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I'm excited to announce my new book, Kokopelli Harvest, has been published. Click here for more details.

Who are the Experience Arizona Adventurers?

Matt Marine

Matt Marine is an Arizona resident who loves exploring Arizona's wonderful outdoor adventures. To find out more about Matt, click the link below.

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Cat-Dog is my faithful trail companion. Her real name is Cammie. Why do I call her Cat-Dog?

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Tobey Schmidt

Although I come from the flat lands of Indiana, I now call Arizona home where I love to rock climb, bike, backpack, paddle—and photograph it all. I can’t wait to share my adventures with the readers of Experience Arizona!


See Intern Page for previous interns

It's a Jeep Thing
Jeep people are awesome, but we do have our idiosyncrasies. Join me as we look at the humorous side of owning and loving Jeeps.

Feature Adventures
Want to try something different? These stories showcase a wide varitey of unique adventures that allow you to experience them first hand!

My first book. It's a mystery called Devil's Moon and has already received outstanding reviews. Set in Sedona, Devil's Moon offers anyone who enjoys a good mystery (or who just loves Arizona) a great read.

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Outdoor Adventures based on Offroad Exploration!

Arizona N2O - The Lighter Side of Experience Arizona

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Do you know your Aizona trails? Figure out where I am in Arizona and win some cool stuff!

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Click to explore Arizona ghost towns and mines


Read the Experience Arizona Disclaimer before attempting any of our adventures. Check with local authorities (FS, BLM, etc.) before heading out on any adventures for updates road conditions, closures, etc.

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Road Closures

Trails and roads listed within this site may be closed at any time by the Forest Service, private property owners or other governmental agencies. It is your responsibility to verify state of trail prior to attempting to run it.

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New Adventures


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Mountain Biking

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National Geographic Topo State Series

By Matt Marine

March 2013 Update: It appears that National Geographic may not be producing any more State Series software packages anymore. None are available on their website and most retailers are out of stock. It is unknown at this time what will come of this popular series.

Many outdoor enthusiasts use topographic maps to keep from getting lost, plan and record adventures or discover new places. And when you really need one, a good topo map is worth its weight (and more) in gold.

For us old-schoolers, we would go down to the map store and buy the right quadrangle and we'd be set to go. You can still do that, but with those newfangled things called computers, there's a better way: Topo software!

TOPO! © 2008 National Geographic
Example Profile

You can buy topographic software for your computer and do much more than you could ever do with a printed map - then you can print it to take it with you! The best of both world.

There's a wide variety of topographic software available, but one sets itself apart from the rest: National Geographic Topo.

Most topo software is computer generated. NG Topo scans in the USGS maps. For me, this is probably the best feature of the software. I've tried computer generated topo software and they lack the detail the USGS maps provide (though I believe Maptech uses USGS maps also). Although the USGS maps can be grossly outdated, this can also be a plus. The maps show ruins that other topo maps neglect. I don't know if it's because the other topo software just misses it, or because the ruins have disappeared. For me, I would like to know where something used to be (maybe the ruins have just weathered away) than not to show them at all. That way I can find where they used to be, which many times is interesting in itself.

TOPO! © 2008 National Geographic
Example 3D view

Version 4.6 of the software is reviewed.

The bottom line

In my opinion, Topo State Series for Arizona is the best topo software available today. Although it has some deficiencies, I would recommend it for any outdoor adventure you may have planned.

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