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Five adventures for the Pacific Northwest

River Riders leads whitewater rafting tours near Leavenworth. Photo credit: River Riders

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Never let it be said that the Pacific Northwest isn't filled with adventurous pursuits. From watersports to amazing aerial adventures, get out of the city, and you'll find high adventure around every bend.


If high adventure is what you seek, jumping out of a plane to catch sight of Northwest scenery in all its glory may fit the bill. Just 20 minutes from Seattle, Skydiving Snohomish offers both tandem as well as static line skydives. For tandem dives, you'll get 30 minutes with an instructor and learn what to expect before you and your instructor head to the skies for a 15-to-20- minute climb. Freefalls range between 30 seconds and a full minute. Both during the climb and after your parachute deploys, you'll get views of Mt. Rainier and Mt. Baker, as well as Seattle, the Puget Sound and more.

Alternately, iFly Seattle Indoor Skydiving offers indoor skydiving for those seeking adventure with a little less altitude.

Skydiving Snohomish: 9906 Airport Way, Snohomish, 360.568.7703,

iFly Seattle: 349 Tukwila Pkwy, Tukwila, 206.244.4359,


There are many options to go ziplining in the Pacific Northwest, including smaller ziplines at places like Northwest Trek or at Eastgate Park in Bellevue. But for adventure, look a bit further. Canopy Tours Northwest on Camano Island will take you through a series of six ziplines through a forest canopy as well as a nearly 50-foot rappelling session at the end. To the south, Skamania Lodge is another amazing place to zipline. Soar up to 900 feet above the ground on seven ziplines and three sky bridges.

Canopy Tours Northwest: 332 NE Camano Dr., Camano Island, 360.387.5807,  

Skamania Lodge: 1131 SW Skamania Lodge Way, Stevenson, 509.427.0202,

Whitewater rafting

With many rivers flowing down from the surrounding mountains, Washington and Oregon are ideal for whitewater rafting. You don't even have to travel far from the Seattle-Tacoma area to find these adventures. Head to Leavenworth, and you'll find a few rafting companies ready to take you barreling down the Wenatchee River. Most trips range from four to six hours, and many include a barbecue lunch as well. River Riders out of Leavenworth will also lead trips near Yakima after Rimrock Lake is released later this summer.

Blue Sky Outfitters: 206.938.4030,

River Rider: 10860 Hwy 2, Leavenworth, 800.448.RAFT,

Osprey Rafting: 509.548.6800,

Bungee Jumping

The Northwest is home to some of the highest bungee jumping locations in the U.S., including the High Steel Bridge in Shelton, which you can jump from as part of Idaho's Bungee Expeditions (you must have a group to make this jump). Bungee Expeditions also leaps from other stunning locales throughout the western U.S. and Northwest, such as the Crooked River Gorge in Bend, Oregon. Bungee Masters, another jumping outfit, leads jumps from a private bridge over a gorge in Amboy, Washington.

Bungee Expeditions: Based in Idaho,

Bungee Masters: Based in Oregon, 503.520.0303,


Kiteboarding is a little bit like surfing and a little bit like flying (at least if you do it right). It's not a sport you can jump into without some instruction, however, and one of the best places to learn, practice and cut loose is in the Columbia Gorge in Hood River, Oregon, which gets some of the best wind in the region. If you're new to the sport, sign up for beginner lessons with Kite the Gorge (which also has a kind of pre-beginner lesson that can help you decide if this is the right sport for you).

Kite the Gorge: 541.490.9426,

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