Travel Classics Writers Conference October 2009 in Scottsdale, Arizona

Travel Classics West 2009
Pre- and Post-Conference Familiarization Tours

Embrace the Outdoors

The Boulders Resort's place in the high Sonoran Desert makes it a prime destination for adrenaline seekers. Outdoor activities range from high-octane rock-climbing classes and horseback riding to the more relaxed like hot air balloon flight, desert photography tours and more.

Because it's located right at the base of Pinnacle Peak, guests staying at the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale can enjoy hikes at their leisure through Pinnacle Peak Park, a moderate hike with an elevation of approximately 1,300 feet. Hiking, horseback riding and rock climbing will take you to spectacular views of the valley and the resort also offers guided hikes for those who don't want to go it alone.

The McDowell Sonoran Preserve is home to more than 16,000 acres of protected land for mountain biking, hiking and backpacking. The Preserve offers guided hikes that range from three to more than eight miles in length. In May 2009, the Gateway opened as the main entrance, incorporating eco-friendly architecture and using rock and soil excavated from the area for the walls of its administration building. Other favored trails can be found at McDowell Mountain Regional Park, Camelback Mountain, Papago Park, the Superstition Mountains and South Mountain Park, the largest municipal park in the country with more than 50 miles of trails where you can spot ancient petro glyphs among abundant wildlife and desert settings.

Kiss the sky with a tranquil hot air balloon ride or a more adrenaline-pumping flight from the Valley to Northern Arizona. Hot Air Expeditions offers sunrise and sunset balloon flights that offer unobstructed views of the Sonoran Desert while Westwind Air Service lets you ride the currents as you make your way from Scottsdale to the Red Rock country of Sedona and then to the Grand Canyon.

Scottsdale possesses a natural advantage over other destinations because this sophisticated oasis, located in the heart of the rugged Sonoran Desert, is surrounded by a rich legacy of mountains, parks, and wildlife, providing opportunity for adventure that is second to none. Tom Car tours, Jeep and Hummer rides, mountain biking, rock-climbing, and guided hikes are just some of the ways you can experience Scottsdale's natural setting.

In Arizona, rivers, streams, and lakes are lush, pristine oases surrounded on all sides by the beauty of the Sonoran Desert - perfect settings for water adventures of every kind! Rafting, kayaking and canoeing are popular ways to explore the lakes and rivers in the Scottsdale area. These excursions offer the opportunity to view the desert wildlife including eagles, herons, egrets, hawks and occasionally larger species such as coyotes, javelina and deer.
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