Day Trips and Itineraries

Experience Arizona on a Guided Tour

In Arizona, the possibilities for experiencing the great outdoors are unlimited. Arizona has an abundance of beautiful, scenic, interesting and just plain fun places for you to explore via many different modes. You can choose to see the sights on foot, mountain bike, ATV or river boat, in a jeep, van or hot air balloon.

And what better way to enjoy your outdoor adventures than on a guided tour with a professional tour company. Tour operators have the knowledgeable staff who do all the planning and work to make your experiences enjoyable and safe. Plus, they supply the necessary gear and permits. It’s hassle-free. You just follow their lead and take it all in.

Here are a few of our favorite tours, but all the tour operators offer multiple sight-seeing tours and adventures throughout Arizona. Check out their websites or give them a call for more information.

Mountain Biking
Arizona Outback Adventures | 480-945-2881

Whether you’re just beginning to venture off road or you’ve been doing it for years, you’ll find your mountain biking groove with an Arizona Outback Adventures Tour. This tour company is all about outdoor adventure and offers mountain biking tours for every skill level and in several locations. The half day mountain bike tour is perfect for all levels and a great way to experience our Sonoran Desert, especially in the spring, when the dessert is lush and green and often blanketed in wildflowers. But, if you want something more extreme with twists, turns, hills and other thrills, the full day ride is for you. And, their tours are tailored to meet your abilities and expectations. You can even set up a custom tour just for you and your friends.

In addition to mountain biking, Arizona Outback Adventures offers a whole spectrum of outdoor tours throughout the state, including kayaking, hiking, stand-up paddleboarding and even a Grand Canyon Fly & Hike Tour.

Canyoneering
360 Adventures | 480-418-8971

You’ll definitely have some great stories to tell about your Arizona trip if you partake in something that really gets the adrenaline pumping. Let 360 Adventures take you on a canyoneering, rock climbing or hiking trip. They refer to canyoneering as “nature’s ultimate obstacle course.” You’ll rappel down the walls of a canyon, swim through pools of water and rock climb all in one trip. You wouldn’t want to do this kind of adventure without an experienced guide and that’s just what you’ll get with the pros at 360. Slot canyon tours are available October through March and wet canyoneering (think waterfalls and running streams) tours are available April through September.

360 Adventures offers lots of tour ways to experience Arizona’s beauty, including multi-day trips and culinary tours.

ATV Thrills
Arizona Outdoor Fun | 602-904-6712

You’ll hit the desert on all fours—four wheels that is– when Arizona Outdoor Fun puts you behind the wheel of an ATV. Their guides will take you on a tour of the Sonoran Desert with plenty of exciting bumps along the way. Take a look at this video featuring travel vlogger Brett Conti zooming across the desert. Do it and you’ll be ready to experience your own adrenaline rush ride of a lifetime on an Arizona Outdoor Fun ATV tour.

Antelope Canyon in a Day
DETOURS American West | 480-269-9471 | 866-438-6877

This one-day guided tour takes you to Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend and the Navajo Nation! It’s perfect way to experience Antelope Canyon when you’re short on time.  You’ll be immersed in the exquisite beauty of Antelope Canyon and breathtaking views of Horseshoe Bend ,where the Colorado River takes a dramatic turn. The tour includes a hike into one of the most picturesque slot canyons and you’ll immerse yourself in the scenery that is distinctive of the American West along the way. The tour departs from the Phoenix/Scottsdale area between 4 and 5 a.m. and returns between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. that evening. (You can nap on the coach coming and going.) View our video for a preview of what’s in store for you on this tour.

River Boat Sightseeing
Desert Belle Cruises | 480-984-2425
Dolly Steamboat | 480-827-9144

Did you know that Arizona has thousands of lakes? That’s a fact and two of them, Saguaro Lake and Canyon Lake, are in the desert, not far from Tempe. Take a Dolly Steamboat narrated sightseeing cruise on Saguaro Lake, or a Desert Belle cruise on Canyon Lake and you’ll be treated to a blissful, relaxing hour and a half of beautiful scenery. Along the way you’ll learn about the Hohokam people, the original inhabitants of our area, who engineered the irrigation canals that are still used today. You’ll also learn about desert flora, fauna, and the legends and lore of the area. Keep an eye out and you might even spot a long horn sheep or bald eagle on the surrounding cliffs.

Red Rocks of Sedona
Pink Jeep Tours/Pink Adventures | 800-873-3662

Nobody knows red rock country better than the folks at Pink Jeep Tours/Pink Adventures, the company that’s been introducing visitors to the splendors of Sedona since 1960. Known for their bubble-gum colored jeeps and colorfully-named tours (like Broken Arrow, Diamondback Gulch and Coyote Canyons), Pink Jeep Tours covers a lot of breathtaking scenery. The Broken Arrow/Scenic Rim Combo is a super fun white- knuckle crawl over rough terrain and Sedona’s iconic red rocks. Exclusive to Pink Jeep Tours, Broken Arrow trail is where famous westerns were filmed. You’ll want to hold on tight on the thrilling ride down the Road of No Return. 

Hot Air Balloon Adventures
Rainbow Ryders Hot Air Balloon Ride Co. | 800-725-2477

Rainbow Ryders will show you a bird’s eye view of desert at sunrise. Tours are 45-60 minutes during which time you’ll be treated to the lovely aerial views of Deer Valley and the Sonoran Desert vistas. As you glide along, enjoying the serene and peaceful time in the sky, you’ll be happy that you chose this lovely hot air balloon ride for your bucket list, instead of the scary parachute jumping experience you had momentarily considered. Maybe next year. The tour ends with a post-flight Sonoran Sunrise Gourmet Breakfast with Rainbow Ryder’s signature prickly pear mimosas and local Arizona treats. You’ll also receive a commemorative flight certificate.

Tucson to Tombstone Tour
Across Arizona Tours | 602-233-1813 | 888-533-1813

If you love history and the lure of the Old West, take Across Arizona Tours’ two-day van excursion to Tucson and Tombstone. You’ll experience the history and beauty of the area with visits to the DeGrazia Studios, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Saguaro National Park, San Xavier del Bac mission and Tumacácori National Historical Park. The final stop is the infamous Tombstone that includes a shootout on Main Street and a trip through Boot Hill Cemetery.

To the Grand Canyon by Rail
Grand Canyon Railway | 800-843-8724

Take a trip back in time on a leisurely ride to the Grand Canyon by train. Daily tours depart from Williams, AZ. Your trip to and from the Grand Canyon in a restored rail car includes entertaining musicians and the antics of cowboy characters. You’ll see the scenery change from high desert to prairie, prairie to pine. When you arrive at the Grand Canyon, you’ll have time to experience one of the world’s most stunning natural wonders. You can stay for the afternoon and return to Williams on the same day. Or, spend the night at one of the lodges at the Grand Canyon and return the next day.

Nancy Black
Written Nancy Black

Nancy came from Chicago to attend Northern Arizona University and liked Arizona so much she stayed. She loves exploring Arizona and hanging out with family in Flagstaff and Tucson. She’s also a fan of cats, dogs, chuckwallas, wine and whisky.