Jill Sanford | 09.12.2017

The beauty of a microadventure is that it's short and sweet, something that you can squeeze into your daily life. It’s rejuvenating rather than taxing when it comes to both your wallet and your busy schedule. It fits into your weekend without dominating your entire two days off or slides into your work week by offering a brief foray into nature and adventure.

That sounds pretty awesome, right? With so many of us juggling work, families, social lives, saving money, and more, it’s been a popular subject lately, one that we’ve been covering in a variety of ways. Interested in learning more about what the heck a microadventure is? We’ve got you covered here. We’re also creating microadventure ideas surrounding particular locations, such as the Bay Area, Los Angeles, DenverSalt Lake, and Boise.

Obviously microadventures are amazing. So how do you actually go about microadventuring if you aren't sure where to start?

Step 1: See your surroundings differently.

Maybe the state park you drive by on your way home from work is a perfect place to stop in and go for a run while everyone else is stuck in traffic. Even your backyard could be as fun as a campsite deep in the backcountry if you set up a (safe) fire pit, roast some marshmallows, and commit to sleeping outside. Look for the possibilities in all outdoor spaces that are close by that you might have been overlooking.

Step 2: Organize your gear and have it ready to go at a moment’s notice.

It may seem daunting to go on a quick paddle after work or on an overnight trip without hours of prep, but it’s really not. Set yourself up for success with gear like inflatable kayaks that fit into the trunk of your car or bins of camping gear that is ready to go. If you eat dehydrated food on camping trips, it’s even easy to have a pre-packed bag with oatmeal and soup ready for a grab and go.

Step 3: Be flexible, enjoy the little things, and be okay with visiting more popular places.

Sure, there’s nothing as spectacular as bagging a peak miles into the backcountry with no signs of civilization visible on the horizon. A microadventure doesn’t need to be a legendary summit, though. It’s quick, easy, and more about finding solace and rejuvenation in outdoor activity than earning those bragging rights about the most epic thing.

Here are a few ideas for microadventures that you can read about to get the wheels turning for a quick, inexpensive, and fun activity in your neck of the woods:

  1. Hike or run Red Rocks Trail near Denver, Colorado
  2. Run stairs, hike or forest bathe in Mount Tabor, Portland, Oregon
  3. Do a quick overnight camp out in Gerstle Cove, just north of the Bay Area, California
  4. Picnic by a natural wonder at Minnehaha Falls in the Twin Cities Metro Area, Minnesota
  5. Take a break from the urban scenery at Prospect Park in Brooklyn, New York
  6. Go for an after-work paddle around the Washington Park Arboretum in Seattle, Washington
  7. Walk or bike through the urban eucalyptus forest of Mount Sutro within in San Francisco's city limits, California
  8. View wildlife or the sunset on El Pescador State Beach in Malibu, California
  9. Bike, run, or picnic the 13-mile seawall in Stanley Park, Vancouver, Canada. 
  10. Explore Marquam Park by trail, tram, trolley, or train for an accessible microadventure in Portland, Oregon

Want to keep the inspiration juices flowing? Check out our Guides to Microadventuring in a city near you!


Adventure is really all around, even in the concrete jungle. Always be ready.
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