7:30 – 5:00 pm
We will travel through a series of biomes, from the Santa Cruz River Valley and semi-desert grassland to the peak of Mount Hopkins in pine forest, stopping several times to check out the vegetation and views. The Visitor Center basecamp, where we make our first stop, is located across the road from Devils Cash Box, a prominent limestone outcrop that harbors rare species such as Amoreuxia gonzalezii (Bixaceae/Cochlospermaceae). We’ll take a short stroll or hike in Montosa Canyon, a spring-fed and seasonal drainage around 4000 feet. Back on the bus, we will start up the mountain, switch-backing along a narrow, graded dirt road with north- and south-facing exposures as we pass through oak and border pinyon vegetation. With special permission from the Whipple Observatory, we will access the gated upper portion of the road, transferring from our bus to jeeps, and continue to the mountain peak at 8550 feet. (NOTE: this trip does not include the standard astronomy tour of the observatory or telescopes.) From the top we will survey the mixed pine forest as well as enjoy panoramic, 100-mile views across southeast Arizona and northern Sonora, Mexico, including many of the other Sky Islands. Bring your camera!
Special conditions: Sturdy shoes for walking on gravel roadside, trail, or canyon bottom. Sun hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen recommended. Layered clothing to accommodate the changes in elevation from hot grassland to a cool mountain summit. Rain gear in case of monsoon storm (hard to predict, especially on mountain peaks).
Maximum Attendees: 27 people
Trip Leaders: Sue Carnahan, George Ferguson, Doug Moore
8:00 am – 1:00 pm
The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum was founded in 1952, and highlights animals, plants, geology, and the natural history of the Sonoran Desert region. Our mission is to inspire people to live in harmony with the natural world by fostering love, appreciation, and understanding of the Sonoran Desert. Not a “museum” in the usual sense, it is 90% outdoors and is a composite of plant, animal, and geologic collections with the goal of making the Sonoran Desert accessible, understandable, and valued. We have over 80,000 inventoried plants (over 1,100 taxa) on our grounds. Gardens include hummingbird, butterfly & moth, bats, desert garden, agave garden, cactus garden, as well as some great plant habitat displays built into animal exhibits. Our Botany and Conservation/Education/Science departments are involved in in-situ and ex-situ research. Enjoy lunch on your own at the museum sandwich shop or Café.
Special conditions: Comfortable close-toed shoes, sunscreen, & water bottle
Maximum Attendees: 20 people
Trip Leaders: John Wiens, Matthew Jevnikar – Arizona-Senora Desert Museum