When it comes to traversing the great American outdoors, Courtney Lanctot is a travel influencer to live vicariously through. On her Instagram account, she shares her adventures exploring wide open spaces and inspires others to do the same. Having visited so many places, the globetrotter has enjoyed a wide range of experiences. From the exhilarating to the relaxing, here are some exceptional outdoor vacation experiences that top her list.
Paddling the Colorado River
Snaking its way through the canyons of Utah, the Colorado River provides an ideal location for a paddling adventure. You can expect to drift along calm flatwaters or tackle rapids, depending on what section of the river you take on. Feast your eyes on gorgeous scenery, while feeling the thrill of being immersed in the wild, untamed beauty of nature. The river features multiple launch points and plenty of campgrounds, allowing travelers to choose the ideal starting and stopping points that fit their trip length and ability level.
Swimming in the Redwood Forest
Redwood Forest, located in northern California, is home to the tallest trees on the planet. The forest also features many parks and hiking trails that allow visitors to explore the woods, streams, creeks and rivers that wind through it. The lush and serene environment provides a relaxing setting. Swimming in the pure, cool waters amidst the ancient redwoods is an experience that you won’t forget.
One of the best places to swim in the Redwood Forest is the South Fork Eel River. This river offers both deep swimming holes and shallow areas for wading. The water is cool and refreshing, making it the perfect spot for swimming on hot summer days. Another great area for swimming in the Redwood Forest is Big Lagoon, a large, picturesque body of water that offers opportunities for boating, fishing and swimming. The water is calm and perfect for families with children.
If you’re looking for a more secluded swimming experience, the Mattole River may be the place for you. This river flows through a remote and rugged area of the forest and offers deep swimming holes, rapids and waterfalls. The area can be challenging to access, but the payoff is worth it for those seeking an off-the-beaten-path swimming experience.
Exploring Alabama’s Caves
Visiting the Alabama caves is an exciting and unique experience. Alabama has extensive network of caves, which stretches miles underground. Exploring the caves provides some of the most challenging and rewarding outdoor vacation experiences.
Outdoors enthusiasts can marvel at the breathtaking caverns, which contain rare geological features, such as stalactites, stalagmites and other rock formations. Some of the most popular caves to check out include Manitou Cave, Majestic Caverns, Rickwood Caverns State Park and Cathedral Caverns State Park.
Soaking in Idaho’s Hot Springs
Idaho is home to more soakable hot springs than any other state. Of its more than 200 springs, 120 have water of a quality and temperature safe enough for people to soak in. This makes it a great destination for travelers looking to relax in the warm, soothing geothermal waters. Soaking in hot springs provides unbelievable relaxation and rejuvenation, along with some of the best views of the surrounding mountains.
Idaho hot springs come in different types, including natural and commercial ones. The natural hot springs are ideal for adventurers preferring rugged, wild settings while soaking in the hot springs. The commercial hot springs provide amenities, like indoor showers and rental rooms.
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