Step Outside - Arizona WELCOME TO STEP OUTSIDE! Find the best outdoor fun near you! en-us 30 http://stepoutside.org/ Step Outside - Arizona 144 144 http://stepoutside.org/ https://cdnstep-americantownscom.netdna-ssl.com/img/stepoutside_logo.gif Sat, 20 Oct 2018 03:11:50 -0500 Best Places to Fish in the Rocky Mountains This Fall Any time is a good time to be outdoors in the Rockies, but considering the fall scenery as the big visual attraction, autumn might be the best time of all for trout anglers. The biggest brown trout of the season start getting frisky and aggressive as their spawning run in regional rivers approaches.

Hot Spots To Fish: Rock Creek, which empties into the Clark Fork River southeast of Missoula, Mt., has become a prime destination for brown trout in recent years. The creek has tons of 16- or 18-inch fish and is known more for numbers than size. Contact John Herzer at Blackfoot River Outfitters (406-542-7411, blackfootriver.com), or Blue Damsel Lodge, (406-825-3077, bluedamsel.com), for information about guide services or information regarding accommodations.

If you’re more interested in going after a behemoth of a brown trout, contact Joe Gilsnyder at Trout Stalkers on the Madison in Ennis, Mt.. Joe and his crew of guides know of some fishing holes off the beaten path that harbor bigger fish (406-682-5150).

Tackle You’ll Need: Wherever you wind up fishing, tackle Rocky Mountain browns with a 9 1/2-foot, 6-weight rod such as an Orvis Helios 3. A 5-weight will work if you’re an experienced caster, but a 6-weight handles big streamers better.

Quick Tip: If you make a quartering cast upstream with a Wooly Bugger or similar pattern, let it dead-drift downstream until the current catches it and sweeps it up in the water column. Sometimes the darting motion, as the fly is caught in the current, will trigger a reaction strike from a following brownie.

 

Best Patterns: Fall browns will take nymphs and small dries such as the Blue-Winged Olive, but more likely the bigger fish will go after Size 2 Sparkle Minnows, Wooly Buggers, Clouser Minnows, Zonkers and Bighorn Specials fished on short leaders with no tippets.

If you’re fishing from a drift boat with a guide, regular weight-forward floating line will suffice. If you’re wading, a sinking-tip line probably is a better choice, depending on depth.

]]>
Photograph Courtesy of Montana Office of Tourism Is it the brown trout fishing, or the scenery, that draws anglers to the Rocky Mountain states in autumn? Either answer fits. http://stepoutside.org/article/best-places-to-fish-in-the-rocky-mountains-this-fall http://stepoutside.org/article/best-places-to-fish-in-the-rocky-mountains-this-fall Thu, 11 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0500
10 Best Outdoor Fall Activities in Arizona Arizona is a diverse state abundant with natural beauty and a wide array of engaging cultural attractions. But when is the best time of year to visit? Well, we’d have to say during the fall season, of course! From hot air balloon festivals to gorgeous hikes, scenic tours, and more, there’s fun for the whole family during fall in Arizona. Here are the top 10 outdoor activities in the Grand Canyon State.

Riders ride an “awesome single track” among “a pine forest backdrop” while enjoying the beauty of the fall season. Finishers are welcome to an after party with barbecue, live music, and refreshing frosty beverages from Four Peaks. And if you’re not riding? You can still enjoy a campfire, games, live music, and more.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Epic Rides (@epicrides) on

The annual Balloon Spooktacular returns to Scottsdale in late October. Attendees can take hot air balloon rides by Rainbow Ryders Hot Air Balloon Ride Co., trick-or-treat, check out the vendor market, enjoy delicious food and beverages, view fireworks, and so much more. There’s fun for all ages at the Salt River Fields this October!

Residents from all over the state love to gather at the Arizona State Fair each October, and have been doing so since 1905! Whether you enjoy it for the nostalgia or love to view the new additions and activities each passing year, the month-long state fair is one of the best outdoor fall activities in the state. Ride the rides, enjoy all of the food on a stick your heart desires, and make memories to last a lifetime.

There’s no shortage of Grand Canyon tours available for Arizona visitors and residents alike. The national park is great itself on foot, of course, but taking a guided tour will allow you to see it in a whole new light. Papillon offers several different options for helicopter tours of the Grand Canyon, for a start. If you prefer to be closer to the ground, Buck Wild offers hummer tours of the canyon, too! You’re in for a grand time—no matter which adventure you choose.

Silver Spur’s awesome, private tour of Sedona captures the beauty of some of America’s “most scenic destinations.” The eight-hour journey includes Oak Creek Canyon, Red Rock State Park, the Tlaquepaque arts and crafts village, and so much more. While you’re at the village, be sure to check out its exceptional eateries—and don’t leave with a cup of spicy chai from the Chai Spot

The Petrified Forest National Park draws countless visitors all year long, and has done so for a century! Now, though, the park is “more spectacular than ever” and features a variety of exhibits, new adventures, and discoveries for the whole family. Enjoy the park, amenities at the nearby Painted Desert Oasis, and, of course, the Petrified Forest Museum Association bookstore

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Toly Musatov (@tolyawesome) on

Nightfall is the “only real haunted town” in Tucson. Experience haunted attractions, live shows, scary stunts, and so much more. Have a frightful night at nightfall in this terrifically terrifying town. Then, sleep it off and wake up refreshed to a free hot breakfast at the Hampton Inn-Tucson Airport.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Nightfall at Old Tucson (@nightfallatoldtucson) on

Each fall, the Grand Canyon Railway’s Pumpkin Patch Train arrives without fail. Pack the kids up, don your favorite costume, and take a ride through the countryside to a “secret pumpkin patch!” Pick out your perfect pumpkin, hop back on the train, and then decorate it back at the depot! And there’s more: take a walk through a haunted train car, try the challenging maze, and enjoy other pumpkin arts and crafts, too.

Mount Lemmon’s scenic byway offers spectacular views over its 27-mile ascent to the heights of Mount Lemmon itself. Make an adventure out of it and go camping at one of the nearby campsites, like General Hitchcock Campground, which is just off of the highway. Worked up an appetite? Head to Sawmill Run Restaurant  for a rotating, seasonal menu, and grab dessert from the famous Cookie Cabin! (You can thank us later for that suggestion.)

While there are many natural attractions to enjoy all year long around Flagstaff, one of the best outdoor fall activities in the city is the annual Cornucopia Fall Festival. The festival features carnival rides, a hay maze, pumpkin patch, pie-eating contest, petting zoo, carnival games, food, vendors, entertainment, and a whole lot more! Don’t miss this fun festival this fall.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Flagstaff Cornucopia (@flagstaff_cornucopia) on

]]>
http://stepoutside.org/article/10-best-outdoor-fall-activities-in-arizona http://stepoutside.org/article/10-best-outdoor-fall-activities-in-arizona Mon, 24 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0500
5 Amazing Dirt Motorcycle Trails in Arizona You’ve been warned. Dirt biking in Arizona is highly addictive. Experts and rookies alike can enjoy Arizona’s vast terrain and diverse trails. The top trails feature everything from steep mountain runs to low-level sand dunes. Next time you gear up, check out one of these five awesome local trails.

Alto Pit is a huge playground for dirt bike enthusiasts. This recreation area features over 400 acres and 20 miles of motorized trails. It’s located west of Prescott in the ponderosa pine forest. The set trails feature sharp turns, tree filled runs, and rock and granite surfaces. This area is ideal for a full-day ride where you can take advantage of the forest’s many hidden runs. Less experienced riders can still get in on the fun. Alto Pit has a beginner and children’s area perfect for novice riders. It’s also known for having picture perfect views of Northern Arizona. The trails start at an elevation of over 6,000 feet near the base of Granite Mountain. A day at Alto Pit is sure to bring good views, adventurous runs, and a wide-range of difficulty.

You don’t have to travel far from the city to enjoy the great outdoors. Case in point—Bulldog Canyon. Bulldog Canyon is located in the Tonto National Forest near Mesa. It’s part of the “Great Western Trail” and offers scenic views of the Superstition and Goldfield Mountains. Once there, you’ll have steep climbs on rocky terrain. Trails pass through dirt, washes, and gorgeous desert scenery. The trail offers a relatively easy, smooth ride around one of Arizona’s most renowned mountain ranges. The trail does require a free permit, which can be obtained easily online.

Arizona is full of vast desert land just begging to be explored. Nowhere is this more apparent than at the Arizona Strip. The Arizona Strip is actually a series of trails in Northeastern Arizona, near the border of Utah. The large, untouched swaths of land are a treasure trove of remote trails. The area includes around 5,000 miles of dirt trails through Arizona’s backcountry. It also showcases Arizona’s diverse landscape. The dirt terrain can turn into a forest trail at a moment’s notice. The Arizona Strip is easily accessible near the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Bikers are encouraged to take special preparation before embarking on a trip here. The area is service free so be sure to bring plenty of fuel and fluids.

The Boulders OHV Area is one of the more popular areas for dirt bikers near Phoenix. That’s because of its impressive size and pristine dirt trails. Boulders is located north east of Phoenix near Lake Pleasant. The area includes roughly 200 miles of trails for beginners, intermediate, and advanced riders. The trails include scenic views of the Hieroglyphics Mountain Range. Beginners can enjoy the four-mile loop near the south side, while experts will want to venture off to the north half’s 13-mile loop. Both areas include rolling hills. However, the north side has more steep climbs and narrow turns. It also includes a challenging wash for thrill-seekers.

You don’t have to go to California to enjoy a day at the beach. Instead, head to Hot Well Dunes in Safford. This 2,000-acre area includes sand dunes and natural hot springs. Its name derives from an artesian well that produces hundreds of gallons of hot water per minute. Many bikers like to enjoy a post-ride dip in the refreshing hot springs. Hot Well Dunes includes five miles of trails comprised of sandy washes and small dirt dunes. The highlight of this trail is one large sand dune where riders can get some serious air. This is a popular spot in a remote area of Southeastern Arizona. 

*Note: Age restrictions, special licenses, and other requirements for off highway vehicles vary from state to state. Before heading out on your OHV, please consult your local regulations.

]]>
Stephen G. Page/Shutterstock.com http://stepoutside.org/article/5-amazing-dirt-motorcycle-trails-in-arizona http://stepoutside.org/article/5-amazing-dirt-motorcycle-trails-in-arizona Thu, 30 Aug 2018 00:00:00 -0500
10 Best Bait and Tackle Shops in Arizona Arizona might not be the land of 10,000 lakes, but there’s no shortage of high-quality fishing spots spread across the state. In order to catch the best, you need to gear up with the best. The following local shops have all your bait and tackle needs to catch your next trophy fish. Let’s go fishing!  

Phoenix Fishing Supply is the go-to spot for Valley residents looking for bait and tackle. This locally-run spot has a wide-range of supplies for anglers of all ages and experience. You can find almost any rod, reel, or tackle item you desire at their Phoenix storefront. Phoenix Fishing Supply caters to both local and out-of-state fishers. They carry all the necessities to gear up for a freshwater or saltwater fishing trip.

Now available Daiwa TATULA ELITE series❗️Come on in and take a look❗️

A post shared by Phoenix Fishing Supply (@phxfishingsupply) on

Liar’s Korner has just about everything you want from a bait and tackle shop. This small, locally-run shop has a staff of knowledgeable fishing experts. They carry enough brand-name fishing equipment to compete with big corporate stores. They’re also a one-stop shop for outdoor gear. You can buy live bait, tackle, hunting gear, and snacks and drinks at this East Valley shop. Liar’s Korner also provides hunting and fishing licenses to locals.

Looking for an epic fishing adventure? Look no further than the Hook Up Outfitters. This bait and tackle shop also provides guided fishing and fly-fishing excursions around Arizona. Locals can visit their shops located throughout the state from the Valley through Northern Arizona and the White Mountains. Their Peoria location sits on the shores of Lake Pleasant. You can grab rods, reels, flies, and bait from top fishing companies at their shop. 

There’s no shortage of fishing holes in Arizona. But none quite stack up to the Colorado River. This 1,450-mile river flows freely through a large part of the state. You can gear up for your next Colorado River fishing adventure at Hillbilly’s Bait & Tackle. Located in Bullhead City, it’s just minutes away from a wealth of fishing opportunities. This shop carries rods, reels, flat weights, spinning reels, and more. They also carry a variety of options for live bait. You can buy live minnows, anchovies, squid, night crawlers, sardines, and more. 

Do you like fly fishing? Then you won’t want to miss Desert Sportsman. This Scottsdale retail pro shop carries some of the biggest names in fly fishing equipment. They have been catering exclusively to the fly fishing community since opening in 2006. You can find all of your equipment needs in addition to apparel and information on fly fishing events. This stellar shop lives up to its name as Arizona’s Fly Fishing Outfitter.  

Well prepared for the day. #abelreels #belkinbeer #belize #flyfishing #photooftheday #desertsportsman

A post shared by Desert Sportsman (@desert_sportsman) on

Alpine is located in the eastern part of Arizona, near the New Mexico border. The town may be on the small side, but there’s no denying its allure to fishermen. Nearby fishing at Luna Lake offers a quiet reprieve from city life. You can gear up for your fishing trip at the Tackle Shop. This small shop has hunting and fishing supplies, gas, and drinks and snacks. 

Dry Creek Outfitters is a staple in the Tucson fishing community. This locally owned and operated shop is a large purveyor of fly-fishing gear. They have some of the best fly fishing products in the industry. A team of fishing experts also runs Dry Creek. You can get advice on techniques, products, and fishing holes at this great shop.

Good day at the fly shop! #karatekid #flyshop #troutbum

A post shared by Joe Sass (@joesassaz) on

Fishing and archery go hand in hand. At least, that’s the case at TGS Outdoors. This Tucson shop specializes in fishing and archery gear. They carry top bait and tackle equipment in addition to a range of bows, arrows, and accessories. You’ll find a huge selection of rods, bait, reels, fishing line, hooks, and weights at their storefront. You can also find bow-fishing equipment to up your game on your next trip.

Why do fishermen love Lees Ferry? It’s the only place in Glen Canyon where visitors can drive to the Colorado River. This renowned fishing hole is a popular spot among locals and tourists. You can get all the essentials for a fishing trip at Lees Ferry Anglers Fly Shop and Guide. They’ve been providing flies, hooks, and gear to fishermen since 1989.  You can also book a fishing guide to make the most of your Colorado River adventure.

Bass Tackle Master has been “kickin’ bass since 1999.” It’s the go-to bait and tackle shop in Lake Havasu City. You can find a variety of lures, terminal tackle, and marine accessories before heading out for a day on the lake. This popular shop carries over 50,000 items in stock at a time. 

]]>
http://stepoutside.org/article/10-best-bait-and-tackle-shops-in-arizona http://stepoutside.org/article/10-best-bait-and-tackle-shops-in-arizona Thu, 30 Aug 2018 00:00:00 -0500
Camping Done Right: 7 Essential Outdoor Stores in Arizona Going camping? You’re in luck. Arizona is filled with some fantastic campgrounds where you can get closer to nature. But before you set out for a weekend in the woods, you need to grab some gear. Thankfully, there’s no shortage of camping equipment at Arizona’s top outdoor stores. These stores have you covered whether you’re looking to hunt, hike, fish, or just enjoy a night under the stars. Here are seven essential outdoor stores in Arizona.

Campers around the country are familiar with REI. There’s a reason that REI has over 150 locations nationwide. It caters exclusively to outdoor enthusiasts and carries some of the leading brands in camping. Arizonan’s can gear up at their Paradise Valley location. They have all of the essentials for your ultimate camping trip: pads and hammocks, lighting, kitchen equipment, hiking clothing, tents, backpacks and more. REI also has big brand items from top-sellers like the North Face and Yeti. Are you a beginner? You can attend REI’s classes and adventure trips focused on outdoor education. 

Peace Surplus is a Flagstaff favorite. This outdoor shop turns into a full-service ski shop during the winter months. You can get ready to hit the slopes with ski and snowboard rentals for the nearby Arizona Snowbowl. Though it might be known as a ski shop, it has an equally impressive supply of camping equipment. They carry everything you need to explore Northern Arizona’s forests—from first aid equipment to camp kitchen supplies and synthetic sleeping bags. Not looking to buy? You can reserve camping equipment rentals on their website. 

Tucson is one of the best places in the country for hiking, so it makes sense that a place like Summit Hut is successful. This long-standing outdoor store has been a favorite since 1967. They offer some of the finest selection of gear for hiking, climbing, camping, and backpacking in Arizona. Campers can load up on all of their essentials at their storefront, which includes wide-selection of tents, backpacks, sleeping bags, kitchen gear, lighting, and more. Summit Hut also has carries some of the finest hiking apparel brands like Columbia and Patagonia

Cabela’s is like a theme park for outdoor enthusiasts. Their stores are filled with massive animal displays, trophy animals, shooting galleries, and recreations of outdoor habitats. These are on full display at the 160,000-square-foot Cabela’s in Glendale. As Arizona’s only Cabela’s location, it’s one of the most popular stores for camping equipment in the state. Cabela’s has you covered whether you want something small like a water purifier or fire starter or large item like a camper or RV. One thing is for sure: Cabela’s definitely lives up to its hype. 

No outdoor store has a greater presence in Arizona than Sportsman’s Warehouse. They have nine Arizona locations and cater to all big pockets of the state including Phoenix, Tucson, Prescott, Flagstaff, Show Low, and Yuma. Hunters, fishermen, archers, and boaters can all get their supplies at any of their local shops. They also carry big-name camping brands like Zippo, Kelty, and 5.11. Sportsman’s also holds classes, events, and puts up a “bragging board” for local fishers and hunters to show off their trophy animals. 

Sedona is one of Arizona’s most popular camping spots. It’s filled with epic hiking trails, gorgeous scenery, and some of the best adventures in the state. Canyon Outfitters has been supplying Sedona campers with all of their essential gear for over 20 years. Though it’s primarily known for having hiking gear, Canyon Outfitters has a number of high-quality camping items at their store. It’s a one-stop shop for any local adventurer from kayakers to rock climbers, river rafters, and more. 

LowerGear Outdoors has experienced big time growth. This outdoor retailer started as an e-commerce site in 2002. They later opened a retail store and expanded to a larger location in 2016. This meteoric rise can be attributed to their unique business model. They offer backpacking and camping rentals for customers not looking to buy equipment. Their storefront is packed with camping essentials in addition to equipment for kayaking and fishing. Renters can also still take advantage of their e-commerce site. Beginners might want to take a trip to the storefront to get access to expert advice and camping information. 

]]>
http://stepoutside.org/article/camping-done-right-7-essential-outdoor-stores-in-arizona http://stepoutside.org/article/camping-done-right-7-essential-outdoor-stores-in-arizona Wed, 15 Aug 2018 00:00:00 -0500
5 Gorgeous Beach Campsites in Arizona Sit back and relax because it’s camping season. Arizona is home to some spectacular camping opportunities from the thick northern forests to the sprawling southern desert. Those camping sites are great, but they lack one crucial element of the camping experience –water. Fortunately, the following beach campsites offer both beautiful scenery and refreshing lakes and rivers. Here are some of the most beautiful beach camping areas in Arizona. 

Willow Beach has a little something for everyone. This northern Arizona campground is located on the Colorado River. It’s part of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area and is home to over 200 miles of pristine shoreline. During the day, it’s filled with endless opportunities for fun in the water. There are many boats, canoes, and kayaks at your disposal through the Willow Beach Marina. You can also take a visit to the Trout Hatchery for a relaxing day of fishing. At night, you can enjoy the RV and tent campgrounds located lakeside. Looking to extend your trip? You’re in luck. Willow Beach is located only one hour south of Las Vegas.

You won’t have to worry about finding a spot at Cattail Cove Campground. This state park is home to over 60 campsites and 2,000 acres of land. That’s not to say you’ll feel lonely during your trip. Cattail Cove is a consistently popular getaway spot for Valley residents. It’s located on the legendary Lake Havasu, a notorious party spot for Arizona locals. You can fill your day with boating, jet skiing, or exploring this reservoir of the Colorado River. In addition to their traditional campsites, Cattail Cove has 32 boat-in campsites located along the shoreline of Lake Havasu.

Cattail Cove’s not the only good camping spot in Lake Havasu. Lake Havasu State Park is home to plenty of quality campgrounds right next door to Cattail Cove. The best campground is located near the popular London Bridge, which famously includes parts of a 19th century bridge from the River Thames. The campgrounds include docking stations for boats in addition to boat and jet ski rental opportunities. You can also enjoy many desert wildlife-watching opportunities, as the area is home to quail, red tail hawks, and even coyotes.

If you’re looking for a classic camping experience, look no further than Fool Hollow. This northern Arizona State Park is home to gorgeous mountain views, thick forests, and a sprawling 150-acre lake. The lake is also home to several fishing platforms, which are home to a healthy amount of rainbow trout as well as wildlife. Campers can also enjoy the many boating, kayaking, and canoeing opportunities at the lake during the summer months. Fool Hollow has over 130 campsites, including 92 RV sites and 31 non-hookup spots.

Nogales isn’t typically known for camping. It’s regarded as a border town and many people’s last stops before entering Mexico. But Nogales is also home to Patagonia Lake State Park. It’s a hidden gem deep in southern Arizona that’s home to a 250-acre lake. Outdoor enthusiasts will love the wide-open land, endless wildlife viewing opportunities, and surrounding hiking trails. The lake is also home to some of the only boating, fishing, and watersport activities in southeastern Arizona. Patagonia has over 100 campsites and 12 boat-in campsites each with picnic tables and fire-rings.

]]>
Jim David/Shutterstock.com http://stepoutside.org/article/5-gorgeous-beach-campsites-in-arizona http://stepoutside.org/article/5-gorgeous-beach-campsites-in-arizona Tue, 14 Aug 2018 00:00:00 -0500
5 Awesome Campgrounds for Families in Arizona Arizona isn’t just warm weather and air conditioning. The Grand Canyon State is filled with beautiful Southwestern terrain including sprawling deserts and majestic forests. Locals and tourists alike can enjoy the Arizona scenery by staying at some of the top campgrounds. The following campgrounds showcase Arizona’s diverse natural beauty and can be enjoyed year-round. And don’t forget the kids! Each of these sites are incredibly family-friendly. 

Cave Springs is one of the more popular campgrounds in the state and it’s easy to see why. This camping spot has all the desirable traits of a northern Arizona campground. Cave Springs is located just miles away from tourist destinations, namely Sedona and Slide Rock State Park. It’s also nestled among pine trees and right near Oak Creek Canyon. There are opportunities for fishing, hiking, and sightseeing at this destination spot. Oak Creek Canyon also has cool, mild weather and fresh forest air that make it a good escape spot for Valley residents. Families can also enjoy a dip in the fresh cool creek or even take a small trip to go down Slide Rock’s famous chute.

Lost Dutchman State Park derives its name from a myth about a lost gold mine from the Wild West. You may not find gold on your camping trip, but Lost Dutchman is a hidden treasure. The state park is located near the Superstition Mountains about half an hour east of Phoenix. The park is home to a variety of hiking trails with picturesque desert and sunset views. It’s also home to desert dwelling flora and fauna, including giant saguaro, desert spiny lizards, and javelina. The campgrounds are also family friendly. Each campsite has access to water, bathrooms, picnic tables, grills, and fire pits. Lost Dutchman is located far enough to be removed from the city but close enough to be convenient.

Lockett Meadow has it all: fresh mountain air, stunning views, and casual hiking trails. This campground is located near the San Francisco Peaks, a dormant volcano that gives off great daytime views. This campground is just minutes away from the Arizona Snow Bowl ski lift, which remains open in the summer for the use of tourists. You and your family can ride to the top, enjoy a patio lunch, and take in the views of the aspen trees. Lockett Meadow is also home to a variety of wilderness trails that vary in difficulty. It’s not uncommon to spot wildlife at this mountain campsite so be on alert. Lockett Meadow is on a first come, first serve basis and does not have drinking water available so plan ahead of your camping trip.

Monument Valley is right on the border between Utah and Arizona. Fortunately, it falls on the right side of the dividing line. This red-sand desert is known for large sandstone buttes. It’s famous for several geological structures, most notably the West Mitten Butte. Just to the west of this structure lies the View Campground. Visitors can feel like a real cowboy by tent camping under the stars. During the day, you can take a 17-mile self-guided tour, or pay for an escorted Jeep tour. A camping trip to the View is sure to bring stunning scenery and a trip you won’t soon forget.

Fool Hollow is a deceptive campground. It’s located just minutes away from downtown Show Low. But when you camp at Fool Hollow, you feel like you’re off the grid. Fool Hollow is nestled near the White Mountains and right on a 150-acre lake. The serene lake and forest views make it easy to unwind at this campground. Elevated at over 6,000 feet, Fool Hollow offers cool weather and a reprieve for Valley residents. The campground is an ideal spot to have a picnic, go fishing, or go hiking on a nearby trail. Campgrounds come with water, concrete pads, fire pits, picnic tables, restrooms and showers. You’ll feel off the grid while enjoying the amenities and proximity of city life.

]]>
Jim David/Shutterstock.com http://stepoutside.org/article/5-awesome-campgrounds-for-families-in-arizona http://stepoutside.org/article/5-awesome-campgrounds-for-families-in-arizona Mon, 13 Aug 2018 00:00:00 -0500
5 Awesome RV Campsites in Arizona Glamping, or glamorous camping, is supremely underrated. It’s a way to enjoy the great outdoors without sacrificing the convenience of modern amenities. There’s no greater way to go glamping than with an RV. Planning on taking your RV for a spin? Then head to Arizona where you can enjoy beautiful scenery year-round. Here are five of the best RV campsites where you can camp in style! 

Imagine spelunking deep in a cave with hidden mysteries, one of the world’s longest stalactite formations, and buried treasure. That’s just another walk in the park at Kartchner Caverns State Park. Originally discovered in 1974, the caverns are home to ancient stalactites and stalagmites including the record breaking 58-foot Kubla Khan. Kartchner Caverns has plenty of RV accessible campsites bursting with amenities. All of the campsites include electric hook-ups, water, and access to dump station facilities. Each back-in site comes with a 110-volt AC with a 30-amp RV connection.

Picture perfect sunsets, panoramic views, and ancient history. Yes, the Meteor Crater RV Park has it all. This northern Arizona park is located near the picturesque San Francisco Peaks. The Meteor Crater RV Park is a favorite among Valley residents looking to escape the heat and enjoy the fresh northern air. It is also located minutes away from one of the world’s best-preserved meteorite impact sites—Meteor Crater. Meteor Crater is a sight to behold. It’s one mile long, 2.4 miles in circumference, over 500 feet deep and roughly 50,000 years-old. You can also experience a different kind of history by hiking the nearby Old Route 66. 

Looking to experience Arizona to the fullest? Look no further than the Mogollon Rim. It spans 200 miles and showcases Arizona’s diverse natural landscape. You’ll encounter rocky cliffs, lush forests, and even lakes deep in the wilderness. One great launching point for a Mogollon Rim adventure is the Mogollon RV Park. Located in the thick of the rim, it’s close to fishing, boating, and hiking opportunities. You can enjoy a range of amenities when you’re not sightseeing. The park has full hook-ups, RV storage, on-site laundry, and even a recreation hall.

The best adventures can often be right in your backyard. Lost Dutchman State Park is a perfect example. It’s located in Apache Junction just 45 minutes away from central Phoenix. This campground is a hidden treasure for Valley residents. That can be taken literally, as Lost Dutchman is named after a famous gold mine. This campground showcases the best Arizona has to offer—sprawling desert, endless hiking opportunities, and southwestern wildlife. The campground is equally impressive. It hosts 134 sites, 68 with electricity and water, and paved roads for RVs. Want to know the best part? There are no size restrictions on RVs.

Rose Canyon Lake checks all the boxes of a great camping site. It boasts endless opportunities for adventure. You can spend your days biking, hiking or searching for wildlife. It’s also the only lake in the Santa Catalina District that is managed for recreational fishing. Rose Canyon is just 30 miles northeast of Tucson. But don’t let that fool you—it can get pretty cool at the campgrounds. That’s because it’s elevated at 7,000 feet. The campgrounds are surrounded by gorgeous ponderosa pines and only one mile removed from the lake. Rose Canyon has no hook-ups and RV camping is limited to 22 feet or less.

]]>
http://stepoutside.org/article/5-awesome-rv-campsites-in-arizona http://stepoutside.org/article/5-awesome-rv-campsites-in-arizona Mon, 13 Aug 2018 00:00:00 -0500
5 Beautiful Backpack Camping Spots in Arizona Are you looking to enjoy the great outdoors? Forget about the same old campgrounds. Backpacking allows you to fully disconnect from the world and enjoy nature in its purest form. Here in Arizona, there are plenty of camping spots that are a great launching point for an outdoor adventure. Check out a few great backpack camping spots that are off the beaten path.

They don’t call Arizona the Grand Canyon State for nothing. Though many make a pilgrimage to the massive canyon, there’s no way to get the full experience in one day. Backpackers can get a taste of the Grand Canyon with a trip to the Escalante Route. This 33-mile trek will take you rim-to-rim on the adventure of a lifetime. You will meander through everything from slot canyons to towering walls during your journey. This lesser-known trail also offers the most convenient route for backpackers. You can set up camp near your water source, the Colorado River, and stargaze during a remote stay.

Valley residents don’t have to travel far to experience nature. Thanks to the Campaign Creek Loop, there’s great backpacking right in their backyard. Campaign Creek Loop is located near Apache Junction just half an hour east of Phoenix. The 30-mile loop takes you on a journey through the Superstition Mountains and the Tonto National Forest. The three-day hike includes many standout features, notably ponderosa pines that may seem out of place in the desert. There is plenty of great camping by the creek, which is surrounded by stunning views of the Valley. Do you have an extra day or two? You’ll want to take a trip up Mound Mountain. It’s an 18-mile trail that takes you to the highest point in the Superstition Mountains. 

The Mogollon Rim is one of Arizona’s most beautiful wonders. It’s a 200-mile escarpment that forms the Colorado Plateau. It’s home to thick forests, towering mountains, and scenic cliff side views. Backpackers can experience the best Mogollon Rim has to offer by taking a trip to Cabin Loop. The 19-mile trail is perfect for a shorter two-day adventure. What it lacks in length it more than makes up for in beauty. The trail wanders through some of the Mogollon Rim’s most amazing features. You’ll encounter various springs, livestock, and landscape changes that are sure to keep you entertained. This 7,000-foot elevation brings fresh air, lush vegetation, and unforgettable views.

There’s no shortage of great camping spots in the Grand Canyon. While Escalante Route is the premier spot for backpackers, Hermit Trail is a worthy competitor. Hermit Trail is located on the vast 95-mile Tonto Trail. Hermit Trail is notable, however, for its three water sources. The 25-mile trail takes you on a tour of the Grand Canyon on mostly flat land. The two-to-three day trail has its own hidden treasures. You’ll run into stunning geological features and a bird’s eye view of the Colorado River during your trip through the South Rim. The last leg of your trip takes you through an uphill climb on the popular Bright Angel Trail.

No good Arizona camping list is complete without at least one reference to Sedona. Sedona’s red rock beauty is famous to locals and visitors alike. While Sedona offers a number of beautiful trails, you won’t want to miss Loy Canyon. This five-mile hike is the perfect launching point for a multi-day Sedona adventure. The trail takes you through a butte canyon along the western side of a mountain. Though the trail starts on rock and sand, you’ll be surrounded by thick forest after only a couple of miles. The remarkable change in terrain is just one of the many reasons to visit this trail. It has everything from steep climbs to flat plateaus. The mid portion of Loy Canyon is a great place to set up camp. You can easily connect to nearby trails like Secret Mountain Trail at this epic backpacking spot.

]]>
http://stepoutside.org/article/5-beautiful-backpack-camping-spots-in-arizona http://stepoutside.org/article/5-beautiful-backpack-camping-spots-in-arizona Mon, 13 Aug 2018 00:00:00 -0500
5 Awesome Trail Running Spots in Arizona Take your workout to a whole new level by heading out to a local trail. These great trail running spots let you enjoy the desert’s natural beauty while pushing yourself to new heights. What are you waiting for? Put on your running shoes, grab your ear buds and water bottle, and head to one of these awesome Arizona trails.

Lower Oldham Loop is about as epic of a trail as you can imagine. This six-mile run takes you on a gorgeous tour of the Coconino National Forest. You’re surrounded by beautiful northern Arizona scenery, fresh mountain air, and even wildlife. Located in Buffalo Park near Flagstaff, Lower Oldham Loop is elevated at over 7,000 feet. It’s easy to become winded on this relatively short trail. It’s all worth it, however, for the freeing forest views. The loop even crosses through some ancient lava remnants from Mount Elden. The mix of uphill, downhill, and flat climbs make this challenging run a runner’s dream.

Tucson is an underrated city—especially for runners. It’s surrounded by gorgeous mountains, is less crowded than Phoenix, and is at least several degrees cooler than its neighbor to the north. While there are plenty of noteworthy trails in the Tucson area, none quite stack up to the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area. Located only 12 miles from Tucson, this picture-perfect area is home to some of the desert’s most iconic scenery. You’ll find everything from deep canyons to towering cliffs and even waterfalls in this desert oasis. There are several trails to choose from, all of which offer incredible scenic views. 

This easy loop trail treats runners to the majestic views of the Sonoran preserve. Start your journey at the Apache Wash Trailhead. This loop is a multi-use trail, running about 5.5 miles. Enjoy a jog through cactus gardens and stunning desert views. There is no drinkable water in the area, so make sure to pack enough! This will be a hot one. 

Overall, Fatmans Loop is not an enormous challenge for trail runners—but be aware of some steeper sections throughout. Take in the sights of Flagstaff from above—you’ll want to stop awhile to enjoy the views. Runners will also be afforded views of intricate rock formations, diverse plant life, and wildlife ranging from squirrels, to mule deer, to grey foxes. The trail is generally regarded as easy and the hike time is around 1.5 hours. 

The Sonoran Loop will put trail runners to the ultimate test. This competitive track in White Tank Mountain Regional Park is utilized by cross-country runners and joggers, fast bicyclists and technical riders, and trotting/galloping equestrians as well as endurance riders. This one is not for the faint of heart! At the track, you’ll find trails that are competitive, technical, and for beginner-level explorers. Mud, rocks, and sharp curves are just a few obstacles of this area. The beginner loops are recommended as a warm-up or for those with less experience. The total length here is about one mile. The technical segment, though, requires a much higher level of skill even though it is just 1.1 miles in length. There is something for everyone at the Sonoran Loop Competitive Track. 

]]>
http://stepoutside.org/article/5-awesome-trail-running-spots-in-arizona http://stepoutside.org/article/5-awesome-trail-running-spots-in-arizona Fri, 10 Aug 2018 00:00:00 -0500
5 Energizing Hikes in Arizona If you’re looking for a hike to challenge you a bit, Arizona is your best bet. The Grand Canyon State, with its arid climate, vast deserts, and towering summits, brings explorers hiking that really gets the heart pumping. From Apache Junction to the Red Rocks, here are five energizing hikes to enjoy in Arizona. 

You won’t find any novice hikers on this trail. Flatiron is one of the Valley’s most challenging—and rewarding—scenic hikes. Flatiron is located in the middle of Lost Dutchman State Park’s vast wilderness. The trail starts with a gradual ascent followed by a difficult climb up the Superstitions Mountains. You’ll challenge every muscle group during the hike, which features a mix of rock climbing, switchbacks, and vertical ascents. Overall, you’ll experience a 5.5-mile (roughly) hike with a nearly 3,000-foot elevation change. The real highlight, however, are the stunning 360 degree views at the summit. You’ll have a bird’s eye view of the Valley and the rest of the Superstitions Mountains. 

It’s no secret that Humphreys Peak is a great hike. This northern Arizona trek is a favorite among outdoor enthusiasts—and rightly so. It’s a scenic route that takes you above the tree line of the San Francisco Peaks and guides you to a 12,633-foot summit, the highest point in Arizona. The summit views are undeniably great, but getting there is half the fun. Humphreys Peak is located near Flagstaff’s famous Arizona Snowbowl ski range. Starting at an elevation of over 7,000 feet, you’ll hike through a series of meadows before starting your difficult climb. You’ll then climb through thick forestry before encountering several false summits. The trail features everything from large boulders to clusters of wild flowers. Overall, it’s a challenging nine-mile round trip hike that will leave you ready to conquer the world.

Looking to cool off from the heat? Then take a scenic hike through the Bear Canyon trail to Seven Fall. This popular Tucson hike has all elements of a great desert hike: gorgeous desert landscape, thick forests of cacti, and challenging switchbacks. The real highlight, however, are the shimmering pools of water sprinkled throughout the trail. You’ll cross a variety of different streams on the way to a hidden waterfall. You can also take a refreshing dip in one of the many large pools located on the hike. Seven Falls may be less challenging than similar trails in the Coronado National Forest, but the magnificent falls make this trail difficult to beat. 

At first glance, Sunset Vista Trail might not look a difficult hike. The first few miles feature a flat trip along the western side of Picacho Peak. But Sunset Vista Trail is a tale of two hikes. After the first two miles, the moderate trail turns into a difficult ascent up the mountain. You’ll run into a series of twists, turns, and switchbacks during a steep change in elevation. Sunset Vista Trail is not for the faint of heart, as much of the trail is comprised of loose rocks and cables. The trail may leave you sore, but it’s worth it for the scenic views. It’s filled with wild flowers, cactus, and a summit view best enjoyed at sunset.

Wet Beaver Creek is the definition of a hidden gem. It’s one of the few trails in Arizona that features both Sedona’s iconic Red Rocks and a swimming hole. The hike begins on Bell Trail and diverges into a lengthy walk along a shaded creek. Though it doesn’t feature much of an elevation change, the length of the hike alone is enough to leave you winded and ready for a break. Thankfully, the trail leads to a hidden swimming hole known as “The Crack.” Once there, you can enjoy scenic creek side views of the towering Red Rocks. The Crack is also a beloved spot for cliff jumpers looking to make a splash in the shimmering waters. The water is notoriously cold and one dip is enough to reenergize you for the long trek back to the car.

]]>
http://stepoutside.org/article/5-energizing-hikes-in-arizona http://stepoutside.org/article/5-energizing-hikes-in-arizona Thu, 09 Aug 2018 00:00:00 -0500
Making the Most Out of Tonto Natural Bridge State Park What’s on your list of must-see destinations in Arizona? Local outdoor enthusiasts have no shortage of beautiful state parks to visit. But the wide-range of options makes it easy for some parks to get lost in the shuffle. Tonto Natural Bridge State Park is a prime example. Located just 10 miles from Payson, this 161-acre park includes awe-inspiring geological features and gorgeous views. It might not be the most popular park, but the experience rivals that of any state park in Arizona. Here are some ways you can make the most of a trip to Tonto Natural Bridge State Park.

This park is named after its famous natural travertine bridge. The 183-foot-tall bridge is regarded as the largest natural travertine bridge in the world. Located in water-filled Pine Creek, the bridge was once entirely submerged under seawater. Volcanic eruptions and erosion left behind this magnificent looking natural wonder. Today, it’s dazzling colors, hidden caves, and 400-foot tunnel make it a spectacle for any outdoor enthusiast. You can also hike, sightsee, and explore around Pine Canyon and its surrounding forest.

Sometimes it takes a waterfall shower to beat Arizona's autumn heat πŸ‚

A post shared by Hailey Dickson (@_hailelujah) on

Hikers can wander down to the bridge via Pine Creek Trail. Though the trail is only about a half-mile-long, it’s a steep traverse down into the thick of Pine Canyon. Most of the trail is undeveloped and leads into the Pine Creek Natural area. Here you’ll encounter stunning views of the bridge and can even connect to additional trails for further exploration.

There are many ways to enjoy the beautiful scenery of Tonto Natural Bridge, but none quite stack up with Gowan Trail. This trail is named after David Gowan, a prospector who originally found the trail in the late 1800s. Gowan Trail is a 2,200-foot trail that runs along the canyon walls and leads to an observation deck. Once there, you’ll be greeted by a scenic overlook of the canyon, caves, and forest.

The bridge isn’t the only historic part of this state park. It’s also home to Goodfellow Lodge, a cabin-style lodge built in the early 20th century. The 1920s cabin is hidden deep inside the park. It’s famous for having some of the best scenery in the park, in addition to its rustic amenities. Visitors can make a pit stop at their wood cabin group dining area for lunch. It has a full-scale kitchen, picnic stable seating, and a large fireplace to warm up. Goodfellow Lodge also has 10 private rooms available for overnight rental.

Looking to get closer to nature? Though Tonto Natural Bridge doesn’t have any official campground, that doesn’t mean you have to give up on a night under the stars. Christopher Creek Campground is located only 20 miles east of Payson. It’s located deep in the Mogollon Rim and is surrounded by one-of-a-kind canyons, buttes, and scenery. The campground is located in the Tonto National Forest and is elevated at over one-mile high, giving it a unique vantage point for visitors.

Christopher Creek Campgrounds. Early Morning. No one awake, no one around. #allwaysmoto

A post shared by Cole Moser (@bigcolecole) on

Take a visit to the Tonto Creek Hatchery, located about 20 miles east of Payson near the headwaters of Tonto Creek. This historic hatchery was first constructed in 1937, but has increased its production mightily since renovating in 1993. Today, the hatchery produces about 15 percent of Arizona’s trout stock—which equals about 50,000 pounds per year. You can take a self-guided tour daily from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30p.m.

Take a trip to the past with an adventure to Shoofly Native American Ruins. It was once the home of some of Arizona’s first inhabitants. The ruins are located atop the Houston Mesa, a few miles north of Payson off Highway 87. Shoofly Village, the ruins most famous site, is believed to have once held 79 structures. Today, you can still see many of the foundations, walls and remnants made of rock. The ruins are also at an elevation of over 5,200 feet, meaning they have great views of the Mogollon Rim.

The Rim Country Museum is an ode to all things Payson. Originally built in 1907, it’s since been refurbished and holds a treasure trove of Payson’s finest relics. The museum includes the Oldest Forest Ranger Station in the Southwest. It also holds a replica of the Payson’s famous “Herron Hotel.” The Rim Country Museum is located about 15 miles from Tonto Natural Bridge, but it’s well worth the trek. You’ll find displays dedicated to the ancient Apache, Payson’s mining history, and the Payson Rodeo.

]]>
http://stepoutside.org/article/making-the-most-out-of-tonto-natural-bridge-state-park http://stepoutside.org/article/making-the-most-out-of-tonto-natural-bridge-state-park Thu, 09 Aug 2018 00:00:00 -0500
5 Wonderful Birdwatching Hikes in Arizona Are you looking to go birdwatching in Arizona? You’re in luck. Arizona is a breeding ground for an amazingly diverse range of bird species. In total, Arizona is home to over 550 species of birds, according to the Arizona Bird Committee. There’s no shortage of birdwatching opportunities. Enjoy hummingbird sightings, incredible canyon wren, quail, and more on these five wonderful birdwatching hikes in Arizona. 

There’s no shortage of species at Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park near Superior. The arboretum’s 323 sprawling acres are home to hundreds of species of plants, animals, and birds from around the desert. Known as the oldest and largest botanical garden in Arizona, the arboretum is your best chance to see diverse species of birds in one area. It’s home to over 250 bird species including desert dwellers like Gambel’s quail and canyon wren. The best way to take in the arboretum’s beauty is by hiking the Main Trail. Though only 1.5 miles-long, it leads to plenty of offshoot trails where you can pursue additional birdwatching opportunities. You can grab a bird list from the visitor center and spend the day getting lost at one of Arizona’s most beautiful treasures.

Took awhile to get him to sit still but I finally got him! #cardinal #boycethompsonarboretum #rebels_nature #azbirds

A post shared by Caryn Thomas (@carynthomas33) on

Bird lovers know all about the Ramsey Canyon Preserve. It’s located in the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area in southeastern Arizona. The preserve is also part of the San Pedro River Basin, which is known for having wide-ranging diversity of flora and fauna. You can experience the best the Ramsey Canyon Preserve has to offer by taking the Ramsey Canyon Trail. This 2.8-mile trek takes you through steep switchbacks en route to a scenic overlook in the Coronado National Forest. You’ll continue into the Miller Peak Wilderness and eventually reach a waterfall filled riparian area. This gorgeous hike does require a permit through the Ramsey Canyon Preserve, but it’s well worth it to get a glimpse at some of the 15 species of hummingbirds that call this hike home. 

The Madera Canyon Trail is a hidden treasure. It’s located about 50 miles south of Tucson deep in the Santa Rita Mountains. This 2.4-mile loop is well worth the find. It’s home to over 240 bird species and at least a dozen types of hummingbirds. The trail continues along a stream and eventually leads to scenic views of Madera Canyon and Santa Cruz Valley. The high elevation and woodlands provide refuge from the Arizona heat, which welcomes birds and birdwatchers alike. You can access this trail from a roadside trailhead along the Madera Canyon scenic drive. Bird checklists are also available at the nearby Santa Rita Lodge. 

The first pic is so me right now πŸ˜‘πŸ˜΄

A post shared by Chilly Billy (@ninja_birder) on

Catalina State Park has all the elements of a great desert experience. It’s home to thousands of saguaros, sprawling acres of mountainous terrain, and hundreds of species of wildlife. Located at the base of the Santa Catalina Mountains, Catalina State Park winds through some of the most amazing natural beauty the desert has to offer. It’s also located only a few minutes removed from Tucson and is easily accessible for southern Arizonans. Birdwatchers can take the one-mile birding trail loop, which showcases many of the 150 species of birds located within the park. The trail is also home to many of the beautiful desert wildflowers that call the Coronado National Forest home.

The golden hour at Catalina State Park in Arizona.

A post shared by David Hall (@surfnscience) on

You don’t have to go to a zoo to see endangered species. Instead, take a trip to Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve. This 873-acre nature preserve was the first project of the Nature Conservancy in Arizona. Located in a valley situated between the Santa Rita and Patagonia Mountains, this southeastern preserve is home to one of the only permanent streams in the area. As a result, it’s a lush riparian habitat that features hundreds of species of endangered animals and birds. Though it’s in the southeast, the preserve’s water and high elevation make it a rare spot for lush vegetation in the area. You can take a one-mile trail from the preserve to the Tucson Audubon’s Paton House. It showcases hundreds of species of birds and is best enjoyed in the fall.

#arizonacreeks #serenity

A post shared by Taddei (@angeltaddei) on

]]>
http://stepoutside.org/article/5-wonderful-birdwatching-hikes-in-arizona http://stepoutside.org/article/5-wonderful-birdwatching-hikes-in-arizona Thu, 09 Aug 2018 00:00:00 -0500
Start Your Trek: 7 Best Hiking Retailers in Arizona Are you looking to go hiking? You’re in luck. There’s no shortage of epic hiking opportunities around Arizona. The southern part of the state offers challenging desert hikes from Tucson to Phoenix. The north is home to some high-elevation climbs near Sedona, Flagstaff, and Prescott. That’s not to mention the limitless opportunities available in the Grand Canyon. But in order to hike the best, you need to gear up with the best. These local hiking retailers have everything you need to conquer your next big hike.

It doesn’t get much better than Arizona Hiking Shack. It’s the quintessential shop for local outdoor adventurers. This locally-run shop has been a go-to spot for hikers since 1972. Armed with a knowledgeable staff and today’s top brands, Arizona Hiking Shack is a must-see shop for every type of hiker. They sell and rent high-quality gear from CamelBak, Osprey, Arc'teryx, and more. Arizona Hiking Shack also offers hiking-based education classes, including a two-hour adventure hike course and a two-day course entitled “Hiking 101.” 

We are ready for the weekend, are you?

A post shared by Arizona Hiking Shack (@hikingshack) on

Sedona is nicknamed the Day Hike Capital of America. It’s home to over 100 hiking trails that each showcase Sedona’s gorgeous red rocks. Hikers looking for the ultimate Sedona experience can take a trip to the Hike House. They carry all of the essentials for a day hike: footwear, apparel, books and maps, trekking poles, backpacks and more.  Their top-level brands include the North Face, Mountain Hardwear, and Columbia. The Hike House is also the creator of the Sedona Trail Finder, an interactive hiking database that helps hikers find the perfect local trail.

The best outdoor gear for Sedona @deuter #sedona x #trvlguide

A post shared by trvlguide (@trvl.guide) on

Any true outdoor enthusiast knows about REI. This outdoor megastore carries the best gear, footwear and apparel for adventurers. Arizonan’s can see what the hype is all about by taking a trip to their Chandler retail store. They carry hundreds of hiking footwear options for men and women. They’re also home to top-selling brands like The North Face and Yeti. REI has you covered no matter the type of hiking gear. They also host weekly classes on everything from map and compass navigation to local trail preparation. 

Why do hikers love Summit Hut? For one, they’re a one-stop shop carrying everything a hiker needs for an epic outdoor adventure. You can grab footwear, apparel, trekking poles, first aid kits, water bottles, filters, packs, and more from top brands like Columbia and Patagonia. Summit Hut started as a small outdoor store in 1967. Today, they encompass a mail order business, ecommerce shop and two retail stores.  They were also the recipient of the Grassroots Outdoor Alliance “Retailer of the Year” award for their long-standing commitment to outdoor enthusiasts. 

The loot from our winnings!

A post shared by Welcome To PetraVille (@welcomepetraville) on

As a great hiking location, Prescott is often overlooked. But this northern Arizona town is home to the Mile-High Trail System, which contains roughly 70 miles of beautiful trails. You can prep for a Prescott adventure with a trip to the Hike Shack. It’s Prescott’s go-to hiking retailer. They carry gear for short day hikes, backpacking adventures, and difficult multi-day climbs. You’ll find plenty of hiking boots, trail maps, and packs at their storefront. Some of the Hike Shack’s biggest brands include Smartwool, Mountain Hardwear, and Five Ten

When Mika and I visit @idellinger at work!

A post shared by Margaret Pierce (@maggie_lou_pie) on

Are you looking for an epic outdoor adventure? Look no further than Just Roughin’ It Adventure Company. This Scottsdale-based outdoor shop offers guided trips through some of Arizona’s most amazing natural wonders. You can plan a day trip through the Superstition Wilderness or a hiking tour through the Grand Canyon. Just Roughin’ It has no shortage of equipment to prepare for your trip. They have plenty of clothing, footwear, trekking poles, maps, water bottles and filters, and more. You can also grab your next pair of hiking boots from reliable brands like Salomon and Vasque.  

Don’t be fooled by the name. iRun might sound like a store for runners, but it’s so much more. They also cater to hikers by carrying some of the best trail gear on the market.  This Arcadia store has one of the largest selections of hiking shoes and boots in the Valley. They carry plenty of athletic apparel from brands like Adidas and Drymax. Their staff of dedicated athletes also host myriad outdoor events.

]]>
http://stepoutside.org/article/start-your-trek-7-best-hiking-retailers-in-arizona http://stepoutside.org/article/start-your-trek-7-best-hiking-retailers-in-arizona Thu, 09 Aug 2018 00:00:00 -0500
5 Great Hiking Trails in Arizona Arizona is a hiker’s paradise. It’s filled with diverse mountain ranges offering beautiful views and breathtaking scenery. Experience Arizona’s magic to its fullest by taking to the most wonderful trails in the state. These five trails should be at the top of your list whether you’re an avid hiker or new beginner. 

Hiking the Grand Canyon is a bucket list item for many. However, hiking one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World isn’t easy. There are many trails ill suited for visitors who aren’t in peak physical condition. Bright Angel Trail offers hikers the best chance to complete a Grand Canyon hike. This eight-mile trek has a nearly 4,400-foot elevation change and ends with a spectacular view of the Colorado River. Hiking the trail is no easy feat. However, there is plenty of shade, several restrooms, and a well-developed trail that makes life easier for hikers. The trail consists of a gradual descent into the canyon that’s surrounded by beautiful scenery. You eventually pass through the lush, green Indian Gardens before reaching a gorgeous plateau. The views are so breathtaking that it’s totally worth the uphill climb back up the canyon. The Bright Angel Trail is perfect for a full day of adventuring filled with one-of-a-kind views.

Lava River Cave is a perfect alternative for hikers looking to avoid the sun-filled trails of Arizona. That’s because this lava tube cave is dark without the aid of a flashlight. Lava River Cave is located in the beautiful ponderosa pine forest near Flagstaff. This ancient geological formation formed through volcanic lava flow that hardened into its current tube like state. As you enter the cave, you’ll encounter a quick descent before leveling off for the rest of the trail.  The .75-mile trail is filled with unique geological properties that you have to see to believe. The trail itself can be a bit hazardous. It’s recommended you bring at least three sources of light and some warm clothes, as it can be sub-40 degrees in the middle of the summer. This northern Arizona gem is an adventurous way to take a tour of natural history.

He's my favorite spelunking buddy. πŸŒ‹πŸ”₯ #thefloorislava

A post shared by Chelsea Black (@_chelseablack) on

Sedona is an Arizona treasure. It’s located smack dab in the middle of the Coconino National Forest and is surrounded by scenic red rocks and picturesque canyon views. There’s no better way to enjoy Sedona’s natural beauty than by hiking Devil’s Bridge. Don’t let the name scare you. This moderate hike is roughly two miles and is perfect for hikers of all skill levels. The iconic hike involves a 400-foot climb up a busy trailhead. The trail culminates with a view of Devil’s Bridge, the largest natural sandstone arch in Sedona. Many hikers take their pictures atop the bridge to celebrate the occasion. This hike does get major foot traffic and usually involves extra hiking due to limited parking. However, it’s all worth it for the unparalleled views of Sedona.

Valley residents are all familiar with Papago Park. For one, it’s located centrally near busy areas of Phoenix, Tempe, and Scottsdale. It also includes an iconic, hole filled geological structure. Papago’s famous red butte was created millions of years ago and due to erosion now includes openings, or holes, throughout its structure. One benefit to the erosion is the Hole in the Rock trail. This easy, half-mile hike requires a light ascent into a large chamber at the butte’s peak. Once there, you’ll be greeted by epic views of the sprawling Phoenix desert. Though not as popular as the crowded Camelback Mountain, the Hole in the Rock is a much easier way to see equally stunning views of the Valley. It’s also best enjoyed during sunrise and sunset for optimal scenery.

When Arizona cools down to a chilly 110 degrees for half Christmasβ„οΈπŸŽ„

A post shared by Marissa Mcgarr (@marissamcgarr) on

Tucson is celebrated for its iconic hiking trails and beautiful views of the Sonoran Desert. Bridal Wreath Falls Trail is no exception. This moderate six-mile trail leads to a beautiful, 25-foot waterfall. Located in the Saguaro National Park, this trail offers close encounters with Tucson’s flora and fauna. The popular hike includes mostly gradual climbs but does have a few steeper climbs. This hike is worth the effort, however, once you reach the waterfall.  The last quarter mile involves a climb to a hidden oasis in the middle of the dry desert. Bridal Wreath is an easier alternative to some of the grueling Tucson hikes. It may be a longer hike, but a dip in the waterfall will refresh you for the second half of your trip.

]]>
Maridav/Shutterstock.com http://stepoutside.org/article/5-great-hiking-trails-in-arizona http://stepoutside.org/article/5-great-hiking-trails-in-arizona Wed, 08 Aug 2018 00:00:00 -0500