20 Most Extreme Adventures You Should Go On Before You Die
Estimated reading time: 18 minutes
We’re all adventurers in our own right.
But not many people would try the following 20 most Extreme Adventures.
If however, you’re one of the few who would love to abseil an active volcano or ski the terrifying K2 mountain, this is the list for you.
Adrenaline junky or not, you’ll be hard-pressed to find more exciting things to do in your lifetime.
Sure, some of these most extreme adventures require elevated physical fitness, and nerves of steel, but nothing worth doing is easy.
If you’re considering any of the following adventures, maybe consider hitting the gym first.
Get yourself fit and ready for the extreme challenges ahead.
Good luck to those of you determined enough to try the following!
Before I forget, here are my Top 20 Essential Adventure Travel Items.
Table of Contents
#1 Go Speed Skiing At the Hahnenkamm Downhill Race
Today we follow pre-determined paths in life.
Work, home, bars, internet, buy things, sleep, repeat.
For those fed up with routine life and seeking a thrill, you’re in the right place. There are some amazing places, all around the world on this list but let’s start with this:
The gnarly, snow-covered Hahnenkamm hills in Austria.
It could be exactly what you need.
Thrill addict skiers rush toward Austria each year to attend the Hahnenkamm race; and increase the concentration of adrenaline surging through their veins.
This is definitely an adventure to experience at least once in a lifetime.
Just about anybody who has competed regards it as one of the most dangerous and exciting skiing experiences of their life.
See you there?
#2 Hike through the Amazonian Jungle in South America
The Amazon Jungle is one of the greatest adventures on this earth.
It’s full of very rare, and in many cases, nearly extinct species of flora and fauna (if you visit, as always, be super respectful & mindful of the environment).
From the moment you enter the jungle, you’re surrounded in all directions by green, lively scenes that just don’t occur in our self-absorbed, disconnected, digital lives.
In all directions, there’s a smell, a sound, or a sight that makes you feel like you’re in another world.
You’ll be surrounded by a plethora of life, some beautiful, some dangerous, and in many cases, both.
If walking through the forest isn’t your cup of tea, the Amazon offers some incredible water journeys too.
You can go it alone, or hire a guide (my personal recommendation) to take you through the rivers Reo Negro and Reo Solimones, which wind hundreds of miles through the Amazon.
Although dangerous, you’ll feel a sense of serenity and tranquillity, that will hold the memories of this place in your mind for years to come. It’s considered one of the best, but most extreme, adventure spots to vacation in.
#3 Climb the Seven Summits of the World
Those who love high places will love the Seven Summits.
These are the seven highest peaks on the seven continents of this world, including:
- Elbrus (18,510ft – 5,642m)
- Everest (29,030ft – 8,848m)
- Aconcagua (22,841ft – 6,962m)
- Kilimanjaro (19,340ft – 5,892m)
- Mt. Mckinley (20,320ft – 6,194m)
- Vinson Massif (16,050ft – 4,892m)
- Carstensz Pyramid (16,024ft – 4,884m)
People who love challenges, nature, and freedom also tend to feel deep affection for mountains.
The world’s highest peaks are calling you.
If you answer the call, you could be one of the few to stand rapt in awe on top of the world.
#4 Dive into the Blue Holes of the Bahamas
Humans are often attracted to mystery.
The hidden, the difficult, and the out of reach tend to gain our interest.
We climb mountains, fly through space, roam the wilderness and some of us even dive into deep, dark holes underwater. If you’re among the latter, the perfectly circular Blue Hole of the Bahamas invites you on arguably one of the most daring expeditions. It’s a large underwater sinkhole located off the Belize coast and approximately 65 miles from Placencia.
The Bahamas Blue Hole is one of those unforgettable mysteries, as hidden adventures await just below the surface. These caves are so spectacularly built it’s easy to feel lost in their beauty.
Let’s just say that it’s one of the most extreme adventures for those daring souls who’re willing to get lost in the magnificent beauty offered in its vast 400-foot depths. It also offers snorkeling opportunities in the surrounding fringing reefs but of course, the most daring adventurers prefer going further down to its descending depths.
These caves are so spectacularly built it’s easy to feel lost in their beauty.
Are you up to taking the bold step and exploring these blue beauties?
#5 Travel by Bicycle from Argentina to Alaska
If you want to see our world from a different perspective, on a bike, this adventure is for you. Traveling from Argentina to Alaska via bicycle is great fun – and a lot of work.
You’ll see amazing places and encounter life-changing experiences along the way.
Enjoy mesmerizing plains, deep valleys, and peaceful villages all along your journey.
Obviously, cycling is healthy, but it’s not the easiest way to travel.
You’ll need to plan this trip well in advance and bring enough supplies to survive, while not loading yourself down too much.
Oh, and if you’re into extreme mountain biking and in North America, check out Annadel State Park (Big Loop).
#6 Circumnavigate Around the World Solo
This is how it was done for a long time. Just about everybody on earth has ancestors who were sailors!
If sailing around the world is on your bucket list, do it.
Just you and the deep blue sea.
If you’re tired of hectic schedules or boring routines and need exhilaration, plus you love adventure, this is a choice for you.
Pack your bags and spend some quality time with yourself (and perhaps a skipper).
I’m certain that extended time at sea will reveal some hidden treasures about yourself and this world.
Treasures that are currently hidden under the piles of work and whatever other distractions life throws at us.
Don’t wait, do it.
#7 Go Swimming With Great White Sharks In Mexico
Consider yourself an adrenaline junkie?
Or want to challenge your bravery?
Or maybe you’re just really into Shark Week…
Then here’s the one for you!
Swimming with great white sharks in Mexico.
The coasts of Mexico are famous for their heart-stopping sunset scenes, and for being loaded with sharks.
You can jump into a cage and be dropped in the middle of a shark feeding frenzy.
If that’s not one of the most extreme adventures we’ve ever seen one, we’ve got nothing!
Visit Mexico if you dare, and see for yourself.
#8 Complete Mont Blanc Ultra Marathon Circuit
The Mount Blanc Circuit is one of the gnarlier trails I’ve hiked, as it’s 170 km (105 miles) with about 32,000 ft of elevation gain.
It extends through Switzerland, Italy, and France – a trifecta if you ask me
A well-known marathon occurs annually, which is where it got its fame. This most extreme adventure is full of dangerous curves and drops, unlike any other marathon with the exception of perhaps the Western States race in California.
Participants from around the world take part in this adventure each year.
When you join in, you’ll not only get your competitive fix but also get an exclusive chance to explore Mont blanc while soaking in the breathtaking and serene landscape of the region.
With so much tranquility and awe-inspiring beauty, it’s easy to forget you’re running a marathon.
#9 Kayak through the Bashkaus River in Siberia
The mighty Bashkaus river, situated in Siberia, is perhaps the most notorious river among Russian kayakers.
Its tides generate unpredictable, forceful jerks, only skilled and well-balanced professionals can handle.
This river provides an open invitation to those who crave excitement and love the water.
The primary road leading to the common launch point isn’t well maintained and is also quite treacherous.
Only off-highway vehicles (OHV) can get you there.
Finally, if the waters and the roads leading in, don’t scare you off, you’ve still got to endure the bitter cold.
This extreme adventure, like so many on this list, is not for the faint of heart.
#10 Compete in the Patagonian Expedition Race in Chile
Extreme adventures are all around the world – this one is held on the beautiful mountains of Chile.
Audiences of the race are treated to a thrilling sport along with tranquil vibes permeating from the region.
Those taking part in the event are a special bunch and usually filled with enthusiasm.
Locals, and nomads alike, anxiously wait for the race all year just to experience the danger and the thrill.
The Patagonian Expedition requires intense effort, devotion and professionalism to begin the race, let alone finish.
The path is as dangerous as it is beautiful.
For those who love challenges, grab your professional mountain bike and head towards Chile.
If you don’t want to bike, it’s still a heck of a hike.
#11 Climb Mount Everest
If hiking is your thing, then somewhere in your dreams you have already climbed Mount Everest, one of the highest mountains that have made it to the list of the seven summits of the world.
Summiting the highest mountain in the world is something few can reminisce about and remains a feat every extreme adventurer strives for.
At 8,848 meters above sea level (Nearly 30,000 feet or 6 miles up), several accomplished and novice mountaineers have attempted to climb Everest.
Many have perished in the process.
In fact, several fallen climbers rest where they fell on the mountain to this very day.
Lack of oxygen, extremely volatile weather, and exhaustion all make this one of, if not the hardest mountain to climb.
If climbing Everest is on your bucket list, start by:
- Planning your trip
- Prepare for adversity
- Locate a reputable local guide or sherpa
- Gather gear for extreme weather conditions
- Get healthy both mentally and physically
Climbing Everest might take years of preparation but that moment you reach the top will be one of the sweetest ever!
#12 Speed Riding the Eiger
Imagine standing on the snow-capped peaks of the Eiger, with the scenic, albeit distant sights of Switzerland around you.
Eiger, a mountain in the Bernese Alps is a ridge crest mountain surrounded by large glaciers and valleys.
Considered one of the most fearsome mountains in the world, Eiger resorts now offer speed riding to enable the adventurous.
A sport that combines skiing, paragliding, and sky-diving, into one.
Speed riding means you basically skydive down into the Eiger and then paraglide along the slopes, on skis.
At 3,970m (13,025ft) Eiger mountain provides the perfect altitude and terrain to make your first-speed riding memory, one that lasts a lifetime.
Speed riding definitely falls into the extreme adventure category; as it connects the sky to your feet!
#13 Surf the Waves At Shipsterns Bluff In Australia
With a name like “Devil’s point” Shipsterns Bluff in Australia is bound to provide an extreme adventure or two. Truth be told, it offers not one or two, but several adventures. These adventures come in the form of some of the most dreaded sea creatures like great white sharks hiding in majestically tall waves. It hardly comes as a surprise given that it’s regarded as one of the most dangerous spots for surfers – even for the most experienced ones.
Devils point has a 200ft tall rocky outcrop and is known for large waves and plentiful shark activity. Its gigantic wave and rugged coastline are no doubt part of the fun, but be warned: it’s definitely not going to be easy.
The larger waves begin just outside the outcropping and get gnarly on the inside, challenging even the best surfers. They can even get as tall as 10 meters!
Shipsterns Bluff offers a variety of life, from surfers to great white sharks, seals to the reef…
Surfing the waves at Shipsterns Bluff is one of the most extreme adventures that come with major bragging rights.
In terms of skill alone, not everybody can safely surf the waves here.
It’s doable if you’re a seasoned surfer, but it still takes a strong heart and a stronger soul.
#14 Hike the USA Triple Crown
Do you like challenging the hiker in you?
The North American Triple Crown are intense, albeit very popular hiking trails.
They consist of:
- Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) – 2,653mi 0r 4,270km
- The Appalachian Trail (AT) – 2,200mi or 3,500km
- Continental Divide Trail (CDT) – 3,100mi or 5000km
Hiking the Triple Crown is a life-enhancing experience.
The United States may be known for Hollywood, but not that many people know that its landscape is among the most diverse and beautiful on earth. It has long been my belief that the United States is a hiker’s Mecca. From the east coast to the west coast, the North American Triple Crown shows off all the corners of America’s natural beauty.
The United States Triple Crown boasts scenic landscapes of:
- California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia (Pacific Crest Trail)
- Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine (Appalachian Trail)
- New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana (Continental Divide Trail)
If you’re in the U.S. and don’t know what to do – hike the nearly 8,000 miles of glorious triple crown trail; through some of the most beautiful wilderness on earth.
Btw, if California is good for anything, it’s the hiking trails.
Here are the Top 20 Best Hiking Trails In California.
#15 Ski Down the K2 Mountain In Asia
At a peak elevation of 8,611 meters (28,251 ft) the K2 Mountain is on nearly every “most extreme adventures” list out there.
Nicknamed Savage Mountain, K2 is the second-highest in the world (Everest is its parent mountain), extending from China to Pakistan.
Bottleneck Couloir aka Abruzzi Spur, the most difficult ski slope on one of the most intense mountains on Earth, is sure to provide abundant adrenaline.
K2 has 3 main basecamps at:
- 6,600m or 21,653ft
- 7,300m or 23,950ft
- 7,900m or 25,918ft
You’ll have to work just to get to the staging area, to then hike some more to the top of your desired ski slope.
But I promise – it’ll be worth it.
K2 challenges even the most skilled skiers due to its hard-packed snow, which makes it difficult to carve…
And feels like concrete if you wipe out.
Surely, skiing K2 carries bragging rights that will last a lifetime.
#16 Climb Spider Rock in Arizona
Spider Rock in Chinle Arizona is the hardcore rock climbers, bucket list climb.
Classified as a Grade V rock climb, with 9 pitches and 800 feet in distance, Spider Rock is something that’s on many climbing radars.
People prepare for years before they attempt to conquer it.
If you’re not a climber, this area is still fun and offers great camping and desert hiking.
Most people prefer to hike the Spider Rock area, though you’ll usually see a couple of climbers ascending on any given day.
Crested with beautiful lakes, and plentiful trails, we suggest hiking, fishing, and swimming after a hard climb.
#17 Trek across the Sahara Desert
The Sahara, a combination of sand and rock is quite picturesque in its own right.
Such is the power of Sahara that even after being dubbed the most inhospitable place on earth, it still defines beauty with its sand storms, rocky plateaus, random palms, and camels.
The Sahara is the largest desert in the world making it comparable in size to the United States and China in surface area.
Known for its sand dunes reaching several stories in height, blinding dust storms, and dry vegetation, having plenty of liquids is mandatory for survival.
While trekking the Sahara is no doubt regarded as the extreme adventure of a lifetime, it can also be a humbling and awe-inspiring journey.
However, this is probably not an adventure you’d want to take alone.
Hire a guide, and experience the hospitality of the African culture.
#18 Kayak over the Palouse Falls in Eastern Washington
Kayaking is enjoyed by people all around the world.
That said, few kayakers have paddled over the Palouse Falls in Eastern Washington.
Situated at a staggering 180ft above the pools below, the main Palouse Falls in Eastern Washington are among the more dangerous routes in the world.
The falls are located in the Palouse Falls State Park, which also has a 105-acre campground.
The drops (there are several besides the 180 footer) make it an extreme kayakers delight.
Kayak your way into the Palouse Falls State Park and go down in history as one of the few to have accomplished this feat.
#19 Abseil into an Active Volcano
If Kayaking over a 180ft waterfall wasn’t an extreme enough adventure for you, try abseiling into an Active Volcano.
Considered one of the scariest adventures to have ever been attempted, abseiling into an active volcano is something few attempt.
Simply standing near a volcano can be unbearable.
From the heat to the noxious gases, most want little to do with an active volcano.
Now imagine being as close as 100ft from the molten lava.
Watching a lava lake on an active volcano is a sight few have experienced.
Call it extreme adventure, courage, or pure adrenaline addiction but there’s no denying the fact that diving into a volcano is one of the craziest adventures you can have.
#20 Surf the North and South Poles
Imagine surfing in snow showers and awe-inspiring backdrops of pure whiteness.
Now imagine the words North and South Poles.
Did you think of Santa?
So did I.
Surfing has enjoyed mainstream appeal for several decades now.
Since its inception, people have always tried to find more challenging waves and uncrowded spots.
The newest surf spots in town aren’t in town at all – they are at the North and South Poles!
With temperatures as low as -43 degrees in winter and around freezing in summer, the North Pole believe it or not is considered the warmer location.
Due to the extremity of the weather, hypothermia is obviously a lurking factor here.
And you’re in remote regions of the world, so, if something goes wrong you might very well be on your own.
That said, with the right precautions (and skillset), this might be the surfing experience of all surfing experiences.
Check out the 6 Beginning Surf Tips From A West Coast Surf Instructor.
Are 20 super extremes adventures all around the world enough!? For now, yes! Work through this list and we’ll be back with more!
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You’ll also enjoy these 20 Amazing Journeys To Take Before You Die.