What's New for 2016
Here's where you can quickly find out what's new to the website. Whether there's a new trail or QTR added, or a update to a review. It will be listed here so you're always up-to-date on what's happening with Experience Arizona.
Click here for what's new for 2015 and earlier
What's New: Chimney Canyon 4WD Adventure
December 26, 2016
Here's a nice and easy 4WD adventure through some wonderful rolling hills and scenic canyons of southeastern Arizona. You can also visit the ghost town of Ruby and a great deal of other places in the area. This trail can be done in lieu of a section of Ruby Road for those who wish to "take the scenic route".
What's New:Christmas Cookies for Santa
December 21, 2016
Everyone can have a bad day, even Santa It’s the holiday season. A time to bake cookies, leave them for Santa by the tree and read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas to the little ones. It’s also a good time to curl up by the fire and watch a feel-good Christmas movie. One that fills your heart with Christmas joy and holiday cheer. My new short filim is NOT one of those movies.
What's New: Aerial Footage of American Flag
December 19, 2016
I took out my new camera and platform (DJI Phantom 4 Pro) yesterday to American Flag. This was only my second time flying a drone and I am still learning how to fly it. The fact that I didn't crash it yet is a testament to the DJI platform and how easy it is to fly, not my flying capabilities. I still have a ton of learning to do, especially with the camera, but I can't wait to take it out and show some footage of these places never seen before.
What's New: Angel of Oak Creek Cabin
December 17, 2016
Some of the places we visit are very old. These places have a lot of unwritten history. It appears sometimes this history wishes to contact us. After reviewing pictures from a camping trip to an old cabin where "strange things happened during the night", my sister found what looks like an angel in the cabin's window. Join me as I take an in depth look at this image to see if it's a fake (Photoshop) or real.
What's New: Gilbert Riparian Preserve at Water Park
December 13, 2016
Intern Elisabeth Morales brings us a wonderful multimedia story of the Gilbert Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch. This is another hidden gem in Arizona that has over four miles of hiking trails, bird watching, fishing, education and much more. If you live in the area and are looking for something to do outdoors this winter that's close to home, this may just be what you're looking for!
What's New: Yetman Hiking Adventure
December 6, 2016
The Yetman Trail to the Bowen's Ranch ruins is an easy and scenic trail near Tucson which leads to a historic rock home built in the 1930s. If you're looking for a great hike just west of Tucson, don't miss this one!
What's New: Before & After Photo Gallery 1
November 18, 2016
A bunch of you have asked how I created the haunting images I've posted over the last few months. The gallery below contains some of the images I edited that show the before (the image that came straight out of the camera) and the after (what I ended up with). This isn't meant to be a tutorial on Photoshop (I am by no means an expert), just something to give you an idea of what I was able to do in camera versus what was done in Photoshop. I've also included one image that has not been published before - "Alien in the Bathtub". I find it interesting in that the final image is so far from what I started with, but it happened to be the easiest edit of all in the gallery. Even so, the results are fairly horrific and I had to apologize to the beautiful model (Taryn Gibson) for doing this to her. Enjoy!
What's New: Tony Sedgwick: A Moving Force
November 1, 2016
“Suck the juice out of your time here on this planet –do it all,” he says with a smile. His contentment is contagious and impossible to ignore. From a successful law career on the East Coast to charitable community leader, Tony Sedgwick opens up on what led him here today. Read more to find out about one of Nogales’s most giving men.
What's New: REPORT: FINANCIAL COMPANY BREAKS BARRIERS - LITERALLY
October 27, 2016
Company swaps chairs for tree stumps as they go where no company has gone before....
What's New: Blood Wine Photo Gallery
October 23, 2016
I am posting another photo gallery in the spirit of Halloween - Blood Wine. This is the last photo gallery from the Bath of Horror shoot I did with Taryn Gibson. As we were wrapping up, Taryn didn't want to leave the water without using blood in some way :-)... It got a little messy.
What's New:FINANCIAL COMPANY BREAKS BARRIERS - LITERALLY
October 20, 2016
A company swaps chairs for tree stumps as they go where no company has gone before... A new Arizona N2O satire piece from intern Elisabeth Morales.
What's New: Bed of Roses
October 13, 2016
After the roach bath gallery we posted last time, we're going to take it down a notch and just do some pictures of roses and beautiful model Taryn Gibson. Enjoy! For all the horror fans out there, don't worry, more Halloween photos coming soon.
What's New: Scenic Chair Lift: A Ride Into Fall
October 11, 2016
As it finally starts to cool down, the scenic chair lift ride in Flagstaff, Arizona is the perfect way to get in the fall spirit with its dramatic views and tranquil atmosphere – all at 11,500 feet.
What's New: Las Lagunas de Anza a Community's Treasure
October 2, 2016
Between the coming together of a community, countless volunteers and one dedicated family comes Las Lagunas de Anza- a symbol of hope and hardwork in this small border town.
What's New: Haunted Hotel Ball 2016 Contest
October 1, 2016
It's October and you know what that means - Halloween is just around the corner! To celebrate we are once again teaming up with the folks at Saguaro Scottsdale with a contest to win TWO FREE VIP tickets to the biggest, best Halloween party in Arizona worth over $200. The Haunted Hotel Ball is a 2 day, 3 party event on the weekend of October 28-29 in the newly remolded Saguaro Scottsdale Hotel. It's super easy to enter, just send me your best Halloween photos. See the contest rules and more information on the event on my Haunted Hotel Ball Contest 2016 page below.
What's New: Introducing Elisabeth Morales
September 27, 2016
I’m excited to announce our latest intern from the University of Arizona, Elisabeth Morales. Elisabeth is a senior in the Journalism Department who enjoys writing feature stories, spending time with her dogs and exploring Arizona – a perfect match for Experience Arizona! Please help me in welcoming Elisabeth. I can’t wait to see what she brings to the website.
What's New: Roach Bath
September 25, 2016
I've added another portrait photo gallery to the website. This gallery, which I call "Roach Bath", is not for the faint of heart. I love these images because they do a great job contrasting beauty and horror. It features the always beautiful model Taryn Gibson in a bath of well ... you guessed it ... roaches. There is only one thing I've found that scares Taryn, and it's roaches. I still can't believe she did this shoot. I don't think the terror you see in her eyes in some of the photos is acting.
What's New: Big Lead Mine 4WD Adventure
September 22, 2016
I've added another adventure in southern Arizona - Big Lead Mine. This short 4WD trail leads to some interesting ruins, an old arrastra and mine tailings that will delight any aspiring rock hounds you may have in your group.
What's New: Experience Arizona Memory Project - Gunfire at Copper Creek
September 8, 2016
Three friends and I took a camping trip to one of our favorite haunts in the late 1980s - the ghost town of Copper Creek. During our adventure we fended off armed intruders, used and old WWII bayonet to slice open my ankles and yet again managed to be free from dating for at least another month. I still can't understand why women didn't find the corduroy shorts, flannel shirts and 1970 porn star mustaches attractive?
What's New: New Photo Gallery Added
September 4, 2016
I've added another photo gallery to my portrait portfolio. This is another one from the milk bath shoot with Taryn Gibson. I'd imagine one of the most horrible ways to die would be by drowning. Taryn had to live this horror for a few moments as she opened her mouth, brought in the milky water and held her breath as I took the photo. Multiple times. Not an easy thing to do. Especially, while looking beautiful at the same time. She is a real pro! I wanted an almost surreal look to it as if she was being pulled under by the water. The milky water gave off a fog-like feeling when we shot it this close.
What's New: Arivaca Adobe Ruins 4WD Adventure
September 2, 2016
Here's an easy 4WD trail (and short hike) to the remains of an old adobe ranch. This is a great adventure down in southern Arizona!
What's New: Mystic Photo Gallery
August 29, 2016
Crystal balls. Spells. Levitation. These are some of the essentials if you're a mystic. Model Lisa Mytych and I explored some of the ideas in a mystical photo shoot we did a few months ago. Do you believe in magic?
What's New: Is the Water Safe?
August 27, 2016
Have you ever been afraid to go in water when you don’t know what’s under the surface? You have every right to be cautious. Join model Taryn Gibson and I as we explore what it might be like to have that phobia. Make sure you look closely at the water. You may be surprised by what’s in there.
What's New: Yellow Jacket Mine 4WD Adventure Added
August 21, 2016
This is an easy 4WD trail through the beautiful rolling hills of southern Arizona to an old mine, interesting stone ruins and scenic desert canyon.
What's New: Lace and Strength Photo Gallery
August 12, 2016
Here are some shots with Lisa Mytych as part of an awesome photo shoot we did together. We did some photos with delicate lace and then some showing Lisa's strength.
What's New: Tarot Cards of Gates Pass - Part iI
August 9, 2016
Part II of the Tarot Cards of Gates Pass Photo Gallery with models Frankie Romano and Jenny Newell has been uploaded. We used "The Tower" and "The High Priestess" as inspiration for these photos. I think we got some beautiful shots!
What's New: Haystack Butte Rd (FR300) 4WD Adventure Added
August 7, 2016
Here's a 4WD adventure that not only takes you through some beautiful desert scenery, but down into Salt River canyon. The trail is divided into two sections: an easy trip through rolling desert hills and a more difficult section down to the river. There are lots of camping spots along the way too!
What's New: Tarot Cards Photo Gallery - Part I
August 6, 2016
I met models Frankie Romano and Jenny Newell out at Gates Pass for a fun sunset/dusk photo shoot in which we used Rider Waite's tarot cards as inspiration. The sunset was awesome with summer monsoons building in the west. It was a great time and we got some awesome photos. Part I is "The Magician" and "Death".
What's New: Horse Camp Creek 4WD Adventure
July 22, 2016
Here's an adventure that combines four-wheeling, hiking and history (both historic and prehistoric). First, take an easy 4WD trail down to the remains of a couple old stone cabins in a beautiful canyon. Then, if you're feeling even more adventurous, you can hike to some prehistoric hilltop Indian ruins.
What's New: Hilltop Ruins Part II
July 6, 2016
Here's Part II of the Hilltop Ruins story. Join us as we attempt to scale to the top of the spire on extremely narrow ledges. Two of the four adventurers don't make to the top. But for those who do, what an awesome experience!
What's New: Hilltop Ruins Part I
June 24, 2016
What do you get when you combine a dangerously steep mountain, an almost impenetrable carpet of cactus, and a quest to reach ancient ruins? A grand adventure! Come read our latest feature story as Cat-dog and I try to survive our attempt to find some hilltop Indian ruins in central Arizona.
What's New: Ghosts of 96 Ranch II
June 20, 2016
Who’s that ghost in the window? Find out in the second photo gallery from our ghost hunting trip out to 96 Ranch.
What's New: Ghosts of 96 Ranch
June 14, 2016
Ever wonder if some of the old ranches we visit are haunted? My guess is probably so. We went out to 96 Ranch to take some pictures of what a haunting might be like. Here's the first photo gallery from that adventure.
What's New: Rock Crossing #18C Hiking Adventure Added
June 12, 2016
Rock Crossing #18C is an short and easy hike down to the Blue Ridge Reservoir up on the Mogollon Rim. If you've got pups who enjoy swimming in the water, this is a great trail to take them on in the summer!
What's New: Arizona Zipline Adventure
June 5, 2016
What do "normal" people who are afraid of heights do when they here that a new zipline adventure is opening up in southern Arizona? They immediately call to see if they can get a reservation! At least that's what I did. So, okay, I may not be normal, but I was up for the adventure! At least I thought I was.
What's New: Tunnel Ranch 4WD Adventure Added
May 19, 2016
Just added an adventure to a little known ranch in central Arizona. It's unique in a couple of ways: the water collection system for the ranch was through a tunnel into a 100 foot tall rock wall, and it takes you through an area that has the dubious honor of being the namesake of one of Arizona's most bloody massacres.
What's New: Jeep Topless Day 2016
May 14, 2016
Happy Jeep Topless Day 2016! To celebrate, I took some photos of actress, model, friend and hairdresser extraordinaire Taryn Gibson during sunset in a completely topless (and doorless) Experience Arizona Jeep. It was the first time I’d ever taken everything off. It was an awesome experience! Come take a look at the photo gallery and enjoy JTD 2016!
What's New: San Xavier Mission Photo Gallery
May 9, 2016
The San Xavier Mission is the oldest intact European structure still standing in Arizona. It has a rich history and beautiful presence. Tobey went out one afternoon/evening capture that beauty with her camera. Here are some of the awesome photos she took of the mission.
What's New: Can ziplines be both Exciting and Cozy?
May 2, 2016
If you've been looking to check out the longest zipline in southern Arizona--1,500 feet long--then good news because Tobey has already done it and she has some good feedback. Check out what Tobey has to say about Arizona Zipline Adventures.
What's New: Ten Days in Arizona
April 12, 2016
Guest writer Dana Benner shares his first visit to Arizona (coming from New Hampshire) in part one of his story, Ten Days in Arizona, where he finds there much more to the state than just the Grand Canyon.
What's New: Backcountry Pizza!
April 11, 2016
Tobey prides herself in being a good cook both at home and in the backcountry. For some, the latter can be a little difficult. In this article, she gives you step by step instructions and tips on how to create the perfect personal pizzas in the backcountry... Yum!
What's New: Kayaking Along Lake Powell
April 5, 2016
During her spring break, Tobey and some friends went Kayaking along the beautiful shores of Lake Powell. Here's some photos from her trip that do a wonderful job at showing the scenic beauty of Lake Powell. Take a look, you'll be glad you did.
What's New: Oak Creek Cabin 4WD Trip
March 27, 2016
An easy 4WD trip to an old cabin and barn. There are some possible side trips to Indian ruins and the Coon Creek Trail in the Sierra Ancha Wilderness. There's some beautiful scenery as an added bonus.
What's New: Canoeing Along the Colorado River
March 8, 2016
Want to see a glimpse of what it's like to canoe 35 miles down the Colorado River through the Chocolate Mountains? Check out Tobey's video of her paddling adventure!
What's New: Climbing Cochise Photo Gallery
March 4, 2016
Here's a gallery of outstanding photographs from Tobey's recent rock climbing adventure near the Cochise Stronghold. Take a look - it may be enough to get you past your vertigo and climb to the top of the nearest mountain!
What's New: Salt River Mine III Photo Gallery
February 29, 2016
Here's the final photo gallery from our visit to the Salt River Mine. These are the photos from the mine itself. Old buildings, tracks and chutes - lots of stuff to see. But one must be very careful. There's an unseen danger lurking here. Be safe.
What's New: The Ranch with more than one Purpose
February 27, 2016
For Tobey, who became a vegetarian for environmental reasons, visiting a cattle ranch was quite the learning experience. Check out her day spent herding cattle and tagging calves on the Santa Fe Ranch in Nogales, Arizona.
What's New: Climbing at Cochise Stronghold
February 19, 2016
Join Tobey Schmidt in her first story with Experience Arizona as she takes you on a rock climbing adventure during a frosty morning in southern Arizona. Tobey not only discovers what it's like to fall, but also what truly motivates her to keep climbing.
What's New: Salt River Mine Photo Gallery II
February 9, 2016
I’ve added the second photo gallery from our trip to a mine near the Salt River Canyon. In this gallery you’ll see we find what I think was an old tram station hanging on the edge of a cliff, another cabin being reclaimed by nature and a classic car from the 1940s. To see the entire gallery go to:
What's New: Salt River Mine Photo Gallery I
February 6, 2016
Two weeks ago we made a trip to visit a mine near the Salt River and we discovered a large homestead complex with over 10 buildings in various states of ruin. It was an amazing site. This is the first set of three photo galleries from the trip. To see the entire first gallery go to:
What's New: Coming out of the Tool Closet
January 31, 2016
I'm finally coming out of the tool closet and admitting to something that I've had to live my whole life with and some in the Jeep world will shun.
What's New: Writer's Block Teaser
January 29, 2016
Here's a quick teaser for my upcoming short film, Writer's Block. Let me know what you think.
What's New: Carpenter's Well Ruins 4WD Trip
January 15, 2016
An easy 4WD trip through the beautiful rolling hills of southwest Arizona to the ruins of an old ranching homestead at Carpenter's Well and a good-sized dam to capture the scarce water in the area. The homestead was pretty impressive. It started out as adobe, then was bricked and plastered at some point. Not a lot remains there today, but it's still an interesting and beautiful trip.
What's New: New Photo Gallery Added - Wildcat Trail Snow Day
January 13, 2016
We had another great snow day along the backside of Mt. Lemmon. We took Wildcat Trail from Oracle to Campo Bonito. Although we did find some nice hills to sled down, we also employed the Jeep to pull the sleds along the trail which was a lot of fun. I've added a photo gallery and video from the trip to the website.