After you hike a 10-mile descent through Hualapai Canyon—past the Supai Village and breathtaking ancient geological formations—you arrive at Havasu Falls. Follow the sound of the water and you’ll find the falls, where rapids cascade 100 feet to a dazzlingly blue-green, travertine pool below. It’s one of the world's most remote and beautiful swimming holes, and Pygmy Guides’ backpacking guides, who are medically trained as wilderness first responders or wilderness EMTs, lead groups there regularly.
Havasu Falls is just one of many destinations that you can explore with Pygmy Guides, a company that was founded by people who have spent more than 10 years living in and exploring Grand Canyon National Park. They lead groups to hike below the rim to see ancient rock art, hidden fossils, and california condors, walking in the footsteps of horse thieves on the Tanner Trail or along routes on the Bright Angel Trail once tread by ancestral Pueblo peoples. At Dripping Springs, water drips from the roof of a sandstone alcove so you can dilute Gatorade that tastes too sweet.
Sightseers who prefer the comfort of a plush SUV can see the canyon's expansive vistas through high-powered telescopes during day tours. Each all-inclusive trip includes park fees and gourmet meals and is limited to small groups for comfort and convenience.
After learning to fly in college, Arizona native Rob Norberg flew to Alaska, where he spent 20 years traversing mountains, streams, and valleys as a fishing guide and seaplane pilot. But the Arizona climate eventually beckoned him back. Norberg now leads tours five times a day in his Cessna Caravan seaplane, carrying passengers high above sights including the Salt River Canyon, Roosevelt Dam, and Tonto Indian Ruins and providing passengers with thought-provoking facts and history. His nine-passenger plane ensures a window seat for each passenger, and comes equipped with personal headsets so they can each listen to the plane's adorable heartbeat.
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.
When the macabre minds behind Chambers of Fear opened their first haunt more than 20 years ago, their bone-chilling scares filled only a three-car garage. Over the years, though, the attractions have grown to encompass everything from haunted corn mazes and scream cams to infinitely long algebra tests. These days, the experience stretches more than 25,000 square feet, with high-tech animatronics, creative scares, and traditional maniacs scattered among three haunted houses: Scary Tales, Darkness: Industrial Nightmare, and Chambers of Fear. Including "some of the best scares in the industry," according to Ed Edmunds of Travel Channel's Making Monsters, the sprawling spookfest startles with bloodied ghouls and manifest phobias alike.
From the 24 taps?many of which contain limited-offer or hard-to-find beers?Kegs, Corks & Forks' bartenders pull foamy pours of IPAs, lagers, and American ales. After choosing a beer or wine to sip on, patrons are free to move on to their next round of options from the dinner menu. The chefs prepare a full menu of cuisine, including giant sandwiches and burgers, pasta with shrimp and scallops, and fresh-cut onion rings dunked in a housemade batter and fried to a golden-brown, edible halo.
Lake Pleasant Nautical Adventures? staff helps its customers explore 10,000 acres of water surrounded by the rolling foothills of the Rocky Mountains. The company's three-person Yamaha jet skis speed across the water's surface, sending blasts of mist and churned water into the faces of tailgating pelicans. Nearby, 200-horsepower speedboats create rushes of adrenaline as they tow wakeboards, tubes, and water skis. Pontoon boats take up to 10 passengers on floating picnics and fishing trips, and tours let customers experience the lake without having to learn its fish community?s complicated traffic laws.