On January 1st, 2013, get out and take a hike. Start the new year off right with a hike at one of many Arizona State Parks! This is the second year of this program and there are more Arizona State Parks taking part in the event.
Hikes are included with standard Day Use entrance fees. Participating parks are listed below, and hike details will added soon. Click a park name to be brought to the website for that park where you can learn more, make camping reservations, or get directions.
Alamo Lake SP, Wenden
9 a.m. Join Ranger Clyde Jones on a 1-mile hike. The hike will showcase plants and animals of the park. Bring warm clothes, water, and good walking shoes. This is a moderate hike and is recommended for kids ages 10 and above.
Boyce Thompson Arboretum SP, Superior
8:30 a.m. Start the New Year learning to identify Sonoran Desert birds on a guided walk with Arizona State Parks volunteer Mark Ochs and friends. The Arboretum is internationally-known among Arizona venues for birding; colorful species such as Broad-billed Hummingbird, Canyon Wren and Black Phoebe can be found here year-round; seasonal wintertime migrants include Hermit Thrush, Spotted Towhee and Black-throated Gray Warbler. Mark’s bird walk is included with daily admission of $9 for adults, $4.50 for ages 5-12.
Buckskin Mountain SP, Parker
10 a.m. Join us at the “New” Trailhead across from the Ranger Station for a moderately difficult hike, available to all ages. Led by Park Ranger Wayne Bailey. Pets are allowed and must be leashed. Length of the hike is about 2 hours, covering 1.5 miles of beautiful scenery and interpretation of popular desert trees. Be sure to wear sturdy shoes, warm clothing and bring water. Binoculars and a camera are recommended. Walking sticks will be available for a small donation to help with park projects.
Catalina SP, Tucson
8 a.m. Meet at main trailhead. Enjoy the Canyon Loop/Sutherland/50-year trail “Big Loop”, 7-8 miles, 600′ elevation gain. Please bring water, hat, snack, and must wear hiking boots. No children under 10 and no dogs. Pace is slow but moderate. You must register for this hike by 4 p.m. the day prior to the hike at (520) 638-5404 with Gaston Meloche.
Cattail Cove SP, Lake Havasu
10 a.m. Meet at the launch ramp/trailhead area. This is a moderate 2.5 to 3 mile hike and will last approximately 3 hours. The hike led by Volunteers Bill and Betty Noble will discuss the history, fauna and wildlife of the area. Bring comfortable shoes, water and snacks.
Dead Horse Ranch SP, Cottonwood
9 a.m. at the West Lagoon parking lot. The guided walk will meander along the riparian area of the Verde River and wander around the edges of the lagoons to look for evidence of beaver, otter, water fowl and other wildlife found in the park. Attendees should wear “weather appropriate” clothing, such as a jacket, sturdy shoes, a hat and sunscreen. Bring plenty of water and maybe binoculars and a camera (it’s a good opportunity for photos and wildlife sightings). This hike will last approximately 1½ hours. A day use fee of $7.00 per vehicle (with up to 4 adults – children under 14 free) or an annual day use pass are required to enter the park. No additional fee for the hike.
Lake Havasu SP, Lake Havasu
10 a.m. Ranger Cindy Smith and Volunteer Jim Scott will lead a hike along the Sunset Trail discussing the flora and fauna of Lake Havasu with an emphasis on our avian visitors.
Kartchner Caverns SP, Benson
9 – 11 a.m. Take a guided hike of the Foothills Loop Trail. Hike will include discussions of Plant life, Geology, Hydrology, and Conservation. We’ll also point out Dragoon Mountains and Huachuca Mountains and describe their historical significance. Hike time is approximately 2 hours. Visitors should bring their own water, hat, & sun protection. Camera and/or binoculars suggested, but not necessary.
Lost Dutchman SP, Apache Junction
9 a.m. Meet at Saguaro day-use area. Join us for a volunteer led hike on Treasure Loop Trail. Learn about desert flora and fauna, the history of Superstition Mountains and the Lost Dutchman Mine. This is a moderate hike with an elevation gain of 500 feet, 2.5 miles round trip, 2 hours. Carry water, dress in warm layers and wear sturdy trail shoes or hiking boots. In case of rain, hike will be cancelled.
Patagonia Lake SP, Patagonia
9 a.m. Sonoita Creek-Blackhawk Loop to Vista Trail. See several different habitats and a variety of birds and wildlife with guides. Hike begins in desert uplands and reaches Sonoita Creek. Bring sturdy shoes, binoculars, water and snacks or lunch. First stage of hike is 2.75 miles round trip. If you choose, continue to the Vista Trail. Entire hike is approximately 5 miles and 4 hours long. Guides will be available to assist on both the 2.75 and the 5 mile route. Call 520-287-2791 to register. Meet at Visitor Center.
Picacho Peak SP, Picacho
10 a.m. Meet at the Sunset Vista trailhead for a moderate hike along the Sunset Vista Trail with expansive views of the Sonoran Desert. This 2-hour, 3-mile round-trip hike will not go to the top of the Peak. Hike is suitable for ages 6 and up. Wear hiking boots or shoes, bring sun protection and at least 1 liter of water per person.
Red Rock SP, Sedona
10 a.m. Guided Nature Hike. Join a volunteer naturalist interpreter for a one and a half hour walk while learning about the natural history, archeology and geology of the Red Rock area.
2 p.m. Guided Nature Hike. This one hour walk and talk with a Park Ranger takes you along Oak Creek where you will enjoy stories about the early inhabitants, a petroglyph, geology and archeology of the Red Rocks.
Roper Lake SP, Safford
1 p.m. Join Ranger Chad Harris for a hike on the Mariah Mesa Natural Trail and a walk around Roper Lake. Plan for an approximate hike time of 1 1/2 hours. Bring appropriate hiking attire, water, camera, binoculars, and bird book. Starting location is the Hot Tub/Nature Trail Parking Lot. Total hike length is approximately 2 miles.
Information courtesy: Arizona State Parks