The Ultimate Arizona Bucket List: Part 1 Outdoor Advetures

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With a lot of help, recommendations and personal experiences I bring you The Ultimate Arizona Bucket List. I am breaking the series into 3 parts because there is just so much!

Outdoor Adventures – Food – Entertainment 

I hope y’all can benefit from this and if you have any additions/changes please let me know so that we can all enjoy the great state of Arizona to its fullest!


Outdoor Adventures

*part 1 includes hikes (by city), races & water activities*

OUTDOORS & HIKING

Camp Verde:
Fossil Creek – Strawberry (between Camp Verde & Payson)
Montezuma Castle
West Clear Creek

Flagstaff:
Lava Tubes
Lake Mary
Lowell Observatory (not outside)
Mt. Humphrey
Sunset Crater

Grand Canyon:
Havasupi – Havasu Falls
River Raft the Colorado River
Skywalk

Mesa:
Coons Bluff – rappelling
Salt River Tubing

Page:
Antelope Canyon
Hoover Dam
Horseshoe Bend
Lake Powell

Payson:
Fossil Creek – Strawberry (between Camp Verde & Payson)
Tonto Natural Bridge
Water Wheel

Phoenix Valley:
Camelback Mountain: Echo & Cholla Trails
Estrella Mountains
Hole in the Rock & Papago Park
Lake Pleasant – Peoria
Pinnacle Peak – Scottsdale
Salt River Tubing & Paddleboarding – Mesa
Salt River Canyon Scenic Drive – Globe
Thunderbird Mountain – Glendale
White Tanks Mountains – Surprise

Sedona:
Devil’s Bridge
Jeep Tour
Slide Rock

Tucson:
Chiricahua National Monument
Mt. Lemon
Saguaro National Park
Wonderland of Rock

Other:
Tubac, AZ
Kartchner Caverns – Benson
Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Tumacacori National Historical Park
White House Ruins at Canyon de Chelly
Flat Iron Loop Gold Canyon by Apache Junction
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
Petrified Forest National Park – Holbrook
Salome Jugs
Vulture Peak – Wickenburg

RACES

The Color Run (January)
Phoenix Marathon, Half Marathon, 10k – Boston Qualifier (February)
Ragnar Del Sol (February)
Vacation Races Grand Canyon Half Marathon (March)
Bubble Run (April)
Vacation Races Lake Powell Half Marathon (October)
Questival by Cotopaxi (November)
see more here

WATER ACTIVITIES

Lake Havasu & London Bridge
Fossil Creek – Strawberry
Lake Pleasant – Peoria
Lake Mary – Flagstaff
Lake Powell – Page
Slide Rock – Sedona
West Clear Creek – Camp Verde
Salt River Tubing – Mesa
Water Wheel – Payson
Surprise Pool
Wet N Wild
Foothills Aquatic Center
Hubbard Swim Schools
Sunrise Mountain Pool

Splash Pads:
Pioneer Park
Tempe Beach Park
Phoenix Zoo – Leapin’ Lagoon
Goodyear Community Park
Kierland Commons
Scottsdale Quarter
Marley Park – Surprise
Rio Vista Park
Westgate
Desert Ridge Marketplace
Pioneer Park
Riverview Park – Mesa

enjoy, xoxo

Devil’s Bridge – Sedona, AZ

 

 

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(Mr. Smith) Top: Home T | Pants: Columbia | Shoes: Asics 

This weekend we took advantage of the amazing weather and drove up to Sedona, Arizona. One of our favorite ways to get away from the stress of life is to find beauty in nature. I love sleeping in a tent outside under the stars away from the city lights.  I enjoy taking a big deep breath of fresh air and most importantly away from technology and lists. It is easy for me to get wrapped up in our growing to-do lists and feel the anxiety of life. Sedona is gorgeous and if you get the opportunity to visit take advantage of it!

We went to hike Devil’s Bridge and took a 2 mile hike up to the site and then came the adventure. (side note, if you take your dogs, make sure they are well trained for some steep climbs towards the last .1 miles of the hike; our dogs did great but they hike often with us. Lot’s of other people couldn’t get their dogs up the cliff) When we were hiking back down to the car we must of taken a wrong turn at the end of the trail and added a good 4-5 miles to our return trip.  We didn’t recognize the scenery and we sat to check the map. As Cam was looking around, I saw a back of 5 or so coyotes running toward us. We usually let the dogs off leash to hike and we grabbed them close to put their leashes on. The coyotes saw us and stopped then quickly turned and went the other way. AGHH I was so scared! We decided to go back to a fork in the road and ran into another couple. We asked if we could tag along and once back to a different parking lot they drove us around the bend of the trail to our car. I am so thankful for meeting those sweet strangers and that they were willing to help us out! Overall, it was an amazing trip and I can’t wait to go back soon for a new (and safe) adventure :)

xoxo

Cinque Terre

Tuesday, we took a bus to Cinque Terre. There are 5 lands (as the name explains) too see and we ran short on time to see all 5. Oh well, guess we will have to go back! On the bus ride Cam talked to a little lady that lives in one of the towns. She was explaining how a few years ago a mudslide destroyed a few of the towns and they had to rebuild it over the years.  Well, I couldn’t tell a difference, it was beautiful either way!

I saw the most adorable couple when we arrived and we always talk about young love but their ‘old love’ made my cheesy chic flick heart skip a beat! We decided to hike to the highest point at our first stop. We literally did not see a person the whole hike. It was gorgeous and very steep, and as you can see below we were not exactly dressed for this climb… it was so worth it and the view was breathtaking! The ocean was vast and empty and waves gently rolled in. Flowers and vines bloomed all around us.  We hiked back down and headed over to the next  town.  We watch some boys play football (American Soccer) and they were freakin awesome! We toured an old WWII bunker and Cam was in war heaven.  It was trashed inside probably from bums and tourists but it was amazing to think about defending a land from that tiny stone hut.  We also saw some war grave sites and walked the ocean shore line.  Cameron showed me a statue of a man holding the city on his shoulders and we walked down to the water but I didn’t dare get in! Brrrr! We grabbed some yummy gelato and headed home. Such a relaxing day as we walked around like it was our home town.

We hopped a train back to La Spezia and grabbed our bags to head down south to ROME!

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Lake Powell Half Marathon

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Two weekends ago I completed one of my goals on my bucket list! I have a few lists and will be posting more about those later.  Cameron & I drove up to Lake Powell which is partially in Arizona and partially in Utah.  It was a crazy trip and took a lot longer due to some road issues we didn’t expect, but we tried to look up :)

Saturday morning was race day and I met up with my awesome race partner Lisa! Pretty sure I had to pee 5 times and was trying to stay warm as I shivered in the dark waiting for our race to start. Luckily my two best boys were their to support me!

Cam was photographer for the day and also captured the start of my race on video… more to come soon! He is such a great support to me and I love him more and more each day! I also grabbed two images from the race photographer Lucid Images UT; amazing work! Check them out here!

After the race, Lisa and I were pretty sick and extremely tired but we both placed in our age groups which made up for the shaking muscles and need to throw up… again. I placed 4th and was thrilled to have that accomplishment for my first half marathon! Thanks Vacation Races!

I pretty much locked myself in the bathroom and took a long hot bath then slept the rest of the day.  Sunday we packed up to head home but first took a gorgeous stroll up a race trail to grab some pictures.  Looking back at how far I ran the day before really hit home for me and made me grateful for my healthy body and that it puts up with all my  training, dancing, etc.

I love the pictures of Duke and how happy he was to run with Cam and play in the park.  He has so much energy and I love being a mom to that furry boy!

xoxo

Salome Jug Canyoneering

 

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Mr. Smith and I AND two of our favorite couples went on a canyoneering trip a few weekends back.  What is canyoneering you ask? Yeah, about that.. I don’t really know, so I looked it up.  It is pretty much using a variety of outdoor skills (that our husbands happen to be somewhat experts in, thank goodness) including but not limited to, climbing, jumping, rappelling, swimming, hiking/walking or in my case scrambling through a gorge and sometimes over a waterfall.

Luckily, Arizona is one of the best states to perform such activity.  Yay for us…

I’m kidding… kind of. But seriously, we had a great time and learned a lot about each other and our stupid daredevil adventurous husbands. Check it out!

*If you are an avid outdoors man and want to know what we took… we bought along in our “backpacks”, wetsuits for the girls, 1 30 meter repel rope, a waterproof camera, cliff bars, waters, neoprene socks, harnesses and helmets for each person, a locking carabiner, a figure 8, as well as regular hiking gear.

Estrella Mountain Park

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! And a very BIG Thank You to all those that serve our country!
This weekend we decided to take a hike out to the Estrella Mountain Range for some mid-day hiking.  Don’t forget we live in Arizona so it’s already at least 100 degrees most days.  We decided since it was so hot we would do a easy 1 mile hike trail for a fun 2 mile round trip hike.  We always carry plenty of water for all 3 of us plus shade hats and bananas and tweezers for Dukes run in with the cactus plants. Well, after half way in poor Duke dropped to the ground whimpering in pain. I wanted to cry it was the saddest thing ever.  We felt the ground and it was scalding!  The ground was so hot it was burning his paws! Cameron quickly picked him up and carried him a little of the ways back then they just decided it would be faster if we let Duke run so off they went.
It wasn’t a total disaster.  We found shade and some adorable prairie dogs that Duke had fun chasing as they ran circles around him underground.  We stopped by a picnic area to cool off and enjoy the fresh mountain air.
xoxo

Vulture Peak Trail – Wickenburg, AZ

For MLK Day, yes back in January…we went on an amazing hike with 2 of our best couple friends! It was a blast on this 2 mile hike to the peak (pictured below) but it was sure getting hot.  We love being outdoors and discovering new fun places to visit, like the little town of Wickenburg, Arizona where we stopped for lunch at the best sandwich shop! Now go dig up your hiking boots and go explore! Where are your favorite places to hike?
xoxo