20 adventurous things to do in phoenix


adventurous things to do in phoenix

Phoenix, Arizona, is a vibrant city known for its warm weather, stunning desert landscapes, and a plethora of outdoor activities. It’s a playground for adventure enthusiasts looking to explore the natural beauty of the Southwest. Here are 20 adventurous things to do in Phoenix that will satisfy your thirst for adventure and provide unforgettable experiences.

Hiking Camelback Mountain

For breathtaking views of Phoenix and the surrounding area, hike up Camelback Mountain. Two main trails, Echo Canyon and Cholla Trail, offer rigorous hikes that are rewarded with stunning city and desert views.

Hot Air Balloon Rides

Experience Phoenix from above on a hot air balloon ride. Enjoy the serene beauty of the desert sunrise or sunset while floating in the sky, offering a unique perspective of the landscape.

Mountain Biking in South Mountain Park

featured image GettyImages 488807043 1

With over 50 miles of trails, South Mountain Park is a haven for mountain bikers. The trails range from easy to challenging, offering something for every skill level.

Kayaking at Salt River

Kayak down the Salt River and enjoy the scenic desert views. Keep an eye out for wild horses, bald eagles, and other wildlife along the way.

Desert Botanical Garden

Explore the beauty of the desert flora at the Desert Botanical Garden. The garden features thousands of species of cacti, trees, and flowers from around the world.

Rock Climbing at Papago Park

Papago Park offers excellent rock climbing opportunities for climbers of all levels. The park’s distinctive red sandstone formations are perfect for bouldering and rope climbing.

Visit the Grand Canyon

Take a day trip to one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World. The Grand Canyon, with its immense size and spectacular landscapes, is just a few hours’ drive from Phoenix.

Stand-Up Paddleboarding (SUP) at Tempe Town Lake

Enjoy the urban setting of Tempe Town Lake by renting a stand-up paddleboard. It’s a fun way to explore the lake and get a workout.

Horseback Riding in the Desert

istockphoto 1293616571 612x612 1

Experience the Sonoran Desert the traditional way – on horseback. Various ranches around Phoenix offer guided trail rides through the scenic landscape.

Off-Roading Adventures

Rent an ATV or join a guided off-roading tour to explore the rugged desert terrain. It’s an adrenaline-pumping way to see the natural beauty of the area.

Golfing at Top Courses

Phoenix is home to some of the best golf courses in the country. Enjoy a round of golf while taking in the beautiful desert surroundings.

Explore the Musical Instrument Museum

Not all adventures are outdoors. Visit the Musical Instrument Museum to see over 6,800 instruments from around the world and learn about different musical cultures.

Hiking in the Phoenix Mountains Preserve

For more hiking options, explore the trails in the Phoenix Mountains Preserve. The preserve offers numerous trails that provide great views of the city and its natural surroundings.

White Water Rafting on the Salt River

For a thrilling adventure, go white water rafting on the Salt River. Experience the excitement of navigating rapids in a stunning desert setting.


For the ultimate adrenaline rush, go skydiving over the Arizona desert. It’s an unforgettable experience with spectacular aerial views of the landscape.

Zip Lining

Experience the thrill of zip lining at one of the adventure parks near Phoenix. It’s a fun way to enjoy the scenic views while getting your heart racing.

Visit the Phoenix Zoo

31041887533 97a3533fc7 b

Discover the wildlife of the desert and beyond at the Phoenix Zoo. It’s home to over 1,400 animals, including many native to the Arizona desert.

Catch a Sunset at Dobbins Lookout

Drive or hike up to Dobbins Lookout on South Mountain for one of the best sunset views in Phoenix. The panoramic view of the city against the backdrop of the setting sun is spectacular.

Explore Tonto National Forest

Just a short drive from Phoenix, Tonto National Forest offers a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, fishing, and camping in its beautiful and diverse landscapes.

Scenic Drive on Apache Trail

Take a scenic drive on the historic Apache Trail through the Superstition Mountains. It’s a winding road that offers stunning views of canyons, desert landscapes, and Apache Lake.

Phoenix offers a wide range of adventurous activities that cater to all interests, from outdoor enthusiasts to those looking to explore the cultural aspects of the city. Whether you’re hiking up rugged mountains, floating in a hot air balloon, or exploring the desert on horseback, Phoenix promises an adventure that you won’t forget.

Delve into the depths of the earth by exploring the caves near Cave Creek. Guided tours offer a glimpse into the fascinating underground world of Arizona, showcasing ancient formations and the unique ecosystem of cave dwellings.

Paragliding in the Sonoran Desert

Take adventure to new heights with paragliding over the Sonoran Desert. Experienced instructors can help you soar above the desert landscape, offering unmatched views and an exhilarating sense of freedom.

Biking Along the Arizona Canal

The Arizona Canal trail offers miles of biking paths that wind through Phoenix and beyond. It’s a leisurely way to explore the city, with plenty of stops for sightseeing and dining along the way.

Stargazing in the Desert

istockphoto 537621432 612x612 1

Away from the city lights, the Arizona desert is an ideal place for stargazing. Join a guided astronomy tour or simply set up a telescope in a dark spot to marvel at the stars and planets.

Visit the Heard Museum

Immerse yourself in the rich culture and history of the Native American peoples at the Heard Museum. The museum showcases traditional and contemporary art and artifacts, offering insights into the diverse cultures of the Southwest.

Golfing Under the Stars

Some golf courses in Phoenix offer night golfing experiences, allowing you to enjoy the game under the stars. It’s a unique twist on traditional golfing, with illuminated balls and fairways.

Sailing on Lake Pleasant

Just north of Phoenix, Lake Pleasant offers opportunities for sailing in the desert. Rent a sailboat or join a sailing tour to experience the tranquility of gliding across the water with the desert as your backdrop.

Urban Fishing

Phoenix’s urban lakes are stocked with fish, making them perfect for a day of fishing without leaving the city. It’s a relaxing way to enjoy the outdoors and maybe catch your dinner.

Bird Watching at the Ripari


The Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch in Gilbert, just a short drive from Phoenix, is a haven for bird watchers. The preserve attracts over 200 species of birds, making it a prime spot for observing waterfowl and migratory birds.

Photography Tours

Join a photography tour to capture the stunning landscapes and urban scenes of Phoenix. These tours guide you to the best spots at the right times, ensuring you get those perfect shots.

ATV Tours in the Desert

Explore the rugged terrain of the Arizona desert on an ATV. Guided tours take you off the beaten path, offering a thrilling adventure and the chance to see parts of the desert not easily accessible by foot or car.

Explore Historic Downtown Phoenix

Take a walk through historic downtown Phoenix to see its blend of modern and historic architecture. Visit landmarks, art galleries, and dine at local restaurants to get a taste of Phoenix’s rich cultural heritage.

Take a Cooking Class with Local Chefs

Phoenix’s culinary scene is vibrant and diverse. Take a cooking class with local chefs to learn how to prepare dishes that are inspired by the flavors of the Southwest.

Botanical Night Walks

The Desert Botanical Garden offers night walks where you can explore the garden illuminated by the moon and stars. It’s a magical experience that reveals the nocturnal life of desert plants and animals.

Participate in a Desert Clean-up

Join a community effort to preserve the natural beauty of the desert by participating in a desert clean-up. It’s a rewarding way to give back to the environment and ensure that these landscapes remain pristine for future generations.

Phoenix’s array of adventurous activities is as diverse as its landscape, offering something for everyone, from serene nature experiences to heart-pounding adventures. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, these activities will help you discover the unique charm and natural beauty of Phoenix and its surrounding areas.