It is easy to understand why so many people travel to Phoenix for vacation, to visit friends, and find themselves picking up a real estate guide on their way home. Although this is the sixth highest populated city in the country, you would never know it. You don’t feel squeezed in, or overwhelmed like you do when walking the streets of New York City or Los Angeles. Not to mention, the climate is perfect for outdoor adventures. Although it does get pretty hot in the summer, the climate is dry, so it does not feel uncomfortable like humid areas that reach the same temperatures.
If you are an outdoor enthusiast, you will love what this fantastic city has to offer. There are so many adventurous things to do!
There are two trails that lead to the top of this mountain. Echo Canyon is the shorter trail, but definitely challenging. You can expect your muscles to burn from the incline. Cholla trail is longer, and not as steep, but that doesn’t mean it is still not challenging. Both trails have some serious drop-offs, and there will be boulders where you will be forced to use your hands to pull yourself up. Be sure to pack plenty of water.
The trail at Piestewa Peak has been called “Mother Nature’s “StairMaster” because the incline is so intense. Some hardcore athletes will run, but most people struggle to hike it. There are some sharp curves and narrow areas, so keep your head up, and pay attention to folks coming in the opposite direction. There is no water available, so bring plenty.
Guided ATV Tours
This is something fun you can do by yourself, with friends, or the entire family. Arizona ATV Adventure Trails guides you on a 40-mile trail that takes about 3.25 hours. The elevation gain is more than 1,700 vertical feet! You will ride through Box Canyon, and see views of the Pinal Mountains and petroglyphs left behind by ancient Native Americans.
If you are not really into taking a tour, Arizona Outdoor Fun offers off-road rentals, so you can find your own adventure. There are a variety of ATV styles to choose from, as well as UTVs, Jeeps, and dirt bikes. They have trailers, and even a tow vehicle is available. They also stock everything you may need on your adventure, including safety gear, GPS units, compasses, maps, tie downs, ice chests, and more.
Guided trail rides through South Mountain Park are available by Ponderosa Stables. There are a variety of rides to choose from. Groups of eight or more can reserve breakfast or a cookout for dinner, and there are even sunset tours to enjoy. Everyone in Phoenix has to experience a horseback ride at least once.
White Water Rafting
If you don’t mind venturing just outside of Phoenix, there are some pretty exciting rapids to take advantage of on Salt River and Verde River. The Salt River takes you through a 2,000-foot deep canyon where the water flows at an average of 20 miles per hour. Verde River offers unparalleled scenery and excellent wildlife viewing opportunities. This river is a bird lover’s paradise.
If you live to hit the trails on your bike, this is the city where you want to live. There is an exhausting number of tails here. Four Peaks takes you 36.6 miles through the Sonoran Desert while the 17.6-mile Desert Classic Trail takes you along the foothills of South Mountains. There are close to 50 fantastic trails in the area.