Best Adventure Vacations in the United States: Embark on an Unforgettable Journey

15 min read

Prepare to embark on the adventure of a lifetime as we delve into the world of best adventure vacations in the United States. From the towering peaks of the Rocky Mountains to the pristine beaches of the Pacific coast, this vast and diverse nation offers a myriad of thrilling experiences that will leave you breathless and yearning for more.

Whether you’re an avid hiker, a seasoned camper, or an adrenaline junkie seeking your next fix, the United States has something to offer every adventure enthusiast. Join us as we explore the top destinations, activities, and tips for planning an unforgettable adventure vacation that will create memories to last a lifetime.

Adventure Destinations

The United States is a vast and diverse country, offering a wide range of adventure vacation destinations. From the snow-capped mountains of the Rockies to the sun-drenched beaches of Florida, there’s something for every adventure seeker.Here are the top 10 adventure vacation destinations in the United States:

  1. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona:Hike or raft through the iconic Grand Canyon, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.
  2. Yosemite National Park, California:Climb Half Dome or El Capitan, two of the most famous rock formations in the world.
  3. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming:See Old Faithful geyser erupt, hike through the backcountry, and spot wildlife like bison, bears, and wolves.
  4. Zion National Park, Utah:Hike The Narrows, a slot canyon with towering sandstone walls, or climb Angels Landing, a challenging but rewarding hike with stunning views.
  5. Acadia National Park, Maine:Hike or bike along the rugged coastline, kayak in Frenchman Bay, or climb Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the U.S. Atlantic coast.
  6. Everglades National Park, Florida:Take a swamp buggy tour, go kayaking or canoeing, and see alligators, crocodiles, and other wildlife.
  7. Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska:Hike or climb Denali, the highest mountain in North America, or go rafting or kayaking on the Nenana River.
  8. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii:Hike through lava fields, see active volcanoes, and swim in the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean.
  9. Olympic National Park, Washington:Hike through rainforests, climb mountains, or go kayaking in the Puget Sound.
  10. Joshua Tree National Park, California:Rock climb or boulder, hike through the desert, or stargaze under the clear night sky.

The best time of year to visit these destinations depends on the activities you’re interested in. For hiking and climbing, the best time to visit is typically spring or fall, when the weather is mild. For water activities, summer is the best time to visit.

For wildlife viewing, spring and fall are also the best times to visit, when the animals are most active.No matter what time of year you visit, these adventure vacation destinations are sure to provide you with an unforgettable experience.

Types of Adventure Vacations

The United States offers a wide range of adventure vacations, catering to diverse interests and skill levels. From the rugged wilderness to pristine waterways, there’s an adventure for every thrill-seeker.

Each type of adventure vacation comes with its unique set of experiences, challenges, and rewards. Whether you prefer the solitude of hiking through remote trails or the adrenaline rush of rafting through whitewater rapids, there’s an adventure that awaits.

For adventure enthusiasts, the United States offers an array of thrilling experiences. However, if you’re looking for a unique blend of adventure and tropical beauty, consider exploring adventure vacations in the caribbean . From snorkeling in crystal-clear waters to zip-lining through lush rainforests, the Caribbean offers a diverse range of activities to satisfy your adventurous spirit.

And when you return to the United States, you’ll find even more opportunities for unforgettable adventures.


Hiking offers an immersive way to explore the natural beauty of the United States. From leisurely strolls along scenic trails to challenging treks through rugged mountains, there are hiking adventures for all abilities.

  • Key Features:Exploration of diverse landscapes, physical exercise, connection with nature
  • Benefits:Improved cardiovascular health, stress reduction, enhanced appreciation for the outdoors
  • Challenges:Varying terrain, weather conditions, physical exertion


Camping allows you to immerse yourself in the wilderness and experience the tranquility of nature. From cozy cabins to rustic tent sites, there are camping options to suit every preference.

  • Key Features:Connection with nature, outdoor living, wildlife encounters
  • Benefits:Stress reduction, enhanced appreciation for the outdoors, improved sleep quality
  • Challenges:Weather conditions, limited amenities, potential wildlife encounters


Rafting is an exhilarating way to navigate scenic waterways and experience the thrill of whitewater rapids. From gentle floats to heart-pounding descents, there are rafting adventures for all skill levels.

  • Key Features:Adrenaline rush, teamwork, stunning scenery
  • Benefits:Improved cardiovascular health, stress reduction, enhanced coordination
  • Challenges:Physical exertion, potential water hazards, cold water temperatures

Wildlife Viewing

Wildlife viewing offers a unique opportunity to observe animals in their natural habitats. From birdwatching in coastal marshes to whale watching along rugged coastlines, there are wildlife viewing adventures for every interest.

  • Key Features:Educational experience, connection with nature, awe-inspiring encounters
  • Benefits:Increased knowledge of wildlife, appreciation for biodiversity, stress reduction
  • Challenges:Limited visibility, unpredictable animal behavior, weather conditions

Provide a step-by-step guide on how to plan an adventure vacation in the United States.

Embarking on an adventure vacation in the United States promises an unforgettable experience. To ensure a seamless journey, meticulous planning is essential. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you craft the perfect adventure:

Set a Budget

Determine your financial limits before selecting destinations or activities. Consider the cost of transportation, accommodation, meals, activities, and any additional expenses.

Choose a Destination

Research various adventure destinations in the United States based on your interests. Consider factors such as the types of activities available, the difficulty level, and the time of year you plan to travel.

Book Accommodations

Book accommodations that suit your budget and needs. Consider factors such as location, amenities, and proximity to adventure activities.

Arrange Transportation

Plan your transportation to and from the destination and within the region. Consider options such as flights, trains, rental cars, or guided tours.

Adventure Activities

Adventure activities offer a unique opportunity to explore the natural beauty of the United States while challenging oneself physically and mentally. From hiking through majestic mountains to rafting through roaring rivers, there are countless ways to get your adrenaline pumping and create lasting memories.

Before embarking on any adventure activity, it is crucial to take safety precautions and ensure you have the necessary equipment. This includes wearing appropriate clothing and footwear, bringing plenty of water and snacks, and informing someone of your itinerary. Depending on the activity, you may also need specialized gear such as a helmet, life jacket, or hiking poles.


Hiking is a popular adventure activity that allows you to explore diverse landscapes and enjoy stunning views. Trails range from easy day hikes to challenging multi-day treks, catering to all fitness levels. Some of the most popular hiking destinations in the United States include the Grand Canyon, Yosemite National Park, and the Appalachian Trail.

  • Skill Level: Beginner to Advanced
  • Physical Fitness: Easy to Strenuous


Camping is a great way to immerse yourself in nature and experience the tranquility of the wilderness. Whether you prefer car camping or backpacking, there are countless campgrounds and backcountry areas to choose from. Remember to follow Leave No Trace principles and respect the environment.

  • Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate
  • Physical Fitness: Easy to Moderate


Rafting is an exhilarating adventure that takes you through whitewater rapids. While it can be a challenging activity, it is also incredibly rewarding. Guided rafting trips are available for all skill levels, from beginner-friendly floats to adrenaline-pumping expeditions.

  • Skill Level: Beginner to Advanced
  • Physical Fitness: Moderate to Strenuous

Wildlife Viewing

Wildlife viewing is a unique opportunity to observe animals in their natural habitat. From whale watching in Alaska to bear viewing in Yellowstone National Park, there are countless ways to encounter wildlife in the United States. Remember to follow park regulations and maintain a safe distance from animals.

  • Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate
  • Physical Fitness: Easy to Moderate

Benefits of Adventure Activities

Participating in adventure activities offers numerous benefits, both physically and mentally. These activities help improve cardiovascular health, increase strength and endurance, and boost mood. They also provide an opportunity to connect with nature, reduce stress, and gain a sense of accomplishment.


Sarah had always been an avid hiker, but she had never attempted anything more challenging than a day hike. Inspired by a friend’s stories of backpacking the Appalachian Trail, she decided to embark on her own adventure. The first few days were tough, but as she hiked deeper into the wilderness, she found herself becoming stronger and more confident.

The solitude and beauty of the trail gave her a sense of peace and tranquility she had never experienced before. By the end of her journey, Sarah had not only conquered the physical challenge but had also discovered a newfound appreciation for herself and the natural world.

Adventure Accommodations

When planning an adventure vacation in the United States, choosing the right accommodation is essential. From rustic campgrounds to luxurious lodges, there are a variety of options available to suit every taste and budget.


Campgrounds are a great option for budget-minded travelers who enjoy the outdoors. They typically offer basic amenities such as tent sites, RV hookups, and restrooms. Some campgrounds also have picnic tables, fire pits, and hiking trails.


Cabins offer a more comfortable option than campgrounds. They typically have a roof, walls, and windows, and may include amenities such as a bed, table, chairs, and a stove. Some cabins also have bathrooms and showers.


Lodges are the most luxurious type of accommodation available in adventure destinations. They typically offer a range of amenities, including private rooms, bathrooms, restaurants, and bars. Some lodges also have swimming pools, hot tubs, and fitness centers.

Comparison of Accommodation Types

The following table compares the different types of adventure accommodations in the United States:

Type Location Amenities Cost
Campground National parks, forests, and other public lands Tent sites, RV hookups, restrooms, picnic tables, fire pits, hiking trails $10-$50 per night
Cabin National parks, forests, and other public lands; private campgrounds Bed, table, chairs, stove, bathroom, shower $50-$200 per night
Lodge National parks, forests, and other public lands; private resorts Private rooms, bathrooms, restaurants, bars, swimming pools, hot tubs, fitness centers $200-$500 per night

Tips for Choosing the Right Accommodation

  • Consider your budget.
  • Think about the level of comfort you desire.
  • Decide what amenities are important to you.
  • Research the different accommodation options available in your destination.
  • Read reviews from other travelers.

Adventure Gear and Equipment: Best Adventure Vacations In The United States

Best adventure vacations in the united states

Adventure vacations in the United States require proper gear and equipment to ensure safety, comfort, and enjoyment. The type of gear needed depends on the specific activities and destinations planned.Essential gear includes a backpack, tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, cooking gear, water filtration system, first-aid kit, and navigation tools.

Backpacks should be durable, comfortable, and have enough capacity for all necessary gear. Tents should be weatherproof and provide adequate ventilation. Sleeping bags should be rated for the expected temperatures.

– Discuss the importance of safety on an adventure vacation in the United States.

Safety is paramount on any adventure vacation, especially in the diverse and vast landscapes of the United States. Understanding potential risks and hazards, taking appropriate precautions, and being prepared for emergencies are crucial for a safe and enjoyable experience.

Adventure vacations often involve activities that take place in remote or challenging environments, increasing the potential for accidents or injuries. Weather conditions can change rapidly, wildlife encounters can be unpredictable, and physical exertion can push participants to their limits.

Potential Risks and Hazards

  • Extreme weather conditions, such as storms, lightning, or heat exhaustion
  • Wildlife encounters, including bears, snakes, or mountain lions
  • Physical exertion, leading to fatigue, dehydration, or altitude sickness
  • Navigation challenges, particularly in unfamiliar or unmarked areas
  • Equipment failure or malfunction

Staying Safe While Exploring the Outdoors

To stay safe during an adventure vacation, it is essential to:

  • Be aware of potential risks and hazards associated with the activities and environment
  • Plan and research the trip thoroughly, including weather forecasts and local regulations
  • Carry appropriate gear and equipment, including a first-aid kit, navigation tools, and communication devices
  • Inform someone of your itinerary and expected return time
  • Stay on designated trails and avoid exploring alone
  • Respect wildlife and observe proper safety precautions
  • Listen to your body and take breaks when needed
  • Be prepared for emergencies and know how to contact help

– Explain how to plan an adventure vacation in the United States.

Planning an adventure vacation in the United States can be a daunting task, but it’s also an incredibly rewarding one. With so many different destinations and activities to choose from, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. But with a little planning, you can create the perfect adventure vacation for your needs.The

first step is to decide what type of adventure you’re looking for. Are you interested in hiking, biking, kayaking, or something else? Once you know what you want to do, you can start narrowing down your destination choices.There are adventure vacations available all over the United States, but some of the most popular destinations include:*

To experience the best adventure vacations in the United States, one should explore the wide range of top adventure vacations available. From thrilling white-water rafting excursions to breathtaking mountain treks, there’s an adventure waiting for every taste. The United States offers a diverse landscape that provides ample opportunities for adrenaline-pumping activities, ensuring an unforgettable vacation experience.

-*The Grand Canyon

This is one of the most iconic natural wonders in the world, and there are plenty of ways to experience it, from hiking to rafting to mule riding.

    • -*Yellowstone National Park

      This park is home to some of the most incredible geothermal features in the world, including Old Faithful. There are also plenty of opportunities for hiking, biking, and wildlife viewing.

-*The Appalachian Trail

This is the longest hiking trail in the world, stretching from Georgia to Maine. It’s a challenging hike, but it’s also an incredibly rewarding one.

-*The Pacific Coast Highway

This is one of the most scenic drives in the world, winding along the California coast. There are plenty of places to stop along the way to hike, bike, or simply enjoy the views.

Once you’ve chosen your destination, you can start planning your itinerary. Be sure to allow plenty of time for travel and rest, and don’t forget to factor in the weather. It’s also a good idea to book your accommodations in advance, especially if you’re traveling during peak season.

Adventure Itineraries

Planning an adventure vacation in the United States can be an exciting but daunting task. To help you get started, here are some sample itineraries ranging from short weekend trips to extended multi-day adventures. Each itinerary highlights destinations, activities, and accommodations to inspire your planning.

When customizing itineraries, consider your interests, fitness level, and budget. Adjust the duration, destinations, and activities to create an adventure that suits you best.

Weekend Getaway: Hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains

  • Day 1:Arrive in Gatlinburg, TN, and check into your hotel. Hike to Charlies Bunion for stunning views of the Smokies.
  • Day 2:Explore the Cades Cove Loop Road, a scenic 11-mile drive with wildlife viewing opportunities. Hike to Abrams Falls, a beautiful 20-foot waterfall.

Multi-Day Adventure: Whitewater Rafting and Camping in the Grand Canyon

  • Day 1:Arrive in Flagstaff, AZ, and check into your hotel. Drive to the Grand Canyon’s South Rim for a scenic hike along the Bright Angel Trail.
  • Day 2:Embark on a thrilling whitewater rafting trip down the Colorado River. Camp overnight at a designated campsite.
  • Day 3:Continue rafting through the canyon, marveling at the towering cliffs and waterfalls. Hike back to the South Rim.
  • Day 4:Depart from Flagstaff.

Extended Adventure: Backpacking in Yosemite National Park

  • Day 1:Arrive in Yosemite Valley and check into your campsite. Hike to Vernal and Nevada Falls, a challenging but rewarding trail.
  • Day 2:Backpack to Tuolumne Meadows, a high-altitude alpine area with stunning lakes and granite peaks.
  • Day 3:Hike to Cathedral Lakes, a series of crystal-clear lakes nestled in a glacial valley.
  • Day 4:Backpack to Tenaya Lake, a popular destination for swimming and fishing.
  • Day 5:Hike out of Yosemite Valley and depart.

Adventure Photography

Capturing stunning adventure photography in the United States requires an understanding of composition, lighting, and timing. Compose your shots with a strong focal point and leading lines to draw the viewer’s eye. Utilize natural light during the golden hours of sunrise and sunset for optimal lighting.

Consider the timing of your shots to capture the peak of action in sports or the movement of wildlife.


* Use the rule of thirds to create a balanced composition.

  • Experiment with different perspectives, such as shooting from above or below.
  • Include foreground elements to add depth and interest.


* Natural light is ideal, especially during the golden hours.

  • Use a flash or reflector to fill in shadows and create a more even exposure.
  • Avoid shooting directly into the sun, as this can result in overexposure.

Timing, Best adventure vacations in the united states

* For action sports, anticipate the peak of the action and capture it at the right moment.

  • For wildlife photography, be patient and observe the animals’ behavior to predict their movements.
  • Use a high shutter speed to freeze motion and avoid blur.

Adventure Inspiration

Adventure travel in the United States is a transformative experience that pushes boundaries, ignites passion, and creates lasting memories. From adrenaline-pumping activities to breathtaking landscapes, the country offers a wealth of opportunities for adventure seekers.

Adventure travel often involves stepping outside of comfort zones and embracing the unknown. It can be challenging, but it also brings a profound sense of accomplishment and personal growth.

Motivations and Challenges

Motivations for adventure travel vary, but common reasons include the desire for:

  • Physical and mental challenges
  • Exploration of new cultures and environments
  • Escape from routine and stress
  • Personal growth and self-discovery

Challenges of adventure travel can include:

  • Physical discomfort or danger
  • Culture shock or language barriers
  • Unexpected expenses or delays
  • Loneliness or homesickness

Inspiring Quotes and Images

The spirit of adventure has inspired countless people throughout history. Here are a few inspiring quotes and images that capture the essence of this pursuit:

“Adventure is worthwhile in itself.”

The United States offers a plethora of thrilling adventure vacations. From soaring mountains to raging rivers, there’s something for every adrenaline junkie. But what if you crave a blend of adventure and relaxation? Look no further than Beach Vacations with Adventure . These destinations combine stunning coastlines with opportunities for surfing, kayaking, and even zip-lining.

So, whether you’re seeking a heart-pounding hike or a leisurely stroll along the beach, the United States has the perfect adventure vacation for you.

Amelia Earhart

“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

Nelson Mandela

[Image of a hiker reaching the summit of a mountain]

[Image of a group of kayakers paddling through whitewater rapids]

[Image of a climber scaling a sheer rock face]

Adventure Conservation

Adventure tourism has the potential to positively impact local communities and economies, while also preserving natural and cultural heritage. Responsible adventure travel minimizes negative impacts on the environment and wildlife while maximizing benefits for local communities. It involves adhering to ethical guidelines and best practices to protect the environment, support sustainable development, and respect local cultures.

According to the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA), responsible adventure travel generates over $600 billion annually and supports millions of jobs worldwide. In the United States, adventure tourism is a growing industry, with millions of people participating in activities such as hiking, biking, kayaking, and rock climbing each year.

Impact of Tourism on the Environment and Wildlife

Tourism can have both positive and negative impacts on the environment and wildlife. On the positive side, tourism can provide revenue for conservation efforts, raise awareness of environmental issues, and promote sustainable practices. However, tourism can also lead to pollution, habitat destruction, and wildlife disturbance.

  • Pollution:Tourism can generate large amounts of waste, including plastic bottles, food wrappers, and human waste. This waste can pollute waterways, harm wildlife, and damage ecosystems.
  • Habitat destruction:The development of tourist infrastructure, such as hotels, resorts, and roads, can destroy or fragment wildlife habitats. This can disrupt animal migration patterns, reduce food availability, and increase the risk of predation.
  • Wildlife disturbance:Tourists can disturb wildlife by getting too close, making noise, or feeding animals. This can disrupt their natural behavior, stress them out, and even lead to injury or death.

Tips for Minimizing Environmental Impact

There are many things that adventure travelers can do to minimize their environmental impact. Here are a few tips:

  • Pack it in, pack it out:Always pack out all of your trash, even if there are no trash cans available.
  • Use reusable items:Bring your own water bottle, food containers, and utensils to avoid creating waste.
  • Stay on designated trails:Sticking to designated trails helps to prevent erosion and damage to vegetation.
  • Respect wildlife:Observe wildlife from a distance and avoid making noise or feeding animals.
  • Support sustainable businesses:Choose tour operators and accommodations that are committed to sustainable practices.

Specific Examples of Responsible Adventure Tourism Practices

Here are a few specific examples of responsible adventure tourism practices:

  • Leave No Trace:The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics provides guidelines for minimizing environmental impact while enjoying the outdoors. These guidelines include packing out all trash, staying on designated trails, and respecting wildlife.
  • Green Globe Certification:Green Globe is a worldwide sustainability certification program for the travel and tourism industry. Certified businesses must meet a set of environmental and social standards, including reducing energy and water consumption, minimizing waste, and supporting local communities.
  • Adventure Travel Conservation Fund:The Adventure Travel Conservation Fund (ATCF) is a non-profit organization that supports conservation projects around the world. ATCF-funded projects include protecting endangered species, restoring habitats, and promoting sustainable tourism practices.

Quote from an Expert

“Responsible adventure travel is about more than just minimizing our environmental impact. It’s also about supporting local communities and cultures, and promoting sustainable development. By traveling responsibly, we can help to ensure that future generations can enjoy the same amazing experiences that we do today.”Jonathan B. Tourtellot, President of the Adventure Travel Trade Association

– Describe the different types of adventure communities in the United States.

Best adventure vacations in the united states

Adventure communities in the United States are diverse, ranging from small, close-knit groups to large, well-established organizations. They can be found in all corners of the country, from the mountains to the coastlines.One type of adventure community is the local outdoor club.

These clubs typically organize group outings for activities such as hiking, biking, kayaking, and climbing. They are a great way to meet other people who share your interests and to learn about new outdoor activities.Another type of adventure community is the guiding company.

These companies offer a variety of guided trips, from day hikes to multi-day expeditions. They can provide all of the necessary equipment and expertise, making it easy for you to experience the outdoors without having to worry about the details.Finally,

there are also a number of adventure-based organizations in the United States. These organizations promote adventure travel and work to protect the environment. They offer a variety of programs and services, including educational workshops, conservation initiatives, and advocacy campaigns.

Adventure Events

Best adventure vacations in the united states

Adventure events in the United States offer a unique opportunity to experience the thrill of adventure while connecting with fellow enthusiasts. From adrenaline-pumping races to immersive festivals, there’s something for every adventure seeker.

Upcoming Adventure Events


-*Moab Easter Jeep Safari (March/April, Moab, Utah)

The United States is a land of adventure, with endless opportunities for exploration and excitement. From the towering peaks of the Rocky Mountains to the sun-kissed beaches of the Pacific Coast, there are countless ways to experience the great outdoors.

And for families looking for an unforgettable adventure vacation, there are plenty of options to choose from. Whether you’re interested in hiking, biking, rafting, or simply exploring nature, you’ll find the perfect adventure vacation for your family at adventure vacations for families . So start planning your next adventure today, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

And don’t forget to check out some of the other great adventure vacations available in the United States.

A week-long off-roading extravaganza featuring over 2,000 Jeeps tackling challenging trails.

    • -*Red Bull Rampage (October, Virgin, Utah)

      If you’re seeking the best adventure vacations in the United States, consider venturing beyond the ordinary. Unique adventure vacations in the US offer a chance to explore hidden gems and indulge in thrilling activities. From rock climbing in Yosemite to kayaking through the Everglades, these adventures promise unforgettable experiences that will redefine your perception of the ultimate vacation in the United States.

      The ultimate mountain biking competition where riders push the limits on a steep and unforgiving course.

-*AdventureX (January, Portland, Oregon)

A trade show and festival showcasing the latest adventure gear, destinations, and speakers.

-*Sea Otter Classic (April, Monterey, California)

The world’s largest cycling festival, featuring races, demos, and industry exhibits.

-*US National Whitewater Championships (June, Kern River, California)

A high-stakes kayaking competition on one of the most challenging whitewater rivers in the country.

Adventure Event Calendar

To stay up-to-date on upcoming adventure events, check out these resources:* Adventure Calendar: https://adventurecalendar.com/





Ending Remarks

As you embark on your adventure vacation in the United States, remember to embrace the unexpected, stay flexible, and immerse yourself in the beauty and wonder that this incredible country has to offer. From the majestic mountains to the tranquil lakes, from the bustling cities to the serene wilderness, every corner of the United States holds the promise of an unforgettable experience.

So pack your bags, gather your courage, and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime.


What are the top adventure vacation destinations in the United States?

The United States is home to a wealth of adventure vacation destinations, including national parks like Yosemite, Yellowstone, and Grand Canyon, as well as coastal areas like the Pacific Coast Highway and the Florida Keys.

What types of adventure activities are available in the United States?

From hiking and camping to rafting and wildlife viewing, there are countless adventure activities to choose from in the United States. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced adventurer, there’s something for everyone.

How do I plan an adventure vacation in the United States?

Planning an adventure vacation in the United States requires careful consideration of your interests, fitness level, and budget. Start by choosing a destination and activities that align with your preferences, then research accommodations, transportation, and gear.

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