Unlike cars, horses don’t require expensive fuel and won’t stop working if you use them to ford a river. Take a one-horsepower ride with today’s Groupon: for $27, you get a 90-minute guided trail ride from Fort McDowell Adventures (a $55 value).
The professional staff at Fort McDowell Adventures leads groups of 10–12 on horseback rides across the eponymous Indian reservation. Riders can mosey through a breath-embezzling mountain landscape and across the gleaming Verde River atop a friendly steed from the private stable, lending an ear to the on-hand guides as they narrate the journey, provide sure-spurred assistance, and disparage salsas made in New York City. Fort McDowell Adventures operates Monday–Saturday from Labor Day through Memorial Day, with morning, afternoon, and sunset trail rides available to accommodate any schedule and shadow preference.
Fort McDowell Adventures
Though glimpsed by many people for the first time on an episode of The Amazing Race, the desert acres traversed by Fort McDowell Adventures are steeped in millennia of Yavapai Indian history. Guides lead visitors across the Arizonan foothills on a range of outdoorsy and sometimes anachronistic adventures, such as cattle drives and Segway tours through the Sonoran desert, kayaking adventures on the Verde River, and nature walks with Yavapai Indians. These excursions often end in nighttime wiener roasts, s'mores, and cocktails, a break from the frontier tradition of telling campfire sci-fi stories.
Activities at Fort McDowell Adventures’s four venues further immerse guests in the American Western experience. They gather for Dutch oven–style cowboy cookouts and depart for wilderness excursions from The Stables. At La Puesta del Sol, guests pass through a Spanish mission entrance into a dining hall, saloon, stage, and dance floor, and at Rosa's Ranch, they gather under the stars and around cookout fire pits nestled between rustic wooden ranch buildings. Groups dine at The Boulder House, named on the National Registry of Historic Places, whose rock walls bear evidence of petroglyphs, Native American occupation, and ancient spelunking expeditions.