Best Places to Go Horseback Riding

From the coast of Hawaii to the mountains of Chile, explore our list of best places to go horseback riding.

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10: Skydiving

10: Skydiving

We don't need to tell you what an amazingly scary experience skydiving is; if you're looking to inject your vacation with pure adrenaline, this is the extreme. The weather is Thailand is good 365 days a year, so that means there is jumping every single day. Strap yourself to a jumpmaster, and experience the thrill of a lifetime. 960 1280

Max Dereta / Getty Images  

9: Zip Lining

9: Zip Lining

From the sea to the sky, our next adventure takes you through the canopies of the Chiang Mai rainforests. You'll ride in your single-person swing and cruise a cable suspended through the 1500-year old Thai rainforest. Upgrade from a single swing to the complete adventure package offered by Flight of the Gibbon, and you can rock climb, mountain bike and stay in authentic Thai village home stays. 960 1280

Matthew Micah Wright / Getty Images  

8: Sea Kayaking

8: Sea Kayaking

Since you're having so much fun enjoying Thailand's scenery and wildlife, why not do a little to preserve it? And, of course, still have fun. Sea Canoe is an eco-friendly company that has operated in Southern Thailand for over 18 years. With offices in Phuket, Krabi and Koh Samuir, Sea Canoe can offer adventures in Khao Sok, Trang and Tarutao. Their staff is knowledgeable, and they offer a multitude of locations for kayaking adventures, ranging from a few hours to over six days. 960 1280

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7: Snorkeling

7: Snorkeling

Dive into the marine life just off the coast of Thailand. Similan Diving Safaris offers a full range of diving programs that will teach you how to explore reefs or get lost in the blue during an open-water dive. Located in Phang-Nga, you'll peacefully roam the underwater beauty of Similan and Surin Marine National Islands. 960 1280

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6: Mountain Biking

6: Mountain Biking

Give the elephants a break and hit the Thai wilderness on two wheels. Mountain biking is supremely popular in this country and there are many different tours from which to choose. M.T. Hill Tours offers rides lasting from a few hours to a full day, but one of their more interesting tours takes place at night. Explore the bustling Bangkok City on a three-hour bike tour; the ride ends relatively early, so you can hit the town once you've turned in your bike. Just promise us you'll change out of your bike shorts. 960 1280

Patrick Foto / Getty Images  

5: Whitewater Rafting

5: Whitewater Rafting

Relatively new to the Thai tourist market, whitewater rafting is quickly being added to many adventure trek itineraries. Rush the rapids in Southern Thailand's Phang Na province, and you're guaranteed an exhilarating ride. Book with Phuket Tours, and you'll score a visit to the Ton Pariwat Wildlife Sanctuary and an elephant ride through the jungle. 960 1280

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4: Waterfall Abseiling

4: Waterfall Abseiling

Number 7 is perfect for those who find regular rock climbing or repelling to be a bit mundane. Throw in the force of a waterfall, and now you're talking adventure. Many hotels and travel guides have programs that allow you to abseil, or repel, down Thailand's beautiful and powerful waterfalls. You'll feel your heart in your chest as you lean over the edge of a 35-foot waterfall and the ground slowly slips beneath your feet. Find out more about waterfall abseiling at Doi Inthanon in Chiang Mai. 960 1280

JoyfulThailand / Getty Images  

3: Elephant Riding

3: Elephant Riding

Taking an elephant ride through local Thai villages and surrounding forests is an experience no visitor to Thailand should miss. The type and length of the ride can be catered specifically to you: a half-hour ride through a local village or a five-day trek through the jungles of Northern Thailand. Those with the endurance and the daring can even incorporate mountain biking and rafting into the trek. 960 1280

Frank Rothe / Getty Images  

2: Jungle Trekking

2: Jungle Trekking

Get intimate with the wilds of Thailand by hitting the unmarked trails. We recommend at least a three-day trek to see mountain ridges, rainforests and experience camping in the beautiful Thai wilderness. The folks at Active Thailand will provide an informed English-speaking guide who will pick you up at your Chiang Mai City hotel and arrange all your food and camping needs. You just need to bring dry socks, SPF and a sense of adventure. 960 1280

Kimberley Coole / Getty Images  

1: Caving

1: Caving

Get to the heart of Thailand by exploring ancient caves and tremendous caverns like those in the Pang Mapha District of the Mae Hong Son Province. Here you can venture underground and discover wildlife, history and geology. Expert guides, like those at Cave Lodge, will escort you through geologic labyrinths, vertical caves and collapsed caves. Combine your journey with forest hikes or rafting to see even more of the Thai landscape. 960 1280

Korawee Ratchapakdee / Getty Images  

Yaki Point

Yaki Point

Within the Grand Canyon take in the view from Yaki Point. From an elevation of 7,000 feet, you’ll see the rocky terrain dotted with pinyon pines and junipers -- trees with nuts that sustain wildlife such as deer, squirrels, ringtail and birds. 960 1280

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South Kaibab Trail

South Kaibab Trail

The South Kaibab Trail leads to the Colorado River. Along with the Bright Angel Trail, the path provides a direct route to the bottom of the canyon. But with minimal shade, be sure to bring plenty of water and sun protection. 960 1280

Grand Canyon NPS, flickr  

Mather Point

Mather Point

It took 6 million years for water to carve out the Grand Canyon. Get an expansive view of this handiwork at Mather Point -- where vibrant, ancient rock layers await, stretching back 1.7 billion years.  960 1280

Grand Canyon NPS, flickr  

Tusayan Museum

Tusayan Museum

For nearly a millennia, Native American peoples have regarded the Grand Canyon as a sacred place. Visit the Tusayan Museum for a look into Pueblo Indian life at the canyon 800 years ago. 960 1280

Grand Canyon NPS, flickr  

Yavapai Observation Station

Yavapai Observation Station

Without a power plant in sight, the Grand Canyon is home to some of the cleanest air in America. Check out an air quality monitoring stand, located outside the Yavapai Observation Station (pictured here).  960 1280

Grand Canyon NPS, flickr  

Shiva Temple

Shiva Temple

See that broad, flat-topped plateau off in the distance? That’s Shiva Temple, a mesa about 1 mile long, with an area of about 300 acres. It’s located near the canyon’s North Rim. 960 1280

Pippawilson, flickr  

Kolb Studio

Kolb Studio

At the edge of Grand Canyon you’ll find Kolb Studio -- in the early 1900s, it was the home and photographic studio of outdoorsmen Emery and Ellsworth Kolb. Today, an art gallery operates inside the building, showcasing artwork from the canyon. 960 1280

Grand Canyon NPS, flickr  

Bright Angel Lodge

Bright Angel Lodge

Bright Angel Lodge was built in 1935 to accommodate the increasing numbers of visitors coming to the canyon via train. The lodge’s rustic architecture of logs and stone was conceived by American architect Mary Colter. 960 1280

Grand Canyon NPS, flickr  

Mule Corral

Mule Corral

These little guys -- call them “long-eared taxis” -- will take you on a cliff-hugging trip through the Grand Canyon. But relax, each mule goes through 1 year of training before it’s ever allowed to carry any passengers.  960 1280

Grand Canyon NPS, flickr  

Trailview Overlook

Trailview Overlook

From Trailview Overlook you can look down at Bright Angel Trail -- the main route used for centuries to enter and leave the Grand Canyon. 960 1280

Rosa Say, flickr  

Trail of Time

Trail of Time

Discover the Grand Canyon’s geologic splendor. Take the Trail of Time, a nearly 3-mile-long interpretive walking trail, to peel back the pages of time -- as told through the landscape’s many rock layers. 960 1280

Grand Canyon NPS, flickr  

Hopi House

Hopi House

Architect Mary Colter designed Hopi House in 1905. Today, this Pueblo-style building is the Grand Canyon’s largest gift store; it features a large selection of authentic Native American art and craftwork. The building is located in Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. 960 1280

Al_HikesAZ, flickr  

Grand Canyon Depot

Grand Canyon Depot

Also within Grand Canyon Village: the Grand Canyon Depot -- one of 3 remaining railroad depots in the US built with logs. The depot opened in 1910, courtesy of Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway -- one of the largest railroads in the US at the time. 960 1280

Grand Canyon NPS, flickr  

Roaring Springs

Roaring Springs

Nearly 5 miles down the Grand Canyon’s North Kaibab Trail you’ll find Roaring Springs. It’s one of several underground water supplies within the Grand Canyon. Listen closely … and hear the roar. 960 1280

Grand Canyon NPS, flickr  

Night Skies

Night Skies

Get out your telescope: The Grand Canyon offers prime nighttime skies for observing stars. Without a telephone pole or electric wire in sight, it’s just the starry skies above … and an awe-inspiring feeling within. 960 1280

Justin Kern, flickr  

Grand Canyon Skywalk

Grand Canyon Skywalk

And for the ultimate view, you’ve got to experience Grand Canyon Skywalk: this glass bridge walkway offers a jaw-dropping 4,000-foot-high view of the Grand Canyon’s floor. 960 1280

Getty Images  

12 Photos
Pacific Northwest Trail

Pacific Northwest Trail

The Pacific Northwest Trail spans 1,200 miles -- including 3 national parks and 7 national forests. To tackle this route, which runs through Montana, Idaho and Washington, you'll have to keep a pace of 20 miles per day. That'll get you to the trail's end in about 60 days.

Best times to hike:Year-round at lower elevations, summer and fall at higher elevations.
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Andy Porter, flickr   

Appalachian Trail

Appalachian Trail

The famed Appalachian Trail spans more than 2,180 miles. A thru-hike usually takes between 5 and 7 months, cutting through 14 states between Georgia and Maine. Along the way, enjoy views of pink rhododendrons along the trail’s Tennessee-North Carolina state line and in southwest Virginia, from late spring to early summer.

Best times to hike: Spring to fall.
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Thinkstock  

John Muir Trail

John Muir Trail

Naturalist John Muir loved this area of California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range. Today, the trail named in his honor runs 211 miles, from Yosemite Valley to Mount Whitney (the highest point on America’s mainland). Most hikers start their trek at Yosemite’s Happy Isles or Tuolumne Meadows.

Best times to hike: Generally July to September.
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Steve Dunleavy, flickr  

Hayduke Trail

Hayduke Trail

Uber-hiker Andrew Skurka calls Hayduke Trail “one of the finest ways to discover the Colorado Plateau … and get away from it all.” No wonder. The 800-mile trail running through Utah and Arizona covers the area’s big national parks: Zion, Grand Canyon, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands and Arches.

Best times to hike: Spring and fall.
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Thinkstock  

Pacific Crest Trail

Pacific Crest Trail

The massive Pacific Crest Trail covers more than 2,600 miles, from California, Oregon and Washington to British Columbia. The trail is among the “Big 3”: If you hike the Pacific Trail, as well as the Continental Divide Trail and the Appalachian Trail, you’ll get the American Long Distance Hiking Association’s Triple Crown Award.

Best times to hike: Late April to late September.
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Marshmallow, flickr  

Sierra High Route

Sierra High Route

The Sierra High Route is one of pro hiker Andrew Skurka’s favorite trails. The 195-mile trail in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains offers amazing views of meadowlands, lake basins and mountain peaks. Keep a pace of roughly 20 miles per day, and you’ll complete the trail in a little over a week. Also, keep in mind logistical considerations.

Best time to hike: Depends on skill level.
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Getty Images  

Arizona Trail

Arizona Trail

The 800-mile Arizona Trail runs north and south through the state, and showcases some of the region's most unspoiled terrain: ridges, mountains and wilderness areas that have remained untouched since Arizona became a territory in 1863. That remoteness also means hikers must stay current on Arizona Trail conditions.

Best times to hike: Year-round at lower elevations, summer and fall at higher elevations.
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Rick Hall, flickr  

Long Trail

Long Trail

Known simply as the Long Trail, this route runs 273 miles through Vermont -- the whole length of the state. The trail also happens to be America’s first long-distance hiking trail. Construction began in 1912 and continued for nearly 20 years. Today, hikers can enjoy short day hikes and extended treks (including to Mount Mansfield, Vermont’s highest mountain).

Best times to hike: Late spring through late fall.
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dvs, flickr  

Continental Divide Trail

Continental Divide Trail

At 3,100 miles, the Continental Divide Trail is not for the faint of heart: Only about 25 people a year attempt to hike the entire trail, which runs between Mexico and Canada. Some areas can only be traveled by bushwacking, aka make-your-own-trails, and roadwalking.

Best times to hike: April to October.
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Getty Images  

Superior Hiking Trail

Superior Hiking Trail

Everyone loves Superior: Hiker Andrew Skurka ranks the trail among his 10 favorite US hikes, Readers Digest ranks it among its top 5. The 275-mile footpath showcases scenic views -- boreal forests, rushing waterfalls and the 30-mile-long Sawtooth Mountains are among the attractions -- as well as 81 campsites for a little R&R.

Best times to hike: Late spring to early fall.
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Thinkstock  

Florida Trail

Florida Trail

Alligators are among the wild critters that hikers can encounter along the Florida Trail. The 1,400-mile trail starts at Big Cypress National Preserve (about 45 miles west of Miami) and ends in the Pensacola, FL, area. And if you see a gator along the way? Give it space, circling around its tail end so it doesn’t feel threatened.

Best times to hike: Year-round.
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B A Bowen Photography, flickr  

Colorado Trail

Colorado Trail

Hikers, horse riders and bicyclists, the Colorado Trail is calling your name. The 486-mile trail runs from the Denver area to Durango, CO, with some of Colorado’s most beautiful scenery in between: wildlife (marmots, deer, sheep and more), as well as wildflowers, forests, lakes and streams ideal for fishing. A thru-hike generally takes 4 to 6 weeks to complete -- a feat accomplished by roughly 150 people per year.

Best times to hike: Primarily July and August.
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Kimon Berlin, flickr  

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