Hit pay dirt by learning how to pan gold and gemstones with Arrowhead Desert Tours (602/942-3361, www.azdeserttours.com ). A genuine prospector drives tenderfeet to backcountry streams that may give up garnets or even “the color.” The company provides all the equipment, and guides explain how to use it.
Phoenix Tours (800/303-5185, www.phoenixtours.us ) leads Jeep tours of everything from the Apache Trail in the Superstition Mountains to a daylong Sedona  trip or a nocturnal, night-vision scope adventure. Drivers will pick you up at your hotel or residence and drive you out to the desert, where guides will cover the history and ecology of the tour area. Prices range $45–500 depending on the trip.