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Hittin' the Trails 4 You: Saguaro National Park April Program Sc - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Hittin' the Trails 4 You: Saguaro National Park April Program Schedule

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TUCSON - The two districts of Saguaro National Park offer a wide variety of programs this spring as the weather turns warmer and daylight lasts longer. For a full schedule of hikes and programs, visit the park’s website, www.nps.gov/sagu, visit us on Facebook, or pick up program schedules at the visitor centers. Interpretive programs are free, but park entrance fees apply. Program schedules are subject to change; please call the visitor centers for updates or reservations.

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

 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     5:30 p.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, packed slope, and then changes trails to descend a sandy wash. The hikers return on a dirt road. Ages 10 and older. Reservations required: 733-5158.

April 19   4:45 p.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 ridgeline for sunset. The descent is by the light of the moon. Ages 10 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    7:15 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.

April 7, 21, 23, 28, 30   11:15 a.m.    Living With Giants   Talk: 45 minutes

The saguaro celebrates events and faces challenges throughout its life. A biologist explains how it provides shelter and substance for wildlife; when it flowers; its growth patterns; and how it fights for survival against drought, lightning, frost, and other dangers. Wheelchair accessible.

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.

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

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.  As space is limited, advanced reservations are required, and can be made by calling (520) 733-5153.

April 2              10:00 a.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 be made by calling (520) 733-5153. Wheelchair accessible

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 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 Pak. We will discuss the geological history of the park as well as southeastern Arizona. The hike portion will be 5 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..

April 7, 14, 29               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 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!)

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 be available. Reservations required. Call 733-5153. 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. Contact sagu_invasives@nps.gov with questions. 

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, 26                   9:00 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.

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:

            www.nps.gov/sagu                                                                                www.wnpa.org

            www.friendsofsaguaro.org                                                         www.rinconinstitute.org

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