The Western United States are renowned for its natural wonders, from the Grand Canyon and the Rocky Mountains to the Redwood forests and many more. The West provides abundant opportunities for unique and amazing travel experiences. Let’s check out a few specific destinations in Western states and explore the awesome adventures available in each area.
Missoula is located in the Northern Rocky Mountains and is surrounded by wilderness areas and rivers, making it a perfect destination if you love outdoor adventures. Missoula has some of the most exciting mountain biking trails in the world including a trail through a canyon called “Hellgate” and trails with amazing views that will take you up thousands of feet in elevation. A unique attraction of the area are spooky ghost towns that once bustled with activity but were abandoned after the gold rush and other historical events were over. You can explore these towns and see old mining shafts and buildings from the past, and even go inside some of them to take a look!
Where to sleep: Rubys Inn & Convention Center Hotel in Missoula
Rapid City is next to the Black Hills National Forest, where Mount Rushmore is located. Badlands National Park is also near Rapid City and offers an opportunity to see a landscape of truly surreal and stunning geologic formations that may make you feel like you’re on a different planet! In the Badlands you can also see iconic wildlife like bison and big horn sheep and you may be able to find a fossil as you hike, since the Badlands is one of the richest fossil beds in the world. There are plenty of opportunities for unique and exciting rock climbing experiences in the Rapid City area at sites like “The Rock Maze”, “The Cliffs of Dune”, and “Falling Rock Canyon”.
Where to sleep: Grand Gateway Hotel in Rapid City
3. Moab, Utah
Moab is just minutes away from Arches National Park with its famous natural sandstone arches, and is less than an hour from Canyonlands National Park, a place with truly spectacular views of the beautiful red rock landscape. The Slickrock Trail is a highly challenging and world-famous biking trail near Moab that many consider to be the ultimate mountain biking experience. Challenging hikes such as the Devil’s Garden trail provide the opportunity to see the many unique arches and rock formations of the area up close. There is even a guided hike off-limits to kids called “The Fiery Furnace” which requires crawling through narrow cracks and across narrow ledges over drop offs!
Where to sleep: Moab Under Canvas.
Bellingham is just over 20 miles south of the Canadian border on the coastline of Washington State. Near Bellingham you will find the San Juan Islands, a collection of 170 forested islands which you can explore on a sea kayaking adventure that is among the best in the country. Bellingham is also right next to Mount Baker, where you can experience a thrilling climb up massive glaciers to the summit of the mountain. If you’re an inexperienced climber the Alpine Institute will lead you on the three-day climb.
Where to sleep: GuestHouse Inn Bellingham.
Renton is a lakeside city from which you can get a stunning view of Mount Rainier and the Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges. Mount Rainier is an active volcano but is covered in icy glaciers. You can hike the 9000 feet to the breathtaking summit of the mountain on guided climbs. For a unique adventure you can go to the nearby city of Issaquah and visit Seattle Paragliding, where you can learn to paraglide or be taken on a tandem flight. Paragliding is a way of flying while suspended from an inflated wing and you can stay in the air for hours soaring thousands of feet into the sky!
Where to sleep: Clarion Hotel Renton.
As you can see the Western U.S. offers plenty of opportunities for amazing adventures. So what are you waiting for? Start planning a trip to these unique destinations!