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.
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.
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.
The guides at Arizona 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.
Held annually on Jackpot Ranch, the Verde Valley Fall Festival celebrates the advent of autumn with three days of family-friendly activities and seasonal treats. Thousands of pumpkins and gourds await plucking from the patch's vines, hayrides whisk passengers across the private ranch's grounds, and live musicians keep toes tapping on the dance floor more effectively than automated tap-shoes. As kids of all ages gambol about carnival rides, a youngster zone offers up age-appropriate attractions, and adults pluck favorite brews from the beer garden and wash palates with tastings from local wineries. More local merchants hawk wares such as handmade crafts, jewelry, and art, while tasty snacks from restaurants such as Johnny Rockets, Babe's Round Up, and Zainey's Yogurt reenergize guests throughout the fest.