Ennis Lake, Montana
Unruliest rope swing
Ennis Lake, MT
Hold tight while you narrowly clear two pine trees, then fly (or triple-backflip) into a crystal clear lake 30 feet below. (That’s more than three stories.) To get here, drive an hour southwest from Bozeman, swim across the channel above Madison Dam, then climb the staircase of rocks on the opposite bank.
Gnarliest cliff jump
Hidden Lakes, ID
The Snake River Canyon’s cred as a daredevil outpost is undisputed, bolstered by stunts from BASE jumping off the 486-foot Perrine Bridge to Evel Knievel’s nearby flight on a rocket-propelled motorcycle. But the rite of passage for newbies is to leap off the100-foot-plus-tall craggy cliffs into the Hidden Lakes.
Most badass bike odyssey
Canada to Mexico
The Tour Divide, the world’s longest unpaved cycling race, covers 2,745 grueling miles along North America’s rocky spine. Prepare for switchbacks, dust storms, and grizzlies—and don’t expect support crews or a prize, as this race is unsanctioned. While riders can take on the torture test at any time, most racers depart annually on the second weekend in June.
Wildest white-water tubing
Boulder Creek, CO
Slip into your inner tube at the western end of Eben G. Fine Park, then cruise a five-mile lazy river. But brace yourself for a 200-yard course of waves, a 10-foot drop, and deep pools. And be ready for the final waterfall—called Widowmaker because you land in a black hole of swirling water.
Copalis Beach, WA
Watch out for incoming tides and descending planes as you drive this 10-mile stretch of hard-packed sand. Serving as both a beach runway for planes and a highway for cars, it’s one of the only shores in the U.S. where you can legally drive off-road.
Originally published in the May issue of San Francisco.