Every child dreams of flying. Unfortunately, your mom put the kibosh on that fantasy when she forbid you from setting foot on the roof. Flash forward to present day: You’re an adult, you can wiggle into a harness and fling your body off the side of a building any time you dang well please!
Modern day bungee jumping traces its origins back to 1979. A group of merry pranksters from Oxford University’s Dangerous Sports Club thought it would be a good idea to follow each other off a bridge—college kids, sheesh! Dressed in top hats and tails, the group leapt off Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol, England. You don’t have to be as fancy as those jolly old chaps, but you do have to be as adventurous if you plan to conquer the five best bungee jumping locations in the United States.
1. High Steel Bridge, Shelton, Washington: 365 feetLose your lunch while jumping in the Olympic National Forest and diving over the Skokomish River. Washingtonians are tired of “Twilight” comparisons, but you’ll feel like Edward Cullen leaping through the trees as your bungee cords spirals and snaps to. No need to bare your fangs; the folks who facilitate your jump will be friendly and eager to help.
2. Stratosphere, Las Vegas, Nevada: 829 feet
Slightly different than a classic bungee, you’ll suit up and jump from the hotel’s 108th floor while tethered to a system of three cables. While swan diving from the Stratosphere, the support cables allow you to gently glide down to the ground, which alleviates some of the jerking motions associated with the sport. As you descend, keep an eye out for Elvis on his lunch break (wolfing down a peanut butter-nanner sandwich) or Mike Tyson prowling around the Strip with his tiger. Warning: Do not chug a yard drink before attempting to jump off the Stratosphere. The good citizens of Sin City don’t need to deal with any more mess.
3. Royal Gorge Suspension Bridge, Canyon City, Colorado: 1053 feetOne of the most extreme destinations for USA bungee jumping, the Royal Gorge Suspension Bridge is off-limits 11 months of the year. Looking to make the thousand-foot jump? Head to Colorado during September and register to compete in the annual Go Fast! Games. If you’re not that extreme, you’ll still get a rush watching athletes gracefully duck and dive off the bridge. The event brings some of the best base and bungee jumpers to Colorado to show off their stuff, so pack your camera and prepare to record YouTube gold.
4. Redwood Trees, Humboldt, California: 100-1500 feet
Humboldt gets a bad rep. Not everyone in the NorCal city smokes trees, but a lot of adventure-seekers jump off them. You’ll be tasked with climbing a redwood, walking onto a small rope at the top that’s tied between two towering trees, and yelling with all your might as your body hurls toward the ground. Not only will you get a glimpse into the life of a flying squirrel, but you’ll also get an unforgettable view of stunning Northern California.
5. Navajo Bridge, Marble Canyon, Arizona: 467 feet
Remember when you visited the Grand Canyon as a kid and joked about falling in to scare your grandpa!? Now you actually can fall in, and take pictures to prove it. Located near the Grand Canyon’s North Rim, Navajo Bridge provides a scenic overlook above the Colorado River inside Marble Canyon. The jump will give you an up close and personal look at Arizona’s red rocks, and it’ll also make you pee your pants with adrenaline-induced delight (your instructor should have some spare pantaloons, it happens all the time).
There’s no time to waste! Book a flight and head to experience the best bungee jumping in the USA. Word to the wise: Don’t call your mom until after you’ve cleared your jump. Otherwise, be prepared for a bigger guilt trip than the time you accidentally brought a ham sandwich to your cousin’s bar mitzvah. Oy vey!