The Best Outdoor Activities in the Western USA

The Best Outdoor Activities in the Western USA

The western United States is home to mountain ranges, beaches and canyons. From surfing and surf fishing on the beaches to trail hiking and camping in the mountains, in the vast west the possibilities for outdoor fun are nearly endless.


Rafting in the west has many different forms. If you prefer calm waters and a quiet trip you might like rafting or kayaking through the Labyrinth and Stillwater Canyons of the Green River. The Green River wanders through Canyonlands National Park in central and south east Utah. This full length of this trip spans about 120 miles and is mostly slower water that can be done by canoe. With some of the most remote and beautiful areas in the lower 48 states, it can be a wonderful, relaxing trip. On the other hand, the ultimate in white water adventure, the Grand Canyon, might be more to your liking. If you choose to make the entire trip, this excursion is over 280 miles long and can be a life changing experience. Traversing northwestern Arizona, the Grand Canyon trip is one of the best-known rafting trips in the west. Hell’s Canyon on the Snake River is a lesser known rafting trip. A chance to explore historic ruins of old mines and homesteads will make this a memorable trip.

The Beaches


One popular outdoor sport on the beaches of the west is surf fishing. From the warmer waters of southern California, through Oregon and on to the chilly beaches of Washington, anglers enjoy the challenge of fishing in the surf. Surf fishing requires it’s own equipment and special skill sets to be successful. From the surf perch to the bat ray you can hook into excitement up and down the “left” coast. There are also plenty of places to surf up and down the west coast. The west boasts the best surfing in the United States. With southern California claiming the warm waters and all-around best surfing conditions of the coast. The California surfing experience is unmatched in the continental U.S.

The Mountains


The Rocky Mountains, the Sierra Nevadas and the Coast Range are 3 of the many mountain chains that cover much of the western United States. These mountains contain outdoor activities from volcano watching at Mt. Saint Helens, to mountain climbing, as well as, camping and hiking all up and down these mountain ranges. Most people have heard of the great parks of the west; Yosemite National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Grand Canyon National Park and Sequoia National Park to name just a few. These parks contain thousands of square miles of wilderness to be explored. There are hiking trails for hikers who just want a pleasant day trip and trails for the hiker who wants to spend a week out in the wilderness. Camp grounds abound, they will keep you as close as possible to your next adventure. Fresh water streams, rivers and lakes full of trout, walleye and salmon, for the angler. There is plenty is snow skiing throughout the region as well. From Colorado to California to Washington there are plenty of challenges for skiers, whether beginners or experts there is a slope for everyone.

The Ranches

The west always brings to mind the ranches. In the old west the ranches kept the economies of the old west towns stable. Gold and silver mining came and went but the ranches stayed. Supplying many jobs and food to nearby towns, as well as meat for the entire country. Today you can still experience the old-style ranch in most of the western states. With horseback riding, evenings around a campfire and private log cabins for guests, you can enjoy living a part of the old west. Trail riding and driving cattle are just a few of the delights waiting on one of these historic ranches. Whether you are an old hand or never been on a horse before these ranches offer something for everyone.

Whether you are looking for a relaxing getaway or the adventure of a lifetime, the west has what you seek. From the big sky of Montana to the crashing surf of California, the great American west offers everything you dream of, and more.

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