Arizona Adventures Every Outdoor Enthusiast Must Do!
(Photo Credit: Jill Skellington via Instagram)
When most people think of adventure activities in Arizona, the first thing that comes to mind is the Grand Canyon. Often times, however, that is the only thing it is known for. Don’t get me wrong, that canyon is GRAND, but there are some even BETTER places like Antelope Canyon or Havasupai Falls that are often overlooked.
A good majority of people, even in the United States, don’t even understand that there is a place called Flagstaff only 2 hours from Phoenix that actually has a real winter with actual snow! Considering the rest of Arizona is dry and desert-like, it is quite a nice change. Flagstaff, by the way, also happens to be part of legendary Route 66.
After living in Arizona nearly 3 years, I collected a wide array of adventures every outdoor enthusiast must do or at least put on their bucket list so when they go to Arizona they can do something besides the Grand Canyon.
Kayak the Salt River
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The Arizona Salt River, which starts at the Gila River and eventually flows into the Salt River after leaving the Arizona White Mountains, is actually a pretty rare find in this world. Why so? Well, there are very few places that have naturally occurring salt rivers. The Salt River is also a very popular place for locals to float!
One thing I never got around to doing while living in Arizona was kayak the salt river, so I finally decided to made it happen with Arizona Outback Adventures in Scottsdale. Although I have been kayaking before a couple of times, it was mostly just a leisurely float. A good majority of the Salt River is an easy float as well, but there is one area that is an exciting class 2 rapid. I definitely got more than I bargained for and this was actually quite a kick in the pants!
Check out the video my fellow blogger Erika from With Love Paper and Wine put together of us! Note the crash right into the bushes that we somehow managed our way out of without flipping over.
Tour Antelope Canyon
I’ve written a fairly in-depth post about touring Antelope Canyon (that you can see HERE) so I won’t be writing at length about it again. However, I will tell you that all of the natural formations here are just so beautiful they are beyond words and I still rank it as one of the most amazing and underrated places in the United States.
Hike Havasupai Falls
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This time last year I was in #neverland making friends with a lot of rad people. Living the #adventurelife is living a grateful life #radgirlslife #goodvibetribe #happyheart #wanderlustwednesday #waterfallwednesday #inhalethegood #travelgram #girlswhohike #grandcanyon #rei1440project #havasupia #explorearizona #desertvibes #hikeaz #solotravel #igsouthwest #idhikethat #exploremore #getoutstayout #radgirlscollective #staywild #desertvibes ✌🏻
I am still so sad that while living in Arizona I never got the chance to go to Havasupai Falls. It is truly an untouched PHENOMENALLY GORGEOUS gem in Arizona, but for someone who is not so much of a planner, it is difficult to go. First, you must understand that getting permits to hike Havasupai are REALLY hard to come by. Often times, you must call at the beginning of the year to reserve your spot. Could you go and just chance it? Perhaps. You might also get busted and pay a costly fine.
Take a Pink Jeep Tour in Sedona
(Photo Credit: Mroach on Flickr)
Sedona is mystical, magical, and 100% full of hippie-dippie love, vortexes, and incense. What most people don’t know is that Sedona is also loaded with adventure! If you go to Sedona, first make sure you get your aura read, then go see Pink Jeep Tours for a one-of-a-kind and scenic offroading tour that will be unforgettable. I haven’t been, but I have heard they are highly ranked, especially since the tour guides get an extensive 3 months of training before they lead a tour.
Raft or Backpack the Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon is without a doubt, a wildly captivating sight to see in Arizona. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast seeking an adventure, however, you need to get your adrenaline pumping and book a whitewater rafting trip through it or backpack it! Trust me when I say there are no shortages of companies in Arizona that can accommodate your thrill-seeking ways. A couple you might want to check out are Arizona Raft Adventures or Arizona River Runners.
Marvel at Horseshoe Bend
Horseshoe Bend is only about 30 minutes from Antelope Canyon, so if you’re going to one of them, it is highly recommended to do both in the same day! The best part? It isn’t even really a hike kids. (depending on who you are I suppose). It is 3/4 a mile from the parking lot so those of you looking for a quick photography fix, you have met your match. It also happens to be one of the most photographed places of the Colorado River.
Truthfully, I have just skimmed the surface of the multitude of adventures you can have in Arizona as an outdoor enthusiast! These are just a sample of the most prominent adventures that came to mind after living there 3 years. So go check out a surprisingly wonderful place to see waterfalls, kayak, and be awestruck by various astonishing landscapes you would never have thought existed in a desert! I am considering adding to this list so please follow along!
*My special thanks to Experience Scottsdale for the Salt River kayaking adventure. Although my adventure was complimentary, all opinions are as always, my own.
What are your favorite outdoor adventures to have in Arizona? What would you add to the list?
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