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Appelman: Scottsdale is a playground for outdoor enthusiasts


Nestled in the heart of the Sonoran Desert, Scottsdale offers a breathtaking canvas for outdoor enthusiasts. Known for its stunning desert landscapes, vibrant flora and fauna, and an array of recreational activities, this city beckons adventurers from around the globe.

Living in a place surrounded by such natural beauty, we can easily take for granted all the resources and activities available to us as residents. Yet people travel hundreds and even thousands of miles to experience the wonders that await in this desert oasis. Thanks to promotions and advertising from Experience Scottsdale, visitors near and far list hot air ballooning over the Sonoran Desert or mountain biking through the McDowell Sonoran Preserve at the top of their bucket lists. In doing so, Experience Scottsdale supports dozens of outdoor adventure operators like Rainbow Ryders Hot Air Balloon Company.

That work allows our small, local businesses to share our passion for the desert with travelers from all over the world. Collectively, we educate hundreds of thousands of people on the importance of caring for our unique landscape, teaching them to respect our delicate ecosystem and helping them gain new appreciation for its splendor. Those visitors create lasting memories in the Sonoran Desert and share their experiences with friends and family back home.

With over 330 days of sunshine each year, Scottsdale provides an ideal playground for those seeking to explore nature’s wonders. This stunning landscape exists just outside your door and is rife for exploring. Here are just a few ways to experience the Sonoran Desert alongside our visitors.

Hiking and trail exploration: Scottsdale boasts an extensive network of trails that wind through its majestic desert terrain. The McDowell Sonoran Preserve, covering over 30,000 acres, is a hiker’s paradise. With trails suited for all levels of expertise, from leisurely strolls to challenging ascents, this preserve promises awe-inspiring views of the McDowell Mountains, unique rock formations, and a chance to witness the desert’s rich biodiversity.

Mountain biking adventures: For the adrenaline-seekers, Scottsdale provides an adrenaline-pumping mountain biking experience. The Brown’s Ranch Trailhead offers an exhilarating network of trails, catering to riders of various skill levels. With the wind in your hair and the scent of desert blooms in the air, you’ll navigate through an ever-changing landscape that never ceases to amaze.

Hot air ballooning: Soar above the Sonoran Desert in a hot air balloon for a truly unforgettable experience. As the sun paints the horizon with shades of red and gold, you’ll witness the desert awakening below, with its cacti-studded plains and rugged mountains. This serene adventure offers a unique perspective of the desert’s natural beauty.

Stargazing in the desert night: As the sun sets over the desert, Scottsdale transforms into an enchanting stage for stargazing. Away from the city lights, the night sky reveals a dazzling display of stars and constellations. Join guided stargazing tours for an immersive celestial experience, where you’ll unravel the mysteries of the universe against the backdrop of the Sonoran Desert.

Scottsdale’s diverse landscape, teeming with life and beauty, provides a playground for outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds. From challenging hikes to serene hot air balloon rides, every adventure in Scottsdale offers you a unique opportunity to connect with the wonders of the desert. What will your next Scottsdale adventure be?