Combination Tours for All Day Guided Adventure
Trouble deciding which guided adventure tour sounds most fun? Pick two from our selection of guided adventure trips.
Our full-day guided adventures in Phoenix and Scottsdale are a great way to combine two activities into one exciting day of outdoor fun. Take advantage of cooler morning temperatures by hiking in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve or mountain biking through the desert at McDowell Mountain Regional Park. AOA’s experienced guides will share their knowledge of the local flora and fauna, give you tips to improve your riding, and lead you down some of the best trails or singletrack in the Phoenix area.
After the morning’s exertion, break for a delicious lunch and then spend the afternoon rafting or kayaking on the Lower Salt River. Relax and float along, take a refreshing dip in the river and don’t forget to keep alert for glimpses of bald eagles and wild horses!
1 person: $600 pp
2-3 people: $300 pp
4 or more: $240 pp
- Activity duration: 5-6 hours
- Total duration: typically 8am-4pm
- Tours depart at 8am
- Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced options available.
At least 24 hours advance reservation required.
- Professional safety-certified guide
- 1:8 guide to guest ratio
- Park entry fees
- Lunch on the trail
- Bottled water and snacks
- All required equipment (bikes & helmets, rafts, kayaks, PFD)
- Hotel/Residence Pick Up: $95 per group – inquire over the phone
- Private Tour: $125 per group. No other parties may add to your tour. We can schedule private tours any day of the week.
Choose two activities to create your own desert adventure tour or turn any activity into a full-day guided tour.
- Hike in the morning & Kayak in the afternoon!
- Mountain Bike in the early air and take a post-lunch raft trip down the Lower Salt River.
- Love bikes of all kinds? Get your road riding in early, stop for lunch, then head out to the park and pedal some sweet singletrack!
What to Bring
Clothing – Comfortable, weather appropriate athletic clothing – shorts and a t-shirt, long sleeves are recommended on cooler mornings. Guests who have biking specific shorts or jerseys are encouraged to wear them.
Shoes – Close-toed athletic shoes (sneakers) for hiking and biking, sport sandals for the river, flip flops and bare feet not allowed.
Miscellaneous – Sunglasses, sunscreen, camera, lip balm, medications, hat, etc.
What to Expect
Once You’ve Booked a Tour…
You will receive a booking confirmation email with details on the time and date of your tour, where to meet, the cancellation policy, a receipt of your tour purchase, and requests from us if we need additional information.
On the Day of Your Tour…
Meet at our office in North Scottsdale a few minutes before your scheduled tour. You can expect to be with another group on your tour unless you have booked a private tour. Our guides plan accordingly for varied skill levels and choose routes that fit the needs of everyone in the group.
Sonoran Desert Natural History
The Sonoran Desert covers the lower half of Arizona, the extreme southeastern portion of California, and parts of the Baja Peninsula and Mexico. It’s a 55-million-acre world of rugged mountain ranges, ancient lava flows, rivers, underground springs, sprawling sand dunes and yes, cities. The Sonoran is the hottest desert in the United States (although not in the world) and is the most tropical. On a worldwide scale, we are the most temperate desert on the globe generally remaining between 32 and 118 degrees Fahrenheit, making this a great area for many plants and animals.
© The Nature Conservancy
Adding to our attractiveness for plants and animals, we usually get between 7 and 12 inches of rain per year. This rain is provided through a bi-seasonal system. From December to March, frontal storms from North Pacific Ocean occasionally bring widespread, gentle rain to the northwestern areas. From July to mid-September, the summer monsoon brings surges of wet tropical air and frequent but localized violent thunderstorms.
These rainy seasons and our temperate climate added to the extreme elevation changes ranging across the state make Arizona and the Sonoran Desert a very diverse area with hundreds of plant and animal species. The Sonoran Desert alone has over 500 edible plants out of its nearly 3500 plant species. Arizona harbors greater plant and animal species diversity than any other non-coastal state in the country – third only to California and Texas and has the eighth highest number of endemic (unique to the area) species, with 135 species found nowhere else in the world.
Temperature and Climate:
Rivers in the Desert
Rivers play a very important role in the complex environment of North America’s Sonoran Desert. Water is scarce in the desert and plants and animals have adapted to the harsh conditions that come with high summer temperatures and low average rainfall. Along the river corridors are delicate and unique ecosystems known as riparian zones. In these areas, lush trees such as desert willow and cottonwood take the place of the hardy saguaro cactus. The soft greenery and plentiful water attract many the animals who make their homes here including beavers, otters, loons, eagles, turkey vultures and on Arizona’s lower Salt River, even wild horses.
The Salt River flows from its headwaters in the White Mountains of Eastern Arizona and rushes along through the high elevations until it winds its way to the lower arid desert outside of Phoenix. Here the riparian ecosystem created by the mellow flow of the Salt is an indispensable oasis, home to many plant and animal species, and a perennial slash of green across the dry brown of the surrounding landscape.
Over four million people who live in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area depend on the Salt River for energy generated by a series of hydroelectric dams managed by the Salt River Project. The reservoirs created by those dams are in turn a source of life for the creatures that live in the surrounding environment, mule deer, wildcats, desert cottontail rabbits, and many others. The flow of water past the dams varies depending on the season and recent precipitation within the Salt River watershed. On AOA’s guided river tours our expert guides will share their stories of the river and educate you about the delicate ecosystems that occur within riparian zones in the desert. Keep alert when floating along, rafting and kayaking on the Lower Salt River are wonderful ways to see the Sonoran desert from a new perspective.
Advance reservations are required and can only be confirmed with receipt of guest contact information and a valid credit card. Final payment is due in advance of the tour. Guide gratuities are optional, but are appreciated.
There is no charge for cancellations made more than 48 hours before departure time. Cancellations made less than 48 hours from departure time will be charged in full.
Photos of the Full-day Adventure Tour
Planning for your Trip
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Family-friendly Bike Tour Options
Want to ride bikes with the family? Try our fun guided neighborhood bike tour through Scottsdale’s green spaces and beautiful neighborhoods.
Family-friendly River Tour Options
Another great way to explore the Sonoran Desert is a float down the Salt River just outside of Phoenix. Try our relaxing and fun half-day rafting tour, great for large groups and families!
AOA operates guided Lower Salt River tours in cooperation with and under permit of our sister company Desert Voyagers by the Tonto National Forest.