Top 10 Outdoor Vacation Spots

ByABC News via via logo

June 22, 2006 — -- "Good Morning America" is kicking off its summer series, Vacationland, by highlighting some of the most beautiful spots in the United States.

The country provides many natural national treasures to explore. Teaming up with National Geographic Adventure magazine,"GMA" hopes to inspire you to explore the country's landscape.

* External links are provided for reference purposes. ABC News is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites.

Vacationland: National Geographic Adventure's Top 10 Outdoor Adventures

1. Grand Canyon. While floating on the Colorado River, learn about geology and enjoy some of biggest white-water rafting activities.

What to Do: George Wendt, the founder of O.A.R.S, has run rafting trips down the Colorado River since 1969. Learn how to book a trip with him at

Where to Stay: The Bright Angel Lodge on the South Rim has rooms for $50 and detached cabins for $109. Go to

On the North Rim, Grand Canyon Lodge has upscale rooms for $96 and good food.

For park information, camp reservations and backcountry permits -- which cost $10, plus $5 a night per person -- visit

E-mail Murray Mold at Destination Cinemas at

2. Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian Trail, the oldest walking trail in America, traces the East Coast and is 2,160 miles from north to south. The trail, which would take five months to hike in its entirety, includes the Great Smoky Mountains and the Presidential Range.

For information and permits for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, go to

Information about the trail is available from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. Go to

3. El Capitan

El Capitan, or "El Cap," is a 3,000 foot vertical rock formation located in Yosemite National Park.

Where to Stay:

The Ahwahnee Hotel: Visit You can also camp right on park grounds.

For permits, travel and park information, visit the Yosemite National Park Web site,

Plan a rock climbing excursion with Southern Yosemite Mountain Guides,

4. Mendenhall Glacier, Juneau, Alaska.

Getting to Juneau: There are no roads into Juneau, so you need to take a ferry or plane.

Flights: Alaska Air offers flights from most major cities to Juneau International Airport. Visit

Ferry: Book your ride at the Alaska Marine Highway. Go to

Experience the Glacier:

Take a guided hike offered by the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center. The center also offers programs and maintains trails in the area around the glacier. Got to

Most visitors choose to be dropped on top of the glacier by helicopter.

Helicopter Companies:




Northstar Trekking:

5. North Woods, Ossipee River, Maine

Guided Canoeing Trips:Ossipee River Canoe offers a seven-mile trip for $125 per person. Children 12 and under get a 25 percent discount.

6. Boundary Waters, Minn.

Find links to travel information, paddling outfitters and guidelines, and park information and permits for exploring and camping in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness at

Where to Stay: Ludlow's Island Resort gives its guests their own canoes and kayaks. It costs $2,400/week for a four-person cabin. Visit

7. Wind River Range, Wyo.

Horseback is the preferred mode of transportation in the Wind River Range.

Book your guided horseback trip at John Henry Lee Outfitters, Inc. Visit

Call Paul Gilroy at Gilroy Outfitters: (307) 733-4314

Full listing of horseback outfitters:

Where to Stay: Brooks Lake Lodge. Rooms start at $275/night per person. Go to

8. Hiking the Narrows in Zion National Park

Information:Zion Canyon Visitor Center. Go to

Where to Stay: Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort. Cabin suites for $125 a night. Go to

Where to Learn, Get a Guide, and Get Gear: Zion Adventure Co. Visit

Zion's Other Narrows: Visit the more isolated Lower Telephone Canyon. For more information go to

9. Tree Climbing in Atlanta

Tree Climbing Classes: visit


Eddies Attic offers everything from open-mic nights to performances by known artists. Go to

Blind Willie's is one of the most famous spots for blues in the country. For more information, go to

Club 112 Atlanta offers hip-hop music and dancing. Call (404) 261-0155.

Cat Power has been spotted at The Earl, a hipster rock hangout. Visit

Where to Eat:

Try the world's largest drive-through, the Varsity Downtown located right across from the Georgia Tech campus.

Canoe on the Chattahoochee River. Visit

For information on rock climbing or bouldering, and boat rentals and kayaking on the Chattahoochee, River, visit High Country Outfitters at

Other things to do in Atlanta:

Windsurfing on Lake Lanier: Call (770) 614-5724 to rent a rig at Gene's Consignment Shop.

Go mountain biking on the Stone Mountain Trail. Visit

Go tubing or kayaking on the Chattahoochee, River.

Explore the city's brand-new aquarium. Go to

10. Hiking Tahoe Rim Trail, Tahoe National Forest, Calif.

This year, the Tahoe Rim Trail Association is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the long distance trail for which it was named.

Find out about the guided hikes and training sessions that are being offered at

Take a two-to-four day backpacking trip along the Tahoe Rim from Echo Lake to Barker Pass. The trip takes you through the heart of Desolation Wilderness. Camping is permitted in the Tahoe National Forest.

Maps, permits and information about Tahoe National Forest, Calif. can be found at

For more information visit

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