If you hanker for a road trip, Arizona is possibly one of the best destinations you can choose for your outdoor adventure. Why? Because no matter where you decide to go in AZ, chances are you’ll find gorgeous vacation rentals that are usually within walking distance from some spectacular nature. And depending on how you plan your trip, you may never need to drive more than an hour or two from one spot to the next. So you’ll get to take in a lot of AZ beauty in a little driving.
If you are planning a road trip in Arizona, here are top five locations you want to visit:
Seek Adventure in Sedona/Grand Canyon/Flagstaff
The red rocks, scenic areas, and tranquil vibes of Sedona are every family’s dream to see. The drive up to Sedona from Phoenix is picturesque, hilly and takes about two hours. Go during non-peak dates for the best time. Enjoy everything from hiking, camping, and shopping, to galleries in Sedona. Stop for a glass of wine at Javelina Leap Vineyard before you head off to Grand Canyon- one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
When you get to the GC, don’t miss out on the area’s top highlight - the Bright Angel Trail on the North Rim. If you’re brave enough, consider Colorado River Rafting.
When you are in Flagstaff, enjoy the jaw-droppingly beautiful nature along with a range of hidden campsites south of Flagstaff. Oh, and make sure you visit Santas Workshop - especially if you’ve got your kiddies with you!
Old Town Scottsdale
From fantastic restaurants and shopping tours to some of the best golf courses in the state, you’ll get everything you need in the Old Town Scottsdale. Rent a vacation house in Old Town, spend a date night at Bandera, take a selfie in front of Robert Indiana’s “LOVE” sculpture! If your kids are coming along, make sure you take them to the OdySea Aquarium and Butterfly Wonderland. A few other things you can enjoy in and around Old Town Scottsdale:
Bisbee is situated against a steep hill. Athletes know it for its annual 1,000 Staircase Climb. With its quaint “Ghost Town” charm, Bisbee is perfect for casually exploring the restaurants, shops, galleries, and other establishments.
Take a Golf Cart Tour of the city or try a Jeep Ride of the historic district and mines. See everything from the Brewery Gulch and Main Street to the Tombstone Canyon and OK Street.
If you consider yourself an old soul or are fascinated with the historic charm, you’ll love Bisbee’s:
Home to the majestic Superstition Mountains, Apache Junction is a place filled with grandeur and adventure. Regardless of the time you come here, there’ll be plenty of activities to enjoy since local events run all year. Go check out the Renaissance Festival in February or the Festival of the Superstitions in October. Take Route 88 to see the Tonto National Monument, then try the miles-long hike trails if you are feeling adventurous. This place has got you covered for a few more great things like:
Show Low is home to about 12,000 residents (which makes the town much quieter than most.) Enjoy the White Mountains and great spots for hunting and fishing. Get your senses blown away with the local cuisine specialties, go exploring the wildlife spots or golfing. You can also go shopping for unique souvenirs at Lazy Bear Decor or drop by the Show Low Bluff Trail. Other things you can do:
a. Hiking and Camping
b. Oak, Aspen and Spruce tree forests
c. Snow Play
What other locations have you considered for your road trip across Arizona? Share your ideas in the comments below!
People used tents or similar sheltering structures since the dawn of time, and that is precisely why we cannot pinpoint the exact era when the first one was invented. The concept is simple. Drape whatever you can over a pole or something else, and you will get instant protection from the weather.
However, if we are to talk about the history of Camping and tents in America, we have to define two different uses: Camping as a way of surviving the harsh climate, and camping for purely recreational purposes. Recreational camping started to bloom in the 1900s, after World War II.
Fun Fact: The oldest evidence of a tent dates back to the 40,000 BC. It was located in a Russian archeological site in Moldova. Even the Old Testament mentions the use of shelters!
Luckily, camping equipment evolved through the ages, and we will take you on a short journey through the history of tents in American recreational camping.
The Tent History Timeline
1855 – The Americans realized that Native American tents are very functional and provide a great shelter. Copying the basic principle, Henry Hopkins Sibley patented a bell tent that had a large piece of fabric strung up over a pole in the center. This type of shelter was used widely in the Civil War.
1905 – A breakthrough in camping equipment made recreational camping available for everyone who doesn’t want to compromise on comfort. Singlehandedly, William Coffin Coleman discovered a new lamp that burned gasoline and emitted steady white light that was much safer than regular candles. It is how the Coleman Company came to life. And that company is still going strong, offering the most modern recreational camping equipment.
1906 – Thomas Hiram Holding is considered to be the father of modern camping. In 1906, he published “The Camper’s Handbook,” a guide that first entertained the notion of camping for recreational purposes. In it, he explains how camping brings you closer to nature, extends your lifespan due to the physical activity, and most importantly, makes people self-reliant. And he wasn’t wrong!
1911 – An in-depth guide about making ten different types of tents published in 1911. It is called the Boy Scout Handbook and provided a variety of camping information about tent pitching.
1945 – This was the year when Americans felt it was high time to go back to their roots and nature. Sales of tents and campers increased, and many people chose to spend their leisure time outdoors. It was due to the war ending, and purchasing power restored for many people. Luckily, they decided to go on a camping equipment shopping spree.
1959 – Eureka, a camping gear company, introduced the first-ever self-standing tent. This gave birth to a whole new era of tent development. Eureka indeed!
1970 – While other companies tried to copy Eureka’s previous patent, they went ahead and created a yet another industry shift. Up until then, tents were bulky, heavy, and hard to store and transport. But sometime in the 1970s, they advertised a new Timberline tent that fit in a backpack and didn’t weigh a ton. Timberline tents were purchased 1 million times in the next ten years.
1990 – There are many truck drivers in America, and trucks are perfect for harsher climates and rough roads. Especially if we are talking about the great outdoors, mountain areas and camping areas. Napier Enterprises saw the connection between the love of camping and truck drivers, so they introduced the first truck tent that fits perfectly on the back of the pickup.
2009 – 2011 – As of 2009, there were 3.2 million people in America who prefer tents over other luxurious camping experiences, and that number persisted throughout 2011.
2016 – The modern era brings impressive new tent designs and even sturdier and lighter weight equipment. Some of the concepts introduced to the public were solar-powered tents, kayak tents, tents intended for cyclists, and even those that can withstand howling winds and arctic climate.
This short recap of the recreational camping history can serve as a reminder of how far we have come from tepees to modern age tents and camping equipment. No matter which one you choose, the result is the same – reconnecting with nature and finding peace in the wilderness.
During the summer, every person who is able should go camping with friends or family in the beautiful outdoors at least once. It’s one of the most lovely experiences one can have in nature - especially if the camping happens in the remarkable wilds of states like Arizona.
If you have a yearning to be one with the great outdoors, then you know that you need a tent for that. If your family situation has changed or you haven’t gone camping for some time - or maybe your tent has seen better days - you might need a new one. Maybe it’s time to get something that is a little more comfortable than the one that suited you as a teen? Or perhaps you’re a first timer?
The big question at this point is how to pick the right tent. With that in mind, we have decided to help you out by explaining how to find the tents that best suit your needs, and able to choose wisely.
Identifying the best tents involves knowing the best features they should have. If you can’t tell them, no worries, we’ll list them for you!
There are plenty of tents out there, and the right one for you depends on the type of camping you’ll be doing. If you are camping next to your vehicle, get a big and spacious tent, but if you go further out or will be changing locations, then it’s better to get something portable.
Choosing the best tent always involve looking at where that tent will be used, how it will be used, and in what conditions. Once you determine these factors, then the best tents for you are the ones that fit into those parameters. Naturally, you should never ignore the quality of the canvas itself. Within reason, money should not be a big issue, because you need and deserve better quality to have the best time on your trip. And as with just about everything else, you’ll get more usage out of better quality.
When it comes to conditions, it’s always essential to have a tent that can handle the weather.
If you require more tips on tents, or you want to have a great and comfortable camping experience in Arizona with the help from the locals, don’t hesitate to contact Arizona Adventures Cooperative. We’ll make sure you have a fun and truly memorable experience!
Does Camping seem like too much hassle for you at times? Is it easier to sit on the sofa on the weekend rather than heading outdoors? Well, if so, we have 5 Great Reasons for you to plan, pack, and partake in camping this Summer.
1. To Get Away From it All
Camping is a perfect way to get a mental “detox”. Walking in the forest can decrease levels of the stress hormone cortisol, slow pulse rate, and reduce blood pressure, according to a recent study from Chiba University in Japan. This can happen even after 15 minutes, so imagine what 36 more hours could do for you. This means even on those trips where things go wrong, you will still come home feeling refreshed and reinvigorated!
2. Camping Inspires Creativity
Be sure to take your Journal with you because more than likely, you will be inspired like never before! Research shows that just five minutes of exercise in a natural environment boosts your mood. Lush green scenery is more motivating than a gym television permanently stuck on the news. One study found that backpackers scored 50 percent better on a creativity test after spending four days in the outdoors, disconnected from electronic devices. Our mind can relax when we turn off our cell phones and tablet devices, scientists say, freeing up our imagination.
3. You’ll sleep Like a Baby
According to the Journal, Current Biology, one weekend sleeping outdoors can actually reset your clock, which lets you drift off earlier and wake up less groggy. When you are indoors, you’re exposed to a limited amount of natural light and then even more artificial light at night. This is a combination that can confuse your body clock and delay the flipping of your inner bedtime switch by an hour or more. While camping, you are exposed to 13 times brighter daytime light and much less light at night which ultimately makes your sleep so much better.
4. Improves Your Health
The feeling you get when you’re around nature gives your body a chance to build up your immune system, found scientists at the University of Illinois, who reviewed existing research on the health effects of nature. When you relax, your body can put that energy toward the systems that offer long term health benefits, like your immune system.
Studies have also found that those in a natural environment reported less negative thoughts and also had reduced neural activity in the pre-frontal cortex – an area of the brain related to mental illness. Spending time outdoors surrounded by nature can greatly benefit one’s psychological and physical well-being.
5. Staying Fit is More Fun
If you plan on hiking or going on a trail run while camping, you can expect to have an incredible workout! Compared to going to the gym, exercising outdoors makes people even happier and more energized, Environmental Science and Technology reports. Other research found that while you may push yourself harder during outdoor activities, you actually feel as if you’re putting less effort because you’re having a better time.
If you are new to camping- have no worry. In addition to our Camping Concierge services & training at AAC, you can learn camping skills from numerous organizations:
* AZ Family Campout Program: https://azstateparks.com/family-camp/
* REI Classes: https://www.rei.com/events
* BOW (Becoming an Outdoor Woman): www.arizonaoutdoorwomen.com
* Outessa (Women Only Adventures): Outessa.com
So the next time you just want to kick it in front of the TV rather than go camping- review these reasons to get inspired! It may be a tiny bit of work to get out to the woods, but once you do- you’ll know it’s the best thing you could have done!
Misty is a mother of two and an avid outdoor enthusiast! She loves to go hiking, camping, and to photograph the beautiful AZ landscapes with her family and friends whenever she gets the chance. Misty is a founding member of Arizona Adventures Cooperative; this company connects guides and adventure lovers to provide an avenue to explore and enjoy AZ. Through the partnership between AAC and Arizona Outdoor Adventures, Misty is also able to share her passion of the outdoors with youth. She believes strongly in promoting outdoor activity and being an inspiration for people to live a healthy life outdoors. For Misty, the way to live life to the fullest is through the outdoors and being in nature. For more information about AAC, visit azadventurecoop.com and for AOA, visit azoutdooradventures.org.
Lynx Lake, Prescott AZ
One of our most recent tours, took us to Lynx Lake in Prescott, AZ. The beauty of the lake was so stunning that I had to share! Here are some quick facts about Lynx Lake:
-Located in the Lynx Lake Recreation Area at 5,600 elevation
-Has a campground situated along the lake's west shoreline.
-Has Ponderosa pine ecosystem mixed with alligator juniper, oak species and a variety of native grasses.
-Day time and overnight temperatures are very pleasant and from late June through Mid-September you can expect late afternoon thunderstorms.
-You may see deer, osprey, great blue heron, bald eagle, mountain lion, bobcat, fox, skunk, rabbit, and different species of snakes, lizards, and birds
-Half of the trail is paved so your entire family can take a leisurely stroll around the lake.
Overall, I was so happy with my visit to Lynx Lake. I highly recommend visiting Lynx Lake the next time you are in Prescott, AZ.