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.
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.
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.
Armed with a map, a cooler, and helmets, adventurers hit some of Sedona's most iconic trails in high-octane off-road vehicles. Groups of up to four can pile into one member of the shop's fleet of Tomcars or Polaris RZRs for rough-and-tumble journeys into the heart of red rock country. The rugged buggies give unfettered access to miles of trails, including the famed Schnebly Hill Trail in the Coconino National Forest. There, tourists can gaze across stunning vistas of mesas, red rock formations, and Munds Mountain, just like the actors who played cowboys used to do.