Top 5: The Western U.S. Adventure Hubs

Adventure is just around the corner from these U.S. cities

These cities are surrounded by wildlife, incredible vistas, and provide plenty of outdoor activities…yes, including breweries! These are in no particular order, but when I think of Western travel in the United States they stick out as exploration centers of excellence.

Billings, MT

In the heartbeat of Montana, this city hosts so many things to do, as well as being an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. You could easily spend a week around this area in the Big Sky countryside.

‘Billings is a place of forever views and forever memories with the adventure of the untamed wilderness and history right outside your front door. Shaped by the Yellowstone River and sheltered by the Rims, Billings is the cradle of progressive regional commerce providing healthcare, transportation, diverse educational opportunities, cuisine, arts and culture.’ – Visit Billings

Gardiner, MT

Nearby National Parks:

  • Yellowstone – 2.5 hours
  • Glacier – 6 hours

Other points of interest:

  • Custer Gallatin National Forest
  • Bighorn National Forest
  • Helena- Lewis and Clark National Forest
  • Table Mountain
  • Flathead National Forest

Las Vegas, NV

I am loving the outdoor focused mindset of many people in the Las Vegas area. Instead of the lights, glitz and glam they choose adventure and seek out the wild lands that surround them. From an earlier post (check it out here), I have already outlined key places to visit and also the distances from the city!

‘Las Vegas has so many entertainment, dining, shopping, nightlife, golf and spa options, it can be tough to choose which experiences are perfect for your trip. That’s where we come in. We’re the authority on shows and eventsfood and drink options, things to do and more, to help you plan the perfect Las Vegas adventure. When people think about Las Vegas, most immediately envision the bright lights on the Strip, the iconic Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign or Vegas Vic perched above Fremont Street downtown.

But some have a very different image of the Entertainment Capital of the World. Many visitors can’t wait to go river rafting, take helicopter rides, hike in picturesque canyons and delve into various other outdoor exhilarating adventures.’ – Visit Las Vegas

Nearby National Parks:

  • Death Valley National Park – 149 miles
  • Zion National Park – 160 miles
  • Joshua Tree National Park – 221 miles
  • Grand Canyon National Park – 280 miles

Other points of interest:

  • Seven Magic Mountains – 27 miles
  • Hoover Dam/Lake Mead – 38 miles
  • Emerald Cove/Colorado River – 55 miles
  • Bearizona – 223 miles
  • Marble Canyon – 262 miles
  • Prescott National Forest – 267 miles
  • Horseshoe Bend – 275 miles
  • Sedona, AZ – 279 miles
  • Antelope Canyon – 281 miles

Denver, CO

This city has been such an awesome place to use to travel into the various parks around. With an abundance of mountains in the area, lakes and wildlife: Denver has plenty for any adventurous soul to do!

‘Welcome to Denver where 300 days of sunshine, a thriving cultural scene, diverse neighborhoods and natural beauty combine for the world’s most spectacular playground.’ – Denver

Nearby National Parks:

  • Rocky Mountain National Park

Other points of interest:

  • 14ers: Grays Peak, Mount Evens, Pikes Peak, Torreys Peak, Longs Peak, etc.
  • The Flatirons – Boulder
  • Endless Ski Resorts
  • Gunnison National Forest
  • Garden of the Gods
  • Pawnee National Grasslands

Salt Lake City, UT

A city surrounded by mountains and some of the freshest powder imaginable. The hikes in this area are fantastic and this state is home to the Mighty 5 National Parks! You will never run out of activities in this outdoors paradise.

‘Nestled on the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, and overlooking the largest inland lake in the western US, Salt Lake is home to a pioneering past, and an exciting future. Salt Lake has grown in population, cultural diversity, and accolades. In addition to being home to the Winter Olympics in 2002, our city’s nearby mountains are widely known to be the home of “The Greatest Snow on Earth.” Large storms pick up more moisture as they roll in over the the Great Salt Lake, and that moisture slams against the Wasatch Mountains, creating incomparably light and skiiable powder snow. ‘Nestled on the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, and overlooking the largest inland lake in the western US, Salt Lake is home to a pioneering past, and an exciting future.’ – Visit Salt Lake

Salt Lake City, UT

Photo Credits: lukas_kloeppel

Nearby National Parks:

This infographic below sets the driving times from SLC to the following parks, well done Trip Savvy!

Other points of interest:

  • Antelope Island
  • Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest
  • Ashley National Forest
  • Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area
  • Flat Top Mountain

Seattle, WA

The views of Rainier, the fish market, and the Puget Sound make this place quite special. It has the city amenities and trendy vibes, but hosts a huge number of preserved lands to trek about and explore.

‘Seattle is an exciting urban city surrounded by unmatched natural beauty. Adventure awaits you.’ – Visit Seattle

Seattle, WA

Photo Credits: chaitaastic_clicks

Nearby National Parks:

  • Olympic National Park
  • Mount Rainier National Park
  • North Cascades National Park

Other points of interest:

  • Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park
  • Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument
  • Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest
  • Mt. Hood National Forest
  • Tillamook State Forest
  • Gifford Pinchot National Forest

Thank you so much for taking time to read this post. I hope you find it informational and it helps plan your next adventure. Get out there and explore, folks!

Follow My Tracks: @Gtcarden

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