Adventure Vacations For Adrenaline Junkies: Man looks in amazement at valley and mountain setting in Nepal.

Konnichi wa / Great Outdoors


For some people, vacation means the glitzy shows, bright lights, delicious dining, and gambling in Las Vegas. Other travelers enjoy a cruise with never-ending buffets, entertainment, and fascinating ports of call. The adrenaline junkie needs much more. He or she doesn't want just to see the world, they want to experience it. Here are five exciting vacations for the adventurer in you.

Rafting Nepal's Karnali River

Man stares into distance next to Nepal's Karnali River.

The Karnali River in Nepal is considered one of the best rafting rivers to be found anywhere in the world. The beautiful Karnali River originates from the Tibetan Mount Kailash, which means "holy water from the sacred mountain." A powerful flow of whitewater races between imposing canyon walls. View dense forests, lush fauna and flora, jungles, and remote villages as you navigate the rapid challenges, including the grade 4 Captivity, Flip and Strip, Jailhouse Rock, and Juicer, and the grade 5 God's House, among others. Thrill after thrill awaits you in the first half of Karnali River, while milder rapids take you through the last leg of your trip that ends at Bardia National Park's beautiful wilderness area.

Canyoning In France's Amazing "Canyon du Llech

Grey canyons surround white-rushing river; Canyon du Llech in France.

Canyoning is not for the faint of heart. This activity, which is growing in popularity, is a favorite among adrenaline junkies. It involves hiking, climbing, abseiling (rappelling), sliding, swimming, scrambling, rafting, and waterfall jumping. Canyoning is a serious adventure, and partakers need to be in good physical condition. At Canyon du Llech you can expect to slide down waterfalls, jump from cliffs into swirling whitewater pools. Your adventure guide company supplies all the equipment and prices are very reasonable (less than $75 per day). When you become a canyoner, be prepared to see some of the most magnificent views in the world. If you love photography, canyoning will offer you spectacular views few other people will ever see.

Huang Shi Zhai, City In the Sky

Mountainous needles shoot from the fog in Huang Shi Zhai, City in the Sky.

If you are a hiker and climber, you won't be intimidated by the 3,800-step highway to this city in the sky. See the gorgeous views and land forms that inspired the designers of Pandora in the movie Avatar. You will travel through fantastic sandstone views including Xianren Qiao, the Bridge of the Immortals, and you will pass over a deep chasm on a very narrow rock bridge. After your trip to the heights of Hunan Province, complete your journey by rafting down the Mengdong River, which is considered one of the best whitewater adventures traveling through deep gorges.

Heli-Skiing in Alaska, Extreme Winter Sports

Helicopter hovers above snow-capped mountain.

If you are an advanced skier or snow boarder, your next step has to be heli-skiing in Alaska in the Chugach Mountains. The Great Northwest is home to amazing vapor trails of powder. You won't find resort-style skiing here, and you need to be at the top of your game for this adventure, which could be your "once in a lifetime" experience because there are no ski lifts to this mountain peak. Your chariot to the top will be a chopper. It won't be cheap, but when you are choosing a helicopter pilot to drop you on top of a mountain in Alaska, you want the best.

Mountain Bike the Kokopelli Trail

Mountain bikes with vast gadgetry sits on desert trail; Kokopelli Trail.

This desert route is 142 miles of diverse riding experiences. The trail runs from Fruita CO to Moab UT. You can hire a guide for your trip, but if you feel comfortable with your level of expertise, you can download a trail guide from or One biker noted the following after a trip on the trail, "There's no real death or destruction to speak of, but it is one brutal adventure." This mountain bike trip is grueling, and some riders set up camp along the way to take a break and divide the trip into two days. If mountain biking is what you love, the Kokopelli Trail should be on your next vacation itinerary.

Final Thoughts

Multi-colored flags waving in the foreground with Mt. Everest looming in the background.

If you like adventure on your vacation, any one of these trips will meet your needs. You can make arrangements for your trip on line by contacting tour guide companies in the area of your destination. Get an adrenaline rush on your next vacation, and have the time of your life.

Looking for more on adventure vacations and other unique travel destinations? Try these:

“The mountains are calling and I must go.”

— John Muir

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May 09, 2019 — Konnichi wa