Adventurous Spring Break Destinations

Looking to make spring break plans, but not so into the party vibe that usually comes with it? If you’re more keen on adventurous activities that get your heart racing and make for epic stories to share with friends and family upon your return home, keep reading. I’ve rounded up the 11 most adventurous spring break destinations so you can have the week of a lifetime!

Adventurous Spring Break Destinations

Adventurous Spring Break Destinations

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1. Camp in the Grand Canyon

At 277 miles long, the Grand Canyon is one of the most breathtaking destinations you can visit for spring break. And with how big it is, there are plenty of things to do and ways to explore this vast canyon! For a spring break like no other, go camping for a week in this national park.

Grand canyon camping - Adventurous Spring Break Destinations

You can spend your days hiking the Rim to Rim trail, trekking out to the hidden gem that is Havasu Falls, or riding donkeys deep down to the bottom of the canyon. By night, enjoy incredible stargazing and cozy home cooked meals around the campfire. 

2. Sea Kayak in the Channel Islands

If water sports are more your thing, you might want to head to Channel Islands National Park in California for spring break this year. From Santa Cruz Island, you can explore over 100 different caves around the island’s craggly coast. Camping is available at Scorpion Ranch campground for budget travelers, or you can stay at a hotel in nearby Ventura, CA.

Kayaking Channel Islands - Adventurous Spring Break Destinations

Channel Islands Adventure Company can hook you up with everything you need, from kayak expeditions to snorkel gear!

3. Hike the Appalachian Trail - Adventurous Spring Break Destinations

Okay, so one week isn’t quite enough time to hike this 2,200-mile-long trail from Georgia to Maine (that usually takes 5-7 months…) but it’s certainly enough time to complete a section of it! If carrying all your worldly possessions on your back as you hike 10-20 miles a day through the Smoky Mountains or Blue Ridge Mountains sounds like your ideal spring break, then the AT is the pick for you.

Spring Break Ideas hiking

Since spring break is typically in March or April, choose one of these sections rounded up by The Trek for good weather and great views during your hike!

4. Climb in Yosemite

Yosemite is like the holy grail of rock climbing. Whether you’re just starting to explore this niche sport or are ready to try and beat Alex Honnold’s speed record for El Capitan, there are a variety of routes for climbers of all levels in this California national park.

Photos from Yosemite Valley Drive in Fall

You can take climbing classes through a few different outfitters in the Yosemite area, or bring all your own gear if you’re so inclined. Make sure to stake out a spot at Camp 4, the campground where all the climbers hang out. 

5. Explore the desert of Moab

Moab is a ramshackle town in the desert of Utah that’s uniquely positioned between Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park. With both parks in comfortable driving distance, you can get up to all sorts of activities during a week-long stay in Moab.

Shafer Trail Switchbacks Canyonlands

You can mountain bike the White Rim Trail in Canyonlands,  go on an off-roading tour of both parks, or just enjoy a round of drinks at the popular Moab Brewery.

6. SCUBA in Cozumel

Cozumel is a tiny island off the coast of Mexico—easily reachable by flying into Cancun and then taking a ferry from mainland Mexico for about 45 minutes. And the journey is worth it—Cozumel is home to some of the best drift diving the world has to offer.

Go Scuba diving on spring break

If you’re a certified diver, you’ll have no problem choosing a few dive sites to check out. Cozumel is also a great destination for anyone looking to get certified as a PADI open water diver!

7. Adventure through the Everglades

Early spring is one of the best times to check out Everglades National Park—you’ll get to enjoy mild temperatures, fewer mosquitos, and fewer crowds, which gives you a greater chance of seeing wildlife! The Everglades are a massive 1.5-million acres of protected wetlands, filled with all sorts of outdoor activities for adventurous types.


Favorites include airboat tours to view alligators, slough slogging, and backcountry camping in the Everglades wilderness. 

8. Surf in Hawaii - Adventurous Spring Break Destinations

Let’s be real: is there anywhere more idyllic to spend spring break than the gorgeous beaches of Hawaii? Up the adventure ante by planning a surf trip to this island state for spring break!

Surfing Spring Break Ideas

There are waves out there for everybody. Beginner surfers will feel most comfortable on the more protected beaches on the west side of Maui—Royal Hawaiian Surf Company is a popular option for lessons in this area. If you’ve got more surfing experience, head to Oahu’s north shore for it’s infamous swells!

9. Cycle through Yellowstone

Spring is the perfect season to cycle and sightsee your way through the nation’s very first national park: Yellowstone! Straddling Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana, Yellowstone is home to a wide array of hot springs and geysers due to all the hydrothermal activity underground. Be forewarned: this adventure isn’t for the faint of heart.

Yellowstone - Adventurous Spring Break Destinations

Yellowstone is uniquely open to cyclists for a few weeks in March and April while snow is being plowed to enjoy the park views before it’s open to the rest of visitors—but weather can be unpredictable.

10. Ski in Alaska - Skiing Adventurous Spring Break Destinations

While I have a whole list of ski trip destinations for spring break, skiing in Alaska is an experience unlike any other, which is why I’m putting it on my adventurous spring break destinations roundup.

Alaska Skiing - Adventurous Spring Break Destinations

 Aleyska Resort is home to a jaw-dropping continuous double black diamond terrain of 2,350 feet, making it ideal for expert skiers in search of a new challenge. Or, you can opt for heli-skiing through Majestic Heli Ski—gain access to the freshest powder of your life straight from a helicopter!

11. White Water Raft the New River Gorge

March marks the start of the white water season in the New River Gorge in West Virginia, making it the perfect place to head for a spring break rafting trip! This is a great time to raft the New, as the water is highest this season, making for bigger rapids and waves.

Kayaking on New Gorge - Adventurous Spring Break Destinations

You’ll also enjoy off-season rates, as things get more expensive as summer rolls around! You can road trip in with your own gear, or choose from outfitters like Ace Raft and Adventures on the Gorge.

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