The guides of Adventures Out West—currently celebrating its 42nd year of tours—have created scenic jaunts through Colorado and Arizona that deposit participants directly into the most beautiful parts of the local geography. Whether taking a segway tour or a jeep tour with knowledgeable guides, soaring over snowcapped mountains from the basket of a hot-air balloon or ziplining over lush forested cliffs, patrons get a chance to interact firsthand with all of nature's local sights, sounds, and whoopee-cushion gags.
Randy Long entered the working world as a travel agent, a vocation that whet his appetite for globetrotting, adventure, and haggling with airlines. When he became a father and husband, he passed a passion for thrill seeking on to his family, and their recent escapades include scuba diving in Barbados and dog sledding in Alaska. It was this thirst for exploration and a love of aviation that drove Randy to become an FAA-certified powered-parachute instructor and found Arizona Powerchutes.
Powered parachutes are comprised of two-seater, wheeled carts that float 20 feet beneath 40-foot parachutes. At sunrise—or sunset during the cooler months—Randy and a passenger climb aboard the cart, and Randy hits the throttle, gathering speed for about 100 feet before the parachute fully inflates and hoists the cart into the air. Randy adjusts the altitude to his patron's comfort level and steers crafts over the exotic plants and mountain silhouettes of the Sonoran Desert, averaging a speed of 26 miles per hour. After journeys, powered parachutes float to land safely, as they are inspected by the pilot prior to each flight and by an FAA-approved facility after every 100 hours of operation.
In a world of supersonic jetliners and package-delivery drones, there's still one bastion of old-timey aviation left: the hot-air balloon. The Out West Balloon Fest celebrates the craft and the spectacle of hot-air balloon flight through unabashedly quaint traditions. Take the Declared Competition, for example. It starts with a Balloon Meister designating and marking three landing zones. Pilots take to their dirigibles and "declare" where they intend to land, much like Babe Ruth calling his shots or Bob Ross winking at a paintbrush right before using it. There's also a Hare and Hound race, a game that involves aviators lobbing bean bags from their baskets onto targets below.
In the evening, spectators get in on the fun, too, with the Evening Glow event. During the Evening Glow, the field gets covered with glowing balloons, allowing spectators to walk right up to them for an up-close look. Balloon enthusiasts can also enjoy the event's tethered rides, live music, vendors, food and beverages, and the Kidszone.
Everyone dreams about soaring above the ground, and an all-inclusive experience from Arizona Hot Air Balloon Rides can make those dreams come true. Their colorful balloons lift riders over the Sonoran desert, where they can get a vantage point usually only enjoyed by birds and people who mount cameras to birds. After a sunrise flight, riders enjoy a gourmet breakfast paired with champagne and orange juice. Balloons are commandeered by friendly FAA-certified pilots whose records are accident-free, and accommodations can be made for special occasions.
Book a travel experience of a lifetime at Hot Air Expeditions in Phoenix and indulge in the breathtaking scenes and sites.
Hot Air Expeditions is located in a prime location surrounded by various parking options.