Scottsdale
Nature & Panorama

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Our most recommended Scottsdale Nature & Panorama

Phoenix Zoo: One Day General Admission Ticket

1. Phoenix Zoo: One Day General Admission Ticket

Nestled on 125 acres within the beautiful Papago Park, the Phoenix Zoo is a wondrous place of curiosity, imagination, and discovery. The zoo is one of the largest non-profit zoos in the U.S., caring for over 3,000 animals with nearly 400 species represented, including many threatened and endangered species. It features over 3,000 animals, including Bornean Orangutans, Asian Elephants, Sumatran Tigers, Komodo Dragons, Masai Giraffes, and more. It's a great place to create memories that will last a lifetime. Other animals include the African Lion, Giraffe, Zebra, Mexican Gray Wolf, Ringtail, Golden Eagle, Sloth, Cotton-Top Tamarin, Dalmatian Pelican, Orangutan, Asian Elephant, Jaguar, Cheetah, Coyote, and Komodo Dragon. The Zoo features approximately 2.5 miles of walking paths and is divided into Arizona, Africa, Tropics, and Children’s trails. Usually, the Africa and Tropics Trails take about an hour each and the Arizona and Children’s Trails take about half an hour each. It is recommended that you take approximately three hours to see the entire Zoo, depending on the size and ages of your group in addition to how fast you walk.

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Phoenix: Hot Air Balloon Flight

2. Phoenix: Hot Air Balloon Flight

The experience begins even before you rise into the sky. Help our crew inflate the balloon for a real "hands on" adventure, or just relax and take a few pictures as the gentle giant comes alive. Once you gain altitude, enjoy vistas you have to see to believe as you float over the Arizona landscape. Phoenix lies beneath you while desert stretches to the distant mountains. The pilots are FAA-licensed and experienced in navigating with your safety and enjoyment in mind. Your pilot will also answer questions and identify points of interest during your 1-hour flight. A chase crew will follow on the ground and meet you at the landing site. From there a van takes you back to the launch site. Upon your return, enjoy a celebratory toast to cap your unique airborne adventure. You'll also be presented with a flight certificate. With the ground travel and other activities, plan to spend up to 3.5 hours with us in total.

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Phoenix: Hot Air Balloon Ride with Champagne and Catering

3. Phoenix: Hot Air Balloon Ride with Champagne and Catering

Enjoy a 45-60-minute hot air balloon ride above Phoenix, Arizona. See the expansive mountain ranges and desert wildlife below as your hot air balloon reaches heights of 3000 feet. During the flight, your pilot will point out different landmarks and points of interest. See Downtown Phoenix, Camelback Mountain, Lake Pleasant, and State Farm Stadium from the air. Upon landing, enjoy a catered fare prepared by the award-winning Vincent’s on Camelback restaurant, right in the heart of the desert. A traditional balloonist’s ceremony follows with commemorative flight certificates to take home.

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Phoenix: Guided Self-Drive ATV/UTV Tour

4. Phoenix: Guided Self-Drive ATV/UTV Tour

Enjoy an exciting day in the famous Sonoran desert, off-roading in your single-passenger or 4-person ATV on some of the best trails in the stunning Bradshaw Mountains, located just north of Phoenix. Travel through giant Saguaro cacti, deep canyons carved by flash flooding rains, and cross the Aqua Fria River to experience the wild and vast desert terrain. Our tours create a scenic and educational journey amid some of the most rugged landscapes Arizona has to offer, with opportunities to see abundant desert wildlife such as coyotes, bobcats, deer, rabbits, quail and even rattlesnakes. The guided ATV tour begins approximately 45 minutes north of Phoenix in the Sonoran desert near the Agua Fria River Valley. This area, amidst the beautiful Bradshaw Mountains, is perfect for off-roading. There are creek crossings and places for wash riding, as well as gorgeous views of the Arizona landscape.  You’ll be accompanied by a certified guide with a vast knowledge of the plant life, wildlife, history and climate of the area. You can hear stories about the Native Americans who once farmed, hunted, survived and evolved in this unforgiving desert.

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Grand Canyon Day Tour from Phoenix, Scottsdale & Tempe

5. Grand Canyon Day Tour from Phoenix, Scottsdale & Tempe

Experience the Grand Canyon National Park during this guided tour. Explore the canyon rim with its panoramic views and visit Route 66 with your guide. Start your tour at Route 66. Experience the historic highway in the town of Williams, the last town passed by I-40. As you explore this famous location, you have the opportunity to purchase lunch in Williams or Grand Canyon. Spend approximately 3 hours within the National Park marveling at the beauty that is the Grand Canyon. Don’t forget to visit the historic El Tovar Lodge and Hopi House in Grand Canyon Village. Visit the South Rim and take in the dramatic views — ideal for photographers. Stop into the shop or enjoy your lunch and relax with the best seat in the house.

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From Phoenix: Grand Canyon Tour with Sedona and Oak Creek

6. From Phoenix: Grand Canyon Tour with Sedona and Oak Creek

Take a trip to one of the 7 wonders of the natural world on this day tour of the Grand Canyon National Park. You will be collected from selected hotels or apartments in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, or Mesa Arizona. The journey north takes you through amazing views of the Saguaro Cactus in the Sonoran Desert. You will travel through the Ponderosa Pine Forests of Flagstaff where the Lowell Observatory is located. Stop among the Red Rocks of Sedona for time to take in the breathtaking scenery and lots of pictures. Travel through Oak Creek Canyon famous the world over for its spectacular scenery. In the afternoon be taken to the Grand Canyon National Park. Stop for pictures of the Red Rocks of Sedona. Make several stops along the South Rim for picture taking and enjoying the incredible views. See the El Tovar Lodge, a former Harvey hotel. Have the afternoon to explore the sublime park and see many of its ecological wonders and natural beauty. Your professional guide will be able to inform you of the history and stories behind this ancient wonder.

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Mesa, Arizona: Self-Guided Kayak Trip on Saguaro Lake

7. Mesa, Arizona: Self-Guided Kayak Trip on Saguaro Lake

Experience the spectacular landscapes of the Tonto National Forest on a self-guided kayaking tour around Saguaro Lake. Paddle through canyons, see beautiful desert scenery, and discover the local flora and native wildlife from a unique perspective. Escape the heat and feel refreshed by one of the most stunning lakes of Arizona. Travel at your own pace, giving you the opportunity to truly take in the picturesque views. Start with an orientation of basic safety and paddling instructions. The “sit-on-top”-style kayaks are very stable and easy to maneuver. Before you know it you’ll be paddling below thousand-foot cliffs. Explore the lake's glimmering waters and discover coves and craggy shorelines. Keep your eyes open for the native wildlife native to the Tonto National Forest.

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Grand Canyon: Helicopter Ride & National Park Day Trip

8. Grand Canyon: Helicopter Ride & National Park Day Trip

Enjoy Grand Canyon National Park with a 45 to 50-minute helicopter tour over the deepest and widest part of the canyon. This tour offers time for a tour of the canyon rim with your guide as well and can be started in Phoenix, Scottsdale, or Tempe. Atop the Mogollon Rim, travel the outskirts of the Route 66 town of Flagstaff on the way to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Upon arrival, enjoy more than 3 hours within the national park marveling at the beauty that is the Grand Canyon. Just prior to entering the Grand Canyon National Park, your guide will check you in for your 45- to 50-minute helicopter tour over the Grand Canyon. While on the helicopter tour, be treated to views seen by less than 10% of visitors to the Grand Canyon National Park. Those views include Marble Canyon, Pointe Imperial, Little Colorado River, the Dragon Corridor, and of course the North Rim. Following your helicopter tour, reunite with your guide and explore more of the Canyon rim by foot.

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Phoenix & Scottsdale: Lower Salt River Kayaking Tour

9. Phoenix & Scottsdale: Lower Salt River Kayaking Tour

Experience the adventure of a lifetime in a desert oasis as you take a guided kayak tour through Salt River. This lush stretch of water is only a short drive from Phoenix. Spend your morning paddling along green riverbanks, and marvel at towering red cliffs. Don't forget to look for wild horses, bald eagles, and other desert wildlife along the way. Avoid crowds and take advantage of all the natural beauty the river has to offer. Enjoy a swim in the cool waters, and see the desert as you've never seen it before. This unique experience is perfect for all skill levels, and for groups, individuals, and families.

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From Phoenix: Apache Trail Tour with Canyon Lake Cruise

10. From Phoenix: Apache Trail Tour with Canyon Lake Cruise

With daily departures and convenient pick-up points from most Phoenix metro area hotels, this is the tour to take for a journey to Apache country. You will experience the true spirit of the Sonoran Desert on a full day’s outing. Once you’ve met your guide at your hotel, depart for a drive east in to the Superstition Mountains. You will wind through spectacular Sonoran Desert landscape on the way to Canyon Lake. Before you get there, rest at Goldfield Ghost Town, a fun and fascinating replica of an 1890s mining town. Admission is free, but there are some extras that you might want to enjoy, such as a ride on Arizona’s only narrow gauge train as it circuits the town perimeter. Pan for gold or watch an old West gun fight if you get the chance, or simply stroll and explore the historic buildings and stores. Next you will travel to Tortilla Flat, an authentic remnant of an old West town that is tucked in to the heart of the Tonto National Forest. Here you can grab some lunch and check out who is hanging out at the Ice Cream Parlor. Seat yourself on a bar stool made from real saddles in the Superstition Saloon. The tour continues to Canyon Lake for a 90-minute narrated steamboat cruise. Located at a convenient rest point on the Apache Trail, you will discover fascinating facts about the historic stagecoach route as you watch for the unique wildlife. As you pass through canyons and marvel at rock formations, look out for bald eagles, blue herons, big horn sheep and turkey vultures. Sit back and relax on this leisurely section of the tour. You will soon be heading back through the desert for the return drive to Phoenix.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Scottsdale

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What people are saying about Scottsdale

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 18 reviews

Parking easy, upon entering we were able to rent a wheel chair for my aunt, receiving deposit back when we returned it), A great day, easy to get around the entire park, clean, fabulous views to see the animals, all the people we came into contact, zoo employees and the public were helpful, friendly and enjoying themselves. Can not say enough about how great a time we had.

Great day at the ZOO with the little ones. Have two boys age 2-5. They had a blast. We rented the double stroller cart and they enjoyed walking/being pushed around. Lots to explore. They loved seeing all the animals and getting to pet the goats at the petting zoo. The weather was perfect and it was great to see everything decorated for the Holidays.

Sam is an amazing tour guide who’s passionate about traveling and Grand Canyon history and geology. His enthusiasm rubbed off very positively on rest of the tour group and made for a very exciting fun filled day. Highly recommend taking this tour with Sam.

Wonderful day at zoo! Great weather, animals were very interesting. Zoo was well maintained and everyone was very helpful.

Great time, great group, great guide (Malcolm). And an amazing National Park! Thank you.