8 Fantastic Outdoor Activities in Arizona

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Although the Grand Canyon gets its fair share of domestic and international tourists, people aren’t interested in Arizona’s other natural beauties. Truth be told, this sunny state has a lot to offer to visitors, and you would be foolish not to spend a prolonged adventure vacation there. In this post, we’ll go through Arizona’s eight best outdoor activities and what makes them stand out!

1.     Biking around Phoenix

Arizona has so many fantastic dirt trails you can check out. However, for the purposes of this article, we decided to focus on mountain biking in Phoenix, Arizona. Given that you’ll probably start your southern adventure from this city, you might as well check out the surrounding area.

Although the Sonora Desert is scorching during the summer, it’s otherwise great for any biking activity. People can choose between numerous dirt tracks or a few paved ones. There are excellent spots in Scottsdale, Carefree, Glendale, and Cave Creek, but you might also go further into the desert.

2.     Visiting Verde Hot Springs

It’s quite astonishing that Verde Hot Springs doesn’t get more visitors. Back in the day, these springs were an integral part of a famous hotel embedded into a mountain above the Verde River. Although the hotel eventually burned to the ground in an accident, there are still two old, quaint pools remaining at the site.

Perhaps the biggest part of the adventure is getting to these springs. A local Fossil Creek Road is extremely bumpy, so expect some shaking. However, you can enjoy beautiful scenery, mountainous hiking trails, and waterfalls once you get there. Make sure to bring your best boots to avoid spraining your ankles!

3.     Enjoying Havasu Canyon Trail

Visiting the Grand Canyon is a treat in itself. Nevertheless, if you wish to take things a bit further, we recommend Havasu Canyon Trail. Located several thousand feet below the canyon’s natural outlines, the dirt trail takes you from Hualapai Hilltop to incredible waterfalls that wait until the end.

The trail is 8 miles long, and you can enjoy it hiking or riding a horse. At its end is a Supai Indian reservation where the locals have their council building, school, café, and a few other buildings.

4.     Rafting on the Colorado River

Another fantastic way to experience the Grand Canyon is by whitewater rafting on the Colorado River. As you float around, you will stumble upon numerous side canyons, waterfalls, and other sections only accessible by river. Even better, you’ll spend every night sleeping under a dazzling starry sky.

It’s worth noting that longer trips can last up to seven days, taking you from Lee’s Ferry to Lava Falls. After enjoying your 200-mile adventure, a helicopter will come for you, further improving this unforgettable experience. You can also combine rafting with other outdoor activities, such as horseback riding and skeet shooting.

5.     Experiencing the Salt River

Sticking to water adventures, you should also consider Salt River tubing. Unlike the Colorado River, the Salt River is much calmer, making it ideal for beer trips. You can kick back, grab a cold one, and enjoy the scenery with your friends. Many companies also offer horseback riding, which can spice up the trip.

There’s also Tonto National Forest relatively close by, soyou can hit its trails if you’re up for a challenge. As the ninth biggest national forest in the US, Tonto offers visitors 600,000 acres of untouched, magnificent nature. If you get lucky, you might even encounter black bears and bald eagles that inhabit these parts.

6.     Off-roading in Sedona

Sedona features some of the greenest, most picturesque off-roading trails in the entire state of Arizona. Visitors can enjoy Hangover Trail, Broken Arrow Route, and Schnebly Hill Road, just to mention a few. The most popular ones are color-coded, so you won’t have trouble navigating with an app.

Whether you choose a dirt bike, 4×4, or ATV, the adventure will be worth your while. Alternatively, you can hire one of the tour companies that will take you to secluded areas. Most trips last a few hours, during which you’ll see incredible sights and ancient indigenous dwellings. Keep in mind you also have the option of camping in the wilderness, something you probably shouldn’t miss.

7.     Riding a hot-air balloon

Most people don’t think about hot-air balloon rides when we talk about outdoor activities. Nevertheless, this is something you should explore while spending time in Arizona. Floating high above the ground floor allows you to take in all the nearby sights without having to worry about snakes, raggedy roads, and scorching heat.

You can find these tours anywhere within the state, although we’d recommend those around Sonora Desert’s southern tip. There are a few nice spots in Phoenix and Tucson where you can book an appointment and enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience with your family.

8.     Jumping out of an airplane

If the idea of a hot-air balloon sounds too dull, there are other things you might try out. For example, skydiving is perfect for adrenaline junkies looking for something a bit extra from their trip. Over the years, the state has become notorious for its skydiving scene, so don’t be surprised if you meet visitors from all over the world.

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