Saguaro National Park January 2015 Program Schedule

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Date: December 29, 2014
Contact: Melanie Florez, (520) 733-5153
Contact: Richard Hill, (520) 733-5158

Saguaro National Park is offering a variety of hikes and talks this winter that explore the park's wonderful natural and cultural histories. Program listings also are available on the park's website,, or visit us on Facebook. Interpretive programs are free, but park entrance fees apply. Program schedules are subject to change; call the visitor centers for updates or reservations. 

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

January 1          4:15 p.m.       Twilight Glow            Hike: 3 ½ hours, 2 ½ miles
January 31       4:30 p.m.
This 2 ½-mile walk bridges sunset into moonlight, letting hikers experience the desert in both the twilight glow and moon shadows. It ascends a hill with a firmly packed trail, then descends a sandy wash, and later completes the triangle with a return walk on a dirt road. Ages 10 and older. Reservations required: 733-5158.

January 2         3:15 p.m.          Sunset Hike            Hike: 3 ½ hours, 3 ½ miles
The route gains 700 feet (with some switchbacks near the top) before reaching a ridgeline for sunset;the descent is by the light of the moon.Ages 10 and above, please. Reservations required: 733-5158

January 3     4:00 p.m.    Moon Take Night, Make Day     Hike:3 hours, 2 ½ miles
This 3-hour,2.5-mile hike follows a desert wash and then ascends an easy hill during the transition from day to night, with a return down the hill and a dirt roadway in the moonlight. This hike is considered easy but does have a few rock outcroppings in the wash.Ages 10 and above, please. Reservations required: 733-5158

January 4     6:00 p.m.  Moonrise Over The Mountain     Night Patio Presentation: 45 minutes
Guitarist, singer, and songwriter Mark William will perform during this popular "campfire" program on the patio. Joining him will be Robert Hovl, who plays the Native American flute. Listen to musicwhile enjoying a relaxing view of the full moon as it rises above the cactus forest and mountains. No reservations are required;bring a lawn chair and warm clothing. No pets, please. Wheelchair accessible.

January 30        2:30 p.m.     Wasson Peak             Hike: 6 ½ to 7 hours, 8 miles
This 6 ½- to 7-hour, 8-mile, round-trip hike climbs 1,700 feet to the highest point in the Tucson Mountains. Enjoy the 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 length of the hike, gains in elevation, and hiking after dark. Ages 12 and older. Reservations required: 733-5158.

January 10       9:45 a.m.             Bird Walk              30 minutes plus optional additional 30 minutes, ½ mile
Join us for a 30-minute walk in the sandy wash behind the Visitor Center to see what woodpeckers, sparrows and other birds live there among the cacti and shrubs. We will learn how they find food, water and shelter. Those who are interested in more will drive two miles to Sus Picnic area (restrooms available) with its rocky canyon and hills for another 30-minute walk to see what wrens, hawks and other birds live there. Easy walking on sand and dirt road. Birders and non-birders of all ages are invited. 

January 3, 10, 17, 24, 31    10:15 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 on this discovery trek through the desert. For this moderate walk wear closed-toed shoes and a hat, and bring water.

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

January 2, 16          8:00 a.m.          Desert Bird Walk          1 mile guided walk
Join volunteer naturalist Ralph Terry for an easy 2-hour walk in search of desert birds. Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring water.

January 2, 23, 30    2:00 p.m.         Drive-Thru Geology      1 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 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!)

January 3, 10, 24, 31    11:00 a.m.     History 101              guided walk
Join a park ranger on a 1to 2-mile walk and learn about some of the history that has made Saguaro National Park the great place it is today.

January 3, 10, 24, 31    4:30 p.m.   Sunset Stroll             ½ mileguided walk
Sonoran Desert sunsets are famous for their blazing colors. Join a park ranger to discover how nature will paint the sky tonight.

January 4, 11, 18, 25   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 giant among 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.

January 4, 11    3:00 p.m.      Medicinal Plants of the Desert      presentation
Learn about some of the native plants that are both easy on the eye and can make you feel better as well. Wheelchair accessible.

January 7, 14, 21, 28    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.

January 8          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.

January 9, 23     7:00 p.m.            Night Walk                1 mileguided 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 733-5153.

January 27         2:00 p.m.        Reptiles of the Sonoran Desert      Presentation
Join park naturalist Bob Brandner for this 30-minute presentation to discover the fascinating world of reptiles and amphibians. Wheelchair accessible.

Visitor Center Locations/Phone Numbers:
Both visitor centers are open daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, except Christmas Day.

Red Hills Visitor Center (Saguaro WEST)                       Rincon Mountain Visitor Center (Saguaro 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 24, 2015

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Mailing Address:

3693 S Old Spanish Trail
Tucson , AZ 85730


(520) 733-5153

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