Climbers cling to large, composite structures, strategizing their way up the side of a rocky cliff. They have come to conquer Climbmax Climbing Gym's myriad rock-face combinations and master the art of blindfolded belaying on thick, padded floors. Before challenging themselves on the climb-through cave or scaling an overhang, climbers slip into a harness and climbing shoes for safety.
In addition to climbing areas geared toward beginners and advanced climbers, a children's area features its own pint-sized climb-through cave where youngsters learn to appreciate all aspects of the stimulating sport. Thick padding covers the floors of each climbing area, ensuring safe landings and comfortable, celebratory belly flops from the wall's summit.
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.
Some people are born to run; some are born to scramble up and down walls and ceilings like a Tokay gecko. Unleash your inner lizard with today's Groupon: for $55, you get a four-hour introduction to climbing trip, including a guide and all necessary gear, at any of Front Range Climbing Company's guided climbing locations (a $165 value).
Conquer peaks at Garden of the Gods, Red Rock Canyon, North Table Mountain, or four other regal rocky regions. During the four-hour intro trip, gravity-bound life forms learn basic safety procedures and vital sky-ascending techniques, such as knot tying and belaying. Front Range supplies all the necessary equipment (harness, helmet, chisels for carving Herbert Hoover's face into the cliff); you just provide the snacks, water, sun protection, and comfortable and weather-appropriate shoes and clothes. Determined climbers will reach picturesque, sky-piercing summits and earn the right to gaze at awe-inspiring views and christen a notable rock Brian Dennehy.
Hilltop-defeaters will feel comfortable and secure with the Front Range Climbing staff, who adheres to strict safety standards and has years of rock-grappling experience. Front Range's reputation has garnered notability as the Garden of the Gods' exclusive guide service, helping picnickers, hikers, and mountain-goat jazz bands experience Colorado's bounteous beauty. Because class sizes are limited, call ahead to make a reservation and discuss a meeting spot.
You must sign a liability waiver and, in some cases, a medical waiver. Climbers 12 years old and under must have a parent or guardian present.
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.
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.
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.