Most Exciting Cliff Diving Spots in the United States
Standing at the edge of the cliff and taking the plunge isn’t for everyone. When you’re on the edge and your heart is pounding, it’s easy to come up with a million reasons to turn around.
Cliff jumping is for anyone who’s willing to make the jump. This sport has been increasing in popularity. One of the jump sites listed is being used in the Red Bull Cliff Jumping World Series for the second time; not to mention athletes and celebrities like Tom Brady are taking the plunge.
For those who take a (literal) leap of faith, cliff diving is one of the most exciting experiences. If you’re ready to take on a new challenge or just want to find a new jump site, here are some of the best places in the United States.
Kaunolu cliff jump, Lani, Hawaii Modern day cliff diving got its start in the 1770’s in the Kanunolu cliffs. Here, Kahekili, the then-king of Maui, perfected the art of leaping into the water feet-first without making a splash. This feat is known as lele kawa. Before becoming the sport that it is today, the king used it as a test for his warriors. The warriors would jump off this 63-foot cliff into the 12 feet of water in order to prove their loyalty and bravery. Since then, this spot has become a popular location in the United States for cliff jumping.
Tar creek falls, Los Padres National Forest, California Located just two hours from Los Angeles in Los Padres National Forest, Tar Creek Falls just might be the best cliff dive location on the west coast. Here the adventure is more than just the plunge off the side of a cliff. Jumpers first have to climb up a 70-foot-tall rock face before being able to leap from the falls highest point. What makes this place even more exciting is that you’ll be making the jump next to a gorgeous, roaring waterfall.
Red Rock Park, Golden, Vermont While most cliff jumps are into open waters, this jump ends in notoriously freezing lake waters. While jumps reaching up to 80 feet would be daunting enough for most, some of these jumps will have you sandwiched in between the rock faces. Take a trip up to Vermont to experience one of the most intimidating cliff dive locations in the United States.
Possum Kingdom Lake, Possum Kingdom State Park, Texas While some say you would have to be crazy to dive into something nicknamed “Hell’s Gate,” that definitely doesn’t stop Red Bull from hosting one of their Cliff Diving World Series 2015 events here. The island they jump off is a 92-foot cliff known as Devil’s Island. Hot Texas temperatures, freezing waters, insane cliff heights, and terrifying nicknames? What more could you look for from a cliff dive location?
St Mary’s Glacier, Idaho Springs, Colorado Known as “the lake” by locals, St Mary’s Glacier is located by a small lake in Glacier National Park. There’s a popular ¾-mile hike through rock-strewn terrain that will lead you to the base of the glacier. Once at the lake, you’ll be able to scout out assorted areas for cliff jumping. It’s important to keep in mind that the water levels vary significantly throughout the year. Even so, how many cliff jumping locations offer the possibility of seeing snowboarders sliding down the glacier above you as you’re about to take the plunge? While most places have freezing water, jumping into a lake at the base of a glacier is sure to redefine your definition of freezing.
Honorable mentions: Lake Powell, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah Punch Bowl Falls, Cascade Locks, Oregon Saguaro Lake, Maricopa County, Arizona