Located just 30 miles from downtown Phoenix, this up and coming city is an adventurer’s dream. The abundance of outdoor activities has travelers coming back for more.
Table of Contents
- 1. Hidden Lake
- 2. Victory Stairs
- 3. The Vic Bar + Kitchen
- 4. Skyline Regional Park (Turnbuckle and Skyline Loop)
- 5. Arizona ATV Rentals
- 6. Copper Canyon Golf
- 7. West Wind Glendale Drive-in
- 8. Wildlife World Zoo and Aquarium
- 9. Estrella Star Tower
- 10. North West Sky Sports
- 11. Skydive Buckeye
- 12. The Spa at Victory Club
- 13. Corral West Horse Adventures
- 14. Joe Foss Shooting Range
- 15. White Tank Mountain
- 16. Arizona Cycle Park
- 17. Robbins Butte
- 18. Desert Botanical Garden
- 19. North Maricopa Mountains Wilderness (Margies Cove)
- 20. Ebb + Flow Coffee Co.
1. Hidden Lake
After 2+ years of rehabilitation, Hidden Lake has once again become a popular location for outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds.
With over 60 acres of water on-site, it is known for its highly acclaimed fishing opportunities. A fish report can even be found on their site to show the latest catch.
The calm waters also make for a relaxing boat, kayak, or paddleboard experience.
Camping is available when the center hosts certain weekly events. Their monthly calendar provides dates for upcoming concerts, festivals, and farmer’s markets.
This 120 acre privately owned recreational center has something to offer for everyone.
2. Victory Stairs
This 0.2-mile hike is great for all ages. The continuous incline can make this hike feel a bit strenuous but its short distance makes it hikable for all skill levels.
The 300+ steps up have words of encouragement worked in along the way. Locals are known for writing these phrases on rocks to help hikers with their climb.
The summit provides panoramic mountain, desert, and city views. There are also a few different trailheads to extend the length of the hike.
The out and back style of this trail allows for a different angle of the scenic views on the way back down.
3. The Vic Bar + Kitchen
The farm-to-table style here awards guests with the opportunity to try ingredients from the local area. Fresh ingredients mean a seasonal menu. The rotating dishes give customers the chance to try something new with every visit.
Aside from the revolving craft beer selection, the bar is known for its large selection of wines, cocktails, and liquors.
Furthermore, the restaurant supplies a meal with a view. The outdoor patio delivers sweeping mountain and city views.
Grab a seat and enjoy dinner and a drink with a view.
4. Skyline Regional Park (Turnbuckle and Skyline Loop)
With over 15 trails to choose from, all varying in length, there is a hike suitable for everyone. Many of which also provide access for bike and horseback riders alike.
Entry into the park is free but daytime ramadas and overnight camping are available for a fee. Ramadas are supplied with two picnic tables and a barbeque. 7 campsites on-premise give campers a variety of options for sleeping arrangements.
Popular hikes include Turnbuckle Loop and Quartz Mine Trail. If these moderate-level hikes look too strenuous, fear not, every trail in this park provides hikers with astonishing mountain views.
5. Arizona ATV Rentals
This location only uses Polaris RZR UTVS to ensure safety and enjoyment for those who ride. These vehicles can be rented for guests who wish to go on their own adventure.
Tours are available throughout the day in 2-hour increments. The guided ATV tours here provide a bit of history along with the excitement.
Tour guides give a background of Native tribes that once occupied the land and arrange for a chance to check out a local abandoned mineshaft.
The tour leads guests through the Sonoran Desert and up to 360 views of the Phoenix Valley and Lake Pleasant Regional Park.
6. Copper Canyon Golf
Designed to provide a Troon Golf experience, this 27-hole golf club is sure to give the feeling of luxury.
Aside from the four sets of tees that go as far as 7,000 yards, there are over 11 lakes that make for beautiful scenery.
Bountiful fairways and a wide practice facility make this location feasible for all skill levels.
Unwind with dinner at the Indigo Grille. The on-site restaurant is located at the starting position and overlooks the White Tank Mountains. Everything on the menu, all the way down to the salad dressings, is made in-house.
7. West Wind Glendale Drive-in
Originated in 1952, West Wind is now the largest movie drive-in chain in the world. With most locations in California and Nevada, the Glendale drive-in is the only part of the chain located in Arizona.
The drive-in uses the largest movie screens possible without jeopardizing the quality of the image. Audio for the films can be tuned in right from your car’s radio so you’re not dependent on old sound boxes.
With no lapse in time, West Wind runs movies at the same time as indoor theaters. Midnight movie releases and early showings guarantee a viewing of the latest debut.
8. Wildlife World Zoo and Aquarium
With over 600 endangered species, animal shows, feeding stations, and rides, you can plan to spend the entire day here.
At the zoo, you can get up close and personal with the kangaroos, hand-feed the giraffes, and check out the newest additions at the animal nursery.
The 4-building Aquarium has a large variety of fish, amphibians, and reptiles, including an Albino Alligator.
Various rides are scattered throughout the park. A log flume takes guests through a reef tunnel tank before taking its 3 story dive. Boat, train, tram, and sky rides give viewers the chance to see animals up close in diverse environments.
9. Estrella Star Tower
Inspired by Steven Kates, local radio star on “Good Morning Arizona”, this tower was built to educate the community about astronomy.
Shaped like a nautilus shell, the Estrella Star Tower gives milky way vibes. In addition, the tower’s position allows for a clear view of the night sky.
A daytime hike up the fifty-foot-tall flight of stairs provides breathtaking views of the Estrella Mountain landscape. Although, many opt to wait for night to approach to get a chance to see the stars glisten off the tower’s surface.
10. North West Sky Sports
Located at the Buckeye Municipal Airport, guests get the chance to soar across Arizona terrain in a Schweizer 2-32 sailplane.
Certified Flight Instructor Glider, Gary Boggs, started his career in 1977 and had over 2,000 hours of gliding experience under his belt prior to starting his own commercial glider business in Hood River Oregon. From there he began a turf soaring school before settling down at North West Sky Sports.
Boggs’ extensive expertise ensures a safe and exciting trip for all. Be sure to grab a friend and fly into the sunset on this 2 passenger glider for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
11. Skydive Buckeye
Owner and founder, Shane Seydel recently opened this location in 2017. This new and invigorating skydiving experience will definitely have your heart pumping.
The journey starts with a 20-minute plane ride up into the air followed by a 40 second, exhilarating drop. As you approach 5,000 feet your tandem instructor will release the parachute providing about 5 mins to take in the views before you reach the ground.
Views on the way down include the White Tank Mountains, Camelback Mountains, South Mountains, Estrella Mountains, and Lake Pleasant.
12. The Spa at Victory Club
The Spa’s motto revolves around the idea that self-care should not be limited to high living, but be available to all. That’s why this affordable location is a great place to take a break from your adventures.
With the many services available, it may be difficult to choose one from the bunch. Luckily, there are spa packages available that give guests the opportunity to indulge in all the spa has to offer.
Skin and massage therapy services have both restorative and preventive treatments to fit the needs of your body. Waxing, eyelash extensions, and nail therapy are also available so you can leave the salon feeling like the best “you” you can be!
13. Corral West Horse Adventures
Corral West Horse Adventures is more than your average riding stable. The all immersive ride comes with a cowboy hat, boots and chaps to give the ultimate western experience.
Choose between a 2 hour loop and a sunset ride or request a custom ride of your own!
End your horseback riding journey with a cowboy cookout. Reward yourself with the flavorful barbeque while you enjoy authentic Western entertainment. S’mores around the campfire is a must.
Those not comfortable on horseback don’t need to miss out on all the fun as there are wagon rides also at hand.
Whichever you choose, be sure to take in the view of the Estrella Mountains as you ride through the Sonoran Desert.
14. Joe Foss Shooting Range
Get your adrenaline going with a visit to one of the 40 shooting lanes available at the range.
Shooters’ minds can be at ease knowing that this range is part of the Arizona State Rifle and Pistol Association and safety is the main priority.
Range safety officers are ready to answer any questions you may have and give tips for a safe, enjoyable experience.
Guns not your style? Check out the archery field for a just as exciting alternative.
15. White Tank Mountain
Fourteen main trailheads and three campsites make this the perfect place to spend the weekend and explore.
History states that White Tank was once home to the Hohokam Indians because of the land’s attributes. Large pits in the land, known as the “tanks”, collected water and drew in civilization.
The Black Rock Trail takes hikers through the ruins of an ancient village. Waterfall Canyon Trail takes you on a trip to the past with access to prehistoric wall art, primarily known as petroglyphs, on the way to the rare sight of a waterfall.
Both trails are suitable for all experience levels. Get the best of both worlds with desert and mountain views as you take in a piece of history.
16. Arizona Cycle Park
Known as the largest off-road park in Arizona, this is a popular location for dirt bikers of all kinds.
Riders have a delightful selection of well maintained tracks. All of which are strategically placed in a sunken pit to ensure track visibility and views of the mountain range.
The park hosts many crucial racing events and allows for overnight parking.
17. Robbins Butte
Managed by the Arizona Game and Fish Department, this 1,600-acre habitat is known for its diversity. Wildlife flourishes here thanks to the location being along the Gila River.
Robbins Butte Wildlife Area Trail is a 25.5-mile loop. Although it is a peaceful walk, it is most popular for off-roading.
The dirt road has many pull-offs that provide mountain views, as well as multiple abandoned buildings to check out.
Aside from the views, the diverse environment is home to over 19 species of reptiles, 140 bird species, and various desert mammals.
18. Desert Botanical Garden
With more than 50,000 plants to observe, the hour drive is worth the trip.
Aside from the lovely views, the garden hosts a variety of events.
Grab a drink on a Friday night and listen to live music in the garden. Take your dog for a stroll amongst the flowers on a Saturday morning.
The garden has many spaces that can be rented out for events. With pavilions of varying sizes, this is a beautiful location for a party, conference, or even a wedding.
19. North Maricopa Mountains Wilderness (Margies Cove)
A part of the Sonoran Desert National Monument, two lightly trafficked hikes lie amongst the 63,200-acre wilderness.
Margies Cove Trail doesn’t gain much elevation but it’s rated as moderate due to the fact that it is 9 miles one way. Many leave a second vehicle at the end of this trail instead of having to double back.
Brittlebush trail is for more experienced hikers as there are no trail markers and direction is dependent on topographic maps.
Wildlife and plant species are in abundance here. If you are lucky you might spot desert animals like bighorn sheep along your travels.
20. Ebb + Flow Coffee Co.
Bestfriends, Karlie Bakke and Liz Schwartz, accomplished their dream of opening a cafe in October of 2017.
The entire menu is locally sourced. All baked goods are delivered fresh from the famous Boyer Bakery in Phoenix, Arizona. The cinnamon roll is a crowd pleaser.
Lighter fare options, like smoothies and acai bowls, are available in many variations.
With a vast coffee selection, it can be a difficult yet rewarding decision to choose between the many options. Popular choices include drip coffee, press cold brew and flavored lattes.