3 Adventurous Summer Road Trips


Article by Robert Ryan + Ralph Martinelli

Photography by Provided

Living in the moment is great, but the anticipation of a journey can improve your mood, energize you and help you through tough times. The mental escape of planning a vacation may be just what the doctor ordered both mentally and physically.

We have all spent endless hours at home with our spouses, significant others or immediate family. Now, we’re all excited to head out and see our friends and other family members. We’re also anxious to finally celebrate milestones like graduations, weddings and birthdays.

Initially, travel will begin close to home with most people surveyed saying that they plan to travel within 200 to 300 miles over the next six months. Expect more road trips, more state and national park visits, more overnight camping and more weekend getaways. Living in the West gives us countless options for adventure. Most people do not take advantage of the enormous opportunities right where they live.

Below are a few places we’d like to suggest that you, your family and friends should consider visiting, all within driving distance from the Boise area. Some may require an overnight stay. Many hotels are open, with limited capacity, to adhere to each area’s safety and social distancing guidelines.

Hells Canyon National Recreation Area, OR

Approx. 4-hour drive

Hells Canyon offers vast reaches of remote wilderness for hiking, as well as diverse and abundant wildlife. There are artifacts from prehistoric tribes and rustic remains of early miners and settlers. ... Hells Canyon National Recreation Area truly offers something for everyone, and much to remember.

Hells Canyon is also home to the deepest river gorge in North America, and it’s right in our backyard! The Devil Mountain peak is 9,393 feet above sea level. Compare this to some other landmarks:

  • North rim of the Grand Canyon: 8,297 feet
  • Empire State Building: 1,454 feet
  • Seattle Space Needle: 605 feet
  • Washington Monument: 555 feet

The area has some amazing scenery, great fishing, and the jet ride along the Snake River is a thrilling adventure.

Sun Valley and Stanley, ID

Approx. 3-4-hour drive (depending on route)

Sun Valley offers just about everything an outdoor enthusiast might dream of doing in one location. Skiers and snowboarders relish the area during winter months, but don’t discount its warm-weather outdoor activities, for hiking, mountain biking, golf, fishing, shooting and horseback riding. The summer season has surpassed the winter season as the busiest time of year at the resort. And that’s just the beginning. Believe it or not, ice skating—on one of the only outdoor, year-round ice skating rinks in the world—is a big attraction. Besides many incredible local restaurants, Sun Valley’s shopping options mix a little bit of Main Street, USA, with a hearty dose of classic mountain town, topped off with a touch of European style.

After visiting Sun Valley, you can take a scenic drive 60 miles north to Stanley, and you’ll see a sign that says: “Galena Summit, EL. 8,701 ft.” There is also a small lot on the right-hand side of the road where you can park and enjoy the crisp mountain air. One of the most scenic mountain passes in America, the Galena Summit Overlook provides panoramic views of the vast Sawtooth Valley. This delightful lookout is the perfect place to see a gorgeous sunrise or stunning sunsets throughout the year!

Jackson Hole and Grand Teton National Park, WY

Approx. 5½-hour drive

Jackson Hole is a place where the modern spirit of adventure is strong. Grand Teton, the highest of the peaks, is 13,770 feet above sea level and contains limit-pushing adventurers. While still inspired by the heritage of the Old West, it is a thriving cultural arts center with renowned restaurants, a playground for recreational opportunities, and home to sights that are barely imaginable. Welcome, or as the signs entering town reads, “Yonder is Jackson Hole the last of the Old West.” The Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce is happy to welcome you to this magical place, and it's comprised an extensive list of open and closed activities.

While Grand Teton National Park activities are suspended for 2020, you can still enjoy the 42-Mile Scenic Loop Drive. In the safety of your own vehicle, you can take a scenic drive along Teton Park Road, which follows the base of the Teton Range between Moose and Jackson Lake Junction. Along the way, you can detour along Jenny Lake Road, tracing the eastern shore of Jenny Lake. This route turns west to put you closer to the mountains before it winds back and rejoins Teton Park Road. Turnouts along both roads allow you to pause, take photographs and savor the views.

To make the most of your trip, be sure to check ahead to know which events and locations are open and available to the public. While these trips may satisfy some of your immediate wanderlust, look for our next installment to learn about what the future of travel may look like—and some ideas to add to your travel bucket list.

Source: R & R Dream Vacations

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