Climbing onto one of AZ Pedal Tours' urban cruisers?or tandems, or with a little one on the back in a trailer or co-pilot seat?locals and tourists alike can enjoy Flagstaff on two wheels, rather than in gas-hungry cars or power-hungry horses. With four types of tours to choose from, any cyclist can find the perfect ride, from the family-friendly historic tour to the adults-only beer tour. During the latter, guides spend 20 minutes showing visitors Flagstaff's area breweries, then set them free with two hours of bike rentals, allowing bikers to hit up their beer-maker of choice.
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.
The Colorado Plateau is a sprawling piece of natural history. The 130,000 square-mile area has been home to diverse life?from prehistoric plants and dinosaurs to Native Americans, who have inhabited the area for 12,000 years. Since 1928, The Museum of Northern Arizona has celebrated the region and its beauty with science-based and art exhibits.
Generally, adulthood forces people to give up childish pleasures, robbing them of the joy associated with playing in puddles, unearthing hidden treasure, and being silly in public. Sierra Adventure Sports wants grownups to regress, if only for a day. In service of that goal, the company organizes a variety of novel races that range from city scavenger hunts for the casual adventurer to creative triathlon courses for the ambitious athlete.
The Mad Mud Run, for instance, challenges participants to sprint and frolic through a dirty and deliciously fun outdoor obstacle course littered with manmade obstructions such as cargo nets, hills of hay bales, monkey bars, and slimy mud pits. Extreme Heat Adventure Races combine equal parts triathlon and scavenger hunt to create a 10?12K journey filled with running, river rafting, and mystery challenges that could pit teams against anything from blindfolded puzzles to wall climbs. Most Sierra Adventure Sports events encourage racers to compete in costumes of all types save for gremlins, which multiply in water and unfairly dominate the timed results.
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.