Spending time recreating outdoors is a big part of our lives here well beyond our signature golf courses. The extensive network of trails and mountain preserves provides area residents & visitors with a wide assortment of choices when it comes to hiking, biking and camping. The number of dollars annually spent on outdoor adventures has nearly doubled since 2012, sitting at over $21 billion, according to the Outdoor Industry Association. This also brings hundreds of thousands of jobs to the state, as well as tax revenue in excess of $1.4 billion.
With domestic travel at an all-time high, it’s natural that these vacationers will want to explore our stunning slice of the USA here in the Southwest. “Another busy travel season is nearly here. U.S. travel spending will top $1 trillion for the third straight year,” according to The Kiplinger Letter of March 9, 2019. For those of us who are fortunate enough to live in Arizona either full or part time, 60% of our 6.9 million residents engage in outdoor recreation every year according to the OIA.
Decades ago, planned communities were developed and built around golf, offering convenience and championship quality courses to avid golfers and lush green backdrops for homeowners. There is a trend today bringing people together in other ways, celebrating Mother Nature and offering an incredible variety of options for trail seekers, meandering walking paths within residential communities, and dog parks for pet lovers. A breath of fresh air is a great way to start off the day. It’s a bit of a mindset – gratitude for the beauty of our desert surroundings.
Featured below is last summer’s article in Southwest Magazine, where all of the top recreation choices in our state were related to outdoor adventures.
We enjoyed a day trip to Sedona recently where we took in some of the most dramatic scenery, enjoyed an energizing 5 mile hike with our Aussie Cooper, and did a little shopping and dining. Day trip venues like this are throughout our state, many within 1-2 hours of the Valley. Enjoy dashboard time with your travel companions and do something for your wellness!
Courtesy of The Outbound Collective, click below to see their picks for the Top 25 Hikes in Arizona. We are blessed with 500+ hiking trails, 100+ Indian Ruin sites, 76 trailheads, 41 campgrounds, 10 wilderness areas and 4 National Forests. Look at the variety of topography, views and skill level – there is truly something for everyone!
Enveloping the Valley, The Scottsdale McDowell Sonoran Preserve is the ‘back yard’ of North Scottsdale, consisting of over 30,000 acres of trails. This preserve is the largest in the country with easy access from several trail heads, including The Scottsdale Gateway along Thompson Peak Parkway. There is something for everyone here, from a short hike with your dog to a 5 hour trek to Tom’s Thumb. Click Here for the link to the City of Scottsdale Trail Maps. The City of Scottsdale in particular has earned high marks. Click Here to see how we ranked in the recent citizen survey. Our health and well being can be attributed to our outdoor adventures.
The Desert Mountain community has its own 15-mile private trail system consisting of seven segments in varying degrees of difficulty, along with an interactive trail guide offering hikers customized maps that can be downloaded to their mobile devices. “Today’s hiker, without ever having stepped a foot on our trails, is able to sort and choose the ideal hike based on either distance, time, or elevation gain by using our digital guide,” says Troy Gillenwater, principal at Desert Mountain’s Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty.
From the Continental Mountains the panoramas are unmatched, with views all the way to Tucson’s Catalina Mountains. Hikers can reach a 4,100-foot elevation to see local landmarks to the west beyond the town of Wickenburg. Desert Mountain is a recipient of the American Trails Developer Award from the non-profit American Trails organization.
We welcome our spring visitors and residents alike to celebrate our beautiful Arizona.