A hiker stands on a glacier in alaska in front of a pool

10 Bucket List Adventures To Do In Your Life

Are you looking for epic adventures and inspiration for your next trip? These 10 bucket list adventures are sure to give you thrill and magical views and inspire you to keep seeking out epic locations.

I’ve personally visited and experienced all of these and HIGHLY recommend each and every one.

1. Hike to Havasupai

A waterfall in a red rock canyon of havasupai
Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

An oasis in the desert, Havasupai is one of the most incredible and beautiful places America offers. It has towering waterfalls and gorgeous turquoise waters, and the temperatures are quite nice most of the year.

It’s a 10-mile hike to reach it, but let me tell you, it is so worth it!

2. See the Northern Lights

Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch – Alaska 2024

I first saw the northern lights in 2019 in Iceland. It was totally unexpected. Then, in February of 2024, I visited Alaska and saw the most unbelievable display I’ve ever witnessed. I highly recommend visiting Alaska, Norway, or Iceland to see these stunning sights. (Then go figure, I saw them in Nevada, too!)

3. Summit Mount Whitney

training for mount whitney california hiking
Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

The tallest peak in the Lower 48 is also reasonably achievable. It requires no technical climbing and can be done in a single day. (I know from experience.) It’s grueling, but the view on top is otherworldly, and the accomplishment is one I’ll never get over.

If you want to hike, you’ll need permits, as they regulate entrance strictly.

4. Watch Sunrise at Mesa Arch

Mesa Arch Canyonlands National Park Utah
Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

It’s a classic shot that every photographer wants. But it’s amazing, trust me. I endured sub-20-degree temperatures to watch the sunrise under Mesa Arch at Canyonlands National Park in Utah.

5. See Bears in Alaska

alaska bear watching lake clark
Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

Talk about bucket-list adventures! See coastal brown bears living life in Alaska’s Lake Clark was one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever had. It’s expensive, but if you can afford it, I highly recommend it!

6. Hike Near Mount Rainier

Wildflowers on the Skyline Loop Trail at Mt Rainier.
Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

The tallest volcano in the lower US, and it’s accessible to all hikers. From Paradise, hop on the Skyline Trail, and from Sunrise, hike up to Fremont Lookout for surreal views of Rainier.

7. Go Whale Watching in Hawaii

a humpback shoots out of the water during our maui whale watching
Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

Now, this has been at the top of my bucket list since learning humpback whales congregate around Maui during the winter months. I headed out there this past March and saw breaching whales on our tour AND while sitting on the beach.

It truly was the most extraordinary sights I’ve seen.

8. Experience the Midnight Sun in Iceland

Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

Who needs sleep anyway?! I traveled to Iceland in June 2023 to experience the midnight sun and had the biggest blast! With enough time to hike at any hour of the day (on our final day, we hiked until 3 a.m.), you can see so many epic places.

9. Hike the Grand Canyon

Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

Millions visit the Grand Canyon each year, and while it’s fantastic, the true magic and beauty lie beneath those massive walls. Every hiker will tell you that when you get below the rim, you understand its magnitude even more.

Getting to hike Rim to Rim in 2019 is something I’ll never forget.

10. See a (Total) Eclipse

Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

If you got lucky enough to see the total solar eclipse, I heard it was phenomenal. I’ve only seen a partial one, but watching it is still pretty cool. Start planning those international trips to see them in the coming years.

Author: Alec Sills-Trausch

Title: Founder of Explore with Alec

Expertise: Hiking, Backpacking, Photography, and Road Trips

Alec Sills-Trausch is a hiker, backpacker, landscape photographer, and syndicated travel writer. He enjoys showing off the beauty of the world through his photos, videos, and written work on ExploreWithAlec.com. Alec is also a 2x cancer survivor and bone marrow transplant recipient, showing the world that there is a future from this terrible disease.

He lives in Washington, where he gets to enjoy the stunning PNW mountains in addition to all the other places he attempts to visit each year! You can see more work on IG at @AlecOutside