Whether you are into basketball, baseball or soccer, taking your body out into nature can be a good antidote to training in the gym and being on the court. With a high level of fitness gained in indoor or pitch based sports, you can take yourself to some dizzying heights and get some real thrills outdoors in National Parks throughout the country. Read on for some of the best activities to do, and short breaks to take throughout the Western States.
Abseiling and Climbing
There is nothing quite like the feeling you get when you reach the peak of a mountain after a long, hard climb. Apart from, perhaps, the moment when you hop backwards to abseil down. If you have good upper body strength, hit your local bouldering center and see whether you are made of the right stuff. Get some lessons in ropes and learn how to tie yourself in and how belaying works. It is imperative that, if going two–person abseiling, you trust whoever you are with not to drop you. Once you have prepared fully, then is the time to look into good climbing spots. Zion National Park in Utah has a great variety of routes for rope climbers, and is within driving distance of Oregon. Check it out at Zion National Park and see what is on offer. Make sure to check the latest information on your proposed route, and remember that due to migratory birds nesting, some cliffs are closed throughout the year.
2. Mountain biking
If you have what it takes to endure a long game, you might be made of the right stuff to hurtle yourself down a steep mountain too. An increasingly popular sport among adrenaline junkies and sports enthusiasts alike, mountain biking can provide you with some serious thrills. Traditionally, the National Park Service has been somewhat unsure about mountain biking, but in more recent years groups like the International Mountain Bicycling Association have put pressure on NPS to make routes more accessible. Do check out and make sure the route you are planning to take is open, and read up on the best trails for your ability and skill level.
3. Wild Camping and Hiking
With the continuous cycle of work, home and practice, months can go by without you actually experiencing the outdoors. Although seemingly less involving than our previous two activities, hiking is by no means a pursuit for pensioners. Take a three day trial over a long weekend and see whether you’re able to get out of the city for an extended period of time. Wild camping adds a delightful level of intensity to any hike, but do make sure you arm yourself with as much information as possible and plan your camping spots before you set out. Remember, a lot of parks do not allow wild camping, instead offering designated spots for hikers. It goes without saying that if you are attempting a hike without a guide, make sure to take navigational equipment and a satellite phone if necessary. Also, do not underestimate the need for decent hiking boots. Your two-year-old Vans will not suffice.