The Need for Speed

Great Ways to Get Your Adrenaline Pumping in the Valley of the Sun

Over the past year, people have discovered one thing almost universally: they need to find new ways to get up, get going, and get the adrenaline pumping. For some, that might mean a fast walk around the park. For others, it must be an activity with high intensity, high speed, and high stakes. Here are a few ways to get your adrenaline pumping. 

Rock Climbing and Bouldering

While both activities are exciting, they are different. Rock climbing is usually longer, higher, and utilizes equipment. Bouldering goes up shorter distances and uses no equipment. You can do both throughout the Phoenix area. Before setting off to conquer bouldering on Pinnacle Peak solo, you might want to start with a rock climbing clinic at the Boulders Resort & Spa Scottsdale. During the clinic, you climb about 75 feet on granite and learn to “crack” and “face” climb. There are clinics for beginners and experienced climbers.

APEX Motor Club

High-performance race cars zipping past on the track are definitely adrenaline-pumping. But when you climb behind the wheel of that car and take off on the APEX 4.2-mile racing circuit, this becomes a life-changing experience. APEX is a luxury club sheltered on 280 acres south of Phoenix where you can join other racing enthusiasts. Get personalized instruction from a professional and set your own speed records.

Radford Racing School

Radford Racing School (formerly Bondurant High Performance Driving School) is the place to go in the Valley to learn advanced street-driving skills. Radford also offers its signature Grand Prix Racing program for experienced or beginning drivers. Your final day, if you opt for the four-day program, gets you behind the wheel in a Ligier JS F4 Open Wheel Formula race car. If you prefer to take to the track in a kart, Radford has brand new gas-powered Piquet Karts. With 20 karts on hand, these are ideal for group activities.

Octane Raceway

If you want to jump behind the wheel at a bit slower pace, head to Octane Raceway in Scottsdale. A junior program offers slower speeds for those under age 16 and their parents. If you want a bit more of an adrenaline rush, high-speed kart racing is available at Octane. You can reach top speeds of up to 45 mph in the third-mile indoor/outdoor track. Seated low on the track, those speeds can definitely offer an adrenaline rush. 

Balloon Rides

Perhaps a hot-air balloon doesn't go as fast as the car around the track, but there's no better way to view the Valley than from the basket of one of the Rainbow Ryders balloons. Start out at sunrise and soar over the Sonoran Desert as the sun peeks over the horizon. Or, take a ride at sunset to watch the brilliant light display as the sun dips in the west.


Feel the thrill of air rushing past when you step into the special wind tunnel at iFLY for a unique, indoor skydiving experience. No skills are necessary, and an instructor facilitates the experience. They’ll help you step into the tunnel and lean into the wind—and show you a few tricks during your experience.

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