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.
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.
The all-terrain vehicle virtuosos at ATV Rentals of Arizona come armed with a four-wheeled armada of ATVs primed for desert sightseeing. First timers and veteran rovers alike can burn away stress and workday tedium with an exhilarating ride on an all-weather, all-terrain adventure machine. You must call ahead to make a reservation and, like all public-school teachers, your ATV rental comes fully equipped with a helmet and insurance.
Though Phyllis Anglin is in love with the landscape of Sedona and can appreciate why it draws so many travelers to the area, working in the travel industry itself was really stressing her out. Instead of petering out in the job that was distressing her, she decided to take on a new career, one that would still enable her to share Sedona's beauty with both visitors and locals. For years she had felt creatively inspired by her surrounds, and when the desert cacti were unresponsive to her improv-comedy prompts, painting classes were naturally the next choice.
At Paint Along For Fun, Phyllis and her team of instructors lead classes in which students recreate the golden sunsets, red rocks, and lush green forestry of Sedona. People can choose a class from the calendar based on what painting will be created that night, or they can reserve a private party and select from any of the studio's templates. The studio holds up to eight people at a time, and students are welcome to bring snacks, wine, or other refreshments to accentuate their evening.
ParaToys Arizona’s powered-paragliding pilots spirit passengers into the sky in four-wheeled tandem paragliders. After a thorough safety briefing, student and instructor buckle into a BlackHawk LowBoy tandem quad paraglider, a two-seated aviation machine with a low center of gravity that keeps the vehicle stable. An engine, similar to that of an airboat or a tricycle fitted with an airboat engine, fills the attached parachute with air, lifting the pair of aeronauts off their feet. As guests take in panoramic views of the Arizona landscape, soaring at up to 28 miles per hour, the pilot explains flying techniques before handing off the controls. Passengers steer the aeronautical go-kart as the airborne expert offers helpful tips on how to pick up midair snacks from passing commercial airliners.
In 1966, Chuck Mabery bought a cattle ranch that dated back to the late 19th century, planting the seeds of the Blazin' M Ranch. After stints herding and growing vegetables, the flood of 1993 forced the Mabery family to start over, inspiring them to show off their musical talents at a traditional chuck-wagon dinner staged on the property. Fully renovated in 2010, the ranch now hosts an authentic Arizona frontier town where visitors can experience the cowboy life through such activities as lassoing mechanical steers, shooting wax bullets out of a real Colt .45, and learning how to easily covert ten-gallon hats into metric. A selection of shops fits customers out in Western-themed apparel, the copper Spur Saloon serves local wines and microbrews, and a museum delves into the history of the ranch, pioneer-era Arizona, and the Yavapai-Apache Nation. An old-time photo studio, "Pistols and Petticoats", allows groups to have their likeness captured while wearing Victorian costumes. At the museum, the unique Wood'n West Gallery enthralls visitors with moving dioramas of Western life, hand carved over 30 years by a master whittler.