From slogging through swamps to see the world’s most rare flora to plunging into North America’s most famed ski run, these life-affirming active adventures deserve space on your bucket list.
From South Florida to Seattle, Noble House properties are jump-offs for thrilling escapades of every complexion. We’ve rounded up a few experiences to put on your adventure bucket list – some at Noble House destinations, some just a bit further afield, some on mountaintops, and some beneath the currents.
Seeing Southwest Colorado from a Bentley [Gateway, CO]
The Unaweep/Tabeguache Colorado Scenic Byway cuts through southwest Colorado’s sunbaked frontier, snaking past abandoned mines, rushing rivers, verdant meadows, and red sandstone cliffs that climb a thousand feet above the valley floor. And when it comes to bucket list ideas, exploring this route in a vehicle that costs as much as a college education sits at the top. Rent a Mercedes SL 550, a Bentley Continental GT, or another luxury vehicle from the fleet at Driven Experiences at Gateway Canyons, then spend 133 miles cherishing every turn.
Bombing Down Corbet’s Couloir [Jackson Hole, WY]
Even though it has been skied for half a century, Jackson Hole regulars stop and stare down Corbet’s Couloir like they’re gazing into the unknown. Wyoming’s most infamous inbounds line is shaped like an upside-down funnel and hemmed in by rock. The price of entry is a 10-to-20-foot drop-in over a cornice, a hard right away from the granite wall in front you, and a plummet into a narrow chute at a 40-degree pitch. Hold off if the snow turns icy, and smile for the gawking spectators in the tram overhead.
Rock Climbing at Exit 32 [Seattle, WA]
Little Si – baby brother to Mount Si and alternatively named for the I-90 off ramp used to reach it – is half an hour from downtown Seattle and hosts the highest concentration of elite-level 5.13 and 5.14 climbing routes in Washington State. The steep, slick, 150-foot tall area known as World Wall I is the most popular section of the 1,576-foot crag, with forearm-burning ascents like the 5.12 Hydrophobia and the 5.13 Oval Orifice. Hike 25 minutes from the Little Si trailhead in North Bend to find it.
Searching for Ghost Orchids in the Fakahatchee Strand [Naples, FL]
Ninety minutes from Naples, Florida, off State Road 29, a place dubbed the “Amazon of North America” unfolds across 85,000 swampy acres, a home to panthers, mink, alligators, and the Everglades’ usual cast of characters. But the crown jewels are the more than 43 types of native orchids, including the super-rare Ghost Orchid, a leafless species with spectral-white flowers that only grows in ultra-humid climes and was immortalized in the bestseller The Orchid Thief. See it up close – or at least attempt to – with an escort from the Friends of Fakahatchee, a nonprofit group that offers naturalist-led swamp walks through waist-deep waters into the heart of the park.
Diving at the Vandenberg Wreck [Florida Keys, FL]
Eight years ago, intentionally placed explosives sent the decommissioned USNS Vandenberg to the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. Today, the 522-foot, Cold War–era Navy vessel is teeming with barracuda, grouper, snapper, and other marine life, making it the second-largest artificial reef in the world – and it’s a must-visit for divers in the Keys. After the seven-mile trip south from Key West, the sights start 40 feet beneath the surface, punctuated with a coral-covered crow’s nest and a pair of giant algae-covered radar dishes that once tracked Soviet missiles.
Paddling Out at Fort Point [San Francisco, CA]
The ultimate unicorn for Silicon Valley surfers lies in San Francisco Bay: an elusive mix of weather conditions kicks up chest-high, left-breaking waves at Fort Point, right underneath the Golden Gate Bridge. The postcard-perfect scene comes with costs: bone-chilling (and occasionally sharky) waters, a ragged coastline, strong outgoing tides, surly locals, and a sheer fickleness that makes the break rideable only a few times a year. The good news is that it’s just a few steps to get your shortboard from the parking lot to the waves.