A shorter and equally appropriate name for Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course would be Endor. Spread throughout the ponderosa pines of Fort Tuthill County Park, the course’s rope swings, wobbly bridges, scrambling walls, and hanging nets resemble the Ewoks’ home planet in the final Star Wars film. Visitors navigate these sylvan challenges—part of five elevated obstacle courses—while strapped into safety harnesses, which also help them dart through the forest via arboreal ziplines. Ground patrols and course guides add another layer of reassurance, as do the courses themselves, color-coded to signal their difficulty level. The black course, for example, is the hardest, while the yellow one is for children only, due to its simplicity and its free entry policy for invisible friends.
Starting more than a decade ago with self-driven seven-day excursions in northern Arizona and Baja California, Sedona Off Road Adventures has since expanded into scenic day tours, sunset tours, and treks down extreme terrain. Guides dispense geological and historical tidbits as up to 12 Hummer passengers weave through trails tucked behind mountains and navigate obstacles down rougher trails littered with rocks and hitchhiking tumbleweeds. Jeep tours whisk guests 2,000 feet above a pine forest or deep into ancient Indian ruins, and helicopter and Hummer combo tours grant glimpses of Boynton Canyon from overhead before returning customers to terra firma for a trek through primitive trails. Later, clients eager for a chance behind the wheel can enrich their Hummer-piloting ability at driving-school sessions.
Vortex Yoga Hiking’s yogi, Blair Darby, leads each tour with a deft touch, helping hikers merge nature and spirituality as he offers lighthearted reflections on both. Fuse the stability of russet mountains with the flow of yoga on a yoga hike, where participants hike to a predetermined yoga site, allowing for a cardiovascular warm-up and stern talking-to for lazy joints. On the hike, Blair provides spiritual guidance and observations, peppered with gentle humor. The yoga flow lasts about 45 minutes, followed by 15 minutes of meditation to center the body and practice newfound hovering abilities. For a customized experience, patrons can elect to combine their yoga hike with options such as a walking chocolate meditation, raw-food picnic, or mandala coloring. Kids under the age of 10 can discover their inner pool of enlightenment while stoking their inner fire of commercialism: one child per adventure is paid $2 to join the tour. Contact Blair for reservations or for more information.
Sedona Golf Resort's par 71 course challenges golfers of all skill levels with 6,646 yards of mesa-trimmed greenery, earning accolades from Golf.com and Golf Digest for its awe-inspiring views. Practice on the clubhouse-side putting area before carting off across a labyrinth of tees, manicured greens, and fairways that test short and long games as well as each golfer's ability to tell a sand trap from a quicksand trap. The 10th hole invites competitors to drink in Cathedral Rock's majestic spires, piercing clouds against a backdrop of distant desert peaks and blue skies. Athletic endeavors wind down as crews converge around the 18th hole's peaceful pond, lined with stones and windsocks stitched from the recycled polos of champions. Snag a discounted online tee time with the Red Rock Card, which not only takes 20% off the Golf Shop's designer duds from brands such as Adidas and Nike, but also grants golfers reduced rates at Sedona and eight other Arizona courses.
Tucked in the shadows of the evergreen peaks of Bill Williams Mountain, Elephant Rocks Golf Course weaves through scenic terrain at an elevation of 6,000 feet or more. Elephant Rocks' alpine perch provides golfers a cooler destination than the desert or volcano-side courses typically associated with Arizona golf, but the temperate air is hardly the course's only draw. Rows of mature ponderosa pines pinch the fairways throughout the 6,695-yard, par 72 course, and water hazards come into play on seven holes, including two par-threes where tee shots must clear a pond in order to reach the green. The course draws its name from a series of large lava rocks that line the road into to the club that resemble elephants in color, size, and strident anti-mouse attitude.
A driving range and practice green share Elephant Rocks' scenic grounds, letting golfers warm up before starting their rounds. After a day at the links, guests can unwind with a drink or a snack at the club house, which was originally built by railway workers in 1932 and features local stone, a natural rock fireplace, and original timber roof beams.
Course at a Glance:
The guides at Arizona Trail Horse Adventures lead sightseers on horseback rides through Dead Horse Ranch State Park and the Verde Valley. Horse and rider traverse a variety of terrain, crossing barren riverbeds, trotting through high desert, or pondering the duality of cottonwood trees, all while absorbing the beautiful scenery of their surroundings. The trails pose numerous opportunities to spot the wild animals indigenous to the region, including great blue heron, black hawks, beavers, and mule deer. On the 180-minute Monument Loop Trail, peeled peepers can spot the Tuzigoot National Monument, which displays the remains of a Native American pueblo.