Saguaro National Park January 2017 Guided Programs

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Date: January 1, 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.:

January 2, 16   9:45 a.m.    Bird Walk   30 minutes plus optional additional 30 minutes½ 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.
January 7, 14, 21, 28  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.
January  14, 21, 28     2:45 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
January 8   2:00 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
January 9   4:00 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.
January 10    3:30 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
January 12   6:45 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):

January 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 11:00 a.m.         The Giant Cactus                     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!
January 5, 12, 26          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.
January 6, 13, 20, 27                 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.
January 6, 20, 27                      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!)
January 6 & 20             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 (520) 733-5153.
January 7, 14, 28          2:00 p.m.          The Saguaro Nursery   Guided Walk
Wander out the Mica View Accessible Trail to learn about the renewal of the Cactus Forest and search for young saguaros. This trail has a packed dirt surface suitable for wheelchair use.
January 7, 14    4:45 p.m.          Sunset Stroll    Guided Hike
January 28                   5:00 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!
January 11                   2:00 p.m.          Sunset and Moonlight Hike                  Guided Hike
View the Arizona sunset from a perch high in the foothills of the Rincon Mountains, then experience the magic of a walk through the moonlit Cactus Forest. Reservations are required and can be made by calling the visitor center at (520) 733-5153.
January 13 & 27            11:00 a.m.                     The Changing Cactus Forest    Presentation
Change is constant – and accelerating – in the area of Saguaro National Park called the Cactus Forest. We’ll take a look at the forest then and now, and consider how the future will shape what your grandchildren see here.
January 26                   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 N Kinney Rd 3693 S 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: January 1, 2017

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Mailing Address:

3693 S Old Spanish Trail
Tucson , AZ 85730


(520) 733-5153

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