Skydiving in Arizona

Select Local Merchants

It begins with a flurry of activity. Balloon operators prepare for lift-off, checking equipment and tossing ropes as spectators wander the grounds, observing the action. And then it reaches a new level: dozens of balloons take flight at once, filling the crisp January dawn sky with brilliant blues, purples, oranges, and reds that rival the colors around them. The Arizona Balloon Classic's orbs then set off on an aerial hare-and-hound race, drawing cheers from below as onlookers snap pictures.

For one weekend each year, visitors gather on the grounds to snap pictures and watch the balloons inflate and lift-off outside the Fear Farm Entertainment & Sports Complex for the Classic??a three-day festival celebrating hot-air balloon flight and culture. But the fun doesn't end with the descent to earth. After sunset the tethered balloons begin to glow, lighting up for the DESERT GLOWS portion of the festivities. Attendees browse exhibits and feast on treats from a variety of vendors, and children play in the Family Fun Zone. Last, on Saturday evening, sparks give balloons a run for their money, springing through the sky in a stunning fireworks display.

2209 North 99th Avenue
Phoenix,
AZ
US

It begins with a flurry of activity. Balloon operators prepare for lift-off, checking equipment and tossing ropes as spectators wander the grounds, observing the action. And then it reaches a new level: dozens of balloons take flight at once, filling the crisp January dawn sky with brilliant blues, purples, oranges, and reds that rival the colors around them. The Arizona Balloon Classic's orbs then set off on an aerial hare-and-hound race, drawing cheers from below as onlookers snap pictures.

For one weekend each year, visitors gather on the grounds to snap pictures and watch the balloons inflate and lift-off outside the Fear Farm Entertainment & Sports Complex for the Classic??a three-day festival celebrating hot-air balloon flight and culture. But the fun doesn't end with the descent to earth. After sunset the tethered balloons begin to glow, lighting up for the DESERT GLOWS portion of the festivities. Attendees browse exhibits and feast on treats from a variety of vendors, and children play in the Family Fun Zone. Last, on Saturday evening, sparks give balloons a run for their money, springing through the sky in a stunning fireworks display.

48th St. and N Loop Rd.
Chandler,
AZ
US

Randy Long entered the working world as a travel agent, a vocation that whet his appetite for globetrotting, adventure, and haggling with airlines. When he became a father and husband, he passed a passion for thrill seeking on to his family, and their recent escapades include scuba diving in Barbados and dog sledding in Alaska. It was this thirst for exploration and a love of aviation that drove Randy to become an FAA-certified powered-parachute instructor and found Arizona Powerchutes.

Powered parachutes are comprised of two-seater, wheeled carts that float 20 feet beneath 40-foot parachutes. At sunrise—or sunset during the cooler months—Randy and a passenger climb aboard the cart, and Randy hits the throttle, gathering speed for about 100 feet before the parachute fully inflates and hoists the cart into the air. Randy adjusts the altitude to his patron's comfort level and steers crafts over the exotic plants and mountain silhouettes of the Sonoran Desert, averaging a speed of 26 miles per hour. After journeys, powered parachutes float to land safely, as they are inspected by the pilot prior to each flight and by an FAA-approved facility after every 100 hours of operation.

27231 North 71st Place
Scottsdale,
AZ
US

Desert Skydiving Center carries people into the air in Cessna 182 and 206 planes and then sends them gleefully careening toward the ground. The center offers static parachuting, tandem jumping, and accelerated freefalls alongside experts. Participants can work with an instructor for 30-minutes to eight-hours, depending on the type of jump, before pulling on a parachute and jumping from two miles high. The ground grows rapidly as divers freefall with the wind whipping their faces before they pull the parachute cord and float to the ground or attempt to land on a passing goose.

3000 S Palo Verde Rd
Buckeye,
AZ
US

Skydive Coastal California's air-riding experts take first-time and experienced jumpers to the stratosphere for jumps above the scenic vistas of southern California. Tethered to clients, they guide tandem rides to facilitate first tastes of terminal velocity before coasting in for a soft landing. To accommodate licensed skydivers with a current reserve parachute, the staff guides planes over the business's own scenic landing zone so jumpers can take to the air on their own. Beginners who wish to become full-fledged divers can opt for the Accelerated Freefall program, in which aficionados teach the skills necessary to make solo jumps such as how to handle equipment or merge into goose traffic without a blinker.

3225 N Lear Ave.
Casa Grande,
AZ
US

The roar of the plane engine recedes, and soon the only sound is the rushing of the air. The blue expanse of the sky extends endlessly in every direction?except straight down, where Phoenix is slowly blossoming from a satellite map into a 3-D skyline. With a snap, the parachute puffs into action and turns the 120-mile-per-hour descent into a gentle drift.

The instructors at Skydive Phoenix get to enjoy this experience almost daily. They also have the pleasure of inducting customers into the delights of controlled plummeting as they perform tandem dives in a dedicated drop zone?one of few to offer actual city views during the fall. Strapped to their customers, sky guides take care of all the important aspects of the dive so that their partner can just enjoy the sights and adrenaline. They also provide coaching for those who wish to work up to unchaperoned dives, which are the only way to meet single clouds.

22548 N Sailport Way
Maricopa,
AZ
US