Coolest Places for Canyoning in America

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Canyoning—or canyoneering, as it’s commonly called in the US—is an outdoor sport that allows participants to travel through the most incredible and most remote canyons. This intense sport can involve a wide array of outdoor activities. True participants will need to be able to not only walk, hike, swim, and jump but also rappel, scramble, and rock climb. Understandably, due to the various natural factors of topography, the challenges of this sport shift as the conditions and terrains do.

The adventures of canyoneering start on walking trails until they reach a point where the more arduous activities can be experienced. For the most thrill-seeking adventurers and nature-lovers, here are the coolest places for canyoning in America.

Zion National Park, Utah

It’s said that canyoneering’s humble beginnings may have born in the breathtaking slot canyons of Utah. Safe and pleasurable canyon adventures are available for all ages and skill levels within this national park, but the best adventure can be found in the rugged sandstone gorges. Local guides are available to teach you the ropes and get you started on easier canyons. Rope skills and knowledge of how to traverse wet canyons remain critical to exploring the most riveting locations in Zion without danger or trouble. A national park wilderness permit is required to venture into these masterpiece canyons.

Waimea Canyon, Kauai, Hawaii

For those with a hearty sense of adventure, another of the coolest places for canyoning in America exists in paradise. Waimea Canyon is located on the west side of the Hawaiian island of Kauai. This canyon is described as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. There’s no wonder as to why, with its size and green panoramic vistas. The great collapse of the volcano that formed Kauai itself allowed the lush flora to flourish within the canyon.

With views of a fire engine–red mountain range and tiers of waterfalls to rappel down and explore, canyoneers can also explore and travel through sloping routes and ridge trails. On the way down, you can encounter a once-in-a-lifetime experience of the dual rainforest and desert-like terrain you can’t find anywhere else.

Hells Canyon, Idaho and Oregon Border

The Grand Canyon is the most well-known gorge around, but Hells Canyon is the deepest on the North American continent. It has over 900 trails and various “wild and scenic” areas. Thrill-seekers can cross the mighty Snake River’s waters and climb the canyon’s ridges. There’s such a wide spread of treacherous terrain and raw landscape to take in that canyoneers can simply eat their hearts out. Out of all the best places to see in Hells Canyon, the remarkable view of untouched wilderness is the true prize to take home with you. The reward of rare beauty and new perspectives on life is what canyoning is truly about.

Written by Kevin O'Neill

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