Sirena Rana, Founder of Trails Inspire, on the Best Day Hikes on the Arizona National Scenic Trail

Posted by BRI SULLIVAN

Sirena Rana, Founder of Trails Inspire, on the Best Day Hikes on the Arizona National Scenic Trail

Meet Sirena Rana, Founder of Trails Inspire! Serena just published her book about the Arizona Trail (AZT) titled, "Best Day Hikes on the Arizona National Scenic Trail", which highlights 30 of the most scenic and accessible parts of the AZT.⁠⁠⁠⁠We asked Sirena to share more about her journey to long trails, her book, and celebrating Arizona:  Like many in this state, I was not born here but I adore my adopted home. One of the best things about Arizona is the incredible variety of environments available for outdoor recreation. Want towering Saguaro cacti and exposed rock formations? Sky Island mountain ranges that rise thousands of...

Health Benefits of Being Outside

Posted by RYLEE STOULIL

Health Benefits of Being Outside

They say spending time outside is healing for the soul, but does it also have physical health benefits? Study after study is showing that this is true... From improving short-term memory all the way to lowering your overall risk of an early death, being outside has quite a few health benefits. 1. Spending time outside is great de-stressor. Nature is a common place to go to get away from it all and decompress, but biology is showing that time spent in the outdoors truly does lower stress levels. For example, a study found that both heart rates and cortisol levels...

The Night We Spent at Zion Wright Family Camp

Posted by RYLEE STOULIL

The Night We Spent at Zion Wright Family Camp

The site is described as a "best kept secret," and holy cow - it really is. We originally booked the site because it's so close to Zion... but we never actually made it to the park. We just couldn't tear ourselves away from the beauty and stillness of the campsite. Not sure what the bigger surprise was - the hundreds of thousands of wildflowers, or the fact that we were the only ones there. "My favorite part was how it seemed like a place you would want to spend the summer as a kid. Tons of wide open space, a...

15 Places Where You Can Enjoy Fall Colors

Posted by RYLEE STOULIL

15 Places Where You Can Enjoy Fall Colors

Happy October! The month of spooky scaries, pumpkin flavored treats, and the prime-time of leaf-peeping (which is an actual term, by the way). It's my favorite time of year, which is why I rounded up the best places in the US for those magical fall colors. Ozark National Forest, Arkansas This forest is home to 1.2 million acres of fall wonderfulness. There's no shortage of reds and yellows among that white oak, shortleaf pine and river birch that live in the Ozark National Forest. Along with that, there are plenty of mountains, springs and rivers to keep you buys for...

5 Myths About the Outdoors

Posted by RYLEE STOULIL

5 Myths About the Outdoors

Legends and stories passed down through generations have lead us to believe some pretty wild things. I mean, I take everything my mom says as the 100% truth, so heck yeah, I believed eating carrots would give you x-ray vision. I, sadly, learned that this is not true, along with these five outdoor myths. MYTH: It's a-okay to leave orange peels on the ground outside. Yes, fruit peels/cores are biodegradable. No, you can't leave them wherever you please. If they aren't native to that ecosystem, then they're harmful to the wildlife in that area. Just pop it back in your...

Taking a Risk to Turn Your Dreams into a Reality

Posted by MIKAELA RULAND

Taking a Risk to Turn Your Dreams into a Reality

In the summer of 2016, I quit my job. It wasn’t what I was passionate about and I felt unfilled.  My fiance and I packed all of our belongings into a 10x10 storage unit and headed north in our ‘98 Subaru Legacy. We spent the summer living out of our car, exploring Canada and the Western US.  It felt wild and adventurous and for the first time in my life, I felt like I was really pursuing my dreams.  But then, our money ran out and we came back to our hometown. I didn’t know what I wanted to do...

7 Outdoor Books to Inspire the Adventurer in You

Posted by AMY GRAVLEE

7 Outdoor Books to Inspire the Adventurer in You

Words have the power to both transport us and inspire us. Readers sometimes get a bad rap for using books as an escape without ever seeking out adventures of their own.  This has never been the case for me. I love reading because it is amongst the pages of wonderful books that I have found some of my most crazy and exciting ideas. Here are some of my favorites. For Kids (Of All Ages) When you are a kid, everything seems possible and plausible. I loved reading (and still do) realistic fiction adventure books. They made me think I too...

Tips For Trying Something New Outside

Posted by KERRI ANNE STEBBINS

Tips For Trying Something New Outside

What have you always wanted to do outdoors? How have you always wanted to push yourself? There's a lot to be unsure of when picking up a new skill or otherwise trying something that stretches your boundaries outside. Not only do you need to learn and practice new skills, but you may also have to push past your own preconceptions of what may be safe and achievable.  I love spending time outside and in the backcountry by myself. In the past decade, I've grown increasingly comfortable with hiking solo in wild places, just as I've picked up other new skills,...

How to Meet Cool People Like You

Posted by ERIN MAXSON

How to Meet Cool People Like You

I always have people ask me how I’ve managed to find friends who love all the same things I do since I moved to Arizona in December. When I first moved to this beautiful desert state, I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to meet like-minded people who loved the outdoors who also enjoyed a good romp on the trail with my dog.  Well, I had nothing to worry about. Little did I know I was heading to the right place for all things nature and puppers. Just Go For It The first day I set my tires...

Small Ways to Get Outside

Posted by RYLEE STOULIL

Small Ways to Get Outside

Vitamin D deficiency is a real thing. And a lot of people have it. On average, Americans spend 90% of their day indoors, and 1 in 4 of us spend our entire days without seeing a smidge of sunlight. Now that we've been dubbed the "Indoor Generation," it's time to start making getting outside a priority again. Spending time outdoors doesn't have to be a huge commitment. It's not just for the professional mountain climbers or avid fishermen. There are lots of little ways that we can squeeze in extra time outside. Time: We're all busy. But that doesn't mean we should...

Summer in the National Parks

Posted by BROOKE EWING

Summer in the National Parks

Summer is a great time to visit our National Parks, especially with kids. When Arizona goes postal with its 120-degree days, we take full advantage of summer break and head north.  We have a bucket list that includes some we've seen and some we haven't, and we are actively trying to see them all. Here's a little peek of what has made it to the top of that list over the years.  Acadia National Park (ME)  It's not the closest park to Arizona, I know. But everyone needs to see Maine in the summer, and Acadia is the best spot...

How to Fuel Up For Outdoor Activities as Vegetarians and Vegans

Posted by ANNIE NGUYEN

How to Fuel Up For Outdoor Activities as Vegetarians and Vegans

Whether the reason(s) is out of love for animals, avoiding harm of sentient beings, weight loss, health, environmental consciousness, or other personal motives, switching to a plant-based diet is becoming more widely accepted. The most well-known options are vegetarian or vegan.  The diets in a nutshell Vegetarian: does not consume any formerly living creature with a brain. The most popular type is lacto-ovo-vegetarian, meaning the diet does not include any meat, seafood (would be pescetarian), or poultry, but does include dairy products and eggs.  Vegan: does not consume any formerly living creature with a brain nor any products from these...

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