You could be laying by the pool in your Scottsdale resort and ten minutes later riding through the desert in a jeep, with nothing in sight except the desert.
Phoenix is surrounded by open desert, indian reservations, and mountains. What better way to see all of this but from an open air 4x4 with a professional guide.
Great tours to take are...
* the Sonoran desert tours (which usually tour the areas near Scottsdale / Fountain Hills such as the Tonto national forest and the nearby reservations.
* the Apache Trail - just outside of Apache Junction, this trail goes by old ghosts towns, beautiful lakes, and amazing valleys. If you do the drive all the way, it can be very scary (because you are driving next to sheer cliffs). Instead of driving it yourself, take a jeep tour.
* the high desert - Usually departing from Carefree or Cave Creek, these tours take you up through the mountains, usually all the way up to hardwood forests. You will be shocked to learn that only one hour away from the 105 degree desert is hardwood forests and 70 degree weather in an area that looks like the middle of Wisconsin.
I think anyone visiting Arizona (especially with kids) should take a jeep tour. The tours aren't cheap. They usually run between $100 and $200, but last up to 4 hours and frequently include meals. It is something you will never forget. Bring a camera.
Many hotels have companies they work with and can arrange everything for you.
Popular companies include...
For some outdoor adventure, it is fun to take a jeep tour going over "impossible" terrain.
Sometimes the jeep is on two wheels over a boulder. At times, felt like being on an explorer on the surface of the red planet of Mars.
The jeep tour guide is also friendly, informative of the local terrain and Indian history and make surprises to keep you on your toes.
Give it a try, take a rocky jeep ride.
Located about 120 miles north of Phoenix, the drive to Sedona will be approximately 2 1/2 hours depending on traffic. Norman and Fitzi took us to this wonderful town.
The picturesque town of SEDONA lies at the mouth of beautiful Oak Creek Canyon, a breathtaking chasm. Sedona is surrounded by red-rock monoliths named Coffeepot, Cathedral, Bell and even Snoopy, because their massive shapes resemble these distinctive objects. Rising high above Sedona and its hallmark canyon is the Mogollon Rim, a 2,000-foot escarpment formed from ancient deposits of limestone, mudstone and sandstone. The rim serves as the southwestern boundary of the vast Colorado Plateau and is home to the largest contiguous stand of ponderosa pine trees in the world. The 1.8 million acre Cociano National Forest essentially engulfs this city.
Sedona visitors can spend their time here Hiking, horse-back riding, bouncing in a Jeep on the trails and dirt roads that crisscross the area or enjoy its many shops, art galleries and fine restaurants.
Hans and I were here many years ago, but I do remember some things esp in Old Town Sedona. I was simply amazed though by how much it has grown, with so many new hotels, condos and shopping areas. I was almost a little sad though that it has grown so much. Though still beautiful and amazing, I don't think it's as charming and special as it used to be. It's so much more commercialized and to me, that is sad.
I took a morning trip into the desert with Wild West Jeep Tours. It was fascinating and FUN! The guide was actually a Phoenix native and he knew his stuff. I learned so much about the cactus and trees and Native Indians and the old west. The tour was in a 6 passenger jeep so we were right out there but still had protection from the elements. We drove 18 miles out into the desert. It was amazing. One road we drove down looked more like a ravine but we made it safely. Being from the east coast it was really an adventure and a learning experience for me. This is a good way to get some real good information and see more of the state than just the city life in the Phoenix area.