For those who love the thrill of BASE jumping, the US is a great place to explore. There are countless locations with breathtaking views and heart-pounding adventures.
From soaring cliffs to rocky canyons, there's something for everyone. Soaring through the air and feeling the wind in your face is an experience you will never forget!
What Makes for a Good BASE Jumping Location?
The acronym BASE stands for Buildings, Antennas (communication towers), Spans (bridges and other man-made structures), and Earth (mountains and cliffs).
Basically, these places are chosen for their height and natural features that make for an exciting jump.
There are many factors to consider when choosing a location for BASE jumping. The most important is the safety of the jumper and those around them. Other factors include:
- The height of the jump
- The type of terrain
- The presence of obstacles
- The distance to the landing spot
Of course, BASE jumpers must also consider the weather conditions and wind speeds of any area they want to jump. Since wind can be so unpredictable, it's important to always err on the side of caution.
Best Places to BASE Jump in the US
Without further ado, here are some of the best places to BASE jump in the US:
Yosemite National Park, California
For American BASE jumpers, Yosemite National Park is a dream location. With soaring cliffs and rocky canyons, there are plenty of options for jumps of all levels.
In fact, this is where the sport began! Michael Pelkey and Brian Schubert performed the world's first free fall from El Capitan's 3,000-foot (914.40-meter) vertical face in 1966.
The park also has a wide range of weather conditions, so jumpers can usually find what they are looking for. Be sure to check out El Capitan, Half Dome, and other iconic locations in the park.
But however enticing Yosemite is to daredevils, it is actually illegal to BASE jump in the park. Park rangers once tolerated BASE jumpers. Now that the sport is expressly forbidden from Yosemite's cliffs, it's no longer tolerated.
El Capitan is still a popular destination, even with rangers on the prowl. Its smooth granite face is ideal - no outcroppings to hit.
That's why some BASE jumpers have taken to jumping at night when the park is closed, and they are less likely to be caught.
Perrine Bridge, Idaho
The Perrine Bridge proves that you do not have to climb or take an elevator to have fun.
The jump is very accessible. You can take off from your car. When you jump, you will fly down past the edges of the canyon and into Snake Canyon.
The bridge's sheer height may make you nervous, but jumpers claim to experience complete euphoria on the way down.
It's also one of the only places in the United States where you can try BASE jumping without a permit!
Leaping off the 1,500-foot structure and opening a parachute mid-air is one of the ultimate adrenaline rushes.
The Perrine Bridge is also open to those who want to watch the jumpers in action. There's something for everyone at this location!
New River Gorge Bridge, West Virginia
BASE jumpers visit the New River Gorge Bridge in West Virginia every October to commemorate Bridge Day.
This is the only day you're allowed to leap off the bridge and do BASE jumping stunts.
The event began in 1980 when 400 BASE jumpers gathered on the bridge. Now, it averages around 800 participants each year.
This is one of the longest bridges in the United States, making for a long and exhilarating descent.
The bridge is about 846 feet tall, and hundreds of daredevils leap from it each year.
The New River Gorge Bridge is the United States' second-tallest bridge, and it's also a popular spot for rappelers, rock climbers, and whitewater rafters.
Empire State Building, New York City
The Empire State Building is a New York City icon and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.
It's also one of the best places to BASE jump in the United States.
There are multiple jumping points, and each offers a unique perspective on this iconic cityscape.
You can even jump at night when the city is all lit up.
The only catch? BASE jumping off the Empire State Building is highly illegal. It's impossible to get a permit, and you're likely to be arrested if you're caught.
That hasn't stopped thrill-seekers from flocking to this location, though - the allure of leaping from one of the world's most famous buildings is just too strong!
Get Started on BASE Jumping
It's essential to get some training before you even think of driving to these locations and taking the plunge yourself.
BASE jumping is a dangerous sport, and even the most experienced jumpers can make mistakes.
Make sure you're knowledgeable about the sport before attempting anything risky.
There are plenty of resources online and at your local skydiving center that can help you get started on BASE jumping today.
It's crucial to always jump with a partner and be aware of your surroundings at all times. Jumping from a bridge or building is not for the faint of heart!
As noted, many of these spots are illegal to jump from. They were picked for their allure and history in the sport. However, we do not recommend that anyone jump from any of these locations without first ensuring that you are properly trained and that you are legally allowed to. Check out our article for more information on the legality of base jumping.
BASE jumping is also a highly dangerous sport. It should not be tried by anyone who does not have sufficient training and expertise. Read our article to learn more about the dangers of BASE jumping.
So, which of these locations is calling your name?
BASE jumping can be a terrifying experience, but it's also one of the most adrenaline-pumping sports out there.
Although most of the popular BASE jumping spots in the US are illegal, that doesn't seem to be stopping thrill-seekers from coming out in droves.
If you're up for the challenge, start planning your trip today!