5 totally badass things to do in PhoenixThere's a certain level of accomplishment you need to reach in order to be considered a bad ass. Chuck Norris successfully completed thousands of roundhouse kicks. Rocky single-handedly ended the Cold War with his fists. And the Dos Equis guy convinced a nation that he was the most interesting man to ever walk the Earth. While those feats are impressive, they're also pretty unattainable. Don't let that deter you. There are several things you can do here in Phoenix to up your street cred. You may not become the most interesting man in the world, but each activity will move you one step closer to becoming a true badass.
Ride a Bull at Buffalo Chip
The Buffalo Chip Saloon is five acres of pure western badassery. It oozes classic western tropes like flowing whiskey, line dancing, and drunken mustachioed cowboys. It even burned down in 2015 after a suspicious arsonist set it ablaze. Buffalo Chip has since reopened and is as popular as ever. Brave souls can unleash their inner cowboy by participating in an amateur bull ride on Wednesday and Friday nights. It's one of the only places in the country where you can ride your own bucking bull without any training. Nothing says extreme like being thrown around like a rag doll by an animal as hundreds of horrified observers look on.
Eat Rattlesnake at Rustler's Rooste
Okay, we're back on cowboys again but I swear this is the last time. Rustler's Rooste is a longstanding western restaurant with a live bull, live music, and dead rattlesnake. In addition to its views of the city, Rustler's Rooste is known for serving up Arizona's most venomous snake. Rattlesnakes raise the stakes of any situation and automatically make any story exponentially more badass. The snakes are deep fried and served up with a chipotle ranch dressing. If you successfully down this western caviar you'll be rewarded with an "I ate the Rattlesnake" t-shirt.
Walk the Ocean Floor at OdySea
Scuba diving is inherently badass. There's just something cool about risking the bends to swim with majestic sea creatures in the open ocean. However, when you're landlocked for several thousand miles you don't really have many options. Cue OdySea Aquarium. OdySea's SeaTrek helmet dive lets you explore the ocean floor without leaving the desert. During the helmet dive, you'll be guided around a simulated ocean floor while hooked up to an oxygen helmet. For one hour, you'll walk the aquarium floor surrounded by marine life, walk in water and even pet some sting rays.
Sky Dive at iFly
Have you ever wanted to earn the prestige of a skydive without leaving your life in the hands of a parachute? Then head to iFly for an indoor skydive. You'll experience the art of flight from the safety of a vertical wind tunnel. After taking a quick training class, you'll gear up and be escorted to the flight chamber. From there, you'll experience two minutes of free fall as winds of up to 150 mph blast you into the air. It might not be as badass as a real skydive, but it's a good trade-off knowing there's no threat of certain doom.
Conquer a Mountain
Conquering a mountain is a truly rewarding experience. It's proof of man's superiority in our endless battle against nature. Phoenix has tons of mountains so you need to differentiate yourself by hitting the black diamonds. Camelback Mountain's Echo Canyon Trail features a brutal 1,300-foot elevation climb that is sure to challenge even most physically fit. If you're really a masochist then head over to Tom's Thumb. Tom's Thumb's East End trail is an 11-mile loop with very steep climbs. You'll experience a 2,500 foot elevation gain on the McDowell Mountains. Your legs will be destroyed but it will all be worth it for the epic Instagram. #Badass
John Kuells is a freelance writer who dabbles in badass activities. He can be found in Arizona where he writes for his blog bookofkuells.com