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Eleven extreme weekends across America

Pair your Tough Mudder adventure with a thrilling day of outdoor play for an extreme (and extremely fun) weekend away

Time Out in association with Tough Mudder |
Tough Mudder
Photograph: Courtesy Tough Mudder

This year, America’s wildest, muddiest, most testing and most thrilling obstacle course, Tough Mudder, is tougher than ever—packed with new obstacles and new extremes. But adventurers can take their Tough Mudder experience to the next level by turning a day-long thrill-ride into a weekend-long adrenaline rush. Follow your day at Tough Mudder with a day zipping through a canopy, falling from the sky or climbing in one of the nation’s most inspiring national parks. Think you’ll have just a little more in you when you cross the Tough Mudder finishing line? Let us help you plan for a full weekend of fibre-testing good times.

Eleven extreme weekends across America

Joshua Tree National Park
Photograph: Shutterstock

L.A.: Tough Mudder + bouldering

Tough Mudder L.A., Glen Helen Raceway, Apr 16

L.A. offers one of the country’s speediest Tough Mudder tracks: Glen Helen Raceway is a motocross Mecca for most of the year, and the speed doesn’t let up when the bikes move out and Mudders take to its wet troughs and hills (though the new “birth canal” may grind you to a halt). To extend your extreme weekend—but slow things down just a notch—head to Joshua Tree on Sunday for some hiking and (presuming your legs are up for it) some bouldering. Don’t miss out on a scramble through the giant boulders near Skull Rock and a pit stop on the drive there for an apple fritter from the Jelly Donut. (You’ve been extreme—you’ve earned it.) Where to stay during Tough Mudder L.A.

Kayaking in Arizona
Photograph: Shutterstock

Arizona: Tough Mudder + kayaking

Tough Mudder Arizona, Eastmark, AZ, Apr 30

For the fifth year in a row, Tough Mudder Arizona is putting Mudders to the ultimate test—extreme obstacles performed under that most merciless of overlords, the Arizona sun (seriously, you may just want to chill in the quagmire for a bit as the mercury climbs). For a rounded weekend of adventures, make for the water on Sunday. And while Mesa is in the Sonoran desert, there are plenty of waterways (three lakes, two rivers) for you to kayak on. Salt River is a particularly popular spot for kayakers—calm waters framed by jaw-dropping red rock—and for tubers. Where to stay during Tough Mudder Arizona.

Stand-up paddle boarding
Photograph: Shutterstock

Chicago: Tough Mudder + Lake Michigan watersports

Tough Mudder Chicago, Chicago Rockford International Airport, May 21

Chicago’s new Tough Mudder venue is one of the flattest in the country, but don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s a walk in the park. The devious minds behind TM’s wild obstacles have dreamed up some punishing new adventures for participants this year (good luck negotiating the Block Ness Monster, Mudders). Keep the adventure going all weekend by hitting the water at Lake Michigan on Sunday, where the winter chill will be finally lifting and local water-lovers will be seeking new thrills. For something a little relaxed, try a class or a session on-board floating yoga with Chicago Stand-up Paddle Board; if you want to get way up high after a day on the flat, low TM course, strap on a jetpack and “Flyboard” above the lake with Chicago Water Sports Ranking. Where to stay during Tough Mudder Chicago

Rope climbing
Photograph: Shutterstock

Atlanta: Tough Mudder + Rope climbing

Tough Mudder Atlanta, Bouckaert Farm, May 7,8

Tough Mudder Atlanta takes place on equestrian Carl Bouckaert’s farm, and you will need to summon the same strength and stamina that he did during Olympic appearances in 2000 and 2012 to get through it—this is beautiful, but tough, country, Mudders. About an hour’s drive from the farm, on the other side of Atlanta, you’ll find Stone Mountain Park, where you can keep the adrneline flowing by testing your fear of heights at the Skyhike. The quarter-mile rope course features wooden bridges and tightropes across three levels—12-foot and 24-foot-high courses for beginners and a 40-foot-high course for the toughest Mudders around. Where to stay during Tough Mudder Atlanta

Mountain bike riding
Photograph: Shutterstock

Philly: Tough Mudder + mountain biking

Tough Mudder Philly, Plantation Field, May 21, 22

Here’s a weekend of extreme adventure and extreme beauty. First, slide, crawl, run and splash your way through Tough Mudder Philly, which takes place in the riverside Brandywine Valley, home to some of America’s most stunning postcard-like vistas and some mammoth, historic houses (though you will be too busy pulling yourself through the Cage Crawl to notice too much of that when the action kicks off). Next, head to the Wissahickon Creek Trail for a day of scenic mountainbiking on trails that twist through 1,800 acres of forest along Wissahickon Creek. If yesterday’s Tough Mudder didn’t take the wind out of your sails, up the adventure by wheeling it to the Bowl area, which is packed with jumps and chances for daredevilry. Where to stay during Tough Mudder Philly

Skydiving girl
Photograph: Shutterstock

Kentucky: Tough Mudder + skydiving

Tough Mudder Kentucky, Kentucky Speedway, June 11, 12

The hills are steep and the mud pits deep at this course, built on Kentucky Speedway, the kind of blank canvas of rolling hills that Tough Mudder’s course-designers dream about. After a day of Electroshock Therapy, climbing the Berlin Wall and pushing through an Arctic Enema, how can you keep your extreme buzz going? By taking to the air. Sky Dive Kentucky, based in nearby Elizabethtown, offers several kinds of falls, from starter tandems to solo drops for the more advanced. You can even go solo on your first drop if your TM experience has you feeling brave; just inquire about the static line ride. Look down either way you fall—you might even be able to see your fellow Mudders powering through the course on day two. Give them a wave: they will need your encouragement. Where to stay during Tough Mudder Kentucky

Shoshone rapids
Photograph: Shutterstock

Colorado: Tough Mudder + rafting

Tough Mudder Colorado, Snowmass, Sept 10, 11

Think Snowmass, and you probably think of gentle rides down powdery slopes and après ski delights. Well, it’s time to forget what you know. Come September, this chunk of Aspen gets extreme with one of the toughest Tough Mudder courses in America: all your usual TM obstacles plus that elevation. Take deep breaths, Mudders—you’ll need them. But don’t let the adventures end when you’ve crossed the finish line and washed your mud, sweat and tears off. Colorado is an adventurer’s dream, and during September a perfect place to test your rafting skills. Blazing Adventures offers several half-day guided rafting trips along the Shoshone Rapids in the Colorado River. Mud is thicker, and tougher, than water, sure, but this is a worthy follow-up adventure to your high-altitude Tough Mudder. Where to stay during Tough Mudder Colorado

Disc golf
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/whynotzoidberg?

Tahoe: Tough Mudder + disc golf

Tough Mudder Tahoe, Northstar California Resort, Jun 11, 12

Tahoe is billed as the “ultimate Tough Mudder course”—a naturally steep, mountainous landscape populated by some of the craziest obstacles TM’s designers have ever dreamt up. So, when looking for a warm-up activity (if you’re taking the course on Sunday) or a chaser (if taking it Saturday), something out-of-the-box, but which won’t completely knock you out, is probably your best option. The resort is just an hour from Reno, where you can try the increasingly popular sport of disc golf. What exactly is disc golf? Exactly what it sounds like: a golf-like game where a hoop acts as the hole and players use discs (think smaller, heavier Frisbees) to move along the course. Reno is home to a number of scenic courses, all with stunning views of the desert landscape, including the Ranch and North Tahoe Lions Club for beginners, and Zepher Cove Park and Reno Adventure Park for more advanced players. Where to stay during Tough Mudder Tahoe

Fly boarding
Photograph: Shutterstock

Tri-State: Tough Mudder + flyboarding

Tough Mudder Tri-State, Raceway Park, Englishtown, NJ, Oct 8,9

Brave men and women from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut converge on Raceway Park for one of the muddiest courses in the country. With so many options for a follow-up adventure nearby to round out your weekend, it can be hard to choose between hiking, abseiling, spelunking and skydiving. But with the weather (just) still warm enough, smart Mudders will eke out a last waterfront adventure for the season at the Jersey Shore, just an hour away. Never tried flyboarding? Hire a jetpack and soar into the sky—the experience is thrilling (and surprisingly stable). Where to stay during Tough Mudder Tri-State

Zip lining
Photograph: Shutterstock

Long Island: Tough Mudder + ziplining

Tough Mudder Long Island, Old Bethpage Restoration Village, NY, Jul 23

Old Bethpage is one of the most beautiful places in Long Island—stunning farmland, historical homes. But you can look at all that later. You’re here for adventure, and from deep, leg-testing mud pits to the kind of steep climbs you’ll need your fellow Mudders’ help to get through, you’re going to get it. And you can continue the thrill-seeking on Sunday at the Long Island Adventure Park, just a ten-minute drive away from the site of the Tough Mudder’s course. The canopy-level fun park features bridges and platforms along courses for everyone ages 7-to-adult, plus some of the fastest and most extreme zip-lining in New York. Where to stay during Tough Mudder Long Island

Summer Park Snowboarding on Blackcomb glacier
Photograph: Courtesy Tourism Whistler/Mike Crane

Whistler: Tough Mudder + summer skiing

Tough Mudder Whistler, Whistler Olympic Park, Jun 18, 19

You’ll be “oohing” and “ahhing” between obstacles at one of the most jaw-dropping Tough Mudder locations in the world. After an Olympian effort at Tough Mudder, spend a day skiing the world-famous Whistler slopes—yes, even in summer. At the Horstman Glacier, you can ski and snowboard all through the sunny season, putting your skills to the test on moguls and half-pipes even as you work up a tan. The snow is soft and powdery, the sun is out and the thrills are big. Where to stay during Tough Mudder Whistler

Photograph: Courtesy Tourism Whistler/Mike Crane