Top Five Adventures in Phoenix

Although it is a huge city, in the middle of the desert, Phoenix has plenty of opportunities for adventurers. From simply hiking in the preserves in and around town, where you can feel like you are in the middle of the desert, far from civilization at times, to riding a horse or flying a plane, you can try it all here.

Ride A Horse in the Desert

If you want to have a wild west experience, feel like you are in some old Western movie riding through saguaros, you have an opportunity to try it here. Though you are just minutes from civilization, you will feel far from it on the trail, surrounded by desert vegetation. There are plenty of choices to do this, right in town, but the trails around Spur Cross Stables are more spectacular. To make a reservation, check their website.

Fly a Plane Above the City

If you'd rather fly a small plane above the desert, take a flying lesson at Deer Valley Airport. Lessons last one hour, and you not only get to fly a plane with an instructor, but see the city and the surrounding desert from above. In addition, you get a certificate that will count towards your training, should you choose to get a flying license some day. Contact the airport to book.

Do Some Rock Climbing

There is no better place for rock climbing than the desert, with its innumerable rocks of different shapes and sizes. Camelback Mountain is one of the most popular and spectacular places to climb outdoors, with about 40 different routes. To learn about the routes and read some description of them, go to the rock climbing website. On the other hand, if you've never had rock climbing experience, don't try to do it on your own. Take a class or join a group setting, where you can learn the proper way to do it, and make sure you get the right gear. One place to learn is at the Arizona Climbing and Adventure School, and climb at McDowell Mountain Preserve in Scottsdale.

Ride a Mountain Bike

Mountain biking is very popular in Phoenix. How could it not be? With miles upon miles of desert trails, for all experience levels, and perfect weather, almost half of the year, it is one of the most enjoyable outdoor activities. One of the best known and most popular trails, Trail 100 covers about eleven miles and crosses most of the desert in town. Start at the North Mountain Preserve, and ride to Dreamy Draw for a great experience. Take a friend or join a club, or just take your bike and ride. Make sure you bring plenty of water though and lather up with sunscreen. If you are visiting the valley and don't feel like doing it on your own, you can join a Group Mountain Biking Tour.

Float Down the Salt River

You thought there were no water activities in the desert, I'm sure. While most of the area is dry, we do have the Salt River running through the city. Between mid-March and mid-September you can go tubing or rafting from the Salt River Rafting location in Scottsdale.

Emese Fromm has been a Phoenix resident for over twenty years. She is a writer and translator, whose work has appeared in a few online and traditional publications, some of them are at Stories by Emese Fromm