Posts by ArizTravel
Dear Arizona Travel: Beat the Summer Heat?
Dear Arizona Travel:
We plan on visiting Arizona this summer and want to do a lot of fun stuff, but how can we get out of the heat? We love horseback riding, hiking, wine touring and especially river rafting. We have an 11 year old and a 14 year old; we are a very active family and love doing a lot of stuff outdoors. We have never visited the area and would love any info you have would be much appreciated!!!!
Thanks so much and can’t wait to hear from you.
Hi, Noreen. Hooray, I’m so excited for your trip to Arizona!
I’m not sure what part of the state you’re coming to visit, but we have the most expertise in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Sedona, Grand Canyon, Flagstaff and Prescott, so that’s where I’m going to direct you, okay? Especially because summer in Phoenix is DARN HOT I’m going to recommend some outdoorsy stuff for you up north to get you to some cooler weather.
For horseback riding, I’m a big fan of Pot a Gold Stables in Mayer, which is close to Prescott (1.5 hours N of Phoenix). The owner, Jim, also runs Hitchin’ Post Stables in Flagstaff (2 hours N of Phoenix) and runs rides out of both stables. Great for the age of your boys.
For hiking, get yourself to Sedona or Flagstaff. There are some really great Arizona hiking guides written for those areas, but you might want to check out some of these great day hikes.
Here’s a blog post we wrote about Flagstaff hiking – it’s more of a resource guide, so use the Forest Service link we provided for good info, as well as the link to another blog post about hiking Kendrick Trail… a toughie, but for an active family with tween/teen boys, you should be fine.
We recently wrote a blog post about Flagstaff with kids and though it was geared toward preschoolers, there’s still stuff in there that your older kids might like, like the swimming holes, cheap eats, etc.
For the wine touring… You can do northern Arizona or southern Arizona wine country. I know more about northern AZ, and since we’re pushing you up that way anyway, here goes. You can do a couple of different things:
1) Visit SedonaWineAdventures.com and tell Robert that Christina from Sedona.net sent you. Robert runs wine tours throughout Sedona and the Verde Valley and has been guiding all kinds of tours forever, so he’s very knowledgable.
2) Because you’re interested in river rafting, too, check out SedonaAdventureTours.com. Again, tell the owner Richard that Christina from Sedona.net sent you. Richard’s company does river kayaking/rafting down the Verde River from Sedona down to Alcanterra Vineyards near Cottonwood… called a Water to Wine tour. Really cool day trip that combines two of the things you’re interested in!
If you’re up for bigger rapids, it’s tough to get on the Colorado River to raft Grand Canyon without a year’s worth of planning ahead of time, but sometimes there are last-minute cancellations. The best people to hook up with to save yourself hours of time is Rivers and Oceans. They work with all the GC river outfitters and can schedule you anywhere there’s room, that fits your budget and your time. They can even book a 1-day rafting trip (easier to get on, and cheaper) that departs in the wee hours from Peach Springs, AZ and gets out at the West Rim of the Grand Canyon. Tell Pam or Meghan that we recommended them for you. They’re awesome and will even help you arrange details like lodging before/after, getting to Peach Springs, getting back, etc.
If you want to raft closer to the Phoenix area, the Upper Salt River may be still running by August, but I’m not sure. I’ve done this trip 3x and it’s INCREDIBLE. I’ve gone every time with Wilderness Aware, and I highly recommend them.
I hope this is helpful, Noreen! Thanks for writing in!
Tell us, Arizona Travel fans: did we miss anything? What are your favorite ways to beat the summer heat in Phoenix? Leave us your comments!
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