Satisfy your taste for adventure with colorful excursions into the heart of the high country
Outstanding in the Field
Various locations throughout the West
Locavores unite at these farm-to-table dinners in spectacular outdoor settings, from fields to gardens to mountaintops. You’ll get to know farmers, winemakers and other dedicated food-lovers as you experience gourmet meals—featuring fresh, local ingredients—by well-known regional chefs.
Add On: Pick up a copy of the Outstanding in the Field Farm to Table Cookbook and re-create the experience at home.
Insider Tip: Outstandinginthefield.com is a great place to find farms near you, many of which offer CSA programs that allow you to buy top-quality meat and produce directly from the farm. To start your search, click on the “Ingredients” tab.
From $180 per person, outstandinginthefield.com
Jackson Hole Wildlife Safaris
Designed to give you great views of the greater Yellowstone ecosystem’s original residents—including bear, moose, elk, pronghorn, eagles and bison—these half- and full-day safaris explore wildlife hotspots in Jackson Hole, the National Elk Refuge, and Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. Your guide will help you get smart on local history, geology, and flora and fauna, too.
Add On: Choose the safari/river combo trip and follow up your wildlife encounter with a scenic float down the Snake River or a run on the Snake River Canyon’s famous whitewater.
Insider Tip: Book a private photography safari with a professional nature photographer and take the best vacation pics ever.
From $125 per person, jacksonholewildlifesafaris.com, 307-690-6402
Rocky Mountaineer Whistler
A glass-domed coach takes you from the cosmopolitan coastal city of Vancouver to the resort town of Whistler, both hosts of the 2010 Olympic Games. Your eyes will be glued to the views as you travel along Howe Sound, through Cheakamus Canyon and past Brandywine Falls on this glorious 73-mile trip. Spend the night in Whistler or book a round-trip ticket and return to Vancouver in time for dinner.
Add On: Book the Whistler Glacier Adventure and combine your train trip with a helicopter ride to—and a rare walk atop—a 12,000-year-old glacier.
Insider Tip: Other multi-day trips to destinations like Kamloops, Banff and Calgary are great ways to extend your trip.
From $143 per person, one way; rockymountaineer.com, 800-665-7245
Fly-fishing Adventures at The Little Nell
You won’t have to lift a finger (except to cast your fly) on custom-designed guided trips to private gold-medal waters in Colorado’s Roaring Fork Valley. Half-, full- or multi-day private or group excursions include transportation in one of the Nell’s luxury vehicles or even a helicopter, premium gear from Hardy of England and gourmet meals served streamside.
Add On: A pre- or post-adventure getaway at The Little Nell, where luxe guest rooms and suites were recently redesigned by internationally known interior designer Holly Hunt.
Insider Tip: If you’re craving more excitement in Aspen, ask The Little Nell’s adventure specialist to create a custom excursion for you, from a hike and massage in the wilderness to a challenging bike ride with an accomplished local cyclist. Or practice your fly-fishing skills on an overnight horse pack trip and ask your personal chef to cook your catch.
From $345 per person, thelittlenell.com, 970-920-6315
Canadian Mountain Holidays
British Columbia, Canada
Traveling by chopper to remote lodges in the Canadian Rockies is just the first thrill you’ll encounter during these wilderness vacations; after touch-down, you’ll enjoy guided hikes—tailored to your abilities and interests—to glaciers, alpine meadows and more. Options range from three-day Short Escapes to Lodge-to-Lodge trips to kid-friendly Family Adventures, all of which include luxury accommodations and gourmet meals.
Add On: A customized trip with options including photography, painting and yoga.
Insider Tip: For the ultimate adrenaline-fueled vacation, book a High-Flying Adventure and try your hand at zip-lining, rappelling, rock climbing and glacier traversing.
From $1,730 CAD per person, cmhsummer.com, 800-661-0252
Saddling up at this Relais & Chateaux dude ranch in the Elk River Valley near Steamboat Springs is a thrill. Horses from the 100-horse herd are matched to guests’ skill levels, as are full- or half-day rides along mountainside trails, through aspen groves and across high-country meadows. Rustic-luxe cabins and lodge rooms, and chef Clyde Nelson’s gourmet cuisine, are also tops.
Add On: Workshops and clinics in penning, roping and other skills; plus hiking, fly-fishing, barn dances and more.
Insider Tip: Ladies, find your inner yogi and outer horsewoman at exclusive women-only Horse Yoga Retreats, which take place in May, June and October.
From $5,745/double (seven-night stay), homeranch.com, 800-688-2982
TOP 10 OUTDOOR ADVENTURES
1. Launch off of Aspen or Snowmass Mountains on a tandem flight with certified pilots from Aspen Paragliding, a paragliding school and flight service in Aspen, Colorado. aspenparagliding.com
2. Drive the 59-mile High Road between Taos and Santa Fe for a look into the rural New Mexican lifestyle. The historic Sanctuario de Chimayo, weavers and woodcutters in Truchas, and the 18th-century Church of San Jose in Las Trampas are worth a stop.
3. Ride the gondola to the 9,136-foot summit of Heavenly Mountain at Lake Tahoe, then choose from three different self-guided hikes through the High Sierra forest. skiheavenly.com
4. Take to the meandering Snake River in Jackson, Wyoming, on whitewater or float trips with experienced guides (try Jackson Hole Whitewater, jhww.com), or book a fly-fishing expedition on shore or by boat with a local outfitter (try Jack Dennis Fishing Trips, jackdennis.com).
5. Bright and early, board a hot-air balloon with Morning Star Balloons of Park City, Utah, for a birds’-eye view of the landscape and a Champagne toast upon landing. mstarballoons.com
6. Sign up for a two-wheel adventure with Vail Mountain Bike Camps. Camps include Women’s Weekends in Fruita, Colorado, and Kid’s Camp and Race Academy for juniors and elites in Eagle and Vail. vailmountainbikecamps.com
7. Hike to any of the 29 backcountry huts (or go hut to hut) that comprise Colorado’s 10th Mountain Division Hut Association. Day and overnight use fees apply. huts.org
8. Explore the scenic Gallatin National Forest on a horseback trip with Cache Creek Outfitters in Big Sky, Montana. Options include full- and half-day trail rides, as well as horseback fly-fishing trips. cachecreekoutfitters.com
9. Experience the rushing whitewater on rivers around Whistler, B.C., via a rafting or jet-boat trip with certified guides on the Green, Lower Cheakamus, Elaho and Squamish rivers. whistler.com
10. Grab a patio seat at a mountainside restaurant and try a dish you've never tasted before, like local trout, wild game or Rocky Mountain oysters. Wash it down with a local microbrew.