Cliff Diving and Cliff Jumping: 9 Peak Places

Lahaina, Hawaii (Maui) Frommers.com Community
Cliff diving and jumping is said to have originated in 1770 when Hawaii's King Kajekili commanded his men to leap the island of Lanai's high cliffs and enter the water feet first without splashing in order to prove their courage and loyalty to him. Since then, cliff diving has morphed into a sport requiring not only courage, but skill. Cliff jumping is an experience adopted by many adventurous souls seeking extreme ways to enter water.

If you're considering trying cliff diving, keep in mind that even experienced cliff divers (including those who enter cliff diving competitions around the world) emphasize the necessary technical training, physical conditioning, focus, and experience in making dives at a variety of lower heights before leaping from more challenging high cliffs. Experience in platform diving is recommended. The depth of the water, weather, and waves are just some of the factors that must be taken into account when diving or jumping. Serious injury is always a possibility, so familiarize yourself with all the factors involved in your dive or jump before you, well, dive in. Contact the World High Diving Federation (www.whdf.com) or the Cliff Jump Network (www.cliffjumpingnetwork.com) to read more about the risks of the sport through advice columns and news bulletins about desceased divers.

Photo Caption: Lahaina, Hawaii. Photo by Perry M/Frommers.com Community
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Ponte Brolla, Switzerland. bolfing.yama
The European Cliff Diving Contest and the World High Diving Federation have held competitions at this lake, which is at the entry to the Valle Maggia. You can dive from several heights, ranging from roughly 7 to 20m (23
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Lake Powell, Utah. Frommers.com Community
Head to Lake Canyon off the main channel to find colorful cliffs great for a jumping-off point. The leap is about 30 feet (9m) to the azure waters of Lake Powell below.

More information about the destination: Utah.com (www.utah.com/lakepowell).

Photo Caption: Lake Powell, Utah. Photo by Paqi53/Frommers.com Community.
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Los Padres National Forest, home to Tar Creek Falls. gamene
You must hike up a rock face about 70 feet (21m) before you can even reach a point to make a dive. The topography of the land makes this locale particularly dangerous. It's difficult to jump more than a few feet away from the side of the cliff and you don't want to slam into it on the way down. Tar Creek Falls is located near the Sespe Condor Sanctuary -- where you may even see condors in the air -- in Los Padres National Forest. You can enter the park near Fillmore, California.

More information about the destination: Los Padres National Forest (tel. 805/683-9711 or 805/968-6640; www.fs.fed.us/r5/lospadres).

Photo Caption: Los Padres National Forest, home to Tar Creek Falls. Photo by gamene/Flickr.com.
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Pa'iloa black sand beach in Wai'anapanapa Park, Maui. Frommers.com Community
If you want to reach one of Maui's most popular locations for cliff jumping, go to Kaanapali Beach and walk to the end where you'll see Black Rock. Walk behind the spot where everyone is jumping, follow the coast around the point for about 2 minutes, and then you'll see the cliffs. Cliff to water is about 40 feet (12m), according to pro cliff jumper Jay Gural.

More information about the destination: Hawaii State Parks (www.hawaiistateparks.org/parks/maui).

Photo Caption: Pa'iloa black sand beach in Wai'anapanapa Park, Maui. Photo by ShaneK/Frommers.com Community.
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Wolfgangsee Lake, northwestern Austria. Frommers.com Community
This lake in northwestern Austria is calm and clear, making it a popular spot for diving. There are several unofficial dive sites around the lake, but one of the best places for diving is the Falkenstein cliff wall in Frberg bay, where divers spring off a special high board, about 30m (100 ft.) above the water and do a tuck or somersault before landing in this beautiful lake. Boatloads of viewers cheer as divers resurface. This is also the site of the annual Red Bull Cliff Diving competition (www.redbull.com). There are other, lower places nearby where divers climb to the top of various ledges and jump into the water.

More information about the destination: Wolfgangsee Tourist Association (www.wolfgangsee.at).

Photo Caption: Wolfgangsee Lake, northwestern Austria. Photo by gabu/Frommers.com Community.
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Cliff divers at La Quebrada in Acapulco. Photo by <a href="http://www.frommers.com/community/user_gallery_detail.html?plckPhotoID=8da02573-6a41-4e41-a9e0-f9830ff482ac&plckGalleryID=c0482941-0d2d-4cca-b8c4-809ee9e20c72" target="_blank">Manuel Gonzalez/Frommers.com Community</a>. Frommers.com Community
Onlookers can sit on an Acapulco restaurant terrace and watch divers soar off the spectacular 44m (148-ft.) cliff and into the water. Though it's a tourist attraction for laughing and dining visitors, cliff divers are totally focused on the rocks, wind, and other variables that will affect their respective dives. Proper timing is vital, because divers must land in the water when the ocean swells raise the water level where they land.

More information about the destination: Event listing on Frommers.com

Photo Caption: Cliff divers at La Quebrada in Acapulco. Photo by Manuel Gonzalez/Frommers.com Community.
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Looking over the lake at St. Mary's Glacier in Colorado. Frommers.com Community
This small lake in Glacier National Park is simply called "the lake" by locals. Expect lots of hikers to watch you jump off the rocks into the glacier-fed lake below. Bonus: You might see snowboarders sliding down the glacier above you. A pretty cool combo. Get off at I-70 exit 238 and enjoy the winding 10-mile drive to the trailhead. The popular 3/4-mile hike up to the tiny lake at the base of the glacier weaves through rock-strewn terrain. At the lake, scout out the safe areas for jumping, keeping in mind that the water level varies considerably throughout the year.

More information about the destination: Glacier National Park (www.nps.gov/glac) and St. Mary's Glacier (www.stmarysglacier.com).

Photo Caption: Looking over the lake at St. Mary's Glacier in Colorado. Photo by Traveler22/Frommers.com Community.
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Mount Hood, Oregon. Frommers.com Community
This spot in Mount Hood could be a good jump for rookies, according to Joe Sellers, a confirmed cliff jumper who runs AirAboveWater.com (www.airabovewater.com). The site has a sheer rock wall and you can climb up the inside of the bowl to dive from various heights up to a monster 70 feet (21m).

More information about the destination: Portland Hiker's Field Guide (www.portlandhikersfieldguide.org/wiki/Punchbowl_Falls).

Photo Caption: Mount Hood, Oregon. Photo by Seaglassfriends/Frommers.com Community.
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Saguaro Lake, Arizona. HH Studio
There are plenty of opportunities for cliff jumping into Arizona's Saguaro Lake, which is part of Tonto National Forest and is 41 miles from Phoenix. Jump heights range from roughly 6 feet (2m) to about 35 to 40 feet (11
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