The Best States to Visit for Outdoor Lovers


When you love hiking, climbing, paddling or other activities under the open sky, there are some bucket list destinations you just have to visit. With so many places to get outside, choosing the spot to go for your next trip can seem daunting. And you could make an argument for just about any state in the nation having natural wonders to enjoy. But if you need to narrow down your travel plans, we can help. Here are a few states that outdoor lovers just can’t pass up.


Montana: the Treasure State, Big Sky Country, the nicknames say it all. With hundreds of river miles and hoards of mountain peaks, you have four seasons of outdoor recreation to explore here. With Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks bookending that state at north and south, you can find scenic beauty all around the state. Whether along interstates, highways or back roads, the wildlife and scenic vistas are unparalleled in Montana.


Nature trails scaling active volcanoes, winding paths through the jungle, canyoneering, caving and ocean explorations all find a tropical home in Hawaii. Get out the surfboard and snorkel to dive into the power of the ocean, both above the water and below. With eight major islands to choose from, it might be worth island hopping to experience the active volcanoes of the Big Island, Maui’s golden beaches, and Kauai’s lush jungle and famous surf.

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For red rock desert adventures, Utah has you—and your mountain bike, skis, and camper—covered. Get out on the trail, the rock wall, or the slopes, and see what this state has to offer. Even if you decide to skip the legendary national parks like Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon and Zion, state parks and national monuments abound. Take your pick of extreme sports, and get outside in Utah.


With ocean, bays, mountains and rainforest, Washington state is well worth some time in the backcountry. The North Cascades National Park boasts relatively few visitors for its snow-capped peaks and scenic spots. And the temperate rainforest and rugged ocean shoreline add another angle of outdoor recreation. Don’t miss out on mountain climbs and long paddles out on Puget Sound.

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When you love the outdoors, Alaska is worth the trek, whether overland through Canada or by plane. With public land that totals a mass greater than the size of Texas, Alaska has an outdoor playground of epic proportions. From glaciers and whale watching to heli skiing and kayaking, not to mention northern lights and midnight sun, Alaska is a place of outdoor dreams.


If you can’t make it as far north as Alaska, there’s a continental alternative you can try. With the Boundary Waters showing some of the most striking displays of the northern lights in the continental United States, embrace the paddling life with a Minnesota canoe trip. And Lake Superior shoreline lets you get some time in on big water, too.

No matter where your outdoor adventures take you, find your way to sustainable accommodations with a stay at a Highline Adventures property. With Highline’s hotels and campgrounds across Montana, and vacation rentals on Kauai, choose your own adventure and book your stay.