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From epic hikes to some of the world's best rafting, any one of these trips promises the adventure of a lifetime

Top 10 life-list adventures

Make this the year you check one of these iconic Western experiences off your bucket list

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Climb a cliff in Joshua Tree
Photo by Emily Polar; written by Samantha Schoech

Climb a cliff in Joshua Tree

The bulbous granite of Joshua Tree is spectacular from the ground. But when you get on the rocks, you go to a higher plane with views both vast (you can see forever) and minute (there are entire ecosystems in crevices no bigger than your palm). The best part: Even the noodle-armed among us can do it. Is it scary? There will be a moment, maybe several, of heart fluttering or leg quivering. But then you climb and stand strong on your two legs and, somehow, everything feels in balance, even 80 feet up. Joshua Tree Rock Climbing School: 2-day basic rock climbing $270, including gear; joshuatreerockclimbing.com

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