Top Five Outdoor Adventures in ArizonaLooking for an adventure beyond navigating Phoenix freeways? Arizona is an ideal place for getting an adrenaline rush in the great outdoors. Fishing, hiking, and horseback riding are always on the itinerary, or you can go a little wilder and partake of these top five outdoor adventures in Arizona.
Hiking Havasu Falls
Paradise on Earth does exist at Havasu Falls, an incredible waterfall located in the Grand Canyon. You can opt to visit the falls on horseback or even via helicopter, but the most rewarding adventure comes from making the strenuous eight-mile trek from Hualapai Hilltop to the falls on foot.
The Havasupai Tribe administers the land around Havasu Falls. Havasupai means "people of the blue-green water" and you'll understand why the name is so fitting once you reach the turquoise water surrounded by green trees and red walls of the canyon.
Mountain Biking in Prescott
Prescott, AZ, a town with a population of about 40,000 just two hours north of Phoenix, has made a name for itself as a mountain bikers paradise. The US Forest Service has over 450 miles of trails in the forest to satisfy riders of any skill level.
Advanced mountain bikers looking for a real challenge should check out the Willow Dells Slickrock Trail Loops, rugged trails that run through the Dells, over granite rock outcrops, and along the north edge of Willow Lake.
White Water Rafting in the Grand Canyon
Hiking and helicopter tours are great, but some say the best way to experience the majesty of the Grand Canyon is from the water. Navigate some of the greatest whitewater in North America while taking in stunning views of the red cliffs. Options for rafting through the canyon range from navigating Class V rapids to riding along in oar-powered raft, so people of all ages and abilities can find a tour to their liking.
Commercial trips through the upper and lower canyons typically run from April through October.
Off-roading in Sedona
Whether you bring your own jeep or charter one for a tour, off-roading in Sedona is an adventure lover's dream come true. Travel the back roads, trails, and by-ways to see the massive red rock outcroppings glow crimson up in the evening light.
Soldier Pass Trail is a favorite destination for off-roaders. The four-mile out-and-back trail features a river and a giant sinkhole, Devil's Kitchen.
Skydiving Near Tucson
Hardcore skydivers come from all over the world to jump in Arizona's clear blue skies where the weather allows over 340 jumping days per year. Feel the wind on your face while you fly amongst the clouds overlooking the Sonoran Desert.
Several skydiving centers operate in the desert between Phoenix and Tucson. Whether you're an experienced jumper or want to give it a try in a tandem jump, you can find the adrenaline rush that comes only from stepping out of a perfectly good airplane.
Janet Berry-Johnson has called Arizona home for three years. She is a Certified Public Accountant and a writer. Her work has appeared in Forbes, Scottsdale Moms Blog, BonBon Break, Guyvorce, and Kard Talk.