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Pride Journey Outdoors: Phoenix, Arizona

A visit to Phoenix, Arizona this summer may be exactly what the doctor ordered. Yes, I know it's hot, but there are a ton of great activities for outdoor adventure seekers.

Hike Gateway Loop at McDowell Sonoran Conservancy

A 4.5 mile loop that wanders up to a low saddle before winding back to the Gateway Trailhead. The length and grade changes make this a moderately difficult hike, but one worth trying. Make your way at an enjoyable pace while enjoying the wildflowers and wildlife. Kids with hiking experience may be able to enjoy this hike.

South Mountain Preserve

At over 16,000 acres, South Mountain Park and Preserve is one of the largest municipal parks in the country. Start a visit at the South Mountain Environmental Education Center, hike, bike and ride more than 51 miles of trails, or follow the road to the top of the mountain for spectacular views.

Arizona Trail

The Arizona National Scenic Trail is a complete non-motorized path, stretching 800 diverse miles across Arizona from Mexico to Utah. It links deserts, mountains, canyons, forests, communities and people. The Arizona Trail Association’s mission is to protect, maintain, enhance, promote and sustain the Arizona Trail as a unique encounter with the land.

Hot Air Expeditions

Breathtaking. Magical. Awe-inspiring. These are just a few words that have been used to describe Hot Air Expeditions' ballooning experiences. Your journey begins with the viewing of the inflation of the balloon, where you will get a glimpse of how large the balloons are as they come to life! From there, your pilot whisks you away in the basket for your approximate one-hour flight. During the journey, you will enjoy floating at different elevations, from up to 5,000 feet in the air for a gorgeous overview of the Sonoran Desert, to within feet of the desert floor, to catch a glimpse of local wildlife, plant life and landmarks. It is common to see jackrabbits, quail, coyote and even javalina.

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Photos Courtesy of Visit Phoenix

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