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38 Amazing Outdoor Spots Across the U.S. to Add to Your Bucket List


Name: Nadia Ruiz
Social Handle: @irongirlnadia
Outdoor Expertise: Trail runner for 25 years
Best for: Trail running, hiking, exploring
Best Time to Visit: Summer to early fall
Why the Spot Is Awesome: Montana’s Glacier National Park is a wonderland of outdoor beauty covering one million acres of glacier-covered peaks, valleys, mirrored turquoise lakes, waterfalls, and dense forests. One of my favorite lakes in the park is Iceberg Lake–it’s pretty distinct and surrounded by glacial peaks. I ran a trail half marathon just outside the park and explored as many trails in the area as I could afterward. I never wanted to leave this magical place.

21. Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area in Las Vegas, Nevada

Courtesy of Tara Bushey

Name: Tara Bushey
Social Handle: @runtararun24
Outdoor Expertise: Runner for 9 years; has hiked in six different National Parks in the last two years
Best for: Hiking and trail running
Best Time to Visit: All seasons
Why the Spot Is Awesome: Situated about 30 minutes off the Las Vegas strip, Red Rock Canyon is a gem with absolutely gorgeous views, hiking trails galore, and a 13-mile scenic drive great for road running or cycling. It’s a dream for any outdoor enthusiast! If you do one of the “difficult” hikes to a peak, you’ll have a view of Red Rock Canyon from above, plus all of Las Vegas–including the strip–in the distance

22. Saddle River County Park Trail, Saddle Brook, New Jersey

Courtesy of Cheryl Carlin

Name: Cheryl Carlin
Social Handle: @​​cheryltwin
Outdoor Expertise: Senior manager of analytics at SELF and former avid outdoors runner
Best for: Running, biking, bird-watching, skating, and walking.
Best Time to Visit: All seasons
Why the Spot Is Awesome: When I was training for long runs, I always had the hardest time finding a nice place outdoors. Once I found this trail—which is an out-and-back 12-mile loop—I knew I had found the perfect place to run. This beautiful trail winds through wooded landscapes, some ponds, and along the saddle river for all six miles. The best part, though, is that there are markers for every tenth of a mile you go. When I wanted to get my friends into running, it was so easy to tell them, just run to the 0.5-mile marker, and then we will walk. Plus, the path isn’t too congested, so I can go all times of the year.

23. Montauk, New York

Courtesy of Gaelin Rosenwaks

Name: Gaelin Rosenwaks
Social Handle: @gaelingoexplore
Outdoor Expertise: Marine scientist; professional ocean photographer and filmmaker
Best for: Fishing, free diving, and paddling
Best Time to Visit: Summer and fall
Why the Spot Is Awesome: Montauk is at the end of Long Island, so it’s surrounded by water. Everywhere you turn, the ocean is there. This place is pretty special because it’s not very developed—there are some homes dotting the shoreline, but it’s mostly open space. Beyond the beach in the summer, you’ll see whales breaching.

24. Ooms Conservation Area, Chatham, New York

Courtesy of Sara Coughlin

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