Day Trips From Phoenix You Must Do With Family Part 1 - Kid 101

Day Trips From Phoenix You Must Do With Family Part 1

Sonoran Desert (50 minutes)

The Sonoran Desert is just under an hour from mid town Arizona and yet is a world away. The Desert, which covers over 100,000 square miles of Arizona, California and Mexico, is exquisitely beautiful. If you want to see the landscape that you so often see in the movies, head to the Sonora. Giant cactus, rocky outcrops, huge buttresses as well as forest, grassland and tundra. You can explore on foot using one of the many hiking trails, ride on horseback or take a guided tour by jeep. There are paved and dirt roads, as well as an astonishing outdoor museum that should be top of your list. There’s a tourist information centre at Scottsdale where you can get maps or book yourself on a guided tour. Don’t forget to visit the aviary and the aquarium at the Sonora Desert Museum.

Tucson Mountain Park (1 hour 50 min)

This is a pretty easy day trip to do and the views are just magnificent. The park is 20,000 acres big and offers over 62 miles of wilderness trails, shared by hikers, cyclists and horse-riders. You will have outstanding views of the mountains, desert, canyons, buttresses, tundra and grassland. Pick up a map at the entrance and choose your trail carefully. You can do a short loop or you can challenge yourself and go rock climbing or abseiling. Don’t forget to spend some time at Gates Pass where there are interpretive displays at the on-site Desert Discovery Centre. Take a picnic with you and perhaps play a little archery before you head home. Take a picnic with you although there are concession stands and refreshments for sale.

Montezuma Castle National Monument (1 hour 30 min)

The Montezuma’s Castle National Monument protects a set of well-preserved Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings near the town of Camp Verde. This was the site were The Sinagua, a Native American Tribe, carved their dwellings into the sides of limestone cliffs and they are pretty extraordinary to see. The Sinagua lived in this territory over 600 years ago and the dwellings are still in pristine condition. Some are over 3 stories high and have more than 20 rooms. Arrive in Montezuma, pick up a map and then walk along the trails that will take you to see the dwelling and lead you to the on-site museum. The park itself is a place of great beauty with astonishing views and a variety of native plants, beautiful birdlife, a wide array of insects and Arizona sycamore trees.

Pack a picnic or have a meal in one of the many nearby resorts, hotels or cafes.

Sedona (2 hours)

Sedona may be quite a distance away but it’s pretty much worth traveling for two hours to reach one of the world’s most magnificent areas. Sedona is all about towering red rock buttresses, towering canyon walls, and thick pine forests. Take your hiking boots, check in at the Visitors Centre and choose your hike. You can do anything from 1 mile to 15 miles. After your hike hang out in the town which is filled with restaurants, coffee shops, bars, divine new age shops, art galleries, and boutiques. You won’t want to leave and you don’t have to if you book a gorgeous cabin or Inn for the night.  Sedona is part rugged beauty and part resort and you can really get into nature and the beauty and then enjoy the urban. Come home with a souvenir or two, perhaps some lovely silver and turquoise jewelry.

Casa Grande Ruins National Monument (1 hour)

This site is ancient, historical, spiritual and beautiful. Archeologists discovered evidence that the ancient Sonoran Desert people who built the Casa Grande also developed wide-scale irrigation farming and extensive trade connections which lasted over a thousand years until about 1450 C.E. Archeologists call a site where there are earthen buildings, red on buff pottery, and extensive canals “Hohokam” The Casa Grande Ruins structure stands as a national monument to the first people who lived in this area. The area preserves a group of ancient Pueblo homes, extraordinary structures built out of the land and also showcases artifacts from hundreds of years ago. There are guided tours daily, and you will learn a lot about Native American history and culture as well as getting to meet some of the local people. It’s really beautiful to wander around this desert area too with beautiful plant life, giant cactus, and some interesting wildlife too.

We are only getting started, see the next 10 trips.

Next 5 Trips >

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