Where Adventure Awaits

Explore three destinations, each providing a distinctive atmosphere and adventure – along with unforgettable scenery and a healthy dose of adrenaline.

Where Adventure Awaits

Explore three destinations, each providing a distinctive atmosphere and adventure – along with unforgettable scenery and a healthy dose of adrenaline.

Path to Greatness

North Umpqua Trail, Oregon

Desert Beauty

Joshua Tree, California

Southern Wanderlust

The Florida Keys, Florida

Path to Greatness

North Umpqua Trail, Oregon

A deep historic sense pervades the North Umpqua Trail, rambling for 79 miles through southwest Oregon. For thousands of years, this place has drawn explorers and adventurers willing to look deeper, trek further and test limits in pursuit of natural splendor. In the 19th century, miners arrived at the trail's Steamboat Area in search of gold. Despite rumors that Oregon's prospecting region could be the most lucrative in the country, only a few lucky miners found what they were looking for here. Today, hopeful panners head to Gold Nugget Wayside, located along the southern stretch of the Rogue-Umpqua Scenic Byway.

Visitors can start by fly-fishing in the rushing Umpqua River, whose flow originates from Cascade Range snowmelt—one of only two coastal streams in Oregon that can make that claim. This keeps the Umpqua’s water clean and cool throughout the spring and summer, making it ideal for anadromous fish like salmon and steelhead. Travelers arriving in springtime can watch from Deadline Falls’ forested banks as wild Chinook scale the jade-green rapids toward their spawning grounds.

The trail presents an incredible array of hiking options. Families can stroll through old-growth forests and scramble down to the water’s edge along the Mott Trail. Adventurous groups seeking total immersion in the Pacific Northwest landscape can venture to Fern Creek Falls for views of the river and camp overnight in the backcountry.

Another option is mountain biking amid the dramatic Cascade Range scenery, over bridges that cut through fragrant forest and passing spectacular cliff faces towering above the riverbed. Cyclists can connect with the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail, glimpsing Douglas-Fir, hemlock and sugar pine trees along the way—some with trunks more than six feet around.

Time is needed to absorb such scale and nuance—and that's the point. Whether stopping mid-hike to survey the river bed, or pulling off at an overlook to take in canyon and white water views along the Rogue-Umpqua Scenic Byway—nicknamed "Highway of Waterfalls"—travelers slowing their pace on the trail will find it hard to forget the wonders they’ve seen once regular daily life resumes.

A deep historic sense pervades the North Umpqua Trail, rambling for 79 miles through southwest Oregon. For thousands of years, this place has drawn explorers and adventurers willing to look deeper, trek further and test limits in pursuit of natural splendor. In the 19th century, miners arrived at the trail's Steamboat Area in search of gold. Despite rumors that Oregon's prospecting region could be the most lucrative in the country, only a few lucky miners found what they were looking for here. Today, hopeful panners head to Gold Nugget Wayside, located along the southern stretch of the Rogue-Umpqua Scenic Byway.

Visitors can start by fly-fishing in the rushing Umpqua River, whose flow originates from Cascade Range snowmelt—one of only two coastal streams in Oregon that can make that claim. This keeps the Umpqua’s water clean and cool throughout the spring and summer, making it ideal for anadromous fish like salmon and steelhead. Travelers arriving in springtime can watch from Deadline Falls’ forested banks as wild Chinook scale the jade-green rapids toward their spawning grounds.

The trail presents an incredible array of hiking options. Families can stroll through old-growth forests and scramble down to the water’s edge along the Mott Trail. Adventurous groups seeking total immersion in the Pacific Northwest landscape can venture to Fern Creek Falls for views of the river and camp overnight in the backcountry.

Another option is mountain biking amid the dramatic Cascade Range scenery, over bridges that cut through fragrant forest and passing spectacular cliff faces towering above the riverbed.

Cyclists can connect with the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail, glimpsing Douglas-Fir, hemlock and sugar pine trees along the way—some with trunks more than six feet around.

Time is needed to absorb such scale and nuance—and that's the point. Whether stopping mid-hike to survey the river bed, or pulling off at an overlook to take in canyon and white water views along the Rogue-Umpqua Scenic Byway—nicknamed "Highway of Waterfalls"—travelers slowing their pace on the trail will find it hard to forget the wonders they’ve seen once regular daily life resumes.

Along the North Umpqua Trail, Native Americans once fished for salmon and gathered Oregon Grape, a powerful medicinal plant that’s now the state’s official flower.

The Umpqua is a river whose Native American name translates as “thundering waters.”

The Umpqua Trail has 12 different routes that range from moderate climbs to monumental treks.

Desert Beauty

Joshua Tree, California

This desert destination is best known for its namesake tree, but there’s so much more to see in sprawling Joshua Tree National Park. Ocotillo and Cholla cacti, golden eagles, sidewinder lizards and mesmerizing wildflower displays are just a sampling of what visitors can look for along hikes, nature trails and scenic drives that also reveal historic sites and geological wonders.

Travelers arriving at the park from October through May will find comfortable temperatures that range from the mid-70s and rise to the mid-90s in late spring and autumn. A slow drive along Park Boulevard, linking the north and west entrances of the Mojave section offers an ideal introduction to the landscape. Families can gaze at awe-inspiring boulder piles and vast groves of Joshua Trees, and linger at intriguing sites like Hidden Valley, a rumored haunt of cattle rustlers, where kids can scramble around the gigantic rocks.

Visiting Key's View at sunrise or sunset offers a sweeping panorama that showcases the Coachella Valley, San Andreas Fault and the distant sheen of the Salton Sea—plus Mexico's Signal Mountain on the clearest days.

When night falls, backcountry campers can take in the desert’s star-filled skies—some of the country’s most spectacular, thanks to the dry air and elevations at 3,000 to 5,000 feet above sea level—while the park's semi-wilderness campgrounds offer the comfort of basic amenities. The closest lodging to the park entrance is a charming inn that features colorful adobe cottages dating back to the 1920s.

Whether experienced on foot or by car, or against a boulder while climbing, Joshua Tree gives an effect that is at once quieting and full of sensory stimulation. The sun’s strength, the vast sandy scenery and the subtle wildlife sounds exhilarate in a way that is impossible to forget.

This desert destination is best known for its namesake tree, but there’s so much more to see in sprawling Joshua Tree National Park. Ocotillo and Cholla cacti, golden eagles, sidewinder lizards and mesmerizing wildflower displays are just a sampling of what visitors can look for along hikes, nature trails and scenic drives that also reveal historic sites and geological wonders.

Travelers arriving at the park from October through May will find comfortable temperatures that range from the mid-70s and rise to the mid-90s in late spring and autumn. A slow drive along Park Boulevard, linking the north and west entrances of the Mojave section offers an ideal introduction to the landscape. Families can gaze at awe-inspiring boulder piles and vast groves of Joshua Trees, and linger at intriguing sites like Hidden Valley, a rumored haunt of cattle rustlers, where kids can scramble around the gigantic rocks.

Visiting Key's View at sunrise or sunset offers a sweeping panorama that showcases the Coachella Valley, San Andreas Fault and the distant sheen of the Salton Sea—plus Mexico's Signal Mountain on the clearest days.

When night falls, backcountry campers can take in the desert’s star-filled skies—some of the country’s most spectacular, thanks to the dry air and elevations at 3,000 to 5,000 feet above sea level—while the park's semi-wilderness campgrounds offer the comfort of basic amenities.

The closest lodging to the park entrance is a charming inn that features colorful adobe cottages dating back to the 1920s.

Whether experienced on foot or by car, or against a boulder while climbing, Joshua Tree gives an effect that is at once quieting and full of sensory stimulation. The sun’s strength, the vast sandy scenery and the subtle wildlife sounds exhilarate in a way that is impossible to forget.

One legend says when Mormon pioneers first saw the tree’s spiky branches in the mid-19th century, it reminded them of the outstretched arms of the prophet Joshua and they named it accordingly.

The park offers more than 4,500 rock climbing routes, from beginner-level bouldering in the Wonderland of Rocks to more advanced multi-pitch climbs at Saddle Rock.

The diverse terrain of the park includes a sudden shift from low, arid Sonoran Desert to the high, wetter Mojave Desert, a mix that supports a fascinating array of landscapes and species.

Southern Wanderlust

The Florida Keys, Florida

When the Overseas Highway was completed in 1938, it was more than a marvel of engineering. The 113-mile span of concrete and steel hugging the turquoise sea opened the thrilling new world of the Florida Keys to American motorists. Today, that same sense of discovery persists along the scenic byway that terminates at the southernmost point in the United States.

While the highway can be driven in just a few hours, the best way to experience the Keys is slowly, with stops for adventures and outdoor activities that reveal the region’s tropical character. Keep in mind that hurricane season can be an issue in August, September and November, and that summer, though hot and humid, presents thinned out crowds and a quieter vibe.

On Islamorada, considered the sportfishing capital of the world, anglers can charter boats or organize offshore expeditions with skilled fishing guides. After a day on the water, travelers can settle in to one of the area’s luxurious beachfront properties.

Some of Florida’s finest snorkeling is found at Bahia Honda State Park, where visitors can also discover pristine beaches and watch the sun set in dramatic fashion. And no visit to the Keys would be complete without a jaunt to the country’s southernmost point, Key West, a seven-square-mile paradise with an eccentric personality. Literary greats like Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams soaked up the Bahamian-Cuban heritage here, and travelers can still experience the area’s zest for arts and culture through the lively gallery scene. Travelers can explore the waters off Key West at Dry Tortugas National Park, which features an archipelago of seven remote islands containing North America’s only barrier reef.

There's something about driving to the land's end—in this case the southernmost point of the U.S.—that gives a fresh perspective. With the ocean stretching endlessly and its myriad creatures hidden below, life in the rearview seems only the beginning of the adventure.

When the Overseas Highway was completed in 1938, it was more than a marvel of engineering. The 113-mile span of concrete and steel hugging the turquoise sea opened the thrilling new world of the Florida Keys to American motorists. Today, that same sense of discovery persists along the scenic byway that terminates at the southernmost point in the United States.

While the highway can be driven in just a few hours, the best way to experience the Keys is slowly, with stops for adventures and outdoor activities that reveal the region’s tropical character. Keep in mind that hurricane season can be an issue in August, September and November, and that summer, though hot and humid, presents thinned out crowds and a quieter vibe.

On Islamorada, considered the sportfishing capital of the world, anglers can charter boats or organize offshore expeditions with skilled fishing guides. After a day on the water, travelers can settle in to one of the area’s luxurious beachfront properties.

Some of Florida’s finest snorkeling is found at Bahia Honda State Park, where visitors can also discover pristine beaches and watch the sun set in dramatic fashion. And no visit to the Keys would be complete without a jaunt to the country’s southernmost point, Key West, a seven-square-mile paradise with an eccentric personality.

Literary greats like Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams soaked up the Bahamian-Cuban heritage here, and travelers can still experience the area’s zest for arts and culture through the lively gallery scene. Travelers can explore the waters off Key West at Dry Tortugas National Park, which features an archipelago of seven remote islands containing North America’s only barrier reef.

There's something about driving to the land's end—in this case the southernmost point of the U.S.—that gives a fresh perspective. With the ocean stretching endlessly and its myriad creatures hidden below, life in the rearview seems only the beginning of the adventure.

In the Islamorada area of the Florida Keys, a fantastically colorful variety of more than 500 fish species, from bonefish to tarpon to redfish, can be found in mere inches of water only minutes from the shore.

Scuba diving tours to Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary—named for a ship said to have sunk near the reef in 1744—can reveal several species of shark and ray and 7,000 years’ worth of coral growth.

About 70 miles beyond Key West lies Dry Tortugas, a national park of mostly open water that features sunken 17th-century ships and one of the biggest coastal brick fortresses in the world.