Are you looking for an outdoor adventure? Forget about booking that ultra-expensive flight to Asia or that backpacking tour in Europe. Phoenix offers plenty of amazing adventures right in your backyard.
You can find everything from hidden waterfalls to refreshing swimming holes and secret canyons just a short drive from the Valley of the Sun. Put down the remote, grab your hiking boots, and get ready to Instagram these outdoor adventures.
1. Havasu Falls
Approx. 3.5 hours from Phoenix
Havasu Falls is as close as Valley residents can get to Hawaii without actually leaving the state. You’ll find beautiful waterfalls, turquoise blue water, and secluded camping spots under the stars. It’s like an island oasis right in the middle of the desert. Havasu Falls is located on the tribal lands of the Grand Canyon, and you’ll have to book a campground and take an 8+ mile hike to access the spectacular waterfalls and pools. Trust us…it’s well worth the wait.
#FrayLife Tip: Campgrounds are limited, so you may need to start planning next year’s trip now!
2. Fossil Creek
Approx. 2 hours from Phoenix
Get ready for the toilet bowl! No, that’s not just the warning label at Chipotle. It’s also necessary advice to tourists traveling to Fossil Creek – a river located in the Coconino National Forest. This famous spot lies about 80 miles from Phoenix and offers a nice reprieve from its soul-crushing heat, if you’re able to survive the strenuous 4.5 mile hike. Once there, however, you’ll be greeted by a lush habitat, refreshing swimming hole, and yes, the toilet bowl. It’s a swirling pool of water that you can actually jump in to. Take a leap of faith and swim to freedom at this epic spot.
Approx. 4 hours from Phoenix
Antelope Canyon is no secret. It’s as much a staple on Instagram as Scottsdale women doing yoga. Still, it’s worth a trip to this beautiful slot canyon near Page that’s filled with beams of light radiating on the canyon walls. We recommend booking a guided jeep tour of the canyon, which will take you deep into the upper and lower canyon. Once there, you can climb ladders up the canyon, walk through narrow crevasses, and snap pictures. No filter needed.
Approx. 4 hours from Phoenix
Yes, The Grand Canyon is making another entry on this list. Our state is literally called “The Grand Canyon State,” so can you blame us? By now, you’ve probably made a trip to this natural wonder, but what about Horseshoe Bend near Page? This gorgeous vantage point overlooks the Colorado River from 1,000-feet up. The water, sandstone, and elevation make this 270-degree view one of a kind.
5. Slide Rock
Approx. 2 hours, 15 minutes from Phoenix
Everyone knows about Sedona’s famous Red Rocks, but we recommend you forego the pricey Pink Jeep tours on your next trip up. Instead, make a trip to Slide Rock. It’s a state park in Oak Creek Canyon only a few miles removed from downtown. The 43-acre park is known for its natural water slide where you can jump in and float down the creek in a water chute.
#FrayLife Tip: Don’t forget to take a dip in one of Slide Rock’s many swimming creeks. It’s like a giant outdoor water park in one of Arizona’s most beautiful locations.
Do you have a favorite place you head when you want to get out of the city for a day and get an amazing outdoor experience?
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