Outdoor Spring Break- Arizona

Due to the winter storm warnings over the past few weeks, the long awaited spring break is much needed. Here are a few creative ideas of what students can do in Arizona for spring break:

Sedona

Sedona is located a few hours south of Cedar City near Flagstaff, Arizona. The most popular route to take is up Cedar Canyon. Follow the road through Kanab, Marble Canyon and Flagstaff before turning off toward Sedona on Highway 89A.

kat prichard boynton alltrails
Photo Courtesy of Kat Prichard alltrails.com

What to Do:

Sedona is one of the premier areas in Arizona for hiking. With close to 100 hiking trails within a short driving distance of the town, there are an endless supply of outdoor adventures. One of the top rated hikes is the Cathedral Rock Trail. Although the trail is only a one mile round trip, it is also extremely steep. The trail ascends over 700 feet, most of which is in the last leg of hiking. Hiking shoes are highly suggested for this trail.

Another nearby hike is the Boynton Canyon Trail. The beginning of the trail is a vortex, or an area that is believed to help someone relax and find inner peace, making it easy to start the day off right. The trail then goes into several areas that allow for views of the beautiful red rock. The trail is mostly on flat ground, but has an elevation gain near the end.

Other trails can be found here.

Price:

Sedona is a popular area, so hotels may be hard to come by if one is not booked in the coming weeks. If hotels do fill up, Airbnb is a viable option. There are also many campsites around for a cheaper alternative. As always, there is public land that is free to camp on to help lower the price. There are also plenty of places to eat in town if eating out is in the budget. There is also a $15 fee to hike in the area for the week.

Tips:

  • Travel with friends. Sedona is a popular place and they know that. It can be just a little outside the budget if there aren’t several people around.
  • Campout to help reduce the price. Plus, who doesn’t love camping out under the stars?
  • Plan ahead. The area can receive snow due to the high elevation. Don’t be caught with the wrong equipment because someone forgot to check the weather.

Tucson

Tucson lies in Southern Arizona, only a few hours from the US-Mexico Border. From Cedar City, it is an eight hour drive.

garwood dam ...yuan davis all trails
Photo Courtesy of Yuan Davis alltrails.com

What to Do:

Although the town is not as well known as Sedona for its outdoor adventures, it still provides plenty of outdoor activities. Saguaro National Park is one such locations. The park lies only 30 minutes west of town and provides views one of the largest protected desert wilderness areas in the United States. One of the most popular places in the park is the Freeman Homestead Trail. The trail is a one mile loop with signs along the path to indicate plant and animal life. Owls can be seen along the trail that have made their nests in the large cacti around.

Another trail to try is the Garwood Dam and Douglas Spring Loop Trail. This six and one-half mile trail traverses through the desert wilderness, as well as a mountain range. It also takes you to one of the only perennial areas of water within the park. The trail also includes a cacti forest that helped inspire the creation of the park in 1933.

Another popular location near Tucson is Bisbee. Although the town is 90 minutes from Tucson, Bisbee will give you a Park City feel with a hint of Mexican culture. There are several places to shop downtown, with Main Street giving a historic feel to a walk.

Price:

Flights are available to Phoenix from St. George for less than $100, but vary based on time of purchase. A car would also need to be rented if a flight is taken. Hotels in the area are also easy to come by for less than $50. Be sure to buy lots of water as well.

Tips:

  • Plan ahead. Higher elevations can get snow even though the area is near the southern border.
  • Go to Bisbee. It’ll be a good adventure.

Phoenix

salt-river-fields-2016
Photo Courtesy of springtrainingonline.com

This one is more for the sports fans. The NBA is still in season and Phoenix has its own team. The Suns have one home game scheduled during the spring break, which is ironically against the Utah Jazz. Going to a Suns’ game allows a chance to see young NBA stars Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton.

Spring also provides a chance for sports fans to catch the Cactus League Spring Training schedule for the MLB. Teams in the Cactus League include: Arizona Diamondbacks, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Colorado Rockies, Chicago White Sox, Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland A’s, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners, and Texas Rangers. Although Spring Training is not a typical MLB game with all the star players playing, it provides a cheaper, and slightly less hot, way to view the game and several of the games future stars. Players to watch include White Sox outfielder Eloy Jimenez, A’s pitcher Jesus Luzardo and Brewers catcher Payton Henry, among others.

Price:

Tickets for the Suns’ game are extremely cheap, because of their sub-15 win season so far. Better tickets may also be available on third party sites such as Stubhub and SeatGeek or VividSeats for lower prices, but an extra fee may be applied. Spring training tickets are also fairly cheap for lawn seats, but do go up in price with seats. Just be sure to go to the right field for the right teams whenever you buy the tickets.

Tips:

  • Do some research for the sports games. Even if you’re not a sports fan, it’s nice to know a little bit about the players or some history between the teams to get more context.
  • Have fun at the games. Sometimes it’s nice to go to a game and not cheer for any particular team. Just go and enjoy the sport and don’t get caught up with fandom too much.
  • Look at several sites before buying the ticket to be sure your getting the best price. Sometimes the extra buck might go a long way to get lower bowl seats to the Suns’ game or seats behind home plate for a much lower price than normal.

Story By: Kurt Meacham
outdoors@suunews.net
Feature Photo Courtesy of: Claire Yao alltrails.com

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