BRITISH COLUMBIA (2006 Winner)
Price: $36,000 per day (for 12)
When the B2 A-star helicopter drops you at the apex of a powdery slope amid millions of glacier-rimmed acres in B.C.'s Coast Range, you may think you've achieved the pinnacle of exclusivity. But that's only half the fun. After carving so many fresh tracks that your quads scream for mercy, you'll chopper back to a 201-foot luxury yacht to sip Dom and soak in an eight-person, 80-jet Jacuzzi. Moving anchor between two inlets in the Georgia Strait, the Absinthe serves as home base for the most extravagant, over-the-top heli-skiing in the world. Should the mountain weather turn foul, take out the kayaks, fire up the 40-foot fishing boat, or simply bask in the opulence of it all.
Outfitter: Sea to Sky Helisports and Megayacht Adventures, 866-935-3228, www.motoryachtabsinthe.com
When to Go: March-April
Hiking the Waterpocket Fold
Grant Johnson has been exploring southern Utah's Waterpocket Fold, a 3,000-foot-high, 100-mile-long dinosaur-era geological formation, for 30 years. Thanks to drought conditions in nearby Lake Powell, he recently discovered an ancient Anasazi trail that allows him to lead trips into this remote, unmapped backcountry region. For six days, shimmy through two-foot-wide narrows and hike on slickrock to incredible vistas, camping beneath the cottonwoods while listening to his stories of the prehistoric landscape.
Outfitter: Escalante Canyon Outfitters, 888-326-4453, www.ecohike.com
When to Go: April, October
Paddling the William River
Here in northern Saskatchewan, all life depends on the rivers that flow toward the Arctic. The Class I-II William River, congested with foraging moose, black bears, and ospreys, is no exception. This 13-day trip begins and ends with great fishing (grayling and walleye at the outset, trout once you reach Lake Athabasca). Take a pit stop in the middle at the 100-foot-high Athabasca sand dunes to explore the ever-shifting topography.
Outfitter: Piragis Northwoods Company, 800-223-6565, www.piragis.com
When to Go: June
Adventure Boot Camp
When you wake to the sounds of your personal chef whipping up an egg-white omelet in your oceanfront villa on Kauai's north shore, you'll know this boot camp isn't Parris Island. Here you can customize all your meals and five days of activities to reach your fitness goals. Start out by surfing in Hanalei Bay or hiking to the base of 250-foot Hanakapeii Falls. After one-on-one yoga or weight training, recuperate with a massage, and cap off the day by learning how to grill fresh ahi.
Outfitter: Pure Kauai, 866-457-7873, www.purekauai.com
When to Go: Year-round
The Epic Tour
Lance, Levi, and LeMond all trained on the 15-degree inclines of Northern California's roads, and after you finish this seven-day epic, you may be able to keep up with them—for a few minutes, anyway. Starting from Santa Rosa, you'll ride up to 75 miles a day on inland country byways. Once you hit Mendocino, you'll return to Santa Rosa via the coast—with plenty of opportunities to regroup in some of the area's finest restaurants and hotels, like Bodega Bay's Inn at the Tides.
Outfitter: Bicycle Adventures, 800-443-6060, www.bicycleadventures.com
When to Go: October-November