To many a visit to the great outdoors means a leisurely stroll through the well-worn trails of a nearby state park, perhaps entailing the odd clamber over a felled tree or rogue boulder before taking a well-deserved granola bar break. And then there are these: Extreme adventures that offer intense and thrilling challenges to even the most seasoned outdoorsman, from terrain, or temperature, fauna or any combination of the three.
The Maze, Canyonlands National Park, UT
For those unfamiliar, Utah’s Canyonlands National Park is spectacular. And the Maze is it’s most challenging and remote offering, a Martian landscape of sculptured rock and dust. From the nearest ranger station it’s a several hour drive by 4WD, and there are no sources of water or food anywhere inside – the Park Service suggest most of the just 2,000 visitors annually spend three days or more, and so must be fully self-sufficient. That’s just getting to the beginning of the Maze. As its name suggests, navigating through is tricky, with plenty of dead-ends and the constant threat of extreme heat, falling rocks and the potential for flash floods as well. Amazingly to-date there have been no deaths yet.