Trained professional guides oversee each of Rappel AZ's rappelling and ziplining sessions. Upon arriving at the outfit's private Sonoran Desert location, groups get into the adventuring spirit by embarking with guides on a brief hike to a playground of rock and rope. Among the attractions, a zipline glides 400 feet through the valley at 40 feet off the ground, offering spectacular views of the desert. A variety of other rappelling and climbing packages provide plenty of opportunities for elevation changes, whether it's rappelling 70 feet off a mountainside or attempting a 100-foot chimney climb faster than Santa Claus. As they enjoy the breathtaking views, guests stay safe in provided harnesses for safe dangling and helmets for pumping up other rappellers with head butts.
Christened Best Family Entertainment Value in AZCentral.com’s Readers' Choice poll, AZ on the Rocks belays beginners and seasoned climbers to higher levels of scaling skill with 14,000 square feet of ascendable terrain. They happily host birthday parties or freestyle-climbing sessions in their air-conditioned climbing facility, which houses 50 top ropes, a cave, 2,800 square feet of bouldering space, and a challenging treehouse course. They also teach classes for adults and children and hold private lessons, which can grant clients access to the repelling platform. Additionally, AZ on the Rocks has a youth-climbing team, team-building programs, and full gym stacked with cardio machines, weight machines, and free weights, which can be accessed via monthly memberships or day passes. At AZ on the Rocks, all participants must sign a waiver, and birthday girls, boys, and belayers may brave indoor peaks for free on their day of special-suit wearing.
Love’n The Kitchen’s experienced staff members and a rotating lineup of guest chefs, including a James Beard Award winner, take up to 50 students on gustatory journeys crafting three-course meals. Each class springboards off a theme, such as breakfast in bed, gluten-free dishes, and six-ingredient recipes, as up to 50 audience members look on, pick up tips, and ask the chefs questions. Students—who range from gourmands to kitchen-shy newbies—leave with the recipes from the class so that they can re-create the meals at home. The school also offers private and offsite classes, leading cooking parties in patrons’ homes, on outdoor kitchens, or during food-truck drag races.
The guides of Adventures Out West—currently celebrating its 40th year of tours—have created scenic jaunts through Colorado and Arizona that deposit participants directly into the most beautiful parts of the local geography. Whether taking a segway tour or a jeep tour with knowledgeable guides, soaring over snowcapped mountains from the basket of a hot-air balloon or ziplining over lush forested cliffs, patrons get a chance to interact firsthand with all of nature's local sights, sounds, and whoopee-cushion gags.
It’s an average day on the streets of Old Town Scottsdale, where cars and pedestrians amble along the scenic sites. Suddenly, a crazy-looking contraption emerges from an intersection with six passengers on either side pedaling in the open air. This vehicle, which is inspired by cycling apparatuses Europe, is Tour De Tavern’s pride and joy. Guided by an experienced driver, the passengers glide along at speeds of up to 8 miles per hour and take in the sites around them to the tunes coming from a built-in sound system with an iPod hook up. In addition to daily tours, the business caters to bachelor parties and corporate team-building events.
Nestled between the rocky foothills of Mount Lemmon and the banks of the San Pedro River, Cactus Ridge Ranch is a wilderness lover's paradise with bobcats and coyote bounding through the scrub brush and bountiful saguaro cacti keeping watch over the area. But guests rarely have time to whip out their binoculars, as they’re usually too busy mending fences and rounding up cattle. A real working cattle ranch, Cactus Ridge Ranch welcomes guests to partake in an authentic slice of cowboy life, to experience its learning opportunities and the joys of a hands-on way of life.
Each day, amateur ranch hands rise at dawn, saddle up, and spend the day shadowing ranchers and tending to the territory's 6,000 acres of land, sometimes riding and sometimes roping or learning ranching techniques. Each speck of dirt that collects on boots and clothes as the days progress is like a badge of honor, each moment of hard work rewarded with feelings of accomplishment and views of a sky full of stars at the end of each day. By clinic’s end, the average cowboy in training can proudly bridle a horse, mend a fence, and tell the difference between a horse and a centaur in disguise.
During their four-day stay, Cactus Ridge Ranch furnishes all guests with lodging and meals. At the end of camp, ranchers conduct an awards ceremony to honor the ablest ranch hands and present all guests with a certificate of completion that can then be folded into a cowboy hat.