The Sonoran Desert is a magical place. And lucky for us, it’s right in America’s backyard. Saguaro-studded landscapes that endlessly roll into majestic peaks and valleys, travelers are ditching crowded beaches and concrete jungles more than ever to head outdoors.
But the American Southwest isn’t a new destination – travelers have been flocking here for years. From snowbirds to art collectors to adventure enthusiasts, Arizona, and in particular, Scottsdale, has been the destination of choice for many, and for many different reasons.
And thanks to the addition of beautiful new hotels, like the recently opened Andaz Scottsdale, travelers looking for the next great off-the-beaten path destination are paying more attention to cities like Scottsdale. And they’re looking for their next great adventure while they’re at it.
From mountain biking to kayaking, these travelers want to try it all. And because Scottsdale has always been a go-to destination for these things, it’s ready to welcome these travelers with open arms. So travelers of all types – from those curious about sunrise hikes to those who are ready to go canyoneering through the desert’s unforgiving terrain – this is where you can experience it all. And these are the experiences that should be on your radar when you go.
And because I like you, I’ve arranged them in order of difficulty, from beginner to adventure pro. So travel on, new adventure friend.
Adventure Travel 101: Welcome to the Great Outdoors
Spanning 140 acres, the Desert Botanical Gardens are a place to get up close and learn more about the unique desert plants that surround you when you’re in Scottsdale. From the iconic saguaro cactuses to other signature Southwest succulents totaling an impressive 50,000+ plants across the gardens, this is the perfect place for an introduction to Scottsdale’s great outdoors.
Set across 20 miles of trail with the Superstition Mountains (and all of its tall tales – have you heard the one about the buried gold mine full of lost treasure?) in sight. From your H1 Hummer you’ll climb rocks, cross rivers and wind your way through Sonoran Desert terrain.
Ok, the horse will have a name. But you can still ride through the desert pretending he (or she) doesn’t have one. (Chances are they won’t listen to you anyways, even if you do know it.) Ride into the sunset through the McDowell Sonoran Preserve and the Tonto National Forrest as you learn about the lore of the area and the local plant and wildlife.