10 Fun Ways to Beat the Heat in Arizona – Arizona’s vast landscape is known best for its colorful diversity. You can find a comfortable retreat anytime, and being in the midst of summertime, means traveling to higher elevations. Below are some fun ideas for beating the sun in the Grand Canyon State.
10 Fun Ways to Beat the Heat in Arizona
1. Scenic Summer Skyride
Explore the geology and biology at the top of an extinct volcano guided by a Forest Service ranger. With an 11,500-foot elevation at the summit that offers a breathtaking view of Northern Arizona, make sure to bring a jacket for it sure does get chilly. To locate the ride, from Flagstaff drive 7 miles northwest on the U.S. 180 to Snowbowl Road, then turn right and drive 7 miles to the lodge.
2. A Lava River Cave
Formed 700,000 thousand years ago by molten rock that erupted from a volcanic vent in Hart Prarie, this formation is a mile-long-lava-tube cave. After the top, sides, and bottom of the flow cooled and solidified, the lava river continued to flow. Warm clothes and sturdy shoes are recommended when visiting, with the cave being as cool as 42 degrees in the sweltering summer heat.
On some occasions, you can even find ice in the cave system. When touring, it is also recommended to bring extra sources of light in case one should fail as it is rather dark, with rocks being slippery and sharp. To locate the beautiful and awry cave system, drive 9 miles north of Flagstaff on U.S. 180, turning west on Forest Road 245. Continue 3 miles to FR171 and turn south 1 mile to FR 171B where there will be a left turn a short distance to Lava River Cave.
3. Lift Rides Full of Scenery
Located between Pinetop-Lakeside and Eagar-Springville is Sunrise Park Resort. This resort has much to offer in the summer. The White Mountain Apache Tribe owns and operates a ski resort, offering chair rides full of scenery. Mountain bike rentals are an option as well, with bikers given the option to place their bikes on the lift to carry them up Sunrise Mountain. Take a relaxing cruise down ski trails such as Collarbone, Slippery Rocks, and Easy Out. Locate the Lift Rides 28 miles east of Pinetop-Lakeside on Arizona 273.
Look for a little tent symbol on your map and you are sure to find the Mogollon Rim Campgrounds. This is a space where you can find a great campground on or below the Rim. There is another campground located near a water-chiseled canyon known for its great trout fishing and swimming hole called the Alderwood Campground on Haigler Creek.
Unfortunately, though, there is no drinking water available, so make sure you pack a cooler full of refreshments. To locate, find your own special place within the bounds of the campground to ensure safety.
5. Grasshopper Point
There is a popular swimming hole amongst the locals called Grasshopper Point located in Oak Creek Canyon. This is also a popular location for picnickers. With a cool and shaded swimming hole, this place is a great refuge from the heat. It is advised not to jump off the cliffs or dive, as there are hidden rocks and varying depths of water. For those wanting a break from the water, there is access to hiking trails from the Grasshopper Point parking lot.
The first trail goes north, called Allen’s Bend, which connects Casner Canyon Trail; it can also lead south to connect with Huckaby Trail. It is advised to bring your own drinking water, as there is no camping, pets, fire, or glass allowed on the property. To locate Grasshopper Point, drive north from Sedona for 2 miles on the U.S. 89A with the Point being on the eastern side of the highway
6. Natural Bridge State Park in Tonto
Standing a whopping 183 feet high over a 400-foot-long tunnel that measures 150 feet wide, the Tonto Natural Bridge is a sight to see. It is believed to be the largest natural travertine bridge in the world. There is a half-mile Gowan Loop Trail that leads down the bank of the creek following steep flights of steps. Once there, there is an observation deck near the tunnel under the bridge. To locate this bridge, drive 10 miles north of Payson off Arizona 87.
7. Woods Canyon Lake
Covering 158 acres of the Mogollon Rim east of Payson lies Woods Canyon Lake. It is an extremely popular area in the summer because of how close it lies to the Valley. Providing a store, boat rentals, and a high count of regularly stocked trout this lake is a great retreat from the hot summer days with family and friends. There are camping options in nearby Aspen and Spillway Campgrounds, with a 5.5-mile loop of trail circling Woods Canyon Lake. To locate the Woods Canyon Lake from Payson, take Arizona 260 35 miles east to Forest Road 300 and turn west.
8. Golfland Sunsplash
The Golfland Sunsplash is located in Mesa and is full of open attractions including the Caribbean Water Works, Splash Water Harbor Slides, Master Blaster, and Storm Rider. It is recommended to enjoy your time in the sun to buy day-specific tickets online in advance. It is recommended that all guests wear masks for their safety.
Above many of the listed have been family-friendly events, but what about enjoyment for adults and friends? Look no further with reservations for an underground tiki bar. Known for servicing top-quality craft cocktails, this exclusive underground bar offers an immersive experience. Listen to cannon fire ring through the bar while floating a “battlefront” and watch as lightning flashes outside the “port holes” while you sip a drink.
If you are looking for similarities akin to Vegas, look no further than the day club. Enjoy a fresh drink from the bar and dance under the sun in a shallow pool with other partiers. Sunbathe on a daybed or try for VIP access behind the DJ while facing the pool. On Saturday the club hosts Soaked! Saturdays and the Sound Wave pool party series on Sundays.