Spirits of the Past: Arizona Adventures Tour
Prepare to discover Southeast Arizona in a way that honors the culture, lifestyle, and spirits of the past. On this unique Arizona adventure and conservation oriented tour, you will get a taste of ghost towns, authentic cuisine and monuments. When your adventure is over for the day, you will be transported back to present day with distinctive and comfortable accommodations.
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On this journey, Mitch Stevens and his experienced guides will bring you on a interactive tour of past and present. Experience interpretative hikes, wine tasting tours, astronomy, nature photography workshops, bird watching, horseback trips, and yoga. Maximum group size of 12 participants, minimum of six participants.
Day One: Hiking in Tucson
Your journey begins with a leisurely hike near the bottom of Mt. Lemmon in Tucson. On your hike, you will enjoy stunning scenery where the desert wildlife blends with the pines of the forest. Some tours will also include bird watching or yoga.
In the afternoon, you will journey to the top of Mt. Lemmon for an educational tour of this fascinating sky island mountain range. These mountain “islands” are forested ranges separated by vast expanses of desert and are among the most diverse ecosystems in the world. While at the top of the mountain, you will enjoy lunch and breathtaking views at the Iron Door Restaurant.
For dinner, visit the famous authentic Mexican restaurant of Mi Nidito. When you’re finished, you may stroll the beautiful grounds of your luxurious accommodations at the Lowes Ventana Canyon resort.
Day Two: Ghost Town Tour and Karchner Caverns
On your second day, you will explore the spirits of the past with ghost town tours in the surrounding mountains and grasslands of southeastern Arizona. We will experience the fascinating mystique of Kentucky Camp, one of the most intact ghost towns in Arizona. We will take a short hike and explore this part of the Arizona Trail where nearby the movie “Oklahoma” was filmed.
After lunch at a Sonoita restaurant, we will make the short drive to Kartchner Caverns. Here, you can step inside one of the most exciting caves in Southern Arizona. In fact, Kartchner Caverns has some of the most amazing cave formations you can find anywhere in the world.
Day Three: Rocks and Wine
Day seven is filled with a tour of the incredible granite rock formations at Cochise Stronghold. After exploring these stunning rock outcrops and mountain views, you will enjoy a relaxing wine tasting adventure in the Southern Arizona wine country.
We will tour the local vineyards in Sonoita. Sample wines and breathe the fresh air of the countryside as we journey from one winery to the next. After lunch at a Sonoita restaurant, we will make the short drive to Kartchner Caverns. Here, you can step inside one of the most exciting caves in Southern Arizona.
At night, dine and relax at the historic and beautiful Triangle T Ranch.
Day Four: Horseback Riding
You will begin your fourth day with a morning horseback ride at Triangle T. Afterward, we will journey to Wilcox for more wine tasting before checking into the Sunglow Ranch, nestled in the Chiricahua Mountains.
At night, we will eat dinner and observe the stars. At an elevation of 5,500 feet amidst arid Arizona mountain air, this region has some of the clearest and darkest skies in the U.S.
Day Five: Rogers Canyon – Superstition Mountains
On our fifth day, we’ll head out to Rogers Canyon, one of the best hikes in Arizona. Located in the stunning Superstition Wilderness, we will observe fascinating cliff dwellings deep within the gorge. From the start of the hike, gradually the character and look of the landscape will transform from high desert grassland to riparian. A clear stream coursing through the canyon will add to the scenic allure.
Huge old sycamore trees, juniper, oak and mountain laurel will appear as we venture deeper into the wilderness. Spectacular volcanic rock formations are the main features. Various shapes chiseled by the elements resemble a teapot, Queen Victoria’s crown and we’ll observe huge boulders perched precariously high up on the canyon walls.
We’ll arrive at the Salado cliff dwellings which Rogers Canyon is known for. These well preserved ruins, located in a huge cave above the canyon floor, were the highlight of our day. At one time, as many as 100 people lived here and there were more than 65 rooms when it was constructed over 600 years ago. Most of the ruins have all but vanished but there is still a lot to see. The view from the ruins, looking out across the canyon is fantastic, a sight to behold.
At night, we will stay at the beautiful Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale.
Day Six: Aravaipa Canyon
Get your cameras ready for day six where we will offer one of our exclusive Nature Photography Workshops at Aravaipa Canyon. This is a canyoneering experience not to be missed. This one day exclusive Nature Photography Workshop will take place in one of the most beautiful and seldom photographed canyons in Arizona.
At night, unwind at the Muleshoe Ranch and take a dip in the natural hot springs.
Day Seven: Arizona Food Tour
Enjoy a leisurely naturalist walk at Muleshoe, or visit the Discovery Center in Safford.
When we’re done, we will journey back to Tucson for a culinary streetcar tour and historic tour of downtown. On this food tour, you will enjoy cuisine from six local restaurants. Along the way, guides will point out architectural highlights, cultural sites, and great local shops.
Day Eight: The Desert and Astronomy
On your final day, you will participate in a guided tour of the world famous Sonoran Desert Museum. The Desert Museum is ranked as one of the Top 10 museums in the United States. Unlike most museums, 85% of the experience is outdoors.
In the afternoon we will take a trip to the world famous Kitt Peak National Observatory. The observatory is located on the summit of a remote mountain at an elevation of over 7,000 feet. A nighttime stargazing program provides the opportunity to peer beyond the blue horizons of our southwestern skies and explore astronomical wonders that have fascinated us for centuries.
Don’t Miss the Trip of a Lifetime! Contact us for prices and times.
“I cannot imagine any adventure company better suited and more qualified than Southwest Discoveries to lead hiking and outfitting tours in the Southwest. They are the best. Their trips are intelligently planned and carried out and they meet or exceed all environmental standards. I cannot recommend anyone more highly than Southwest Discoveries.” – Keith Bagwell, Sierra Club, Rincon Group Conservation Chair – Tucson Arizona, Grand Canyon Chapter Executive Committee Vice Chair