73 Great Things You Should Do In The Mountains
If you’ve visited my blog, you probably know I like to hike and camp in the mountains – but that’s just a small sample of what you can do in this amazing place. With alpine lakes, aspen forests, whitewater rivers, and high rocky crags, the mountains have something for everyone to enjoy. If you need a bit of inspiration coming up with your next mountain adventure, I pulled together a few ideas to get you started.
Here are 73 things you should do in the mountains, in no particular order. Enjoy!
73 Things You Should Do In The Mountains
- Hike, of course!
- Go stargazing at night.
- Visit a ghost town or mining camp.
- Soak it up at a hot spring.
- Drive up Pikes Peak and eat some doughnuts.
- Visit a National Park like Yosemite, Glacier, or Rocky Mountain.
- Enjoy a day on the shore of an alpine lake.
- Go mushroom hunting in the fall.
- Wake up early to see the alpenglow in the mountains.
- Flyfish for rainbow or cutthroat trout.
- Take a lead climbing class (it’s not THAT scary!)
- Whitewater river rafting or kayaking.
- Cook your own dinner in the backcountry.
- Go off-roading or four-wheeling (where allowed).
- Volunteer with a trail-building crew.
- Ski or snowboard the slopes.
- Enjoy a picnic in a mountain meadow.
- Try out mountain-biking.
- Rent an Airbnb in a little mountain town.
- Go horseback riding along a trail.
- Take a snowmobile tour during the winter.
- Visit the July wildflower blooms.
- Come back in autumn when the aspen trees change colors.
- Go tubing down a creek – not whitewater!
- Watch for wildlife, like elk, bighorn sheep, and bears.
- Hike to the summit of a 14er.
- Research some birds and try bird-watching.
- Paint something. You have plenty of options.
- Find Fenn’s Treasure
- Visit one of the thousands of historic sites in the west.
- Drive up and over a high mountain pass.
- Go deer or elk hunting during the season.
- Try a backpacking trip in the wilderness.
- Rent a pair of snowshoes for a winter hike following a snowfall.
- Practice your wilderness survival skills.
- Do some bouldering.
- Rest your feet in a mountain stream.
- Practice your self-arrest in the snow.
- Visit a state or local park – you have a lot of options.
- Practice Leave No Trace outdoor ethics.
- Ride on a backcountry historic train.
- Take a gondola ride to a summit.
- Try ice climbing during the winter months.
- Find a quiet spot to read a good book.
- Bring the ten essentials – always!
- Enjoy an evening around a campfire with friends.
- Go winter camping and build a quinzee or igloo.
- Write while in the mountains.
- Try to spot a marmot or pika above the treeline.
- Hike up to a waterfall and feel the mist.
- See a mountain glacier.
- Find a dispersed camping spot for a night all alone.
- Stay at a campground for a night with others.
- Go sledding or snow tubing.
- Visit a Native American tribal museum.
- Scramble along a class 3 mountain ridge.
- Visit a historic gold or silver mine.
- Go sailing in a mountain lake.
- Ski to a backcountry hut for a winter adventure.
- Follow good trail etiquette.
- Listen to the sounds of nature.
- Watch the sunset from a mountain.
- Explore rare geological or volcanic features.
- Skip a 14er to climb a 13er instead!
- Grab a burger and beer at a mountain town restaurant or bar.
- Take the Amtrack across the west.
- Go for a chilly swim in an alpine lake.
- Be mindful of bears and other wildlife.
- Spend an afternoon in a hammock with a view of the peaks.
- Visit a wildfire-scarred area; they’re really something.
- Got to a Forest Service or Park Visitor Center
- Do a big-wall climb if you’re insane.
- Be nice! The mountains are only as nice as the people in them.
73 Things You Should Do In The Mountains
Did I miss something you enjoy doing while in the mountains? Leave a comment below with your suggestion and it may just get added to the list! I hope you enjoy your time in the hills, no matter which idea sparks your interest. However, please remember to always practice Leave No Trace outdoor ethics while recreating in the outdoors. This ensures the next visitors will get the same experience and sense of wonder that you get to enjoy. I hope you enjoyed my list of the best things you should do in the mountains. Safe travels on the trail!
Alex Derr, Creator of The Next Summit
Alex is an Eagle Scout, climber, and environmental policy expert located in Denver, Colorado. He created The Next Summit to help others stay safe exploring the mountains and advocate to preserve the peaks for the future. Follow him on Linkedin or Twitter or click here to contact him.