Adventures in the great outdoors have never been more popular.
By 2027, experts estimate that adventure tourism will have grown by 20%, with travelers spending more than $2.5 billion worldwide, according to a recent market report.
These types of trips, which often involve jetting off to a remote location for intense outdoor activities, can test travelers physically and mentally. It’s a full sensory experience that reawakens your love for nature while getting the adrenaline pumping. But you don't have to venture to the farthest reaches of the globe for an adventurous expedition. In fact, there are many resorts and lodges that can help you get in touch with Mother Nature without leaving the U.S.
And it’s not all tents and tiny houses, either. From glacier-top lodges in Alaska to lakeside log cabins in New York, these ultraluxurious expedition hotels will help you have a transformative journey in the great outdoors, no passport required.
Serene and secluded, The Green O in Greenough is perfect for nature enthusiasts who don’t shy away from creature comforts. Its 12 stand-alone homes, called hauses, are camouflaged beneath the pines and range from a Tree Haus 23 feet above the ground to a Round Haus with curved views of the wilderness. This luxe, all-inclusive resort for adults is a sister property and neighbor to the popular Paws Up ranch. Here, guests can ride ATVs through the wilderness, try fly fishing or saddle up to horseback ride along the Blackfoot River by day and indulge in a 10-course fireside feast at the acclaimed Social Haus by night. Guests here also have their own Lexus to explore the 37,000 acres of land in style. Rates next year start around $2,200 per night, including round-trip airport transfers from Missoula Montana Airport (MSO) and three meals per day, including drinks.
From start to finish, a stay at Sheldon Chalet in Denali National Park is an all-inclusive expedition. After a helicopter tour arrival, up to 10 travelers can settle into this private, five-bedroom lodge perched on a glacier. Guests here have all 35 square miles of the Sheldon Amphitheater to explore on foot with expert guides. Depending on the season, you can try snow cavern spelunking, ice climbing, repelling, rock climbing or avalanche viewing. When you’re ready for hot cocoa prepared by your private chef, head back to the lodge for a sauna with Denali summit views. All-inclusive stays start at $75,000 for up to four people for an exclusive three-night minimum.
A five-minute drive from the lauded Amangiri resort, in the remote desert of southern Utah, is its even more secluded glamping escape, Camp Sarika. Here, 10 tented pavilions sit alone against the rocky mesas. The perfect place for daily yoga sessions, it's also near a number of national parks, including Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park. Guests can sign up for the Via Ferrata Challenge, an Italian-born style of mountain climbing with fixed ladders and ropes. Or, explore the incredible geology on horseback or hike the area’s slot canyons. Cool off in your private plunge pool before the sun sets and the fires of Camp Sarika are lit. Rates for the remainder of 2022 start at $3,200 per night.
At Scarp Ridge Lodge, a hideaway in Crested Butte, a custom-designed snowcat arrives at your doorstep daily to take you to the mountains. Guides show guests the best trails on over 1,000 acres of powder for all types of skiers and snowboarders. This property also has two on-mountain cabins for recharging. Kick-off apres back at the lodge, where five ultraplush guestrooms, an indoor saltwater pool, a private chef and hot tubs await. Rates start at $940 per night based on double occupancy in the summer, but for the winter experience, rates start at $21,400 per night to buy out the entire lodge (based on 10 guests with a two-night minimum stay). That includes breakfast, lunch and apres every day, plus gear for use during your stay, beverages and more.
There are more than 1,200 wild bison roaming Ted Turner’s luxury expedition reserve in northern New Mexico. On its staggering 550,000 acres of land, get a glimpse of them on horseback or go fishing in one of the property’s 19 lakes. Jump in a UTV to spot bear, elk, antelope, deer and more on a guided safari-like tour. There are dozens of unique activities, from geocaching around historic sights to a Survivor Challenge competition. Vermejo has four different types of accommodation and rates, which start around $1,500 per night, include all meals, nonalcoholic beverages and two daily activities.
At this working cattle ranch in Douglas, adventurers can corral cattle on horseback or paddleboard on an alpine lake. Bespoke itineraries can include e-biking, stargazing, archery and more to get your group of family or friends breathing the fresh air of the Rocky Mountains. Then, the group heads back to the private seven-bedroom, 8,000-square-foot lodge to roast marshmallows by the fire, play pool or soak in the tub. At Reid Creek Lodge, a private chef also caters to your group's culinary desires, including an optional campfire dinner in the mountains while the stars twinkle above. Rates start at $15,000 per night (up to 22 guests).
There’s no shortage of luxury expedition hotels in the Grand Canyon State. Operating for over 150 years, Tanque Verde is the state's best dude ranch. Located on 60,000 acres of Tucson desert, it offers swimming, hiking, biking and fishing, but horse-related activities are the star. Opt for a loping ride, a sunset ride, team penning or horsemanship for all levels of rider. This family-friendly escape has separate activities for kids including riding lessons and archery. Rooms can be booked for about $300 per night.
Built by the Rockefellers in the 1930s, this New York City getaway is an Adirondacks institution on Saranac Lake. Guests here are encouraged to do as much (or as little) as they desire in this plush log cabin hideaway. Outdoor activities here vary according to the season, from water skiing and badminton in the spring and summer to ice skating and curling in the fall and winter months. And, back at the log cabins, hot toddies and roaring indoor and outdoor fires draw guests in. In 2022, nightly rates at The Point (which are inclusive of equipment use, all meals, afternoon tea, wines and spirits for two adults) start at $2,050.
Tucked among the salt marshes and ancient live oaks, six distinct cottages and lodges sit on some of Georgia’s most protected conservation lands. Located on the state’s barrier islands, naturalists lead you on guided excursions like bird watching in remote marshes and fishing in tidal creeks. Guests at Little St. Simons Island can also venture off by themselves on any number of hiking trails or swim along the island’s 7 miles of oceanfront. This all-inclusive stay is made to fully immerse you in the nature, cuisine and culture of this lesser-known island paradise. We found rooms from $525 per night before the end of 2022. A two-night minimum is required.
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