My Petting Zoo LLC offers children and adults alike the chance to interact with a variety of gentle animals. Miniature goats, a mini horse, and a pony named Riley cavort among rabbits, chickens, ducks, and potbellied pigs. Customers are welcome to visit the animals at a farm, or request a mobile visit that brings the animals to parties, events, schools, or homes.
In 1906, after studying disruptions in the orbit of Uranus, Percival Lowell began to suspect the existence of a planet beyond Neptune. He referred to it as Planet X, and he scanned the night sky from his Flagstaff observatory until his death in 1916. More than two decades passed after the initial conjecture before Lowell astronomer Clyde W. Tombaugh sat down in the very same observatory and confirmed the existence of the dwarf planet Pluto.
Though Lowell and Tombaugh's planet was kicked out of the solar club in 2006, their discovery led to several decades of essential research at Lowell Observatory. The observatory’s astronomers have since discovered evidence of the expanding universe and have also provided exhaustive measurements of the motions and basic properties of stars. In 2012, the nonprofit observatory became home to the Discovery Channel Telescope—the fifth largest telescope in the continental United States and currently the only one capable of observing the astronauts stranded on Neptune.
At the age of six, when most kids are learning how to tie their shoelaces, Grand Canyon Adventures owner and guide Andrew Moore went on his first backpacking trip with his family to the Grand Canyon. Years later, Moore is still exploring the scenic gorge. But nowadays, he shares his expertise with the tour groups on Grand Canyon Adventures' day trips, hikes, and bike tours. And it’s still a family affair. Andrew’s nature-loving dad, Bob Moore, drives the air-conditioned vehicle and shares his vast knowledge about the Grand Canyon on guided excursions.
There are hiking expeditions to suit all skill levels. One is the Grand View Trail to Coconino Saddle, a 2.5-mile trek that runs along a 100-year-old former mining trail and climbs 1,200 feet in elevation. Or, opt for a bike tour along the historic Hermits Rest Road, a former pioneer trail that winds along the canyon rim—keep an eye out for Colorado River rapids below or a napping Wile E. Coyote.
The experienced guides at Angel's Gate Tours might not live in the Grand Canyon, but they come pretty darned close. They spend most of their days traversing the trails of Grand Canyon National Park, picking up tidbits of local lore and wilderness knowledge as they go. All of this recon work pays off during their all-inclusive explorations. After transporting guests to and from select area hotels in air-conditioned vehicles, they share their stories and expertise during tours along the canyon’s rim or adventure hikes into the rugged backcountry. Whether they’re traversing one of the canyon’s sky islands or descending into stalactite-strewn caverns, guests remain in capable hands; in addition to their expertise in geology and wildlife, all guides also bear certification in wilderness medicine.
Sedona Red Rock Adventures' founder, Jim Reich, credits his father with nurturing a love of nature in their home outside New York City. As an adult, Jim transplanted his passion for the outdoors to the crimson boulders of Sedona after encouragement from a friend and fellow outdoorsman. A Western backdrop for movies during the 1940s and '60s, Sedona covers 19 square miles in the middle of scarlet bluffs, canyons, and Native American ruins and petroglyphs. Jim and his canine sidekick, Summit, share their affinity for fresh air through diverse tours that range from daylong jaunts into the Grand Canyon to the exploration of nocturnal wildlife during full-moon adventures. He adheres to Leave No Trace protocols, leaving nearby national parks free from litter or speakers blaring the theme from Chariots of Fire.
Jim powers all of his tours, including voyages through wine country and microbreweries, with drinks and snacks, and invites pooches along for the ride. He also snaps photos so that patrons can always remember the time they dropped their digital camera into the Grand Canyon.