5 Best Outdoor Activities in Arizona

5 Best Outdoor Activities in Arizona

Arizona is a desert oasis for adventurists of all sorts. The valley is surrounded with mountains, cacti, wildlife, canyons, and much more. Not to mention great weather year-round to soak up it all up! With the amount of outdoor activities awaiting in Arizona, it’s hard to choose between them all when planning a visit. So, we put together a list of the 5 best outdoor activities in the Grand Canyon State.

No matter the adventure you choose, Arizona will not leave you disappointed! The biggest thing to keep top of mind when choosing your outdoor adventure is the temperature. Always bring lots of extra water, as the high summer temperatures can easily result in heat stroke without properly hydrating. Let’s dive in.

1. Horseback Riding Tours

Horseback Riding Tours

Cowboy culture is rich in the state of Arizona, as the state is the center of America’s Old West past. One way to experience the Old West is to take a tour horseback riding through the desert landscape. There are many ranches throughout the valley that offer horseback riding tours within a 40-minute drive or day trip from Phoenix.

The average starting cost for an hour excursion is around $50 per person. However, many ranches have begun offering discounts for 2-hour rides at around $40 per person. Which is a great option when traveling to Arizona for a limited amount of time and budget. If your budget allows for a bit more expense, there are horseback riding tours that offer sunrise and sunset rides.

If you need something more similar to the wild west, there are ranches that you can book overnight rides that offer both a horseback riding and camping experience all in one – talk about living the Old West lifestyle.

2. Tubing the Salt River

Tubing The Salt River

If you are visiting in the heart of summer, you’ll probably want to make your outdoor activities surrounded by water. What better way to do than spending the day tubing down Arizona’s Lower Salt River rapids?

The river is located in Tonto National Forest by the city of Mesa. Salt River Tubing has made the experience of tubing much easier and stress-free by providing rental tubes and a shuttle that both drops you off at the top of the river and picks you up at one of the designated stops.

You can experience a two, three, or five-hour float for only $17 per person. With that comes a rental tube and a spot on one of their shuttles. Throughout the float you’ll come across small rapids, passing wild horses, and mountainous scenery.

3. Hot Air Balloon Ride

Hot Air Balloon Ride

Get a bird’s eye view of Arizona’s beauty by taking a hot air balloon ride over the desert valley. Hot air balloon tours are much more intimate, offering private or group tours. Like horseback riding, there are sunrise and sunset expeditions available across the state. After taking in the breathtaking views, you’ll be welcomed to the ground with champagne and a cuisine. It’s such a unique and adventurous experience comes with a larger sticker price.

An average balloon ride runs at about $200 per person. Which can get a bit pricey if you are traveling with a large group of people. However, with a little research you can find occasional deal packages for two people where the costs comes out to less than $200 a person.

4. Hiking Havasu Canyon

Hiking Havasu Canyon

If you decide to spend some time in northern Arizona, hiking Havasu Canyon should be at the top of your Arizona bucket list. Havasu Canyon is made up by 5 different falls and is a side branch of the Grand Canyon. If you have prior hiking experience, make a trip plan and take on the adventure into the canyon yourself. If you don’t feel comfortable doing it on your own, book a tour with a professional guide.

It is best to adventure into the canyon outside of the summer months, as the three-digit temperatures can quickly make your trip unbearable and dangerous. The best months are from April to May and September to November. It’s also important to note that a permit is required to adventure into Havasu Canyon to preserve the landscape. These permits can be limited, so prior planning will be needed.

The cost can differ exponentially depending on the length of your adventure, how much equipment you’ll need if you aren’t using your own, and any additional activities you might want to experience. For example, there are the canyon offers helicopter rides, mules to carry your heavy equipment, and much more.

5. Off-Road Tours in Sedona

Off Road Tours In Sedona

We’ve given you an adventure on four legs, two legs, inner tubes, and hot air balloons. What’s left? Four wheels! Whether that be in a jeep, 4WD vehicle, or an ATV. Sedona offers great off-roading trails to adventure with a beautiful backdrop. You can either climb rocks in your own off-road vehicle, rent one, or ride along in an off-road guided tour.

The most popular guided off-roading tour is by Pink Jeep Tours, where they take you on an outdoor, thrilling adventure through the red rocks of Sedona.

The costs for a Pink Jeep Tour can range from $60-$100 per adult. So again, if traveling with a large group, you might want to consider researching discounts or coupons for group rates.

Whichever adventure you find best for you, good luck and happy adventuring!

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