Poll: What’s the Best Adventure State?

poll best adventure state 660
Okay, Colorado, put your visor back on and calm down. Utah, stop kicking up that cloud of dust. Texas, you’re big, but can you handle Wyoming? Rhode Island, are you there?

We have debated ski towns and we have wrestled over cities. But what about states? These 50 independent entities form much of our identities and set much of the tone for how we perceive ourselves as adventurers. Think: Colorado bros vs. Utah desert rats vs. California surfers vs. Wyoming cowboys. State boundaries are big enough to encompass worlds of their own, dark enough to wrap you in homie pride. Which one will rule them all?


Lowdown_Impossibly_Black_Blackout_LDPCBOMBThis week, one poll participant will receive Smith Optic’s Lowdown shades. We’ll pick the winner via random number generator (and announce it here) — all you have to do to enter is vote and leave a comment so we have your email to contact you. Must have a U.S. or Canadian address. Contest ends Sunday, April 21, at midnight PST.

Congrats to Will Nesse of Salt Lake City, winner of this week’s giveaway!

Map by Shutterstock

{ 960 comments…read them below or write one }

    • Ron Gardner

      Washington is ok.. primarily because it is so close to the adventure state of Idaho, which by the way, borders Canada.. has the deepest river gorge in North America, tallest sand dunes in No. Am, more whitewater rivers than any other state in lower 48 and more wilderness (adventure country) than any state in lower 48. Not to mention 16 ski resorts which means Idaho is a year ’round adventure state. The Sawtooth Mountains and places like City of Rocks make it a climber’s paradise and Idaho is consistently rated among the top 3 mountain biking states in the USA.

      • Nick Bell

        This guys knows whats up.. We also have the most natural hot springs anywhere in North america.. I have ridden all over the west coast and I still get the most excited about the riding right here in my own back yard..

        There is so much recreational opertunity in Idaho that I wouldnt want to live anywhere else..

      • Shawn

        Plus – home to the I.B. Perrine Bridge in Twin Falls – the only place in the US where BASE Jumping is allowed anytime without a permit. 486 feet of parachuting pleasure into the scenic Snake River Canyon (the same place where the King of All Adventure – Mr. Evel Knievel – attempted his SkyCycle jump in 1974)!

      • Josh

        Idaho is Great, but Colorado actually has the tallest sand dunes in North America. Check out Great Sand Dunes National Park.

        • Becky

          The dunes in Bruneau, Idaho are the tallest in the Pacific Northwest. Reaching 470 feet tall with a natural lake that surrounds them. These dunes keep their height for a couple reasons, People are not allowed to drive any kind of motor vehicle on them and also the winds that blow at the dunes constantly blow the sand from one side to the other always keeping the sand on top of the dune. The lake is stalked with trophy sized large mouth bass year round. Fisherman are not allowed to keep anything under 22″ long. Makes for great fishing.

        • abby

          Idaho has one of the states with the least amount of laws and regulations. It needs to stay that way. Speaking of dunes, St. Anthony!!!! Colorado crossed the line with the new gun laws.

      • cathy ryle

        i agree… idaho is the most amazing state! the best part, in my opinion, is when you are out in nature, you usually don’t have to share it with any other humanoids;)

    • Adam Wirth

      Idaho for sure; it has the most whitewater in the lower 48, largest roadless area in the lower 48 (Frank Church Wilderness area), the Sawtooths, the Teton valley White Clouds, Boulders, Bitterroot, Caribou, Seven Devil, Owyhee and Pioneer mountain ranges provide the countries best opportunities for mountain biking, backpacking, fishing, hunting, rafting, kayaking, kite boarding, climbing, skiing, trail running, paddle boarding and just about any other adventure activity you can think of. Oh wait, and as the 39th most populated state, there are no people. While folks in WA and CO sit in traffic on the I5, 405, 705 and I70 you are getting after it in Idaho.

      • noidaho

        while ID may have more of these things you mention, quality also counts. there’s no more rugged, majestic area in the lower 48 than the north cascades. you can have your sawtooths, there long, flat approach trail, and comparatively uninteresting peaks. give me old growth trees, glaciers, and raging torrents.

        • beth

          We also have the Crags, Salmon River Mountains, Beaverhead Range and the Bitterroots, not to mention Mt. Borah. Idaho has the most unpopulated land, not to mention the Frank Church Wilderness Area with over 2 million acres of unspoiled land, and hundreds of lakes.

        • Matt

          You have apparently never been to Idaho if you think the peaks are uninteresting and approaches are flat. Also ask anyone who does whitewater what they think about the apparent “lack of raging torrents” in Idaho.

          • Brady

            I agree Matt. Noidaho needs to go see Jacobs ladder on the north fork payette. Lack of raging torrents my ass

        • AdamID

          Don’t forget the rain in Washington which makes performing outdoor activities unrealistic much of the year. Idaho has a shot at the top but I do think there are higher quality options.

      • Baker

        Idaho for sure. What other state has a capitol city that backs up to 130 miles of singletrack? I love living less than 2 miles from downtown and less than a quarter mile from the start of that 130 miles of interconnected singletrack.

      • Josh

        Idaho is great, but Colorado actually has the highest sand dunes in North America. Check out Great Sand Dunes National Park.

        • Tony

          Colorados sand dunes are higher in elevation, yes, but the Bruneau sand dunes in Idaho boasts the single tallest sand dune, over 400 ft.

        • bprasavanh

          Idaho is in the running because there is a lot of activities to do outdoors. You may think Boise sucks, try visiting here and actually meeting the right people. People that visit Boise also fail to realize that you can easily catch HWY 55 or 95 into the mountains and go on a quick adventure.

        • Maggie

          Wilkey… you don’t do much around Boise then do you? Been south to the Bird’s of Prey? Been out to the Owyhee and Silver City? Been out on any of the 100+ miles of mountain biking trails around the foothills and up to Shaffer Butte, and the trails to Idaho City? Been out to Emmett or Lucky Peak and boated or jet skied? Been down the Payette and the class 5 rapids? Yes, if you look at Boise and the barren hills in the summer it doesn’t look like much… but as far as outdoor adventure within 50 miles…. I don’t know of another city in the NW (and I have lived in WA, OR, and ID my whole life) that compares… I can get out and be mountain biking, floating a river, within minutes of my house.

    • Scott Yates

      Definitely Washington due to variety. Don’t forget crazy good wind surfing on the Columbia, rain forest, 4 different seasons, and don’t forget some great city scape like skate parks and urban bike/skating in the cities.

    • Brandis

      I admit my overwhelming bias to my home state. But it’s also Spring here, and when it’s Spring here, we forget the previous endless months of rain and bleakness and step out into our own personal Eden. Eff Yeah.

    • Robert Wood

      Montana is without a doubt. It has the largest Wilderness areas in the lower 48, our 2 largest National Parks on the northern and southern boundaries, and un rivaled wildlife. With a population of 1 million residents it’s still a quite kind of world.

      • Kennen Myer

        You obviously don’t know your facts. Idaho has THE largest roadless wilderness area in the lower 48. The Frank church River of No Return, and the largest unprotected roadless area in the lower 48, the Boulder White Cloud area. The list goes ON AND ON. Montana is Beautiful, but what you said isn’t true.

    • Steven Hill

      I’ve had the chance to visit all 50 states on several occasions. Hands down the Southern Rockies in Colorado is the place to be. Every adventure you can think of can be done in Colorado! Not only do you have 54 mountains over 14,000 feet to climb (not counting the 600+ mountains over 13,000 feet), rafting, hiking till your shoes fall off, skiing and snowboarding, para gliding, 4 wheeling, etc, etc. There are no views elsewhere like the Continental Divide. The American Discovery Trail and the Continental Divide Trail both travel through the state. The Colorado Trail is close to 500 miles long. Colorado is a cyclists paradise for all levels. The Great Sand Dunes is the largest in the U.S. Also, Rocky Mountain National Park is a must to visit before you die with more trails than you can hike, 150 lakes and wildlife galore. I can go on and on but I won’t. There is no other place I would want to be!

  • David Jones

    Massive fail on Michigan. First, not on the list. Second, Lower and Upper Peninsula should be the same color.

  • Kevin

    I’m incredibly biased but I’ll have to go with KS (stop laughing!)… It’s so easy to get away from EVERYTHING out on the gravel, nothing around you but fields and cattle and a thin ribbon of road bobbing up and down the rollers. Never know what you might find out there.

    • Jedd

      I have to agree completely! There are parts of western Kansas where you are as isolated as you could be in the mountains of Colorado. You can also enjoy one of the most beautiful drives through the eastern KS flint hills region. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else!!

    • Blake

      The entire Eastern half of Montana is nothing but prairie and backroads. Not to mention the Eastern half of Montana is pretty much the same size as Kansas and Idaho.

  • Craig Rowe

    If one is basing their argument on sheer variety of available outdoor pursuits, CA takes it. Sure, Utah and CO may have better skiing, but the hiking/rafting/climbing and oh yeah, surfing, collectively, pushes the scale in the favor of the Golden State.

      • Tom B

        Um, I guess you haven’t actually explored any of these states? Oregon and Washington east of the Cascades and Colorado west of the Rockies is mostly high desert.

        • Thom H

          Second what Tom B said, Washington has every time of climate including deserts and the only rain forest in the lower 48…

          • Ron Gardner

            If you go climbing, hiking, etc. in the overcrowded state of California, you’ll have an experience that includes meeting crowds of people, most of them from California, who thought they were going to get away from the crowds. I once produced a video on the Lewis & Clark Trail (Lolo Trail) in Idaho in which I interviewed some people from California who said they’d been on a lot of hikes but had never actually seen wilderness before coming to Idaho. Idaho has more than 3,000 miles of whitewater rivers, is consistently rated one of top 2 states for mt. biking (trades with Utah usually), is literally filled with biking/jhiking trails including the world famous Route of the Hiawatha and the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes.
            Deserts? We have the tallest sand dunes in North America (Bruneau Dunes) and the Owyhee Uplands Backcountry is a far more exciting place to explore that anything you’ll find in California. “Southern” California is good for surfing and Hollywood is good for laughing at strange people, but if you want adventure, you’ll have to move north to Idaho.

          • Susan

            Anything west of the Cascades is considered temperate rainforest. My backyard in Salem is a temperate rainforest!

            I picked Idaho btw. It should be California tho.

          • robert howard

            Idaho is the ugly. no state in the country is as ugly as idaho . they might as well sell it all to the highest bidder it is all worthless.

        • TJ

          Not sure I buy that Ron. I’m from Southern California and hike or backpack in the San Gabriel Mountains right outside of L.A. most ever weekend. The most people I will see on a trail during the day is maybe four and often I won’t see anyone at all. Backpacked the last two weekends and had exactly zero people in a trail camp only about five miles from a road. The trick is elevation. Go low and you’ll see people..head up and you’ve got some serious solitude.

          • CMA

            Idaho would like to keep California OUT! They are destroying our beautiful wilderness with their carelessness, and pollution of liter!!!

          • Diana

            I think you missed the point, TJ… have you ever hiked in IDAHO wilderness? Until you’ve tasted the real thing, of course what you have is satisfying to you. I meet people from cities (mostly SoCal) and they are stunned at what color the sky REALLY is… how many stars are REALLY in the sky…

            I’m glad you are happy with your watered-down version of wilderness, TJ, but in Idaho, it’s the REAL thing.

      • don peitro

        Really? You don’t know this? WA and OR don’t have a desert? Have you not been to either central OR or central WA? Have lived in all 4 states mentioned and while SO. CAL has everyone beat on perpetual summer, CO weather hard to beat in that it gets sooo much sun in the winter (unless it’s snowing!) but this isn’t about weather… Adventure? Really got to tip my hat to WA: great diversity of climate and activity specific terrain. Can ski year round on Mt. Rainier, Adams, St. Helens, Baker, and Glacier Peak. Plentiful rock climbing, actual glaciated mt. climbing (technical), super kayaking options from the protected San Juan Islands to open ocean surfing. The superb mt. biking around Goldendale, Yakima, Ellensburg and Walla Walla is largely unknown… one can go on for a while. All this said, there is always the great diversity and beauty of Utah (where else can you walk for 2 weeks on sandstone?) All great places. Fun to consider.

      • Brandon M.

        You know… I have to disagree on this one… Florida has just as good, if not better weather. Though, not much in the sense of adventure, unless you like diving, surfing, hiking, horse back riding, hunting, rafting/tubing, skydiving, theme parks, and all around beautiful scenery…

    • GB

      Taxifornia. No thanks. There’s a reason 6,000+ people left CA for ID last year alone and only 600 went the other direction.

      • CMA

        Idaho does not want California moving there, they saw what California did to Oregon, and Washington. Bringing with them the same politics with them that they wanted to leave! Bringing the same taxes with them that they wanted to leave!! If Idaho wanted that they would have moved to California….They also bring with them crime, and litter and a disrespect for the laws.

          • Diana

            Wow, what an ignorant and uninformed comment. It’s obvious you have spent very little time (if any) in Idaho. Do you always make judgments using your lack of knowledge or was this just a special moment for you?

            I’m not saying that (just like any other state) Idaho doesn’t have its share of bigots. But they don’t represent the rest of us.

    • Ron Gardner

      Well, it says Alaska is still largely a frontier and theres good reason for that. Most… Most of the state has nothing to offer unless you’re really really really into snow & ice. :)

      • CC

        Ummmm…. nothing to offer except fishing FOR DAYS (both fresh water and salt water), hunting, hiking, kayaking, bonfires on the beach where ever, beach combing, surfing, jet skiing, spear fishing, snorkeling or scuba diving, canoeing, 4-wheeling on top off all the winter activities. I’m from Kodiak, Alaska and I have done and enjoyed all of these activities in just one small island town in this vast and beautiful state. Yes the weather can be tough, but when it’s beautiful Alaskans know how to take advantage of great weather and have fun even when the weather is bad. Plus, each region of Alaska is vastly different and has a ton of things to do and offer besides snow and ice. Not saying that many other states aren’t full of adventure, but there is nothing like enjoying a sunset on top of a mountain at midnight in July. I personally get off of work, drive 5 minutes to a fishing hole and catch more king salmon in a day than most will in 5 lifetimes.

        • EJ

          KODIAK yes. I’ve spent time in all of the top 5 states and none of them compare. I’m pretty sure if you didn’t vote for Alaska, you haven’t been there :)

          • Julie Sprague

            definitely Alaska!! if you say AK only has fishing to offer for days and days then i suggest you have not been there either. Alaska’s diverse ranges offer so much.. camping, fishing, backpacking, rafting, sightseeing, kayaking, surfing, wind sailing, and more. I have to admit, moving to MT after living in AK for twelve years leaves me saddened.

        • John Linse

          THANK YOU.

          People are totally ignorant to what is up here. Name a SINGLE state besides Alaska that has the Aurora Borealis as a common occurance?

          Not only are there so many different regions in Alaska to explore, but you can get a COMPLETELY different experience by coming there during a different season.

          Plus, you dont have to drive more than 20 Miles to get completely secluded wilderness to camp at.

          There are all these Alaskan Natives to meet: Inupiaq, Yupik, Aleut, Eyak, Tlingit, Haida, Tsimshian, and a number of Northern Athabaskan cultures.

          PLENTY of wild game to hunt.

          Without a doubt, the freshest, cleanest air you could possibly breathe. When I first visited California, I was sick almost every day until my body adjusted to the air quality there.

          Lastly, All the wonderful people that live up in Alaska. I have yet to see a state with as many kind people as Alaska does.

    • Sarah

      Montana hands down… Winter you have downhill skiing, cross country skiing, snow shoeing, ice fishing some of the best places in the us to go ice climbing, and dog sledding summer you have hiking trails every were. White water rafting, kayaking, tons if rivers and lakes, fly fishing, mountain biking, hunting, wildlife watching, tons of places to go dirt bike riding camping in the back country, Yellowstone and glacier national park,oh wait there is more rodeos, horseback riding, floating the river and just getting lost in a country back road laying on a tail gate star gazing.. I have visited several other states and grew up in Cali there is no other state that has as much natural beauty as Montana and we have the least amount of people per sq Milge then Idaho

  • Laura

    Oregon. It’s got the mountains, the coast, windsurfing in the Columbia River Gorge. Hiking, climbing, skiing, jet boating, caving. Tree houses for rent, kayaking, canoeing, mushroom hunting, hang gliding, hot air ballooning. And depending on your preferences,you can go for wet or dry weather just by choosing a side of the mountains.

    • Darlene

      Oregon! Hello! I was born in California, raised in Texas, and lived in 28 of these United States and I’ve found that I Love Oregon! The feeling when at the ocean, and the post-card view around every curve on the coast, there is rain forests, to the desert, depends on your likes, Oregon has it! I love the rain! peace & Love GOD bless

  • ChrisJ

    Oregon: From the Pacific Ocean, coastal rivers, temperate rain forests, Coast Range, wine country in the Willamette Valley, on to the Cascade Range, and out into the high desert; Oregon has absolutely everything!

  • SometimesElla

    I understand that it’s hard to take seriously somewhere so tiny, especially a place that is not considered a “state” but would it have hurt to include DC?

    There’s plenty of adventure to be had here!

  • 6nd

    The west coast, and if I had too choose… It would be Washington state, I’m going to go out on a limb and agree with Colin. I say it has it all, and coffee.

  • Marie Husnick

    South Dakota! Where else can you ski, hunt(whitetail, mule deer, pronghorn, elk, turkey, prairie dog, coyotes, mountain lion, mountain goat, bighorn sheep, pheasant, goose, duck, and Bison-yes the American Buffalo). Also fishing, camping, hiking, gold panning, and we also have Jewel Cave National Monument, Mount Rushmore National Monument, Wind Cave National Park, Custer State Park, Crazy Horse Mountain and the Badlands. South Dakota has something for everyone

  • Dave

    Really, Oregon is that low? Come on people, show Oregon some love. Hood, Bachelor, Columbia River gorge, desert, ocean. Love the adventure here.

  • Norman

    Washington: #1 in Mtb’ing, skiing, hiking, more glaciers than any state but AK (which has no desert or any decent weather, ever.). We have wilderness beaches (Really? Colorado? Nope). We have an amazing city full of beautiful women…

    • Jeremiah

      AK Desert: Kobuk Valley National Park. Check. AK Weather: what’s adventurous about nice weather all the time? Check. AK Wilderness beaches: they are there, but you’ve got to explore to find them. Check. AK women: is that really a qualification of an adventure state? Checkmate.

    • Josh

      Wow someone’s insecure!

      Washington? Really?

      Rain Rain Rain, Oceans too cold to swim in, and other geographic features that can be found elsewhere. WOW!!!

      Stop bashing other states because you are so insecure!!!

  • Jordan C.

    Lots of Adventure to be had in so many places… Had to go with Idaho since Im hoping to find some quality adventure there.

  • Jack Edwards

    Washington, definitely! Maybe Oregon… or Colorado…. perhaps Nevada. No, Washington, definitely! lol

  • Buck

    CT = under-rated! Btw, as a Yooper, I love the that Upper Peninsula of Michigan is a different color than Lower Michigan. I saw someone suggest that should be change — no way! UP = 51st state.

  • Mike Bouford

    Maine, We have actual Wilderness areas, and all 4 seasons. Winter, still winter, Mud, and Almost Winter.

  • james shiroda

    idaho – 61 % of the state is public land , the most % wise of any state . idaho is underrated for recreation i believe . its an outdoor persons paradise

    • Patty

      I agree, Carter. Northern NV, especially, has so many of the winning traits others have touted for their nominated state….and hardly any bugs!

  • Ken Morrow

    Mile-high mountain wildernesses, vast swamps and wetland forests, the high desert plains, sub-tropical and temperate prairies and steppes, and half of the US coast of the Gulf of Mexico all lie within the state of Texas. From world class white water wildernesses like Devils River to the wintering grounds of over 3/4 of North America’s birds, Texas offers virtually every adventure in the world of outdoor sports and rec with the exceptions of downhill skiing, snowmobiling, and ice fishing. Toss in 3 of the nation’s largest and most dynamic urban environments, the Pan-American border culture, and more miles of rivers and roads than most other states combined. Top it off with a low cost of living, great climate, and the friendliest folks on Earth.

    • Adam Olson

      Ken, you have opened my eyes to Texas. But I have to ask, why do ‘y-all’ spend so much of your off time in CO?

  • Seth

    I originally thought Utah … since you can do just about everything there in just about every biom … but I find myself having to go to California these days.

  • Harry Mudgett

    COLORADO! Unless of course you want a more than 10 round magazine, but on the flip side, we have lots of legal weed!

  • Alissa

    Tough call. CA has the highest (lower 48 only) and lowest altitudes – within a few hours drive of each other. Hawaii has an active volcano. Hmmm.

  • kimberly

    California of course! Between Joshua Tree, The long stretch of ocean for surfing, and the High Sierras, all pretty much at your fingertips (or drive), you can’t go wrong here.

  • Linnaea

    Ocean, high desert, The Columbia River Gorge, alpine mountains (year round skiing!) the Siskiyous biodiversity, great rafting/fishing rivers, even greater beer in every corner of the state to partake in when your done with your awesome Oregon adventures. Go Oregon!

  • Jarred blankenshp

    Idaho! Rivers, Mountains, deserts, lakes. Skiing, mountain biking, fishing, rafting/Kayaking/canoeing.

  • Mo

    Washington FTW! We have ocean, mountains, deserts, rivers and lakes. It rains a lot which makes for great skiing until June. We have great climbing, surf and trails for amazing adventures everywhere.

  • Linnaea

    Ocean, high desert (great for birding), The Columbia River Gorge (world class wind/kite surfing), alpine mountains (year round skiing!), the Siskiyou’s biodiversity, great whitewater/fishing river and even greater beer when your done with your adventure. GO OREGON!

  • Tim

    California – where else can you start the day skiing the high country, climb in the desert that afternoon and finish the day surfing? And without all the weather nonsense of Washington.

  • Ryan

    California – by virtue of how much adventure happens everyday. Any season. From oceans to mountains to islands to deserts, to YOSEMITE. Sure you’ve got to escape the suburbs but ride 30min east of the coast and you’re out in isolation.

  • Ron Gardner

    Idaho is not just cool in winter (17 ski resorts) or summers (more than 3,000 miles of whitewater rivers) it’s cool year ’round. Deepest river gorge (Hell’s Canyon) tallest sand dunes (Bruneau Dunes) biggest wildnerness area in lower 48 (Frank Church Wilderness) top rated mt. biking state in USA, etc. It takes too long to list all the things we’re better at, have more of and are prettier than. :) Really, we are #1.

  • D

    W Y O
    No doubt its the cowboy state. Most public land and least people. True adventure is far far away from the concreat jugle. Aaska second.

  • Dangerous Dale

    Alaska? Biggest mountains, most remote wilderness, arguably the worst weather, most bears, fewest people. As much as I love Colorado, Alaska’s the place to go for an adventure.

  • Chase

    For access to sheer number of outdoor adventures, nowhere else compares to Washington. Alaska may have more wild lands, but no other place in the country can you find great surfing, endless saltwater kayaking and sailing, more backpacking, hiking and climbing areas that you could hit in a liftetime, year-round ski mountaineering, some of the world’s best fly fishing (and windsurfing) and the most rugged mountain range in the lower 48, (N. Cascades > Tetons), all within 3 hours of a major city.

  • Ron Gardner

    Seriously? One does not need a poll to see that Idaho, with more whitewater than any other state, the most wilderness of any state in lower 48, deepest river gorge in No. America, tallest sand dunes, etc. etc. can be the only clear choice, Nat’l Geographic already knows this, for the #1 Adventure State in the USA. We’re top rated for rafting, kayaking, hiking, mt. biking, skiing, climbing, back country flying, fishing, running and pretty much everything else you can do outdoors. Idaho is unquestionably #1.

  • jeff

    Adventure is where you find it. You can have a grand adventure walking out your back door. Sure it may be easier, or grander, if you live in Maine, NH or VT than for example RI, Iowa or a Peoples Republic like MA (where everything not expressly allowed is forbidden), but to those who want to get out doors and test themselves, where ever you are is a great place to start.

  • noah

    Idaho – world class whitewater, fly fishing, single track, wilderness = variety and no crowds to fight along the way.

  • Kelly Gault

    What no Canada Options? Pesonally I’d say quebec overall has everything one would need.

    Vermont, Colorado are good seconds…

  • Carly

    25 ski resorts, 4 national parks, mountains, desert, rivers, lakes, singletrack galore, USA Pro Cycling Challenge…Colorado all the way!

  • John callahan

    Sea kayak in the early morning, white river raft the fore noon, hike or bike forsts all day, climb high by dusk and camp at tree line. And start over tomorrow. Maine is the perfect size to get there and then get away. I can’t wait to get back.

  • Matt

    It’s not Colorado….trust me … it’s really boring here and ugly and stuff. try Kansas or something. It’s probably way better. ;)

  • Stephen Farmum

    In 2006 my wife and I decided to move somewhere fun. We chose WA and never regretted it. Ski, kayak, cycle, hike, trail run, climb, sail, eat, drink. What else could you ask for?

  • mark heslop

    Utah! All I need to say is Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, and that is just the beginning of the adventure available.

  • Colin

    Rhode Island. International sailing scene and home to some of the best surfing on the East coast. There isn’t much you can’t do in RI, hiking, biking, sailing, surfing, paddle boarding, kayaking, and even skiing.

  • Chris

    CA, as it’s got Southern California beaches right through to the mountains at Tahoe. There’s always some adventure to be had.


      I agree neighbor! It’s an awesome thing to have the freedom to travel to all 50 states without having an approved “legitimate” reason.

  • Linda

    Idaho! Beautiful scenery, love being able to see the mountains from anywhere. Also my son and daughter currently live in Mountain Home as he is in the Air Force and stationed at MHAFB.

  • David D

    hum, what is this saying? It should be next to a list of where folks are clicking from. That would be interesting.


    Idaho for sure!! We’ve got so much to offer!! Hiking biking fishing skiing white water raft trips hot springs year round and some of those are so awesome too!! I recommend Burgdorf hot springs in McCall and there is so much more things to do and see!!

  • Christy

    Alaska! More moose and caribou than people and a midnight sun to make those adventures on ridges and rivers happen. Darkness in winter accompanied by northern lights makes for unimaginable night skis. The list goes on. Alaska!!!!

  • Justin

    Idaho-It’s all about getting out there and doing what you love. From my house I have direct access to hundreds of miles of trails, 5 minutes to fly fishing, <1 hour to ski, 1-2 hours for epic whitewater.

    Try that in Seattle.

  • Ira

    Washington has the most incredible mountains in the lower 48 for hiking and climbing. There are big jagged peaks, lots of glaciers, tens of thousands of mountain lakes and more. It also has a temperate rain forest with giant trees, a desert, lots of white water kayaking and rafting, rock climbing and did i mention the mountains; only an hours drive from seattle.

  • Mark

    Idaho is larger than the state of Texas if you take the total square acreage of all our pristine mountain ranges and flatten them like TX. It has the nicest people, most beautiful geology, best skiing, fishing, rafting, hunting, and camping in the country if not the word. Then add in the nicest people and cheapest real estate and we have a winner!

  • James L


    We have all four seasons here, with good climbing, hiking, skiing, surf is decent as well, and clear advantage of having the capability of heading north to Canada if needed. From wet lands to dry lands we have that too. Having Mt. Rainier in our backyard has a large advantage over multiple other states as well…. San Juan islands, Mt. Baker, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Adams, as well as the Puget Sound and multiple other beautiful places to explore. Such as the cascade mountain range or even the Olympic mountain range. I believe the poll stands as true. PNW.

  • brian

    Had I have seen the results first I would have voted for my native MN simply to help overtake WI! Instead I went with UT… beauty, variety and it is dead center in the middle of the west. All those other states are just a days drive away

  • KatieSue

    I’m currently adventuring myself in Utah, but voted for my homestate of CA. Think about it, a little of everything for everyone and anyone. Surfing awesome beaches, Yosemite granite and J Tree climbing, Redwoods, Desert, Sierras for PCT and mountaineering, decent ski resorts and the weather to enjoy it all whenever you want it. It might not have the very best of somethings but you can’t deny it has a little of everything.

  • ernie

    everything within 90 minutes,beaches,rivers,mountains, desert,big city, shopping, every kind of food, every kind of person

  • AJ

    I’m guessing few of us have adventured in every state, so our opinions are very much biased by the states already billed as “adventure” states. That said, I can’t wait to go back to Colorado…and Utah and California are high on my list. I’m a bit surprised to see the margin that Washington has right now over the states that first come to mind when I hear the word adventure.

  • Wes

    Although I do love my current home in NC, It’s hard to beat both the coastal and mountain sports that Washington has to offer.

  • BCOX

    Sometimes you have to leave a place to realize what you’ve left. I left MT, and now I realize, MT is for badasses.

  • DW

    Idaho – Mountains, lakes, canyons, sand dunes, Craters of the Moon, elite level whitewater rafting, skiing…what don’t we have.

  • dustin

    Idaho ALL DAY LONG. Born in Oregon and love it there too. But nothing I have ever seen in the West meets Idahos ruggedness, isolation, and people. Everyone in Idaho live along the snake river. You go anywhere else, and there in no one. ITS AWESOME. The Sawtooths are the best backpacking range anywhere in the nation. Not too hot in the summers like Utah, but warm enough to melt the snow into dozens of waterfalls that are drinkable.
    Idaho HANDS DOWN

  • Deb

    CALIFORNIA: Highest mountain in lower 48 (Mount Whitney), Lowest Point & often hottest (Stark & beautiful Death Valley), Lake Tahoe, The John Muir/Pacific Crest Trails, the unmatched California coastline (Kayaking, fishing, surfing,), skiing the Sierra Nevada, Yosemite!, and for post adventure: great beer, wine, coffee, & food! So grateful for all of it!

    • TJ

      I’m with you Deb. Let’s not forget the awesome desert and the ability to go from there 9K to the Pacific in one day. (Which I did last year just because I could.) :)

      And grateful describes my head too.

  • Stephen

    I grew up in NH mountains, have lived in Maine, Washington, Utard, No Arizona, Colorado and California and while I would choose to live in CO because the adventures suit my interests, got to say Washington has it ALL!! No question WA is best adventure state for anything from ocean based, to mountaineering to skiing to whitewater boating to anything!!!

  • Jeremiah

    The only reason Alaska is not top on this list must be due to the severe jealously of residents living in all the other places. AK is the biggest, baddest, adventure state of ‘em all. For those who think a bicycle ride to the local coffee shop constitutes adventure, you need a reset. Or a vacation to the Last Frontier.

  • chris h

    so hard to choose just one. But Arkansas has become my favorite with all the hiking and rivers and lakes and caves. Plus, the people are far more friendly than other states.

  • Dennis

    Washington…so much variety and living in the inland northwest near Idaho, BC’s powder triangle and Montana there’s almost too much to do and mostly unknown. Yeah!!!

  • Tom B.

    Oregon! Rating, skiing, hiking, national parks, national monuments, national forests, national wildness, ocean, lakes, snow skiing, water skiing, hang gliding, hunting, fishing, cycling, climbing…

  • centersville

    Adventure is everywhere, therefore the best place to live is the one that is equidistant to all: Kansas.

  • Sean

    Massachusetts! We have a couple mountains, shit tons of coastline, some real great bouldering, mountain biking a-plenty. Awesome hills for longboarding.

    also cus freedom

  • colby

    i guess everyone has their own definition of adventure. i thought alaska would run away with it. if its common to have to use an outhouse, well thats adventure, haha.

  • James

    Haven’t been to all 50, but I will say Utah’s access is immediate and rowdy. Deep powder and great desert. But the nightlife is lacking so the apres makes it a bit harder to keep the adventure going into the night. Even still, vote for other states. We don’t need any more traffic in Wasangeles.

  • Murph

    As much as I love living in New England, I gotta go with a state out west. Has to be on the ocean – sorry CO, UT, MT, ID. If I have to pick one, I’ll pick WA. This is like picking your favorite child…….

  • Cody

    The top 5 make sense, but where tf did Arkansas come from? I didn’t read the previous posts though so apologies if someone already asked that.

    • Daisy

      I was born in Arkansas, and have spent my whole life wanting to move away, until becoming an outdoor person at the age of 50. Wish I’d woken up sooner. Excellent mountain biking trails, beautiful places to hike, backpack. Great rock climbing . Lakes, rivers, trout fishing. Great fishing state with lots of diversity in what you catch. Kayaking, gorgeous waterfalls, mountains, rock formations. All 4 seasons. Beautiful, diverse, natural! Glad I ventured out. Now I have a great appreciation for my state of Arkansas

  • Kevin D.

    Just moved to Idahoooo, lovin’ it. Tons of options: climbing, mtn. biking, and snowboarding have been in abundance since my arrival. Politically, not the best, but Boise keeps it real. Pretty good job & housing mkt too, for those who count that.

    • CMA

      If you don’t like our politics why did you come here?? We do not want the liberal fanatics of California. Idaho use to have a lot of free camping, a lot of free outdoor activities, since California started coming here, buying up the land, getting into politics etc, we now have lots of areas now charging for camping that use to be free, ie on the snake river!!! Use to be able to go camping with no one around even on weekends, now you have to go early to get a spot, and it is overcrowded. One Person from California told me they came her because they had to drive 500 miles once to find a camping spot, and though they don’t like our politics they felt they could change the State into a liberal utopia…REALLY???

  • Kevin

    Idaho! Moved here recently and have been impressed with the selection. Great climbing, mtn biking, and snowboarding. Endless rivers. Politically, not the best; but, Boise keeps it real. And the jobs and housing mkt is pretty good, for those who consider that.

  • Alex

    Washington takes the cake here.

    Climate and geological diversity, incredible topographical relief, many glaciated peaks and volcanoes, massive rivers, and even a rainforest!

    Any outdoor pursuit you can think of is available in Washington.

  • Kate

    Colorado no doubt. But I’ll give a shout out to PA, which surely ranks above Ohio and Iowa. Underrated it may be, but as one of the most rural states its got plenty of excellent backwoods adventures.

  • charlie

    Tennessee! Where else can you have world class Kayaking, climbing, and biking year round? Plus shitty snow sports in the winter?

  • Tad

    Idaho For Sure! Whitewater Rafting, Kayaking, Hiking, Climbing, Camping, Mountain Biking, Skiing, Sailing, Paragliding & Hang Gliding. Adventure State Extraordinaire!! Don’t tell anyone though…most people think we just grow nice potatoes :)

  • Chelle

    Idaho has everything–diverse landscapes from desert to ferny forests. We have culture, too. Boise is the best. But, what we have a lot of is public lands! Adventure of every kind awaits within.

  • Nick

    I’m with you Colin, but you forgot rainforest, crazy rivers, best kiteboarding… All sorts of nuts stuff. The best thing about Washington is, we have it all.

  • Paula Horning

    Idaho, hands down. We have year round adventures here. The weather is mild year round but there’s snow to play in, the mountains, the desert and the foothills to roam, camp, hike, ski, snowshoe, fish, hunt, waterski, snorkle and whatever else you can dream up!

  • Bill Terry

    Arkansas has so much to see and many areas to visit. Great parks, older cities and civil war era areas to visit.

  • Liz

    Come on y’all – the west coast doesn’t have a monopoly on adventure! North Carolina has the warm Atlantic, the breath-taking Blue Ridge, and plenty of fun in between. Run, climb, ride, paddle, then end your day with a craft brew in Beer City USA while jammin’ to local bluegrass pickers throwing down. Got bros? Nope, just good ‘ole friendly folks around here.

  • Sean Buehler

    California hands down. So much geographic and activity variety. Climb, Ski, Surf, Hike, Mountaineer, Raft, Bike…..Everything.

  • Tucker

    Idaho – from the mountains (ski, bike, hike,etc..) to the rivers (ww rafting, fishing). Even world class Base Jumping.

  • Whitney

    How could it not be Idaho? This biggest roadless area of any state in the lower 48! Hot springs! Whitewater! Big pointy mountains! Desert! Rednecks!

  • Lee

    Wow, what a loaded question. If you’re looking for variety & shear size I think you have to go with California. Colorado is always fun….however….those place are crowded!

    If you’re into isolation, that opens up some other stuff. Alaska in terms of pure adventure spirit.

    Looking for some isloation & some adventure in the lower 48: New Mexico has the Rockies and desert without the crowds. Oklahoma is one of the most geographicly diverse states in the country, and you can do everything there except surf & ski. I also give honorable mention to Arkansas. Floating the Buffalo NR has become a family tradition.

    • Steven C

      I have golfed, skied, mountain booked and the waterskied all in the same day. Beartooth mountains, Montana.

  • Dain White

    Idaho has more natural hot springs than the western states and British Columbia combined. Idaho has 3500 miles of runnable whitewater, more than any other state in the lower 48. Idaho has more continuous wilderness than the rest of the lower 48 states combined. Idaho has deep woods, beautiful lakes, spectacular mountain, serene, endless deserts, the largest sand dune in the continent, the largest (and least populated) county in the lower 48, Craters of the Moon and of course, City of the Rocks. From the rolling green hills of the Palouse to the mighty Sawtooth mountains, Idaho is spectacularly beautiful. Let’s keep it that way – pack it in, pack it out. Leave nothing but footprints, and remember… only you can prevent forest fires, kids.

  • Jay Saenz

    I moved to Idaho in 2004 and have fallen in love with the state. You can go sandboarding in the dunes, kayaking on the snake river, or sail at arrow rock damn. This state has so much to offer!

  • Adam

    Idaho has everything. From my house I can be at 6 different ski resorts, 8 lakes, 3 mountain ranges with backpacking, fishing, atv/moto trails, horseback ect. in 2.5 hours. Not to mention world renowned whitewater and climbing “city of rocks” plus don’t forget Smith Optics HQ. My own private Idaho.

  • Lauren Vanderlugt

    I’m torn between WA (birthplace), Idaho and Montana. WA has too many people and shitty traffic on the weekends, making it harder to get to all the awesome places (assuming you live in lower Puget sound). Idaho is great, but Montana is just as good and deserves to have more votes than it currently does.

  • kyle

    I have to vote for Idaho I grew up in the mountains of Montana lived in the back country of Alaska but Idaho just has the most to offer. So many different things for different people

  • Matt

    Yeah California is great, and Washington, Oregon and Montana have a really cool scene. But Idaho has just got it all great rivers, World class climbing in both the Sawtooths and the City combined with opportunity for Alpine boulders.The best part of all of this is that in Idaho getting out really seems like an adventure. It is not at all unusual to get to an amazing place and never see anyone other than your shadow. That is why my vote goes to Idaho

  • Trever

    I gotta go with Washington. Ocean, mountains and extreme ghetto (spokompton) make it an adventure wherever you are.

  • melinda griffin

    there’s hunting and camping and fishingwater ski in swimming and hikingand skiing and snowboarding and snow billing ATV motorcyclesthere’s always something to do in any section of Idaho that’s why it’s the Great Adventure state

  • Lisa

    My definition of adventure includes exploration of the unknown. I live in Idaho and we are a family that owns and uses canoes, kayaks, rafts, camping gear, and bikes. As fun as all these activities are, I must vote for Alaska for adventure.

  • Nicolle

    Washington for sure! Washington itself is so diverse with rainforests, wetland estuaries, alpine meadows, deserts, and mountains (boasting two major ranges: the Cascade Range and the Olympic Mountains), where people go climbing, hiking, biking, camping, skiing, and more.

    Then there’s the water! Washington has both fresh water and the ocean sporting such incredible areas as the Gorge, major rivers including the Columbia and the Snake River, Hood Canal, Puget Sound, and the jewel of the Pacific Northwest – the San Juan Islands. With all of Washington’s waterways, we have more than 3,000 miles of coastline! This is where we surf, kite board, wind surf, white water raft, canoe, water ski, fish, sail, boat, and SCUBA dive; yep, world class SCUBA diving!

    True pioneering exploration and adventure both topside and underwater exists in Washington!

  • Scott

    If any of you actually left your state for once, especially people from CA and CO, you would realize how diverse Idaho is. World class everything: whitewater rafting, rock climbing, backpacking, mountain biking, fly fishing, hunting (if thats your thing?), and base jumping that’s NOT off a building.

  • Scott

    Where do you think Adventure Journal got its slogan “The deeper you get, the deeper you get”….from the Pioneer Cabin in Idaho! The higher you get, the higher you get.

  • Drake

    California, because it has the best weather of the three largest US states and because it has more mountains to explore than the second largest state.

  • Ellen

    Tough one. I was torn between Utah, Colorado, California and Wyoming. But Utah has it all for me. You can ski corn in the tushars and then mountain bike in Hurricane. Ski the steep peaks of the La Sals and hike a slot canyon the next day. I love the variety and the weather! And i am bugged with colorado right now, because our spring skiing just got shut down from a thick dust layer….

  • Cydney

    How about NV? There’s more here than just Vegas. Tahoe, the Ruby Mountains, Red Rock. There’s rock climbing, rafting, kayaking, snowboarding, fishing, mountain biking…

  • TJ

    California Here I Come….even though I’m already here.
    Is there a State with more varied geography, better weather and more outdoor opportunities than the Golden State? More miles of trails than any other, Desert to Alpine, lakes, rivers and, of course, a big puddle of water just off to the left.

  • Phil West

    Looking for big mountain glacier climbing? Washington has it. World class rock climbing? Washington has it. Hiking/backpacking in some of the most remote and scenic terrain North America has to offer? Washington has it. Whitewater rafting? Yup. Wonderful mountain biking? Indeed. Skiing with world record breaking single season snowfall? Washington. Deep, dense rainforest? Washington. Dry, desert scrubland? Washington. Whale watching? You’ll find it. First class cold water scuba diving? Washington. Long, long, stretches of undeveloped beaches? You bet! Washington is such an immensely diverse state, no matter what adventure you’re looking for, you’ll find it. It’s no wonder some of the biggest and best outdoor gear companies are located in Washington, the best testing grounds are right in their backyard!

    • Jared

      Note: almost everything you mentioned, Alaska has in much greater abundance. People seem to forget that Alaska is like a combination of all the best adventurous qualities of all the lower 48 (Okay, minus stuff like the Utah and Arizona desert) on steroids.

  • Jared

    Alaska is the ultimate adventure state, you can’t beat it’s vast unexplored wilderness, extreme environment, and incredible isolation. Alaska is as raw as adventure gets.

    • Mike Bell

      Idaho is the best, over half is public land, we got the moon, desert, mountains and hot springs. What more could you ask for.

  • Guy

    Alaska all the way. If you think anywhere else has better adventures than you might want to reconsider what you call an adventure.

  • Andy Fleming

    CO for all the amazing outdoor adventures and First Descents the amazing organization supporting young adult cancer survivors with outdoor adventures!

  • Roman

    Alaska offers the real thing, but most American “adventurers” apparently need to be within 25 miles of a road in SOME direction as that’s about as far as you can get from one in the Lower 48.

  • David

    Yeah but Washington has way better beer, bread and coffee and way fewer Republicans and homegrown Nazis. Plus a coastline. And borders Canada.

  • Ryan Weeks

    Maine has mountains, ocean, great white water for kayaking/rafting and the people are all about a good adventure and an even better time.

  • Steve

    Idaho, my home away from home. While adventure is found in your own heart and imagination, Idaho feeds your imagination like no other.

  • Tyler

    I was born and raised in CA until I was 21. Moved to Utah and have never wanted to leave the state. So much beauty in the Desert canyons, 5 national parks, high mountain wilderness, and obviously the snow and access to the ski resorts (most of them within 30 min of SLC; what other city can claim that?)

  • Jacob C.

    Idaho has adventures that you’ll find in all the other states but all wrapped into one. Desert, high alpine mountains, lakes, wild rivers. Nice try, other states!

  • Erik

    I gave my vote to my home state of Oregon but I’m okay with Washington or Idaho winning too. They’re pretty cool too. Except for the Sounders. They suck. RCTID.

  • Melissa

    Colorado offers everything from indoor activities to outdoor activities. Year round as well! I lived there for six years and haven’t experienced half of what Colorado has to offer! It’s beauty is captivating!

  • J-me

    Idaho’s Sawtooth Range is very pretty, and are a nice gentle warm-up for people who want to climb more rugged mountains in Washington’s North Cascades National Park. ;) But, if you hate snow, Idaho is better: Washington has 3100 glaciers to Idaho’s 200, and Idaho’s (totally awesome) Sun Valley had 24″ of snow base midwinter this year, compared to Washington’s Mount Baker’s 120″ base. Love ya Idaho! Glad we’re neighbors! :-D

    • Matthew Durrant

      You forget that Idaho has many, many more mountains than just the Sawtooths. What about the White Clouds, Pioneers, Boulders, Lost Rivers, Lemhis, Salmon River, Seven Devils, Beaverheads, Bitterroots, Selkirks and on an on…? Maybe not as glaciated at the North Cascades, but certainly just as rugged and remote. If you want solitude the place to be is Idaho. The most crowded peak I ever climbed was in the North Cascades whereas I have shared a mountain only twice in my 100+ ascents of Idaho’s mountains. I’ve heard it said that Idaho is like Colorado, but without the people.

  • Michael Croft

    I voted for Alaska, probably the only state that has TRUE wilderness left. Of the 48 states, as much as I wouldn’t really care to live there, I’d have to say California. It offers everything . . . surfing and other water sports, desert climbing, some of the finest alpine climbing in the country, old growth forests, etc. etc. This is tough for me to say since I live in Colorado, but I don’t see how a landlocked state could really take the crown.

  • J-me

    True about Alaska being the real deal (lived there for a couple years, even made it out to Nome, Adak, and Barrow) but do you really want Alaska to be accessible to the masses? Or overrun by adventure tourists like Denali NP is in the summer? Best to keep the US’s last frontier truly wild.

  • Lyndsay

    Washington has a ton of great places to ski, camp, fish, bike, etc. however, Idaho has more sun so I would rather do all of those things in the sun vs. the rain. MY vote goes to IDAHO!

  • Dan

    I have to give it to New York. Sure there is adventure out West, but how many people really get to experience it? Here in the East, vast trail networks and fantastic wilderness areas are just hours away from major metropolitan areas and offer millions of people the experience to escape outdoors.

  • sophie

    washington state all my life!! (though I currently live in british columbia.) pac nw is where it’s at. ocean, mountains, rainforest, desert. the most beautiful state in america.

  • Linda Cox

    I chose Colorado b/c when I was there one summer, I noticed that everyone spent their free time doing a sport – trailbiking, kayaking. Bike trails and bike racks were everywhere. Colorado is beautiful every season of the year, so no wonder that people move there so they participate in yearround sports.

  • Katie

    Definitely Washington. We’ve got the rugged Coast, Puget Sound, Cascade Mtns, Desert, Rain Forest, San Juan Islands, and Wine, of course!

  • Ed

    Although Idaho and Cali which I have lived are great, I have to give it to Washington where I live now just because of the great hiking trails, climbing adventures, kayaking, surfing, biking, and some of the best skiing anywhere bar-none. Home of the Mountaineers a great training and adventure club for climbs all over the world.

  • Daniel Stone

    Idaho is hands down the place to get your adventure on! We have thousands of miles of whitewater, wilderness, world-class fisheries, big game, large predators, raptors, 12,000 foot mountains, 1,000 foot canyon walls, precious metal and gems, ski resorts, glacier carved lakes, rain forests and lava flow deserts; all in one state…if you can’t find something to satisfy that adventure bug here, there’s not much hope you’ll find it anywhere else.

  • Ron Garnys

    Yes, hands down…IDAHO!!!!!! I lived in Ohio, California and Oregon…all great places…BUT, I have been in Idaho for over 20 years and there is a reason for that….it rocks!

  • Ryan

    I’m from Colorado and it’s amazing, especially in the winter but North Carolina is my go to state for adventure. From the highest peak in the East all the way to the Atlantic at the Outer Banks and everywhere in between, it’s full of adventure!

  • Steven David Solis

    Alaska no doubt. Utah is great and you can do a lot but it’s more of a recreational state than adventure. Risk is what you make it in the activity, but Alaska has all the stuff people talk of. It’s the last frontier, an endless land of unwritten stories. The land of the midnight sun and of the long darkend days. From the warm pacific to the arctic, abound with rain forests, glens, canyons, raging rivers and endless meanderings of pure wanderlust and determination to stand your ground. It’s the definition of adventure, going into unknown territory. . Live through every season. It’s the biggest state of ‘em all in the US, and it has the most outhouses. What kind of adventure is it staying at a new ski lodge in Colorado with the high end porcelain most Americans are used to. Whether your hardcore tough or not, there is something for everyone to do and an adventure for everyone to be had whether visiting or living there. Despite not having been there that is were my dreams of adventure are and will lead me to.

  • Steven David Solis

    Alaska no doubt. Utah is great and you can do a lot but it’s more of a recreational state than adventure. Risk is what you make it in the activity, but Alaska has all the stuff people talk of. It’s the last frontier, an endless land of unwritten stories. The land of the midnight sun and of the darkend days. From the warm pacific to the arctic, abound with rain forests, glens, canyons, raging rivers and endless meanderings of pure wanderlust and determination to stand your ground. It’s the definition of adventure, going into unknown territory. . Live through every season. It’s the biggest state of ‘em all in the US, and it has the most outhouses. What kind of adventure is it staying at a new ski lodge in Colorado with the high end porcelain most Americans are used to. Whether your hardcore tough or not, there is something for everyone to do and an adventure for everyone to be had whether visiting or living there. Despite not having been there that is were my dreams of adventure are and will lead me to.

  • Lauren L

    UTAH! For sure– Greatest snow on Earth, not to mention the gorgeous deserts with Canyonlands, Zion, Arches, Bryce as well as Moab and the rest of Southern Utah… plus all of the mountains for hiking, biking and camping.

  • Chris

    Colorado……we have the great powder skiing….unlike the wet stuff you get in the NW; great whitewate boating……good for surfing too at the many play parks throughout the state; great Mt. Biking; our share of National Parks and Monuments; world class ice-climbing and summer climbing;……..more sunny days to improve your outlook than you’ll find in many states; great mountain towns; 54 fourteen thousand foot peaks, the Colorado Trail & the Continemtal Devide Trail for great hiking……and you can lawfully “light one up” if you choose to at the end of the day….lol~!

  • Cory Cummings

    Idaho! I mean you can’t go wrong! Desert, mountains, whitewater rafting, salmon fishing AND sun valley where smith optics was founded!!!

  • Ron

    No one can touch Yellowstone, The Grand Tetons, Devils Tower, Flaming Gorge or any of a 100 different destinations in Wyoming!

  • Chris

    Colorado……we have the great powder skiing….unlike the wet stuff you get in the NW; great whitewate boating……good for surfing too at the many play parks throughout the state; great Mt. Biking; our share of National Parks and Monuments; world class ice-climbing and summer climbing;……..more sunny days to improve your outlook than you’ll find in many states; great mountain towns……54 fourteen thousand foot peaks, the Colorado Trail, and the Continental Devide Trail for great hiking ….and you can lawfully “light one up” if you choose to at the end of the day….lol~!

  • Sue

    For all those who answered anything but Idaho, it’s because you’ve never experienced Idaho…we have it all and then some. For those of us lucky enough to live here…we know…there’s no where else we’d rather be.

  • Ben Sarno

    White water rafting, skiing, snowboarding, mtn biking, zip lines, and we haven’t even touched on the 14,000′ peaks. Colorado all the way!

  • Luke Cordingley

    The answer is obviously Montana. You can do a lot more adventuring when you don’t have to pay sales tax. Idaho is winning because Smith Optics is sponsoring the poll and is based in Sun Valley, Idaho. I’m okay with the bias since I grew up in the Sun Valley area and Idaho is a close 2nd to Montana.

  • Jenith

    Colorado is amazing….you can climb to the top of the world, kayak down some ice cold rapids, balloon over colorful valleys, or walk among the ruins of an ancient civilization. We have water, caves, mountains, forests, big cities, small town living, hot springs and so so so much more!

  • Red

    Washington wins hands down. We have everything here. Mountains prairie Rivers lakes puget sound water and snow skiing hiking beaches deserts unpopulated areas big cities. You name it it’s here!!

  • Jaimen Dixon

    After living most of my life in the Northwest (now in Tennessee), and traveling extensively in nearly all the western states, Idaho has to take the adventure cake. The sheer amount of opportunities for world-class skiing, rock climbing, mt. biking, rafting/kayaking, backpacking, fly-fishing, and all of this coupled with ridiculously low numbers of people easily make it the best adventure state.

  • Angela

    Idaho..? I’m not following. I’ve lived in CO, UT, CA and MT. All of which come before Idaho. By a long shot.

  • Sandra DeGarie

    Colorado is where it is at! All types of terrain from desert to the mountains. Hot Springs, alpine skiing, nordic skiing, snowshoeing, boating, kite skiing, hiking, jeeping, ice skating,rafting, sailing, hot air ballooning, camping and all climate changes. Take your pick….It will take a lifetime to experience adventure in Colorado at its best!

    • Chris

      Lol……..I feel the same way about Colorado in third place. Send them to Idaho and Washington…..Colorado does great marketing and after 23 years of teaching skiing and 20 years of rafting….I don’t want to work as hard anyway.. I’d like to hike and bike less-crowded trails….lol….so if your planning an adventure trip this summer, check out Idaho and Washington….lol~!!

  • Matt

    It has to be Idaho doesn’t it? When it comes to the combination of rivers, mountains, and downright remoteness Idaho is tough to beat.

  • Ian Kesterson

    Well, my grandpa lives in Idaho. He’s the most adventurous fella I’ve ever come across. Idaho wins.

  • CindyV

    Wyoming for sure. We are Cowboy State. We rodeo! We geyers, mud points, skiing down hill and cross country, worold class mountiain climbing, hiking, We dessert, plains, and mountians. An you can even climb the core of an exinct Volcano! Not mention fishing including the Miracle Mile!

  • Josh

    Clear choice in Idaho. I mean, I’m sure there are great ways to have adventures no matter what state you happen to be in, but Idaho is the place to be!

  • Kris

    Here’s a crazy fact PA has the 4th most ski resorts in the US…not to mention a big part of the AT and a quarter of the state is National Forest…oh a Great Lake and some nice white water in the Poconos. Michiganders are smoking crack if they think they’re more “adventurous” and Arkansas…please. Maybe adventurous for fear of Deliverance-type scenarios, but the Ozarks don’t touch the Alleghanies.

    • Lynn

      I have lived in both PA and ID for several years. PA doesn’t even come close to comparing. Sorry dude. Can even begin to describe the diversity and majestic nature of Idaho. You just have to experience it.

  • Karl McCormack

    Colorado for sure! You got skiing, hiking, mountain biking, rafting, hunting, camping, fishing, and dirt biking

  • Elden Armbrust

    Colorado. Sure, Washington has plenty, and Idaho has plenty of nothingness (that’s a benefit?), but the weather rounds off Colorado to make it the best. Period.

  • Kevin Craig

    Colorado should totally win, well because its beautiful here and I believe we are the fittest state in the country….

  • Brady Deal

    Alaska hands down. Nowhere else with this many mountains and adventure oppurtunities. In the middle of june you can go climb a multi-pitch climb, then go ski some summer couloirs. Never a lack of fun in Alaska.

  • cynthia

    I live in Washington & love it, but voted for Alaska for adventure because they are even more wild than we are. Truly, I have had bears in my yard, but never a grizzly…….moose, caribou, musk oxen, the list goes on. I’ve never been there, but in spite of my love for this state,I think they probably have us beat for adventure……….

  • Pat

    The only thing you really can’t do in Idaho is anything that requires an ocean, or a city with over 1 mil pop. Think on that.

  • Tyler

    Oregon, like Washington, has desert, ocean, lakes, rivers, mountains and everything between… except with less rain

  • Laura

    they don’t call it coloRADo for nothing! rafting, skiing, climbing, hiking, fresh air and the lowest obesity in the country.

  • Chris

    Surprise Surprise, a Smith Optics sponsored poll has Idaho in the lead. If you truly want adventure vote Alaska…might be too adventures for some though. And no favoritism here, I live in Washington.

  • keith

    Idaho! In addition to all the previously mentioned white water rivers, mountains, mountain biking etc, Craters of the Moon.

  • Nathan

    Colorado for sure! We aren’t called Colorful Colorado for nothing; with all the stuff here to do, you could try it all before you die, but that’s a stretch… Over 54 “14ers” (with corresponding ski resorts), 10 main rivers, numerous caves, The Sand Dunes, volcanic history, (which involves hot springs), Lake Powell, Mesa Verde, and hundreds of miles of forest’s filled with lakes, to either go fishing, (or ice fishing), beautiful trails (jeeping, hiking, and who knows what else), the best hunting and backpacking spots, and the best Kodak moments you will ever get!

  • Kim

    Michigan, hands down, you have a little bit of everything. Hike, fish, golf, rock climb, kayak, wildlife galore the list is only limited by your imagination.

  • Clyne Curtis

    Raised in Idaho but live in utah…both great adventure states but I love the utah red rock, slot canyons, and such! Utah rocks!

  • Dholish

    Southeastern Alaska… The inner passage, Glacier Bay… Some of the most beautiful and diverse landscape I’ve ever seen…


    There is no comparison to Colorado. The outdoor opportunities abound and are available with sunshine 300 days a year. The only thing lacking is big water….

  • Brenden

    Alaska has more coastline then the rest of the US combined- that alone is an abundant opportunity for adventure. Not to mention the vast dynamic and diverse ecosystems and variety of terrain. Rainforests, tundra, sand dunes, mountains, ocean. Poplulation density: 1.2 people per square mile. Except that since around 80% of Alaska isn’t accesible by road, you can easily find regions of hundreds of suare miles (if not thousands!) where there isn’t another living soul about. There really isn’t any adequately comparable place with as enormous potential for adventure.

  • idahobatholith

    I jumped out of airplanes and managed wildfires for ten years. I did this in every state West of the Rockies, including Alaska. I have also sailed the inside passage (past desolation sound) of the greater Puget sound, attempted Rainier twice in the winter, climbed all over the Olympics, and Cascades, frolicked in the rainforests, and on the coastlines of Or. and Wa., and grew up in Eastern Wa. Lots of other stuff, but I’m already being a bore. I admit, my adventures East of the Rockies are limited only to New York City, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, D.C. and Chicago, leaves a lot of amazing places, wild and city, left to see. That said….IDAHO is my winner. Many have stated Idaho’s qualities, I’ll state them again, and some others. START: The beautiful, and large glacial lakes (and big rivers coming into and out of them), dense, moist forests, and impressive Selkirk mtns., and others in Northern Idaho. The insanely rugged and vast wilderness rivers of Central Idaho. RIVERS: The Salmon (North Americas #2 and #3 deepest river gorges, over 10,000ft from river to peak), Selway, Lochsa, Snake. The Frank Church, and Bitterroot Wilderness (connected), and the primitive roadless areas attached to them is a vast as it gets aside from Alaska, and Canada, which does blow it away in vastness scale. However the rugged, steep, and unique dryish, often blue sky atmosphere, is surrounded by year round, alpine lakes, creeks, and springs which offers rife plant diversity in these river canyons and mountains, and is simply breathtaking. So many other rivers….the Clearwater, Payette, Owyhee, Priest, PendOreille….SO much snow and water. The Salmon River drainage’s ALONE compromise adventure at world class levels. Mountains: The Salmon River mtns, Sawtooth mtns, White Cloud mtns., Bitterroot mtns, Pioneers, Tetons, Selkirks, all offering amazing backcountry skiing/hiking….on and on. Idaho has North Americas largest granite batholith, the Idaho Batholith, stretching from the South to the North. Southern Idaho and the vast, and amazing bouldering and rock climbing deserts, nudging up to the Teton mtns, the Owyhee mtns, and others. The mighty Snake river, and the crazy wilderness Hells Canyon (North Americas deepest river gorge) it flows into before it intersects with the Columbia. More identified, improved and unimproved, hotsprings then B.C., Washington, and Oregon COMBINED. All the unique flora and fauna. Super fun adventure play towns like McCall, Sun Valley, Sandpoint, Coeur d”alane, Victor, Riggins. Relatively speaking, barely anyone here……so I guess, don’t take any of this to heart!

    • Macaroni

      Wow, idahobatholith. You must be the greatest adventurer of all time. Sounds like a self proclaimed domestic Indiana Jones. Please regale me with more of your tales of adventure and intrigue. Jumping out of actual real life airplanes?!!!!!!!!!!!! Whoa! For 10 whole years?!!!!!!!!! Get out of town!

  • Sarah

    Not surprising that New Mexico isn’t in the top ten- the land of enchantment is the best kept secret in the states. Everyone, keep flocking to Colorado and we will keep enjoying amazing wilderness without a ton of people. New Mex has it all- snow, mountains, climbing, hot springs, white water, biking, peaks… It’s amazing.

  • mcclain porter

    It’s easy to tell just by looking at which state has terrain that offers the least amount of straight roads to get from one end to another…IDAHO

  • Darlene

    Idaho,all types of outdoorsy stuff, plus great wineries and craft beer makers for the after sports cooldown.

  • lauren

    North Carolina come on and raise up! But for real… mountains, cycling, kayaking, the AT, the Smokies, whitewater rafting, freestyle kayaking World Championships… and the list goes on.

  • Frankl

    Wherever you go, there you are. Adventure is where you find it. And, since I currently find myself in Idaho that is where I have to vote for. Also had some wonderful adventures in North Carolina, Georgia, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Cali, Oregon and Washington.

  • Sam Blaine

    Don’t get me wrong, California has The Pacific and Yosemite, Colorado has Aspen and Boulder, Washington has Rainerr and the Olympic Peninsula. . . . all amazing, if not world class adventure options, but IDAHO offers EVERYTHING . . . yes, even surfing (river surfing). But what makes Idaho the clear choice isn’t it’s list of activities or even the comparative affordability to participate in those activities. Idaho dominates based on ACCESS. One can quite literally participate in any adventure from Backcountry Skiing to Mountain Biking to Zip Lining, etc., etc., etc. within 10 to 45 mins from ones front door.

    How great of an adventure state can you be if you have to drive 2 hours before you can start doing it?

  • Brittany Ingalls

    Utah, without a doubt. Best snow, plus endless mountains, lakes, rivers and desert with plenty of state and national parks.

  • Sarah

    IDAHO! Without question. I’m a proud Idahoian born and raised, no matter where life takes me, I always come back to Idaho where I’ve had my most memorable adventures.

  • Andrew McQuillen

    Colorado. Definitely Colorado. Also, who picked Ohio? As a native Ohioan, I can easily say that it sucks here.

    • Josh

      You can’t surf in Colorado! That’s what makes Colorado so Great!

      You can have your ocean! We have plenty in CO!

  • Nick

    Idaho- world class white water and a new kayak playground. Mountain biking , hiking, camping, backpacking, skiing, snowshoeing, rock climbing. What else could you want?

  • Polly Pearson

    I’m not sure which state is the best, but I can for sure attest to the fact that my state – Nebraska – is definately NOT the best adventure state….unless roping a cow on a flat, barren wilderness is your idea of adventure. Gotta get out of here for the real fun!

  • Becky J

    Utah. Best rock climbing, best snow on earth, rugged Rocky Mountains, Colorado Plateau, Lake Powell, the Great Salt Lake, Salt Flats, Little Sahara Dune field, lava tubes to explore, Zion’s National Park, Goblin Valley State Park, Bryce National Park, Timpanogos Cave, Dinosaurs in Vernal, Arches National Park by MOAB, Colorado river rafting, petroglyphs and pueblos in Slickhorn Canyon, and paragliding off the point of the mountain.

  • Trevor Fenwick

    Has to be California.

    World class snow-sports destinations (Mammoth, Tahoe, etc.)
    World class surfing destinations (Maverick’s, Rincon, Trestles, etc.)
    World class climbing destinations (Yosemite, Bishop, Joshua Tree, etc.)
    World class backpacking destinations (PCT, JMT, etc.)
    and feel free to sprinkle in some white-water rafting, mountain biking, fishing (fresh and salt), etc.

    Did I forget anything?

  • Bryan

    I think the funniest part of these comments is how aggressive people are about defending their idea of “Best Adventure State”. “It’s Idaho! NO Oregon! NO Washington! You’re Stupid! NO You’re Stupid! Well in California you have to deal with Californians and they’re stupid!” etc. etc.

    Aren’t we all people who enjoy open spaces and beautiful landscapes? The vote is fun but in reality can’t we all agree that the best place for an adventure is where ever your adventure takes you?

    • steve casimiro Post author

      Actually, you know what would be a more interesting debate, since we have so many homers in the house, is what’s the second-best state for adventure….

  • Mary S.

    Oregon! The city, the beach, the mountains, and the desert.. it’s all here. It’s lush and brimming with activities and adventures!

  • Misty Calhoun

    CALIFORNIA!!! Hands down. Ocean, Mountains, Temperate Rainforest, Desert. Highest peak in the 48 and lowest point as well. Oldest living trees, Great coastal cities, awesome agriculture and produce. C’mon, California cows are happy cows. WINE. Yosemite. Sequoia. WEATHER! Awesome Rock Climbing! The list is way to long. Ive been a lot of places and none have the wonderful range that California provides. I will never leave.

  • Scott Yates

    Washington has the best all around package. Large accessible mountains and ranges for all mountain adventures, glaciers, great ski resorts, great snowmobile areas, ocean but it is cold, variety of lakes, incredible windsurfing on the Columbia, rain forest, desert, world class scuba diving in the Puget Sound, you are never far from a lake, WA is always getting more bike friendly with more downhill trails being developed, urban bike park in Seattle, velodrome close to Seattle, city riding that includes skate parks and city obstacles, a large variety of wildlife, and don’t forget that WA has 4 seasons and the state is divided by a mountain range which offers two different climates.
    I think Utah is the most beautiful state and has so much to offer, I love Utah but not sure I could live so far from the ocean and would miss the rain forest.

  • Scott

    yes the NW is great with the MTNs and all but no one really thinks florida for adventure. the Everglades are the only habitat of its kind in the world…you can snowboard/mtn bike/raft all over the world. We also have some of the best reefs to dive, great trail riding, wind surfing, wakeboarding, and dont forget skydiving. Longest free fall in the US. Gator, boar, and deer hunting, some of the best game fishing. Have you ever driven on the highways in South Florida…thats an adventure in itself. Should i go on?

  • Lane

    Georgia gets underrated many times. But Georgia has the gateway to the Appalachian Trail (via southern terminus) It has excellent mountain biking, class five class 2-5 white water, some of the best Bouldering in the country with its iron rutted sandstone. It has the tybee island for the people who love sea kayaking and white sand beaches. The Okeefenokee Swamp which is the largest swamp in the lower 48 and a destined canoe area for the brave of course. North Georgia is located right near all sorts of different climbing. But I would for sure say western states have it beat, but don’t ever under rate Georgia. More adventure then you think.

  • Beverley vigil,

    New Mexico has high dessert beauty and mountains! Great for hiking, fishing, camping, skiing, and bike touring! Love it!

  • kurt

    Wisconsin –
    Water fun: Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Door County, Mississippi River, Apostle Islands, etc.
    Climbing: Devil’s Lake, Governor Dodge
    Biking: Madison area, Steven’s Point area, Sparta Bike Trail, Ice Age Trail, etc.
    Nicolet National Forest, need I say more?!

  • Terral

    I love the high mountains but there is just something about the desert that keeps me coming back. Lake Powell, CO River, Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon… Despite the crazy weather, I vote Utah.

  • Josh

    “Okay, Colorado, put your visor back on and calm down”?

    No one from Colorado is being arrogant or bashing! It’s California, Washington, and Idaho doing this!

    Stop picking on Colorado for no reason!

  • Jax

    Seriously? They need a poll for this?

    CALIFORNIA has it all…if you can think of the adventure…you can do it in CA. No poll is needed.

  • Josh

    Overall Colorado does suck! Go to Washington, Utah, Idaho, Montana, or Oregon. They are much better!

    Colorado is too cold, is too conservative, and just plain bad!

  • Josh

    Washington!! Vote for WA!

    If you vote for WA all the annoying and insecure residents of that state will shut up!

  • Jordan Nagelkirk

    Tough one, as Upper Michigan is a hidden gem, but Oregon has everything you could ever need. Hike, climb, backpack,(Water/Snow) ski, swim, Pacific Ocean, Lava caves, hot springs and hit downtown Portland for a local brew all in the same day.

  • Jordan Nagelkirk

    Upper Michigan is a hidden gem…but Oregon has all you could ever need. Hike, backpack, climb, swim, ski (snow/water), kayak, fish, snowshoe, bike, wind surf, hot springs, Pacific Ocean and have a local brew or local wine in downtown Portland all in the same day.

  • Sarah O.

    Idaho all the way!! I love, love, love living in Boise where I have all the amenities of city living but can drive 5 minutes from downtown and have miles and miles of trails through the foothills to hike and bike and run with my dog. Or travel 45 minutes north for amazing whitewater adventures! It doesn’t get any better!

  • Gus Allen

    Colorado. Ski, mountain bike, boat, raft, run, climb, ski, backpack, ice climb, mountaineer, drink beer, road bike, and of course; ski.

  • Jimmy Mcfeeley

    IMHO Idaho has the best fresh water period.Rivers beyond compare,lakes that match up to anywhere,Mountains that are wild.scenic and most importantly( WA+CO) not crowded.Skiing is plenty good and btw you can swim in most of the rivers and lakes, try that in CO or MT

  • Marc Boisquirt

    I love the Oregon Coast and white water rafting there, Utah has some pretty incredible scenes including the Canyonlands and The Needles, but if you want to get a hardy bite of adventure, it is Idaho where you’ll never get bored.

  • Becky Robinson

    It’s got to be Idaho we have such a variety of things to do and see. It is hard to list them all. The scenery and fishing is great around Stanley, Idaho. Sunbeam, Idaho is a beautiful place and there are so many more in Idaho I can not list them all. There is rafting, skiing (water & snow), sight seeing, hunting, camping, and much more. Lava Hot Springs for a hot soak-there are natural hot springs in Idaho. Forgot horseback riding. What about not having neighbors so close you can practically touch their house. We do not have near the crime where I live than they do in the bigger cities, etc. A great state to raise a family in.

  • Reed


    East to west Oregon has: deep hot canyons, wild rivers, sage brush plains, high desert, rolling grasslands, wild horses, volcanic mountains, high snowy glaciated peaks, fertile farm valleys, lush coastal rain forests, and the rugged Oregon coast. BOOM!

  • Andrew

    I think that California should win, as they have everything a state could possibly ask for, from the “tropical paradise” to the desert, to country and ghost towns. California also has some of the best skiing in the world, and some of the best weather. I think all and all many people skip over California as the best adventure state because few actually take the time to explore it!

  • Stacey

    A ton of beautiful mountain scenes, trees, wild animals. Mountains and lakes and a taste of every season allow for any type of outdoor activity year round

  • Beau Leslie

    Oregon is great because it has most of the adventure destinations within the state. Forest, beach, mountains (good snow sports and climbing), lakes, rivers, the ocean, waterfalls, you name it.

  • Rohan

    California has to be among the top states. Being in Los Angeles – I enjoy beaches, snow-capped mountains, desert, canyons and incredible weather for all adventures.

  • George

    Idaho is just perfect. Not much populated and left alone. You stare at the milky way in the night and hear the deer rustle by.

  • Evan

    How is this even a competition. Alaska has more adventure in it’s pinky toe than all the other states combined. We have more national and state park area than the total area of Texas and California combined.

  • victoria

    Born and raised Idaho, lived in Utah for the last year. Grew up a ski bum and have been competitevly climbing for the last 3 years. Traveled all over the US for skiing, climbing, kayaking and running and there is no beating Idaho in the end. Its an underrated beauty with endless adventures to be had. From sunvalley for some world class shredding, to stanley for some kick ass backpacking or up to mccall for a down to earth weekend boating on the payette. Not to mention all within 2 1/2 hours of Boise. If you dont agree then we dont want you here anyways, leave it here for those who enjoy fun. And while you’re shopping in the city we’ll be running Robie Creek, the most bad ass half marathon around. Beat that Iowa…

  • Jake

    Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, right on the border of Oregon and Idaho, in Wallowa County, (which is hands down the most beautiful county on earth) but now living in Southwest Colorado….I have to give my vote to Colorado, however this is such a difficult choice! There are so many amazing parts of our country, and I feel privileged to live here!!!

  • pk

    I voted for CO because I live here and know it better, but I’ve been to City of Rocks (favorite climbing place ever) and a few other places in Idaho, and it wouldn’t take much to talk me into moving there. Seems like a great state. However, CO has a trail running scene which is amazing, the climbing may be the best in the US, and a lot of the state is very focused on healthy living.

  • Andrew Roan

    Idaho for the win. Between the Sawtooths, the Salmon river, the Payettes, and all the other places why would you rather go anywhere else.

  • Tricia

    OREGON – Happy faces and great spaces!
    Hike, raft, surf, fish, ski, bike, camp, lounge …do it all in OR E GON

  • Jill S.

    Born and raised in Idaho and love it. Between fishing, camping, hiking, biking, snowboarding, etc..I’m never bored!

  • Molly

    I don’t see many of you talking about Wyoming.. This place is awesome! Not only is it beautiful and you are free to do whatever you want here, but there is a major factor that places us above the rest: population! You can climb, hunt, fish, ski, snowboard etc here and be able to do it without a crowd in one of the most beautiful places on earth. We have Jackson Hole, Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, the Big Horns.. Presidents have visited this state and called it “God’s country”.. I understand that many of you have never been to Wyoming, some of you might not even know where it’s at (that happens a lot) but go google some images of Wyoming and you will see what an amazing and spectacular place this is!!

  • Sue

    IDAHO – Such variety! Flat deserts to rugged mountain tops, hot springs to ice cold rivers, class V whitewater to best in class fishing. And that, my friend, is JUST the first day.

  • Zach

    It’s not difficult to find the good in any state, we do live in a beautiful country. I like how this poll gets us to reflect positively on our surroundings for a second though. Weather is getting good and I’m stoked to get outside and enjoy the outdoor playground Idaho has to offer!

  • robert

    well idaho of course, best white water in the us, rock climbing, mtn biking, great climbing, camping, wolves, badgers, blackbears, grizzlies! boom.

  • robert

    well idaho of course, best white water in the us, rock climbing, mtn biking, great climbing, camping, wolves, badgers, blackbears, grizzlies! boom.

  • Corey

    Utah, no question! Wilderness within minutes of major cities, the best snow on earth, red rock country, etc., etc.. I could go on for hours.

    But I would definitely put Montana, Colorado, Washington and Idaho in the top five.

  • Nancy

    For me, it was definitely California – outdoor adventures is what its all about. Lived there for 20 yrs. Outdoor swimming year round, ocean kyaking, back country skiing, rock climbing, hiking in the beautiful Sierra Nevada mountains, cycling….

  • Nadine

    Like the poll shows, Idaho is clearly the most adventurous. We have rafting/kayaking, all bike sports, mountaineering, skiing/boarding, skydiving, horseback riding, sand dunes, etc etc etc. There is nothing you can’t do in Idaho (ok maybe ocean surfing…but we do have river surfing)

  • Sam

    VA all the way. It has everything whitewater, climbing, mtn biking, road biking, hiking, skiing. Couldn’t ask for anything better

  • Tedward

    I’m a New Englander.
    So far most of my best adventures have been in Vermont, though Maine is a close second and New Hampshire is a very close third :)

  • George Sharp

    I invite you to visit us in Washington State and specifically Olympia-the state Capitol. We have many adventures for you to have. We give away weekly prizes at http://www.thumbsupfun.com From 1.5 mile board walk into Puget Sound, to 1/2 mile walk at Tumwater Falls to 50 miles of trails to free tour of the state Capitol Building, you will enjoy the adventure.

  • Richard Montgomery

    Washington State has every adventure possibility available…come and see for yourself…we even have rain forests.

  • Jonathan Thurlow

    Maine offers a plethora of activities that will provide a lifetime of memories. Whether you’re looking for a serene lake at which to spend your time–such as Sebago or Long Lake–or the majestic mountains of Acadia National Park, or the jagged peaks of Mount Katahdin, or some pampering at some of the best inns and lodges in the United States, Maine offers so many possibilities for a vacation.I’ve compiled a list of what I believe to be thetop destination spots in Maine.#1 Acadia National Park.With its many beautiful vistas, Acadia National Park has the most stunning scenery I’ve ever seen. People return year after year to take in the sights and sounds of this beautiful national park. Acadia National Park is a paradise for anyone seeking to see beautiful scenery first-hand, whether it be by hiking or taking a leisurely ride in a car on the Park Loop Road. One of my favorite things about Acadia National Park has to be the view from atop Cadillac Mountain, which is simply spectacular.#2 Sebago Lake.Sebago Lake is a picturesque destination spot for anyone interested in having a vacation on the water. Sebago Lake is the second largest lake in Maine, and is also the deepest. This beautiful lake features some of the best swimming waters of the state, and is also great for waterskiing, boating, or simply soaking up the sun.#3 Freeport.Freeport is home to world-renowned outfitter store L.L. Bean. And if that doesn’t make it interesting enough, it is home to some of thebest outlet shopping in the state. You will also find the Desert of Maine, as well as many other historic landmarks that are a signature of this area.#4 The Kennebunks.The Kennebunks are home to some of Maine’s most stunning coastline, which features both rocky coast and beautiful sand beaches. In this area there are also a multitude of charming inns and lodges that will suit any travelers needs. This destination will be sure to provide many lasting memories.#5 Mount Katahdin.Mount Katahdin is the highest peak in Maine and is majestically beautiful. There are no roads leading to the top of Katahdin, so the view from on top can only be taken in by hiking. However, Mount Katahdin is a view everyone should have a chance to see in their lifetime.I’ll give you a helpful word of advice–take the time to make those memories. Or just take a much-needed break from the day-to-day grind. When it comes down to it, you deserve it. Start planning your Maine vacation.

  • Jim Wheeler

    Born and raised in Washington I may be a bit biased. However, there aren’t too many places where you could be skiing in the morning, playing golf in the afternoon and then sailing into the sunset. Or, where you can have two totally different states all in one state, Eastern and Western Washington. Having lived in both I see why there is such passion about where folks live depending on the location. Climate, people, geography are all so different. A beautiful, diverse and the number one adventure state in the union! GO WASHINGTON~~~

  • J. Bowers

    Oregon. You can live in a city with the most amazing food and beer adventures. At the same time you are a relatively short drive to great surfing, world-class windsurfing/kitesurfing, whitewater, mountain biking, ski/snowboarding, deserts, temperate rain forests, waterfalls…take your pick!

  • Traci

    Someone said Oregon has no desert…ya we do! Oregon has it all!! I’d there’s an outdoor activity you enjoy, you can find a great place to do it here. We have hot and dry areas with great national parks, fossil beds, and The stunning Crater Lake. We have mountains and skiing, cities that are bicycle friendly with plentiful bike paths. Not to mention the Columbia River with some of the best wind surfing and kite boarding in the world! Oregon has such a variety of people, activities, and climates that there is truly something for everybody!

  • tatjannam

    Montana of course! Sure we don’t have the concrete jungles and carpool lanes. But we are talking adventure here! Lets start with Hiking. Two Major thru-hiker trails start and end in Montana. The first is the CDT (Continental Divide trail , Mexico to Canada) The second is the lesser known and newer PNT (Pacific Northwest trail 1200 miles from Glacier to the Olympic Pen. In WA). Not a thru-hiker? That’s ok we have trails in every part of the state from the grasslands to the Badlands, Mountain Peaks to national forests. Speaking of National Forests, what about renting a forest Cabin for a weekend in Lewis and Clark National Forest or rent a fire lookout on the top of a mountain in Lolo national forest? A 3 day canoe adventure by Missouri river outfitters in central Montana or just Kayak on Seely or Flathead lakes. But of course I’m neglecting the big attractions, Like Glacier National Park, Yellowstone, The scapegoat and Bob Marshall Wilderness, the Lewis and clark Trail and of course that amazing powder found throughout the state in our badass winters. Montana is for Bad-asses, because you better have a whole lot of that adventure spirit to take on such a bad-ass place!

  • Dawn

    Montana!!!!!! I lived in Idaho for 35 years, Montana for 6 and Idaho has nothing on this place! MONTANA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jay

    Montana is awesome. Still wanna explore Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and Colorado more. But can always fall back on Montana.

  • Kyoung

    MONTANA!!! We have everything from mountains to plains…lakes and rivers….hiking, biking, fishing, boating, water skiing, hunting, snow skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, camping, horseback riding, Yellowstone National Park & Glacier National Park in the west, Makoshika Park in the east with dinosaur digs …whatever you want to do there is somewhere to do it in this state…Montana has it all!!!!

  • Tom

    Montana. Big, open, and more mountains than you can shake a stick at. That and out state’s population is much less than many major cities, can easily be alone if you wish.

  • Mo

    Montana is just the most fantastic place to be… it has dinosaurs and ghost towns and ski resorts and lots of wilderness untouched and unspoiled by humans… Gotta love it!

  • Mariah

    Montana! Its beautiful and you can find amazing adventures everywhere! Also there are fewer people and more nature!

  • Shane Brown

    Montana hands down….Glacier park, Yellowstone, grizzlies, world class fishing and hunting, and you can get all four seasons in a twenty minute time span truly America’s Last Best Place

  • Don Mullet

    Montana for sure! Such a wide variety of landscape from badlands in the east to mountains in the west and everything in between.

  • Cmont

    Obviously it’s Montana. Where else can a person have contact with a grizzly on a college campus and can describe the bear who attacked him? The person is okay, but he and his other students will have a story which has to be a first.

  • Neil

    Living in Idaho, but still drawn to Montana where a hunting trip into most areas you don’t see another hunter. Mountain, two major rivers, the Missouri and Yellowstone. Great undiscovered ski resorts where lines are rare. Of course, it is -10 to -20 degrees, but it is winter. Paddlefish, walleye and nothern pike with lot’s of fly fishing many times the only one on the water. With Bob Marshall Wilderness, Glacier Park and hot pools along the Yellowstone river north ot the park. Drive the highways in eastern Monday and prepare to be waved at by almost everyone you meet.

  • ryan

    Montana has Glaicer Park it has part of Yellowstone it has the bob marshall wilderness some great skiing/snowboarding amazing whitewater rafting i could go on for days but i will let it rest with this… Montana is the last best hiding place…

  • Diane

    Montana — endless opportunities abound! Hunt for your own sapphires, pan for gold, float rivers free of dams-Yellowstone River, blue ribbon trout fishing, hiking in the wilderness amongst the grizzlies, elk and moose. Quad riding in the mountains at the same time see the wild horses and the ice caves or the ringing rocks (only five places in the world and Montana has one). The most scenic road in the nation is located in southern Montana, Beartooth Pass,according to Charles Kuralt. Glacier National Park has stunning views right from the road and great scenery if you chose to hike, Yellowstone National Park borders Montana and who has not heard of it! Shakespeare in the Park and symphonies outdoors under the summer sun. What more could one ask for? Great place to be from.

  • Lynn Chamberlain

    MONTANA!! SOooo much to do – from the plains to the amazing mountains… to Yellowstone!
    Absolutely beautiful, amazing and unforgettable!!!!!!!

  • Mary Ann Weber

    Montana -sshhhhhh don’t tell anyone..320 days of sunshine, year round every kind of sports, Yellowstone, Glacier, River Runs Through It…. Nah, don’t tell anyone!

  • Jenna

    So glad to see the Idado/Montana/Wyoming representing. People always forget about us and they don’t know what they are missing!

  • Chris

    Okay, Obviously Idaho is in the top place because Smith Optics is sponsoring. Their HQ is in Ketchum, so I’m sure that all of the family members are voting and making their communities vote! haha Clearly CO is going to be the winner here.

  • Jessie

    I live in Montana, and, love love it. But after carful consideration I’m going to have to go with California. While many states have many things to offer, I feel California has the most to offer. Surfing, hiking, shopping, rodeo, hunting, clubbing, sailing, biking, Broadway, opera, antiquing, bird watching, political rallies (both liberal and conservative) and lots lots more. It seams like there is something for every one. Granted there are A LOT of people in California… but it is possible to get away from the crowds, Really the only thing that you can’t get away from is the money issues and the government. But really if more conservatives (in my opinion) gave ol’Cali a chance.. it may help. My suggestion, don’t just visit LA and San Francisco, visit real California. Like pretty much anywhere in the central valley. I suggest Woodlake and Exeter. Two cute and historic towns.

  • ammmmh

    obviously! it translates to ‘mountain’…who wouldn’t want to adventure those bad boys.
    can’t beat clean air, a plethora of adventure opportunities, wide and open spaces, minimal population, killer views, plenty of micro breweries, and all with no sales tax.

  • John M

    Idaho wins by miles! Miles of rivers Miles of Mountain trails Miles of skiing Miles Off-Roading adventures. Miles…

  • Jean Rehmeier

    I am from Wyoming….and I believe the reason Wyoming did win is because we have such a small number of people whom would even know about this poll let alone live in this state….therefore I really believe Alaska is probably number 1 and Wyoming is number 2……Thank you for listening…we are so lonely here in Wyoming….hehe….Sincerely, Jean Rehmeier

  • Darla

    Montana for certain! Best winter and summer adventures. The weather also provides a surprise adventure of it’s own any time of the year!

  • Tom

    Can’t believe I’m not seein’ anything about Montana! It’s 2nd right now, to Idaho. Both are great places. I live in Montana and regularly visit Idaho. Plenty to do outdoors, and where I live, if ya don’t like the weather now, just wait 5 mins. It’s crazy when its sunny, then rainy, progresses to hailing, then cloudy and back to Sunny in about an hour’s time..

  • marleymel

    Rhode island-there’s over 100 beaches along the coast . The cliff walk in newport is breath taking. The camping is wonderful. Block island is a good trip and easy to take a day trip to. There’s so much fishing. Much entertainment. So much history around the state as well. And its all fifteen minutes away from each other.