Arizona

vulture peak trail

Vulture Peak Trail: A Summit to Die For

Driving westbound on highway 74 near Morristown, Arizona, the ominous hump of Vulture Peak dominates the horizon ahead. Glancing out the driver and passenger windows, many of the neighboring ranges are taller and ore massive, yet there’s something unique about how Vulture’s dome stands out from the surrounding desert. I relived this experience many times over the course of a few years and the mountain climber in me desired to set foot on Vulture’s summit.

Outdoors
arizona waterfall hikes

21 Must-See Waterfall Hikes in Arizona

Arizona has more than 100,000 miles of river, creek, and stream. Many of those are seasonal and intermittent, and countless others have been permanently changed or lost by manmade diversions and dams. What remains offers plenty of watercourses to explore, and when we’re lucky, waterfalls.

Arizona
aravaipa canyon wilderness hiking

Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness: an Underrated Desert Oasis

We’ve hiked through a variety of Arizona canyon country over the last few years. Some of it crowded, like our mob-infested mid-October foray through Havasu Canyon. Some of it desolate, like the rugged solitude of the Eastern Superstitions. But our recent trip through Aravaipa Canyon was in a league all its own. Of all the descriptors we uttered while navigating the canyon, I think my buddy Dustin came up with the best one: “Underrated.”

Outdoors
Pioneer Living History featured

Exploring Pioneer Living History Museum: An Authentic, Unfinished Wild West

The Pioneer Living History Museum has an excellent collection of old buildings and period-accurate memorabilia, but for all its charm, it still feels like the town left behind. And that’s exactly the village’s appeal. If you want a polished, movie-set version of the west, go to Rawhide. If you want the slow, weary pace of life in a frontier town never fully realized, the Museum has your number, and in that sense it offers a more realistic western experience than many tourist attractions in the metro area.

Living
Cookstove Trail Featured

Cookstove Trail: A Respite in the “Cool” Pines

On a clear and sunny November day, my wife and I loaded up our little Toyota Prius for a weekend trip to Oak Creek Canyon. With a reservation to stay the night in a cabin at the Forest Houses Resort, I was itching to grab a hike in Sedona along the way. As is often the case, my wife’s intuition was much more accurate than mine. Here’s a rough approximation of our exchange as we drove out of town: WIFE: “It’s Saturday, don’t you think the trails will be really busy in Sedona today?” ME: “It’s November. Tourist season is dying off. It’ll be fine!” I should have known better. God, should I have known better.

Outdoors
Phoenix Sonoran Preserve Featured

Phoenix Sonoran Preserve: A Miniature Desert Wilderness Suspended in Suburbia

The Phoenix Sonoran Preserve is a little slice of wilderness surrounded by city. Nestled in northern reaches of the endless suburban sprawl of the Phoenix metro area, the Sonoran Preserve is often busy with hikers and mountain bikers. Beyond the confines of the park, views look out upon suburb neighborhoods, freeways, and strip malls. However, it is possible to escape the city and pretend you are out in the middle of nowhere.

Outdoors
best hikes peoria glendale az

The Best Hiking Trails in Glendale and Peoria

Most hikers and trail runners in the West Valley head to Glendale’s Thunderbird Conservation Park when they want to go for a hike without driving far from home. This makes Thunderbird a very busy place, yet there are many great hikes in same area that allow you to avoid the crowds of Thunderbird. As a local resident of Peoria over the last few years, I’ve nailed down the best hikes in the neighborhood. Here's the best hiking trails in the Northwest Valley!

Arizona
avoid crowds grand canyon south rim

How to Avoid the Crowds at the Grand Canyon South Rim

The Grand Canyon South Rim often gets a bad rap for being over-crowded, especially during summer at the height of the tourist season.  As a former tour guide at the Grand Canyon South Rim, I’m here to share a few secrets about how avoid the crowds.  None of these ridiculous amounts of driving or hiking into the backcountry either!

Guides
boucher hermit loop grand canyon

Boucher – Hermit Loop: A Grand Canyon Backpacking Excursion

In April 2012, I did my first backpacking trip ever, hiking 23 miles over 3 days in Grand Canyon National Park. I tackled the rugged and challenging Boucher, Tonto, and Hermit Trails on my first voyage, a much different experience compared to the corridor trails that most novice backpackers see in the Grand Canyon. While challenging, this itinerary allowed me a wilderness experience that was in no way disappointing. This article is not intended to be a blow-by-blow summary of the trips events, but a reflection of my inner emotions and perceptions that I felt during the trip, and how they have strengthened, but also changed my connection with the Grand Canyon.

Outdoors