March 2017 Guided Programs at Saguaro National Park

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Date: February 17, 2017
Contact: Melanie Florez, (520)733-5153
Contact: Richard Hill, (520)733-5158

Naturalist Programs at Tucson Mountain District (West District), 2700 N. Kinney Rd.:

 All programs are subject to change.  Call the visitor center at (520) 733-5158 for updates the day of the program.  

March 6, 20 9:45 a.m. Bird Walk 30 min plus optional additional 30 min, ½ mile   
Join us for a 30-minute walk in the sandy wash behind the Visitor Center to see what birds live among the cacti and shrubs. Participants interested in more will drive 2 miles to Sus Picnic area with its rocky canyon and hills for another 30-minute walk to see what wrens, hawks and other birds live there. No reservations required. All ages are invited.

March 4, 11, 18, 25 9:45 a.m. The Plants Tell All  Hike: 2 hours, 1½ miles
Plants are the foundation of the web of life. Join a park naturalist to learn the secrets of what ties the plants and animals of the Sonoran Desert together. Plant survival, insects and spiders, birds and mammals -- nothing is off limits for discussion on this discovery trek through the desert. For this moderate walk, closed-toed shoes, a hat, and water are required. 

March  4, 11, 25 3:30 p.m. Silhouettes at Sundown Hike: 3 hours, 2 ½ miles
Trek along an arroyo as the setting sun magically silhouettes the Southwest’s most famous icon – the giant saguaro.  This walk is one-third sandy wash with a few rock outcroppings, one-third hill with a gentle grade, and one-third dirt road. Reservations required; 733-5158

March 8 3:00 p.m.  Wasson Peak Moonlight Hike: 7 hours, 8 miles roundtrip
This hike climbs 1,700 feet to the highest point in the Tucson Mountains. Enjoy a 360-degree view of the sunset before descending by the light of the moon. The hike is at an easy-to-moderate pace but is considered difficult due to elevation gain and hiking after dark. Ages 12 and older. Reservations required; 733-5158

March 9 5:00 p.m.  Twilight Glow to Moon Shadows  Moonlight Hike: 3 hours, 2 ½ miles roundtrip
This walk bridges sunset into moonlight, letting hikers experience the desert in both the glow of twilight and the light of the waxing moon. The trail ascends a hill with a gentle, packed slope, and then descends a sandy wash. The hike is completed with a return on a dirt road. Ages 10 and older. Reservations required: 733-5158.

March 10  4:155 p.m. Sunset Hike 4 hours, 3 ½ miles roundtrip
This hike gains 700 feet  with most of the elevation change in switchbacks near the ridgeline,  where hikers will watch the sunset before descending under moonlight. Reservations required; 733-5158

March 12 7:15 p.m.  Moonrise Over The Mountains Patio program: 45 minutes
Popular guitarist and singer-songwriter Mark William and Native American flute player Robert Hval will play music on the patio as visitors watch the full moon rise over the mountains. Bring a folding chair and blankets or coats. All ages. Wheelchair accessible. No reservations necessary.  

Naturalist Programs at the Rincon Mountain District (East, 3693 S. Old Spanish Trail):

March 2, 9, 16, 23, 30  10:00 a.m.  Walk with the Saguaros  Guided Walk
Join a naturalist for this 2-hour, 1-mile easy walk to discover the many fascinating facts about the Saguaro cactus. Sturdy footwear and water are recommended.

March 2, 9, 23, 30  2:00 p.m.  The Saguaro Time Hike  Guided Hike
What was it like to live in a Cactus Forest? What do people do in this valley today? And what about an uncertain future?  Explore all three eras on a short hike to the Loma Verde Copper Mine historic site.

March 3, 10, 17, 24    10:00 a.m.  Parents & Tots Walk  Guided Walk
Bring your infant or toddler on this easy, ranger-guided walk as we explore the sights and sounds of the Sonoran Desert. Toddler backpacks are available for loan if you don’t have your own. Space is limited, so please call the visitor center at (520) 733-5153 to make a reservation.

March  3, 10, 17, 24, 31    2:00 p.m.  Drive-Thru Geology  Auto Tour
Hop in your car for a journey through 25 million years of earth history…in one hour! We’ll observe the varied landforms of the desert – bajadas, washes, outcrops – and find out why geology students from around the world come to see the Rincon Mountain foothills. (Hint: it’s the mylonitic gneiss!)

March 4  5:30  p.m.  Sunset Hike  Guided Hike    
March 18, 25  5:45 p.m.

Join a park guide to take a short hike up to a rocky overlook of the Tucson Basin. Nature will determine how good the sunset is, but bring your camera just in case it’s a famous Arizona sundown!

March 7, 14, 21, 28  10:30 a.m.  History of the Rincon Valley  Guided Hike
Take a stroll down the Hope Camp Trail and learn about the homesteaders and ranchers who settled here, as well as other aspects of the Rincon and Tanque Verde Valleys. Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring water and a trail snack. Advance reservations are required and can be made by calling (520) 733-5153.

March 7, 14, 21, 28  2:00 p.m.  Here Come the Hummers!  Presentation
Join a park naturalist in the visitor center theater to discovery the fascinating world of hummingbirds. Learn which ones call Saguaro National Park home! Wheelchair accessible

March 8, 15, 22, 29  10:30 a.m.  The Destruction of Granite  Guided Hike
Join a ranger on a guided auto tour and hike inside the loop drive at Saguaro National Pak. We will discuss the geological history of the park as well as southeastern Arizona. The hike portion will be 4 miles round trip. Wear sturdy hiking shoes and bring water and a trail snack. Advance reservations are required and can be made by calling (520) 733-5153.

March 17 & 31    7:00 p.m.  Night Walk    1 mile guided walk
Join a park naturalist for this easy two-hour hike to explore and experience the Sonoran Desert at night.  Dress for the weather, wear comfortable walking shoes, and bring water and a flashlight.  As space is limited, advanced reservations are required, and can be made by calling (520) 733-5153.

March  23    7:00 p.m.  Star Party Illustrated Program & Activity
Join park naturalists for an introduction to astronomy and a look at the desert night sky. Telescopes and binoculars will be available. Reservations required. Call 733-5153. Wheelchair accessible. 

Both visitor centers are open daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, except Christmas Day.

Red Hills Visitor Center  (WEST)    Rincon Mountain Visitor Center  (EAST)
2700 North Kinney Road  3693 South Old Spanish Trail
Tucson, AZ  85743 Tucson, AZ  85730
(520) 733-5158  (520) 733-5153

For more information about Saguaro National Park and some of its partners, Friends of Saguaro National Park, Western National Parks Association, and the Rincon Institute, visit these websites: 

Last updated: February 17, 2017

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Mailing Address:

3693 S Old Spanish Trail
Tucson , AZ 85730


(520) 733-5153

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