The Outbound Community's Top 30 Adventures of 2015

2016 has some big shoes to fill.

By: The Outbound Collective
January 5, 2016

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The past year has been an exciting one for us here at The Outbound and we hope that you look back on 2015 with fond memories of sleeping under the stars, endless trails, and long days exploring the outdoors with family and friends. As a tribute to an incredible year, we’ve made a list of some of the most popular adventures that our community has saved, shared, and reviewed to remind us of the incredible adventures we all had this past year and to inspire you to spend even more time outside in 2016. Get out your bucket list and start making your plans for an epic year.


1. Hike to Metlako and Punchbowl Falls | Oregon

Photo: Vic Garcia

The Columbia River Gorge is full of incredible spots and this hike takes you to two of the most beautiful waterfalls around. They’re great all year round and if you go in the warmer months, the pools are great for swimming. Learn more.

2. Backpack Rocky Mount Trail in Shenandoah NP | Virginia

Photo: Christin Healey

This roughly 10 mile, dog-friendly loop offers great views from the ridgeline, stunning wildflowers in the spring, and fall colors in October and November. Learn more.

3. Hike to Fifth Water Hot Springs | Utah

Photo: Jacob Moon

With several pools of different temperatures and a great hike past multiple waterfalls, fifth water hot springs makes for an incredible adventure. Learn more.

4. Backpack the Routeburn Track | New Zealand

Photo: Crystal Brindle

Hike through two national parks and get jaw-dropping alpine scenery on one of New Zealand’s nine Great Walks. Get hut accommodation to make this a great overnight. Learn more.

5. Hike to Enchanted Rock | Texas

Photo: Nick Tort

In any direction you look, you will be seeing miles of the beautiful Texas Hill Country. Take out your camera, snap some photos, grab a snack and soak it all up. Learn more.

6. Camp at Wild Willy’s Hot Spring | California

Photo: Greg Balkin

Rally the crew and head out to this awesome hot springs. There is plenty of dispersed BLM camping nearby. Learn more.

7. Hike to Grassy Ridge Bald | North Carolina

Photo: Steve Yocom

While on the trail, enjoy amazing views of endless hills, which are especially amazing during sunrise and sunset. This hike can be done as a day hike or overnight. Learn more.

8. Backpack to Lake Lovely Water | British Columbia

Photo: Matt Hosford

This adventure is one of the best kept secrets in the Whistler area, let alone, British Columbia. If time and energy permit, there are more trails on the north side of Lake Lovely Water or just crack open that wine and paddle the lake. Learn more.

9. Backpack to Havasu Falls and the Colorado | Arizona

Photo: Bernice Ngo

Havasupai stands for the “people of the blue-green water.” Once you get there, you’ll understand why. Learn more.

10. Hike to Winchester Mountain Fire Lookout | Washington

Photo: Beau Ramsey

Winchester Mountain is said to have the greatest reward for least amount of effort in all the North Cascades. One of the last fire lookouts in the region stands on the summit. Learn more.

11. Hike the Subway Bottom Up | Utah

Photo: Lindsay Daniels

The Subway is one of the most popular attractions in Zion National Park. If you want a little more adventure, apply for a permit and try this hike top-down or test your daring at Angels Landing. Learn more.

12. Backpack the Lost Coast | California

Photo: Whitney Whitehouse

The Lost Coast is an epic backpacking trip that takes you along quintessential California coastal terrain with gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean all along the way. Learn more.

13. Hike to Hanging Lake | Colorado

Photo: Nicola Easterby

Hanging Lake is a beautifully unique natural wonder. Surrounded by dramatic, pine tree-lined cliffs, a unique community of hanging plants thrive beside waterfalls, which cascade into this glimmering turquoise pool of water. Learn more.

14. Hike to Glacier Point via Four Mile Trail | California

Photo: Joel Bear

Glacier Point has some of the very best views of Yosemite and is a great spot to catch the sunset or sunrise. Learn more.

15. Swim and Cliff Jump at Blue Springs | Florida

Photo: Em Renly

This natural spring is easily one of the best hidden gems in Florida. The pool of water is crystal clear for swimming, scuba-diving, and cliff jumping. Learn more.

16. Hike The Four Pass Loop in the Maroon Bells | Colorado

Photo: Kevin Kaminski

You'll hike challenging ascents over four passes and be rewarded by stunning views of the Maroon Bells wilderness. There are numerous waterfalls, some over 200 ft. high, impressive mountain lakes, and fields of wildflowers. Learn more.

17. Day Hike to Blanche Lake | Utah

Photo: Eric Bennett

This beautiful mountain lake near Salt Lake City makes for a great day hike or a backpacking trip. Learn more.

18. Hike to the Johnston Canyon Cave | Alberta

Photo: Tiffany Nguyen

Johnston Canyon is one of Alberta’s many gems. It’s amazing how much varied scenery you see over the course of the very short 1.7 mile hike. Learn more.

19. Hike the Chimney Tops | Tennessee

Photo: Mason Boring

Scramble to the top of the peak for great summit views on this short, steep, but fun hike in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Learn more.

20. Hike the Cirque of the Towers | Wyoming

Photo: Greg Owens

In just a day trip, this excursion takes you to the incomparable Cirque of the Towers, one of the greatest collections of wild and remote yet accessible peaks anywhere in the lower 48. Learn more.

21. Camp at Rocky Canyon Hot Springs | Idaho

Photo: Dusty Klein

Idaho is known for its pristine rivers and countless geothermal pools. The Rocky Canyon Hot Springs epitomizes both of these and will make you never want to leave. Learn more.

22. Explore Lake O’Hara | British Columbia

Photo: Callum Snape

The number of day hikers is restricted by Parks Canada so you can go a few hours before seeing another person. You'll be surrounded by wildlife, wildflowers, and grand views. Learn more.

23. Explore Latourell Falls | Oregon

Photo: Michael Matti

A short walk takes you to the base of this 249 foot waterfall. If you want to stretch your legs a little more take the 2.4 mile trail to the top of the falls. Learn more.

24. Hike to Soak in the Boiling River | Montana

Photo: Elliot Kramer

Soak in amazing natural hot springs and experience the wildlife of Yellowstone up close. It's only a quick 1.25 mile roundtrip hike to the springs. Learn more.

25. Hike the Olomana Trail | Hawaii

Photo: Hillary + Matt

The Olomana Trail, aka the Three Peaks, on Oahu takes guts to hike! It's not for the faint of heart and definitely isn't for inexperienced hikers. Nevertheless, if you're careful and sure-footed this hike offers views and experiences that you won't soon forget. Learn more.

26. Photograph the Waterfalls of Iceland

Photo: Eric Bennett

If you want to see Iceland's most incredible scenery, you have to rent a car and get a map. From Reykjavik, head south on Hwy 1 and explore the beautiful waterfalls along the way. Learn more.

27. Hike to Rattlesnake Ledge | Washington

Photo: Scott Kranz

The summit is the main attraction, but the journey is just as epic - you’ll spend the entirety of your gradual 1.9-mile ascent enveloped by lush fir trees, ferns, and mossy boulders. You’ll feel like you’re walking through a magical forest. Learn more.

28. Hike to the Crow Pass Cabin | Alaska

Photo: Noah Couser

Hike a portion of the former supply route to the Iditarod Dogsled Race and view mining ruins alongside the trail. Most importantly, enjoy a night of quiet solitude in the Crow Pass Cabin. Learn more.

29. Take a Dip at “Hippie” Hot Springs | Wyoming

Photo: Christina Adele Warburg

These hot springs are clean, comfortable, and scenic. Situated right at the base of a waterfall, this is a great spot for a relaxing day or night under the stars. Learn more.

30. Backpack to Panorama Ridge | British Columbia

Photo: Matt Hosford

The views are incredible! The massive glacial fed lake lies below you and the iconic Mt. Garibaldi towers in the distance. Learn more.

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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph.