Taking a trip to the mountains may not be your idea of a vacation, but that’s because you haven’t thought of all the amazing activities you can do while you’re there. What if there was a slew of activities to choose from in the great outdoors that you weren’t aware of?
Whether you’re bringing the whole family or making it a romantic trip for two, we’ve laid out 5 awesome outdoor activities you need to do before you leave.
Continue reading below to see just how much fun you can have while visiting the mountains.
1. Hot Air Balloon Ride
Hiking a mountain can only get you so far with limited views of the surrounding area depending on where you are. The solution? Taking a hot air balloon ride.
This is the perfect activity to do in the summer when this outdoor activity is most popular. You’ll get a birds-eye view of the mountains and landscape for miles around. Make sure to take your ride at sunset for the most romantic experience.
Not a fan of heights but still want something just as exhilarating? Zip lining could be a great substitute. Take time to learn more about it.
2. River Rafting
River rafting is a great activity the whole family can enjoy. And nothing beats rafting through canyons and valleys, which make for great travel stories.
Depending on which mountain area you’re visiting will determine what kind of rafting you’ll do. While some rivers have half-day adventures, others give you an overnight experience.
Pigeon River, for example, is the third most rafted river in America. It has two sections of rivers to choose from -Lower Pigeon River and Upper Pigeon River.
Lower Pigeon offers Class 1 and Class 2 rapids which aren’t too hard to navigate, making it perfect for families. You’ll still experience some mild falls, though!
If you’re a more experienced rafter, Upper Pigeon River is for you. This section of river features Class 3 and Class 4 rapids.
3. Horseback Riding
Certain mountain ranges like the Smoky Mountains have a lot of ground to cover, making it almost impossible to see everything in a few short days. The solution?
Take to the trails on horseback with no prior riding experience needed. You’ll cover more surface area in a quicker amount of time, and do it in a more unique way!
Most mountain ranges offering this activity have horses who are well-trained and familiar with the trails. This makes it another outdoor activity perfect for the whole family to enjoy.
Not every outdoor adventure has to be just that – an adventure. If you’re looking for a more relaxing activity, why not take a day to go golfing?
Some mountain ranges have beautiful golf courses overlooking the mountains and beyond, making it the ultimate relaxing golf experience. Not a professional (or even semi-good) golfer?
Don’t worry – there are plenty of mini golf options available, too! Plus, some of these have indoor blacklight courses on rooftops, making it more fun and unique!
5. Clingmans Dome
Let’s go back to basics for our last outdoor adventure with some good ol’ hiking. If you’re staying in the Smoky Mountains, you have to take a day to hike to Clingmans Dome.
After hiking 6,643 miles up, you’ll arrive at the observation tower. This gives you spectacular 360-degree views of the Smokies at the highest point in the state of Tennessee.
If you’re lucky and go on a clear day you can see for over 100 miles!
The hike to the observation tower does get steep, though. While the tower is open all year, the road leading to it closes at the beginning of December.
Keep this in mind when planning your Smoky Mountain trip!
Outdoor Activities You Need to Try
We know these outdoor activities already have you packing your bag. Make sure to keep them in mind for your next mountain trip and pick at least one to put on your mountain bucket list.
Can’t decide? Do all five and pick which was your favorite!