Every summer, the Trans-Sierra Club takes four groups on a 75-mile trek, across their namesake mountain range to the highest altitude peak in the contiguous United States: Mount Whitney. The mountain measures 14,500 feet high, and while it has been summited by more than one fifth grader, don't be fooled. The route to the top is far from child's play. Participants must hike 8-12 miles a day and carry their own food and camping gear. However, the spectacular views?and the sense of accomplishment?that await at the summit are worth the sweaty journey.
The guides at Trail Horse Adventures lead sightseers on horseback rides through Dead Horse Ranch State Park and the Verde Valley. Horse and rider traverse a variety of terrain, crossing barren riverbeds, trotting through high desert, or pondering the duality of cottonwood trees, all while absorbing the beautiful scenery of their surroundings. The trails pose numerous opportunities to spot the wild animals indigenous to the region, including great blue heron, black hawks, beavers, and mule deer. On the 180-minute Monument Loop Trail, peeled peepers can spot the Tuzigoot National Monument, which displays the remains of a Native American pueblo.
Most humans can't outrun a leopard or even outwrestle a black bear. But at Predator Zip Line, they can certainly out-engineer them. Conducted up to 75 feet above ground, the Predator tour's five zip lines soar over habitats full of storybook beasts from Out of Africa Wildlife Park, such as Barbary lions, white tigers, and giraffes. Along with the sights below, the Predator course affords panoramic views of the red rocks of Sedona, the summit of the San Francisco peaks, and the Verde Valley.
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.
Sedona Golf Resort's par 71 course challenges golfers of all skill levels with 6,646 yards of mesa-trimmed greenery, earning accolades from Golf.com and Golf Digest for its awe-inspiring views. Practice on the clubhouse-side putting area before carting off across a labyrinth of tees, manicured greens, and fairways that test short and long games as well as each golfer's ability to tell a sand trap from a quicksand trap. The 10th hole invites competitors to drink in Cathedral Rock's majestic spires, piercing clouds against a backdrop of distant desert peaks and blue skies. Athletic endeavors wind down as crews converge around the 18th hole's peaceful pond, lined with stones and windsocks stitched from the recycled polos of champions. Snag a discounted online tee time with the Red Rock Card, which not only takes 20% off the Golf Shop's designer duds from brands such as Adidas and Nike, but also grants golfers reduced rates at Sedona and eight other Arizona courses.
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.