12 Best Arizona Tours - Updated 2021

best tours in arizona
Haley
Haley
Updated

While it is known as the Grand Canyon State, Arizona has so much more to offer than the largest canyon in the world. Home to striking desert landscapes, peaceful lakes, historic cities, and yes, the Grand Canyon, Arizona is the perfect place to tour when on vacation. For the family, couple, or single adventurer, here’s a list of the best Arizona tours.

1. Hot Air Balloon Ride Over Native Saguaro Cactus (from USD 199.0)

Experience a hot air balloon ride and enjoy this Arizona sightseeing tour where you will get a breathtaking view of the saguaro cactuses from up above. Imagine witnessing the sunrise and seeing everything come alive while you marvel from thousands of feet in the sky.

An hour of the majestic view will be enough to astonish you. After that, indulge in some authentic food to complete your magnificent experience that is sure to be unforgettable. You can even grab hold of that special champagne that comes with the package because a thrilling moment such as this is meant to be commemorated.

Balloon Ride Over Native Saguaro Cactus

Duration: 3 hours

76 reviews

2. Sunset Desert Jeep Tour (from USD 99.0)

This sunset desert jeep tour in Arizona offers tourists the opportunity to go sightseeing on the trails of Tonto National Forest. Through this tour, you’ll be able to discover interesting facts about the history of the Sonoran Desert. You’ll also learn to appreciate Arizona more when you get a glimpse of the most striking spot on the trail during sunset. So don’t forget to bring your cameras because you wouldn’t want to miss documenting the highlights of this tour. To make the moment even special, an Arizona craft beer will be served to guests of age.

Sunset Desert Jeep Tour

Duration: 2 hours

118 reviews

3. Hummer Night Tour in the Sonoran Desert (from USD 185.0)

BLM Winter Bucket List #27: Sonoran Desert National Monument, Arizona, for Day Hikes Among the Saguaro
Source: Photo by user Bureau of Land M... used under CC BY 2.0

After meeting up with your guide either at your hotel or a designated spot, you will be taken out for a night of adventure under the stars. This Hummer tour is the perfect way to experience the Sonoran Desert at night. Watch the sunset over the desert, transforming the environment into a striking, yet gorgeous landscape, perfect for exploration. See the saguaro cactus, the “Sentinel of the Desert" and home to many a desert creature. At night the desert comes alive, with nocturnal creatures coming out from their homes to hunt and eat.

See the rugged mountains transform into massive, sleeping giants in the dark of the night, as you glide along the land in the comfort of the Hummer. You will stop along the way to search for coyotes, rattlesnakes, and tarantulas. Thanks to the tough Hummer, you will travel further into the desert than possible with other tours, while your guide shares stories about the American Southwest and its wildlife, ecology, and history. The whole tour lasts about four hours.

Sonoran Desert Hummer Night Tour with Local Guide

Duration: 3 hours

10 reviews

4. Day trip to Tombstone Arizona and San Xavier Mission from Phoenix (from USD 154.0)

Tombstone Rose Festival AZ
Source: Photo by user StellarD used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Take a day trip out of Phoenix to Tombstone, Arizona where you can travel back in time and re-live the days of the Old West. Tombstone, a town out of time, is the historic home of the OK Corral, the most famous gunfight in American history. In “The Town Too Tough to Die,” hear tales of debauchery and crime the that town is known for, while exploring wooden buildings and dusty streets littered with damsels and outlaws—perfectly setting the scene for 1880. Stop by the OK Corral and learn about the infamous gunfight that has kept Tombstone on the map. Other notable attractions include Big Nose Kate’s Saloon, once the Grand Hotel, a business supposedly owned by the girlfriend of gunfighter Doc Holliday.

Be sure to check out the Birdcage Theater, which combines a theater, gambling parlor, saloon, and brothel, typifying the Old West lifestyle than is romanticized today. At the Tombstone Historical Courthouse, you can see the home of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday, before traveling to Boot Hill Cemetery where they are buried. On the drive back to Phoenix, you will stop outside of Tucson, where you can see “the White Dove of the Desert,” the Spanish-style Mission at San Xavier del Bac. After your Old West experience, relax in the luxurious van ride back to Phoenix, while you view the earthy Sonoran Desert racing by. Enjoy the best of Arizona on this exciting tour!

Tombstone Arizona and San Xavier Mission from Phoenix

Duration: 12 hours

10 reviews

5. Small Group Deluxe Tour (from USD 179.0)

Explore the Sonora Desert, the Grand Canyon, and more as a part of this small group tour. Travel with a knowledgeable guide over the terrain in a climate-controlled van and learn about Arizona’s beautiful landscape in comfort. Your tour will begin when you are picked up at your hotel. From there, you will drive north to Sedona, to see the iconic saguaro cactus in person. Your tour will continue, winding along Oak Creek Canyon and the magnificent Ponderosa Pine Forest and San Francisco Peaks. Heading into Red Rock country, you will stretch your legs and have time to take pictures of the beautiful Grand Canyon. Your first stop will be in the Grand Canyon National Park, where you will have at least three hours to explore the canyon’s deepest and widest features.

In Grand Canyon Village, you can explore the El Tovar Hotel and Hopi House alongside multiple scenic lookout points, and fun canyon shops. When you leave the Canyon, you will see the Painted Desert, before entering the Navajo Nation, the largest Native American reservation in the United States. After stopping at a Navajo trading post that sells Navajo textiles, art, and ceramics, you will continue across the Colorado Plateau and back to the Phoenix-Scottsdale area. A picnic lunch will be served either in Sedona or at the Grand Canyon.

Grand Canyon Deluxe Small-Group Tour From Phoenix

Duration: 13 hours

10 reviews

6. Phoenix Hot Air Balloon Ride (from USD 179.0)

Hot Air Balloon Ride - Sedona
Source: Photo by user Thales used under CC BY 2.0

Glide over Phoenix and the surrounding area in this peaceful hot air balloon ride. This tour includes a hotel pickup option, where you will be transferred to Deer Valley Airport. The licensed crew will then get the hot air balloon ready for your one hour flight. Climb inside the basket for a near-motionless, peaceful flight over the striking Sonoran Desert. From the air, you will watch the sun set or rise, adding to the beauty and exhilaration of the excursion. After the flight, breakfast or hors d'oeuvres, are served depending on the time of day.

As part of ballooning tradition, you will take part of a toast with chilled Champagne to celebrate your latest adventure. Before being dropped off at your hotel, you will be awarded a commemorative flight certificate, a physical reminder (besides all the pictures) of your time in the sky.

Morning Hot Air Balloon Flight Over Phoenix

Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes

10 reviews

7. Helicopter Flight Over the Grand Canyon (from USD 279.0)

Grand Canyon from helicopter
Source: Photo by user slideshow bob used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Departing from Tusayan, Arizona, you will fly in the safest and most comfortable tourism-based helicopter available. Enjoy 45-minutes of breathtaking canyon views, starting with a flight over the Kaibab National Forest, home of the largest ponderosa pines in the world and one of the best sights to see in Arizona. Dropping away from the forest, you will take in the canyon’s expanse to the North Rim—one of the greatest views of the canyon possible. Follow the Colorado River upstream, and view the Painted Desert and the Desert View Watchtower in the distance.

After viewing Marble Canyon, the section that marks the beginning of the Grand Canyon and the Colorado River’s entry point, you will see Point Imperial, the highest point of the canyon at 8,803 feet (2,683 meters). Finally, you will fly through Dragon Corridor, the widest and deepest section of the Canyon before heading back over the Kaibab National Forest to land.

Grand Canyon Helicopter Flight from Tusayan, Arizona

Duration: 45 minutes

10 reviews

8. Grand Canyon Whitewater Rafting Tour (from USD 639.0)

White Water Grand Canyon (AZ) Raft Trip Down the Colorado River May 1988
Source: Photo by user Ron Cogswell used under CC BY 2.0

Starting at Las Vegas or Flagstaff, drive to Peach Springs, Arizona. From this famous Hualapai Indian community, you will be taken by van to the river. A Native American guide will meet you at the banks of the Colorado River, giving you a short safety briefing before boarding a pontoon raft. The voyage will commence along 40 miles (64 km) of the Colorado River with six sets of rapids before the water evens out. During your journey, you will stop along the shore to see hidden canyons and waterfalls. A complementary boxed lunch is included with the tour, which you will enjoy in the canyon. Make sure you bring a waterproof camera—there will be plenty of picture-perfect moments you won’t want to miss.

Self-Drive 1-Day Grand Canyon Whitewater Rafting Tour

Duration: 17 hours

10 reviews

9. Scenic Sedona Tour (from USD 73.0)

Chapel of the Holy Cross, Sedona, AZ
Source: Photo by user Matthew P. Del Buono used under CC BY-SA 3.0

On this two-and-a-half hour long tour, you will be guided around the Sedona area where your informative guide will share stories about Sedona’s history, plant and animal life, geology, and climate. View breathtaking vistas and local landmarks after being picked up from uptown Sedona. Upon meetup, you can customize your experience to better suite your interests and abilities, making every tour unique and interactive. More popular routes include a drive through Oak Creek Canyon, a stop at Bell Rock, shopping at Native American roadside stands, and a visit to the Capel of the Holy Cross, an architectural wonder built into the side of a mountain.

Scenic Sedona Tour

Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes

10 reviews

10. Segway Tour of Tempe Town Lake in Arizona

Tempe Beach Park - Tempe, Arizona
Source: Photo by user Doug Kerr used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Take in the lovely Arizona town of Tempe on this one hour tour Segway tour. Following a quick Segway and safety training, you will be led by a knowledgeable guide around the scenic lakefront. You will see the Tempe Beach Park, the Tempe Canter for the Arts and the Papago Buttes. This ‘jewel in the desert’ will come to life in front of you as your guide relates Tempe’s history, architecture, and culture to you and your small group. The tour goes over five miles (8 kilometers) of the trails that circle Tempe Beach Park, an easy—and fun—ride on the Segway.

Segway Tour of Tempe Town Lake

Address: Town Lake, Tempe, Arizona

Website:

11. Grand Canyon Railway Adventure Package (from USD 188.0)

Grand Canyon Railway EMD F40PH 237, Grand Canyon Village 20110810 1
Source: Photo by user DXR used under CC BY-SA 4.0

More than just a train ride, your Railway Adventure will begin at the Williams Depot in Williams, Arizona with a Wild West shootout put on by the Cataract Creek Gang. The historic ride will take you around the most scenic overlooks of the canyon, while you enjoy roaming musicians and sing-a-longs—plus an Old West train robbery! When you arrive at the Grand Canyon Depot, you will see the landmark El Tovar Hotel, Hopi House gift shop, and Bright Angel Lodge hotel complex. Your tour will end with a return trip to Williams, Arizona, and memories to last a lifetime.

Grand Canyon Railway Adventure Package

Duration: 8 hours

10 reviews

12. Desert Belle Sightseeing Cruise on Saguaro Lake (from USD 23.0)

Saguaro Lake Cruise
Source: Pixabay

For a quick and cool way to explore the desert, check out the Desert Bell Sightseeing Cruise. This 90-minute excursion will take you on a narrated adventure over the Saguaro Lake where you can view the classic Arizona scenery. Situated within the Tonto National Forest, from the cruise you will see the iconic Saguaro cactus lining the shore, alongside mesquite, prickly pears, and the occasional bald eagle. Enjoy a drink like beer, wine, or a soda while listening to the captain’s live narration about the surrounding sights.

Desert Belle Sightseeing Cruise on Saguaro Lake

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Experience Arizona in style, getting the most fun for your buck with a professional tour. Whether you’re soaring over the landscape in a helicopter or a hot air balloon, or rafting down the Colorado River, let your guide do all the hard work, and enjoy Arizona to its fullest.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Haley has been writing stories since she was five, but did not decide to be a full-time writer until her college years. She studied English and Biology at Eastern New Mexico University and has...Read more

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