I wouldn’t call myself an expert when it comes to “wellness experiences”—and my friends and family would strongly agree. I’m the sort of guy who tries his best to get to the gym on a (semi-)regular basis. Although I do love a good massage at a fully appointed spa and have been known to tackle more than a few of the Scottsdale area’s hiking trails. But don’t let this confession dissuade you from the quality and pleasure of the experiences below. Scottsdale’s fitness-loving residents flock to the city’s golf courses, hiking and biking trails, tennis courts and spas. They spend a lot time—and money—staying fit and looking good. With so many options, a “best” list has to meet a variety of tastes and offer real results. The experience should also be enjoyable. So whether you're an endurance athlete, yogi, golfer or spa junkie, consider one of the following recommendations.
Hiking at Camelback Mountain
The hike is tough—but, boy, are the views are incredible. For those looking to combine a great workout with an only-in-Arizona experience, a climb up Camelback is a must. Camelback Mountain’s trails—the 1.2-mile Echo Canyon and 1.4-mile Cholla— are not recommended for beginning hikers, but more experienced climbers are rewarded with views of the city and the surrounding mountain ranges.
Aerial Hammock Yoga at Well & Being
Channel your inner Cirque du Soleil performer for this off-the-floor yoga class at the Well & Being at Willow Stream Spa. Stretchy fabric hammocks suspend participants from the ceiling, allowing for great ease of movement, deeper poses and even the occasional flip upside down. Yoga beginners are welcome, and long-timers will love the relaxed atmosphere and fresh approach.
Fore-Max at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa
Fore-Max may be the ultimate training program for golfers, combining traditional instruction and with a personalized workout regimen that targets flexibility, strength, aerobic conditioning and nutrition. You’re not guaranteed a hole-in-one or below par gam, but you will leave with tools to improve your accuracy and distance off the tee.
Boulder Climbing at the Waldorf Astoria Spa
Now this is one view of the desert that few experience: suspended from the side of a boulder 75 feet off the ground. Rock climbing instructors at the Boulders Resort’s spa will help you climb the massive, rounded rock formation—even if you’re not the extreme sport type. Best of all, there’s a massage waiting for you at the base.
Naturopathic Treatments at Joya Spa
For a more holistic spa experience, try the naturopathic services at the luxurious, Moroccan-themed Joya Spa. On the menu (besides dozens of massages and facials): nutrition consulting, life coaching, acupuncture, nutrient IV therapy and cupping, which utilizes glass cups to create vacuum pressure that is believed to release toxins and restore the flow of qi, or natural energy.