The company behind the pink jeeps that take tourists through desert landscapes and mountains of Sedona and the Grand Canyon are expanding south into northeastern parts of the Valley.
Pink Jeep Tours (also known as Pink Adventure Tours) has been given approval to operate three off-road tours within the Tonto National Forest and Yavapai Nation, the company announced recently.
The three tours range from off-road climbs through some of the mountains to off-road trails focused on the state's desert plant life.
The company itself isn't new to the Phoenix area. It has had an office in Scottsdale since 2012 where it ran its Phoenix-to-Grand Canyon excursions. It recently relocated to Fort McDowell, located about 20 minutes northeast of Fountain Hills, to be where the tours depart from, said Chris Epper, vice president of marketing for Pink Adventure Group.
Sidewinder Ridge Adventure: This is the newest tour. For three hours, a guide will take you to up the Goldfield Mountain ridgeline into Bulldog Canyon where you'll learn about the desert geology and plant life.
Cactus Canyon Adventure: This two-hour tour is similar to the Broken Arrow Tour in Sedona, which includes steep hill climbs, downgrades and spacious views. All that's missing in Phoenix is Sedona's Red Rocks.
Sonoran Desert Adventure: This is a four-hour tour that takes you throughout the desert and then transfers you to a boat where you'll learn a little bit about Saguaro Lake, which has more than 22 miles of shoreline.
Despite being near the Valley, you don't see many of the pink jeeps around, unlike Sedona where seeing one drive down 89A is a daily occurrence.
"It's kind of been a lost attraction," Epper said in a phone interview. He cites the "sprawl of suburban housing" as one of the reasons. But, the company has wanted to bring it to Phoenix.
So when a partnership opportunity became available with the Tonto National Forest, they took it.
"There's no better time to reinvent jeep touring in the Phoenix area," he said. "[We want to] give consumers or visitors a taste of the desert that isn't that far away."
VIDEO: Sidewinder Ridge Adventure
All of the tours take off from Fort McDowell, Arizona, which is about 20 minutes northeast of Fountain Hills. Tours range in price from $79 - $135 per person (depending on child or adult admission). Reservations are preferred. View website for details.
If you're in the Phoenix area for a short time, this could be something to check out.