Saguaro National Park April 2016 Guided Programs Schedule

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Date: March 14, 2016
Contact: Melanie Florez, (520)733-5153
Contact: Richard Hill, (520)733-5158

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

Daytime Indoor or Patio Programs at the Visitor Center

April 2, 9, 16, 23,30  2:15p.m.      The CCC in the Tucson Mountains Talk: 45 minutes
The Civilian Conservation Corps (1933-1943) was launched in the midst of The Great Depression to give young men jobs restoring the country's depleted soil and forest resources. Much of this involved building the infrastructures of publicfacilities in the Tucson area, including many of the stone structures andtrails at Saguaro National Park and Tucson Mountain Park. Wheelchair accessible.

April 6, 13, 20, 27 3:15 p.m.  Against All Odds Talk: 30 minutes
A saguaro might produce 40 million seeds in its lifetime, but only one or two seedlings will survive into maturity. Discover how the "deck is stacked" against their survival and what conditions are needed for growth into the majestic icon of the desert. Wheelchair accessible.

April 15, 19, 27  2:15 p.m.  CSI Saguaro Talk: 45 minutes
Who killed Sam Saguaro? Meet us in the "morgue" at the Red Hills visitor center as the cactus examiner makes the initial "Y cut" in the corpus cactus;then you figure out who did what to Sam Saguaro.

April 3  2:15 p.m.   A Desert Trio: Snakes, Tortoises, and Monsters   Talk:30 minutes
April 16, 25, 30  10:15 a.m.  
Snakes, desert tortoises,and gila monsters -- oh, my! This desert trio couldn't be more different,but yet they have a few things in common, such as being fascinating but misunderstood. Come learn about their communication skills, special adaptations, and defense systems. A bit of folk lore is also shared. Wheelchair accessible.

April 12, 26  3:15 p.m.  Meet the Cuckoo of the Desert: The Roadrunner   Talk: 30 minutes
The Greater Roadrunner is a popular and charismatic member of the desert community.Join a park naturalist for a Power Point presentation about the natural history, behaviors, and other traits and facts about this colorful creature. Wheelchair accessible.

April 13, 27  10:15 a.m.    Mountain Lions: Beyond the Myth  Talk: 45 minutes
Envision a puma stalking its prey, then uncover the true nature of this elusive but essential predator. Misunderstood, maligned, and nearly eradicated by settlers, the mountain lion remains threatened by human encroachment. Wheelchair accessible.

April 1, 8, 22, 29  2:15 p.m.  Lizards are Hot, Lizards are Cool  Talk:30 minutes
April 15   3:15 p.m.
Lizards are small denizens of the desert that are a critical component of our desert community. Find out what it means when they do push ups or exhibit other odd behaviors. Wheelchair accessible.

April 12, 26  11:15 a.m.  Life Cycle of the Saguaro: Seed to Giant  Walk: 45 minutes, 100 yards
Hear some astonishing reasons about why so few Saguaro seeds make it to fruition.

April 12, 26  10:15a.m.  Adaptations: Recipe for Survival  Easy100-yard walk: 30 minutes
Take a walk in our Cactus Garden Walk to discover some physical and behavioral adaptations of desert plants.

April 13, 20, 27  11:15a.m.  Synergyin the Desert: The Sonoran Habitat  Talk and Walk: 45 minutes
For all of life, "the whole is greater than the sum of the parts" is true.The iconic Saguaro is the focal point for a discussion of how the parts of the Sonoran Desert work together to create a rich living desert that is unique in the world.

April 11, 24, 25  2:15 p.m.  Homesteading Adventures  Talk: 30 minutes
April 9, 16, 233:15 p.m. The Hispanic women from homesteading families in the Tucson area left records of their adventures, and a ranger reads some of these fascinating first-person accounts. Wheelchair accessible.

April 3, 4, 11, 18, 21, 22, 24, 25  3:15 p.m.  Javelinas: Our Desert Neighbors  Talk:30 minutes
Some times referred to as the "desert pig," the javelina is not a pig at all. Learn aboutthis intriguing creature and how it survives in this arid environment. Wheelchair accessible.(This program also will be given in Spanish at 12:15 p.m. April 2, 23)

Daytime Hikes And Short Walks

April 6, 20  2:15 p.m.Kangaroo Rat: Super Survivor  Walk: 45 minutes
Learn about the remarkable behavioral and physical adaptations these rodents possess that allow them to survive harsh desert environments. Find out how the rodents escape predators, evade heat, and endure aridity while you search for burrows,runways and tracks of this nocturnal animal. The easy hike is on level ground but closed-toed shoes are required. Bring water and a hat.

April 9, 23  9:45 a.m.  Bird Walk  30 minutes plus optional additional 30minutes, ½ mile
Join us fora 30-minute walk in the sandy wash behind the Visitor Center to see what birds live among the cacti and shrubs. Learn how they find food, water and shelter. 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. The walk is on sand and dirt roads. No reservations required. All ages.

April 6, 20  10:15 a.m. Sonoran Secrets to Desert Survival Walk: 60 minutes, 250 yards
Stroll the Cactus Garden and identify the most common hazards hidden in the desert,uncover survival strategies of native plants and animals, and acquire practical tips to ensure your safety. Wheelchair accessible.

April 4, 18, 21, 22, 23  10:15 a.m.  Spiny,Shady, and COOL!  Walk:30 minutes, 100 yards
Come for a short walk and discover the great variety of cacti that inhabit this unique and fascinating desert.

April 5, 19 3:15 p.m.  How Do They Do It?  Walk: 15 minutes, 100 yards
Discover how the plants and animals of the Sonoran Desert have adapted to the harsh conditions of this unique environment. (This program also is offered in Spanish April 5, 19 12:15 p.m.) Wheelchairaccessible.

Evening and NighttimePrograms and Hikes

April 17 3:30 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

April 18  5:30p.m.     Twilight Glow to Moon Shadows Moonlight  Hike: 3 hours, 2 ½ miles
This walk bridges sunset into moonlight, letting hikers experience the desert in both the glow of twilight and the light of the waxing moon.It ascends a hill with a gentle, packedslope, and then changes trails to descend a sandy wash. The hike is completed with a return on a dirt road. Ages 10 andolder. Reservations required:733-5158.

April 19  4:45p.m.    Sunset Hike Moonlight Hike: 4 hours, 3 ½ miles
Discussions of water, geology, and plants will be highlights of mini-talks along this route, which gains 700 feet (with some switchbacks near the top) before reaching a ridge line for sunset. The descent is by the light of the moon. Ages10 and older.Reservations required;733-5158

April 20  5:30 p.m.  Moonlight Reflections Moonlight  hike: 2 1/2 hours, 2 miles
The shortest and easiest of the winter monthly moon hikes covers 2 miles in 2 1/2 hours. Imagine yourself living in olden times as you cross a flat terrain, follow a sandy wash that has been nature's highway for centuries, then climb a terraced hillside full of plants adapted to a rocky hillside. After a stop to rest and view the sunset, you will descend and complete your journey on a dirt road in the moonlight. Ages 10 and older. Reservations required: 733-5158.

April 21  7:15p.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 foldingchair and blankets or coats. All ages.Wheelchair accessible. No reservations necessary.

Spanish Language Programs

April 5, 19  12:15 p.m. ¿Como Pueden Sobrevivir?  Walk: 15 minutes, 100 yards
(Spanish version of How Do They Do It?) Charla en Español donde discutiremos como las plantas y animales del desierto Sonorense se han adaptado a través de los años para poder sobrevivir y florecer en nuestro únicoy duro ambiente Wheelchair accessible.

April 2, 23  12:15 p.m.  Jabalíes, Nuestros Vecinos Del Desierto Talk: 30 minutes
(Spanish version of Javelina: Our Desert Neighbors)Usted está invitado a acompañar a un naturalista delparque durante su presentación "Jabalíes, Nuestros Vecinos del Desierto." Aveces referido como el cerdo del desierto, averigüe por qué el jabalí no es uncerdo. Descubra la historia natural de este fascinante animal y cómo se lasarregla para sobrevivir en este ambiente árido. Wheelchair accessible.




Naturalist Programs at Rincon Mountain District (East: 3693 S Old Spanish Rd, Tucson, Az 85730)

April 1, 8, 15, 29 2:00 p.m. The Saguaro Nursery ½ mile guided walk
The reports of the saguaro's demise were greatly exaggerated! Take a stroll along a trail to see the next generation ofyoung saguaros and the gradual renewal of the Cactus Forest.

April 1, 15, 29 3:00 p.m. A Century of Tales Presentation
Join us in the visitor center auditorium as we review a century of fun and interesting stories from those who lived and worked in what is today Saguaro National Park. Wheelchairaccessible.

April 1, 15, 29 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.Asspace is limited, advanced reservationsare required, and can be made by calling (520) 733-5153.

April 2 10:00a.m. Sharing the Desert's Stories Activity
Children 5 to 10 years of age and parents are invited to come join us in the visitor center auditorium as we bring some of the Sonoran Desert's stories to life. Reservations are recommended and can bemade by calling (520) 733-5153. Wheelchair accessible

April 2, 23 1:00 p.m. The Point of the Matter is Cactus Presentation
1311:00 a.m.
Cactus are much more than strange plants with spines. They are uniquely equipped to thrive in the desert environment, andevery year bloom with spectacular flowers. This theater presentation will highlight these survival marvels with a beautiful photo gallery. Wheelchair accessible.

April 2, 16, 30 2:30 p.m. Living in a Cactus Forest
Our "Cactus Forest" was protected as a National Monument in 1933. But that doesn't mean it hasn't changed. Take aneasy stroll through this desert preserve to learn about the past AND discussthe future of your National Park and the growing Tucson community.

April 3,10,17 11:00 a.m. The GIANT Cactus ¾ mile guided walk
Saguaro National Park is famous for its gigantic saguaros. Still, you have to know where to look to find a real giantamong giants. The best way is to join a ranger for a walk along a desert wash for a lesson in trees of the desert and a look at the only tree-like cactus in the U.S. You'll be surprised by the size! Sturdy shoes and water are recommended.

April 3,10,17 3:00 p.m. CENTENNIAL! Presentation
Celebrate the National Park Service's 100th Anniversary with a tour through time. We'll share history and scenery from every corner of the country, going back 100 years and more!

April 4, 5,11,12,15,18, 19, 22, 25, 26, 29 10:00 a.m. Sonoran Lifestyles Guided Walk
Join a park naturalist on this 2-hour, 1-mile walk to discover how plants and animals adapt to life in the desert. Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring water.

April 4, 18 2:00 p.m. Grizzlies, Jaguars and Wolves –Oh My! Presentation
Come listen in as we discuss the predators that once called Saguaro National Park home. How has human actionimpacted the park's natural history regarding these creatures? Is there achance that these animals could ever come back?

April 5, 19 9:00 a.m. The Destruction of Granite: A Trip to the Fault Guided Hike
Join a ranger on a guided auto tour and hike inside the loop drive at Saguaro National Park. We will discuss the geological history of the park as well as southeasternArizona. The hike portion will be 5 miles round trip. Wear sturdy hiking shoesand bring water and a trail snack. Advance reservations are required and canbe made by calling (520) 733-5153.

April 5, 12 11:00 a.m. A Taste of the Desert Garden Walk
Join us for a stroll through our cactus garden and learn what plants can be used for food, clothing, medicine, shelter and much more. Wheelchair accessible.

April 5, 26 12:30 p.m. Venomous Reptiles at Saguaro National Park Presentation
Come discover the fascinating lives of the venomous reptiles that call the Sonoran Desert their home in this auditorium presentation by volunteer and herpetologist Bob Brandner.Wheelchairaccessible.

April 5,12,19 3:00 p.m. Birds of the Desert Southwest Presentation
Join a park naturalist in the visitor center auditorium to explore the wide variety of birds found here in the desert southwest.Wheelchair accessible.

April 6, 13, 20, 27 9:00 a.m. Desert Morning Hike Guided Hike
Join volunteer Dick Hollenback on this 3-hour, 4-mile hike to explore Saguaro National Park. Wear sturdy hiking boots and bring water and a trail snack.

April 6 10:00 a.m. Desert Discovery Guided Walk
Join a park naturalist on this 2-mile, 2-hour hike to discover what's out there in the desert. Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring water.

April 6, 27 11:00 a.m. A Sticky Situation at Saguaro Presentation
16 1:00 p.m.
Here at Saguaro National Park East we have 20 species of cactus and each is beautiful in its own way. Finding them all can be a challenge, but we will see each one in a stunning photo gallery and learn a few uses these plants have to those living here and beyond. Theater presentation. Wheelchair accessible.

April 6,13, 27 2:00 p.m. Cactus Caravan Auto Tour
Begin your exploration of the Cactus Forest Drive with a park ranger and become familiar with some of the common cacti. A great introduction to the park! Wheelchair accessible.

April 7 10:00 a.m. Where Have All the Saguaros Gone? 2 mile Guided Hike
Why does it look like our saguaros are disappearing? Join a park naturalist to discover what historic activities,including lime kilns, have affected our saguaro forest and learn how theses giant cacti are faring today.

April 7,14, 28 2:00 p.m. Drive-Thru Geology 1 ½ -hour auto tour
Hop in your car for a journey through 25 million years of earth history…in one hour!We'll observe the varied land forms 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!)

April 7 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 beavailable. Reservations required.Call 733-5153. Wheelchair accessible.

April 8 11:00 a.m. The Changing Cactus Forest Presentation
Join us in the visitor center auditorium to discover how the changes in the Cactus Forest over the years relate to potential changes in the future. Included will be a discussion of major climate change effects on parks, relating each to Saguaro National Park.

April 8, 22 3:00 p.m. Creating Saguaro National Park presentation
Join staff in the visitor center auditorium to discover how abuse, failure, politics, commitment, recovery and the Tucson Garden Club all played a part in creating today's Saguaro National Park. Wheelchair accessible.

April 9 7:00 a.m. Monthly Buffelgrass Pull
Join park staff in the fight to eradicate buffelgrass, an invasive plant. Meet at the Rincon Mountain Visitor Center parking lot. Long pants, long-sleeved shirts and sturdy shoes are required. Tools and gloves will be provided. Bring a snack and plenty of water. Contacte-mail uswith questions.

April 9, 30 1:00 a.m. Flash, Whoosh, Gush, and Growth: Sonoran Desert Monsoon Rain
20 11:00 a.m. Presentation
The summer heat and humidity bring the mighty and sometimes destructive monsoon rain. Saguaros, toads, and others depend on these drenching storms to begin a new season of life in the dry desert. A fabulous video opens this theater presentation. Wheelchair accessible.

April 11, 25 2:00 p.m. Mountain Islands in a Desert Sea Presentation
Interested in learning about the Saguaro National Park that most visitors will never experience? Sky islands are considered to be some of the most unique, biodiverse ecosystems in the world. Join us to discuss Saguaro's high-elevation habitat and how we can continue to protect these very special wild places for the future.

April 12, 269:00 a.m.The 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.

April 12 12:30 p.m. Living With and Without Reptiles Presentation
Join volunteer and herpetologist Bob Brandner in the visitor center auditorium to explore the biology of Sonoran Desert reptiles and how we can share the desert with them. Wheelchair accessible.

April 14 10:00 a.m. Visitor's Choice/Naturalist's Choice Guided Walk
Here's your chance to take a walk with a park naturalist with 10+ years' experience in the Sonoran Desert. Bring your favorite question or topic, or just enjoy the best stories of the day: wildlife, wildflowers, or wilderness, as the weather and the seasons change. Sturdy shoes and water are recommended.

April 16, 30 6:00 p.m. Sunset Hike Guided Hike
Sonoran Desert sunsets are famous for their blazing colors. Join a park ranger to discover how nature will paint the sky tonight. Wear sturdy walking shoes.

April 19 12:30 p.m. Tortoises of the United States Presentation
Join volunteer and herpetologist Bob Brandner to discover the different species of tortoises found in the U.S and which ones call Arizona home.


Visitor Center Locations/Phone Numbers

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

Red Hills Visitor Center (Saguaro West)
2700 North Kinney Road Tucson, Az 85743

Rincon Mountain Visitor Center (Saguaro East)
3693 S Old Spanish Trail Tucson, Az 85730

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

Last updated: March 13, 2016

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

3693 S Old Spanish Trail
Tucson , AZ 85730


(520) 733-5153

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