrara, Nebraska

    A green oasis in the frontier high desert, the Niobrara, a National Scenic River, meanders calmly through wide green valleys, steep sandstone canyons and waterfalls. Some six ecological systems collide along the 30-mile stretch near Valentine, making for a serene and majestic canoe- and-camp experience.

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  • Hike the Narrows in Zion, Utah

    The premier hike in Zion National Park twists and turns for 16 miles through red sandstone, hanging gardens, and, at times, waist-deep Virgin River. Though it’s possible to hike top-to-bottom in one long day or do a shorter out-and-back from the bottom of the canyon, the ideal approach is to take two days, camping overnight at one of 12 designated campsites deep in the canyon.

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  • Image Source Photo Credit: Jack Brauer

    Explore the San Rafael Swell, Utah

    The 2,000 square miles of sandstone slab just west of Moab known as the San Rafael Swell may not look like much from the outside. However this unassuming rock is home to an unseen maze of awe-inspiring slot canyons and narrow stone passages, meticulously carved by runoff and polished by wind and just waiting to be explored.

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  • Raft the Cataract Canyon ,Utah

    A five day trip over 100 miles of the Colorado River takes paddlers through Canyonlands and into Glen Canyon national recreation area and this white water adventure. With 14 miles of rapids rated up to Class V, Cataract Canyon also offers unique desert camping experience that features exceptional hiking and petroglyph viewing.

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  • Mountain Bike the White Rim Trail in Canyonlands National Park, Utah

    The 100-mile White Rim Trail in Canyonlands National Park allows bikers to explore slot canyons, cool off in the Green, and Colorado Rivers and get in some great riding, to boot. The jeep trail in the scenic Island in the Sky district of the park loops around the island mesa top and provides for a challenging ride and expansive views.

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  • Canyoneering the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah

    Canyoneering, that mix of all things great about the outdoors, is alive and well in Utah. The deep, narrow canyons surrounding Escalante can require some technical know-how, and maybe even a few splashes in the water, but this amazing collection of slot canyons is well worth the homework. 

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  • Kayak Lake Powell, Utah

    While the Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River has been highly debated seemingly forever, its result, Lake Powell, remains a favorite freshwater kayaking destination. The lake’s extends from the main 185-mile watercourse into 96 side canyons where Navajo sandstone towers 500 feet above in narrow slots and paddlers can move free of waves, currents, or motorboats. 

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