Great Extreme Attractions in Phoenix and Scottsdale

Walk, Run, Climb and Ride

Locals and visitors to the Valley of the Sun who want an exhilarating adventure needn't look too far. Whether you are looking for a unique desert experience while you are visiting the area, or you have relatives visiting that want an exciting experience, you are sure to find the perfect escapade — or maybe two or three! 

These attractions are specifically geared toward those people who are active, and don't mind heights, a hike, a bit of exertion, or a long walk. They appear here in no particular order.

More Phoenix Area Activities and Attractions for All Kinds of People

  • 01 of 10
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    ••• Judy Hedding

    There are several hot air balloon companies operating in Phoenix and Scottsdale. Our usually predictable and pleasant weather makes it such that we can arrange for hot air balloon flights all year long. Check out this video about my hot air balloon ride!

  • 02 of 10
    Desert ATV Riding
    ••• Desert ATV Riding. Judy Hedding

    There are dozens of places in the Phoenix and Scottsdale areas where you can take a guided tour on an ATV or UTV, or simply rent a vehicle and ride off into the desert on your own. Arizona Outdoor Fun provides a great experience, but there are companies in all parts of town that rent vehicles and/or offer jeep and ATV tours for offroading entertainment. If you go out on your own, make sure you stay off private property (including Native American lands) and obey Arizona's laws.

  • 03 of 10
    Horseback Riding at Fort McDowell Adventures
    ••• Horseback Riding at Fort McDowell Adventures. Judy Hedding

    Not far from Scottsdale, Phoenix and Mesa you can take a ride on a horse in to enjoy the beauty of the Sonoran Desert on horseback. Fort McDowell Adventures near Fountain Hills is just one place with high quality horses and tour guides at their stables. They also offer kayaking, jeep tours and Segway tours.

    On the southern end of town, at South Mountain, there are many trails for your horseback adventure and the stables there offer trail rides from one hour to eight hours in length.

  • 04 of 10
    Fighter Combat International in Arizona
    ••• Inverted Flight at Fighter Combat International.

    Have you ever seen one of those aerobatic pilots at an air show or stunt show, and wondered what it felt like to climb, and dive, or roll and spin, to fly upside down, or experience maneuvers at 3 Gs or more? You can do just that at Fighter Combat International in Mesa, Arizona.

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10
    Swim with Dolphins at Dolphinaris Arizona
    ••• Make friends with a dolphin at Dolphinaris Arizona. Judy Hedding

    Meet and greet a bottlenose dolphin at Dolphinaris Arizona in Scottsdale. A variety of packages are available, some in the water and even a land option if you don't want to get wet. In any case, you'll learn about these magnificent creatures and have a unique experience in the desert.

  • 06 of 10
    Circuit of the Americas Race Weekend
    ••• Drive a Race Car. Brian Cleary / Getty Images

    The Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler offers classes to enhance your driving skills and fulfill that need for speed. Classroom instruction is provided, and there may be requirements and/or restrictions, depending on the program you choose. Most of your time will be spent in their high-performance vehicles zooming around the racetrack.

  • 07 of 10
    Predator Zip Line at Out of Africa in Arizona
    ••• Predator Zip Line over the Lions. Judy Hedding

    Out of Africa Wildlife Park, about two hours north of Phoenix in Camp Verde, is a refuge for big cats and other African and exotic animals. You can take traditional tours, on trams or on foot, but the more adventurous among us will want to experience Out of Africa on the Predator Zip Line, a three hour zipline tour over the preserve. You'll probably be the first of your friends to have this kind of experience!

  • 08 of 10
    Take a Segway Tour in Arizona
    ••• Take a Segway Tour. Tempe Convention & Visitors Bureau

    Learn how to operate a Segway on either the Tempe Town Lake Discovery Tour in downtown Tempe, Arizona or on the Desert Ridge Discovery Tour in the north part of town near the border of Phoenix and Scottsdale. No prior Segway experience necessary. They'll teach you everything you need to know.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10
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    ••• Climb Camelback Mountain.

    Right in the center of Phoenix, amid the luxury resorts and the ritzy shopping malls, is a set of mountains. Both Camelback Mountain and Piestewa Peak offer great urban hikes with spectacular city views on clear days. They might not be as challenging as Everest, but you'll get a workout!

  • 10 of 10
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    ••• Arizona is a popular place for bikers!. Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery / Getty Images Sport

    What better way to experience Arizona than on a motorcycle! Rent a bike while you are here, and hit the road for one of these five recommended bike trips.

Sporting Events, Races & More

There are a variety of activities suitable for teens every single month. Take free trolleys to art galleries and spaces during First Friday, attend baseball games, hockey games, NBA and WNBA basketball games, arena football games, soccer games, Spring Training, PGA and LPGA golf tournaments, car shows, tattoo shows, Comicon, dog shows, holiday activities...the list goes on and on. Check the monthly calendars for the big events, and then check the concert calendars to see which big-name bands are appearing locally.