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President's Message - See you in September

The weather will be cooling down soon, and our monthly general membership meetings will be resuming in September after a four-month summer vacation. 

Join us on September 7 at the Granite Reef Senior Center, Room 1, 1700 N. Granite Reef Road, Scottsdale. 

Hope to see you all in a few weeks!

What's Up With the Website?

We have experienced some issues with website design that has been in use for the past 5 years or so. The problems cannot be solved with a simple fix so we are switching to a very simplified and basic website until we can fix the problems.

So for now the website will just be a listing of upcoming activities.

Guest Activity Policy

Guests (non-members) must call activity leaders before participating in any AzOTC activity. Guests are welcome at the monthly General Meetings and need not call to attend.

Join AzOTC!

Join AzOTC to take advantage of the many great activities. Believe it or not, cooler weather is on the way and there will be many great things to do with AzOTC in the future.

Until the website is fully functional again, please Click here to download a membership form which you can then mail in.

Monthly Newsletter (PDF)

August, 2016      September, 2016

Upcoming Activities
Wednesday, September 7 – 6:45 pm
September General Membership Meeting – Granite Reef Senior Center, Room 1 - 1700 N. Granite Reef Road, Scottsdale
Details soon!
Wednesday, September 7 – 6:15 am
Paradise Valley Bike Ride
Rating: B LENGTH: about 20 mi PACE: 12-14 mph
Leader: Dan Rothman -, 480-773-5197
Meet at 6:15 a.m. (depart 6:30) at Chaparral Park at the northeast corner of Jackrabbit and Hayden Roads in central Scottsdale.

This loop will take us north and west through areas offering great views of Camelback and Mummy Mountains and Paradise Valley. The ride will involve a number of short hills, but nothing extreme.

HELMETS required. Bring plenty of water. Ride will be canceled in case of rain.

No signup, just show up. $5 fee for non-members.
Saturday, September 10
Pine/Strawberry Trail Hike
Rating: B- LENGTH: 8 miles ELEV GAIN: 1450 ft PACE: Medium
Bev - 480-415-7147,
Jim D -, 602-639-2702
Contact either leader via email or phone to get the meeting time and location.

Pine/Strawberry Trail #15 begins off of Hardscrabble Road just south of Pine and heads north for 4 miles towards Strawberry, while meandering through a forest filled with manzanita, pinyon pines and scrub oak with large boulders scattered about. Although the total elevation gain is over 1400 feet, the hills and valleys are not super steep, but rolling.

Sturdy hiking boots, sunscreen, and hats are highly recommended. Also bring 2-3 quarts of water, rain gear, salty snacks and a packed lunch.

Cost to non-members is $5.
Wednesday, September 14
Horton Springs Trail (Mogollon Rim)
Rating: B- LENGTH: 7.6 miles ELEV GAIN: 1122 ft PACE: Medium
Bev - 480-415-7147,
Jim D -, 602-639-2702
Contact either leader by phone or email for the meeting time and location.

This is the most popular day hike in the Payson area. Horton Springs is an unusually large spring. Water literally gushes from the side of the rim supplying Horton Creek. Think of the Rim as a huge sponge and Horton Spring is the faucet. Our hike starts out almost immediately on a gentle uphill trek. After approximately 2.5 miles, we come to fairly new switchbacks that are completely shaded, but a little steeper than the first part of our hike. Our reward at the end of the trail is the spring and creek where we can soak our feet while eating a light lunch/snack before heading back to our cars on the same trail.

Bring a minimum of 2 quarts of water, salty snacks, hiking sticks, rain gear, and sturdy boots.

Cost to non-members is $5.
Wednesday, September 14 – 5 pm
Dinner or Appetizers and Skee Ball at the Dave and Busters at Desert Ridge Marketplace
Rating: Fun
Leader: Julie Giglio –
Meet at 5 pm for dinner or snacks at the main entrance to Dave and Busters. The main entrance is off of the center plaza in Desert Ridge. When you email me I will give you more precise directions. Tickets can be purchased along with our dinner.

All day on Wednesday games are ½ price so we can have twice the fun. If you prefer not to join us for dinner or snacks you can meet us either in the dining room or the skee ball area around 6-6:30. For an example of price ranges you can purchase a meal for $17.99 which includes a $10 power card or purchase a meal for $27.99 which includes a $20 power card. A $10 power card gives you 48 points. An additional $2 on the $10 card gives you 60 points. A $20 card gives you 100 points. An additional $3 on the $20 card gives you 125 points. Each game of skee ball is about 2 points.

Please email me if you are planning on attending. Because there are 6 skee ball lanes this is limited to 18 participants.

$5 fee for non-members.
Saturday, September 17
Sedona Loop Hike
Rating: B- LENGTH: 8 miles ELEV GAIN: 1000 ft PACE: Medium
Patty - 602-620-7406
Bev - 480 415-7147,
Contact either leader for meeting time and place.

There's nothing better than a hike in Red Rock country! Our hike will involve a series of trails with great views of the Sedona area - beginning on the Jim Thompson Trail before intersecting with Wilson Mountain, then on to the Allen Bend Trail, Grasshopper Point, the intersection with Midgley Bridge and other trails to complete our loop. It is truly beautiful!

There will be an optional lunch at Indian Gardens Restaurant before heading back to the valley.

Bring salty snacks, 2-3 quarts of water, hat, and wear sunscreen.

Cost to non-members is $5.
Saturday, September 17 – 9 am
Wild West Mud Run in Prescott Valley
Rating: A (due to the obstacles and elevation) LENGTH: 3.1 miles ELEV GAIN: < 100 ft PACE: Medium (we will shoot to complete in 45 minutes)
Leader: "Missed The Turn Mark" -, 602-725-4993
Join "MTTM" for this Boys & Girls Club of Central AZ charity mud run in Prescott Valley. I have signed up for the 12:10 pm heat, so I estimate leaving the valley around 9 am. Contact the leader for meeting time and location, clothing tips and other information.

They do not list obstacles but be prepared to climb, crawl, carry and jump.

Register on the event website or on your own.

There should be water provided, but 2 liters in a Camelback that you do not mind getting trashed is probably a good idea.

Cost to non-members is $5.
Sunday, September 18  – 7:30 am
Watson Lake, Utilizing Sections of the Flume & Peavine Trails (Prescott)
Rating: C/D LENGTH: 4 miles ELEV GAIN: 290 ft PACE: Slow
Leader: Larry A -, 602-789-9548
Meet at 7:30 am (depart at 7:45) at the Park-and-Ride on the south side of Bell Road, just west of I-17. We will carpool to The Granite Dells Trailhead north of Prescott, AZ.

This is a beautiful area of smooth granite formations, lush green riparian ecosystems, and stunning vistas just outside the city of Prescott in the Central Highlands. An easy hike through these features makes it a perfect place to stretch your legs and includes photo ops. Half of the trail goes directly over the granite formation, until you reach Watson Lake Dam, and then it returns following the stream in a riparian forest canyon along the Flume Trail.

We will have lunch at the Palace Station Restaurant & Saloon on Whiskey Row afterwards.

Bring sunscreen, hat, boots, plenty of water, snacks and $ for carpool. Children, well behaved outdoor dogs are welcome. Inclement weather may cause a cancellation.

AzOTC members need not call ahead. Guests and new members should contact the hike leader prior to the hike.

Cost to non-members is $5.
Thursday, September 22
Highline Trail #31 Segment Hike (Mogollon Rim)
Rating: B- LENGTH: 8 miles ELEV GAIN: 1300+ ft PACE: Medium
Susan Sands -, 602-291-1298
Bev Koslow -, 480-415-7147
Contact either leader for meeting time and location.

Our hike is a beautiful, but little traveled section of the Highline Trail along the Mogollon Rim, beginning at the See Canyon Trailhead and ending at the Derrick Trailhead. Much of the way we will have incredible views of the rim above and the mountains and valleys in the surrounding area. The hike begins at 6140 ft and has several steep climbs.

After the hike, there is an optional lunch along Christopher Creek's newest restaurant, the Landmark.

Wear sturdy hiking boots and sunscreen. Hiking sticks are recommended. Bring snacks, electrolytes, and plenty of water. Please no children or dogs.

Cost to non-members is $5.
Saturday, September 24 – 7 am
Mogollon Rim/Milk Ranch Point Loop Hike
Rating: B+ LENGTH: 11 miles ELEV GAIN: 2000 ft PACE: Medium
Leader: Dan Rothman -, 480-773-519 (cell)
Meet at 7:00 am (depart 7:15) at Wendy’s on Shea Blvd., just west of the Beeline Highway.

We’ll start at the Geronimo Trailhead at the base of the Rim near Pine and hike up to the top on the seldom-used Turkey Trail, which has beautiful views of the Rim and a great climbing rock along the way. We’ll then hike along the top on the Milk Ranch Point Plateau, descending on the shady West Weber Trail.

Bring sturdy hiking boots, water, electrolytes, snacks and sunscreen.

Guests and new members should contact the hike leader prior to the hike.

Cost to non-members is $5.
Sunday, September 25
Willow Springs Lake Trail (Forest Lakes, AZ) & Possibly Willow Springs Canyon Recon Hike
Rating: B LENGTH: 9 mi ELEV GAIN: <1000 ft PACE: Medium
Leader: "Missed The Turn Mark" -, 602-725-4993
Contact the leader by 8 pm the Thursday before to arrange the meeting place and time.

"I bet they're sayin’, "why don't he write?" "Missed The Turn" is back and taking all comers for a lake and jeep trail hike starting at Willow Springs Lake. We will start at the lake, cross the spillway and dam before we head left for the first leg of a flat hike. This hike is mainly on Jeep and forest roads, with a bit of muss from logging and around 2 miles within earshot of Hwy 260. We will then turn back along the lake and perhaps take a break to enjoy the waters and Osprey. Or, we could explore a bit of Willow Springs Canyon (off trail) and its eastern rim, but the leader has not reconned this option.

Both hikes will be in early fall conditions at 7,000 feet, so check the weather for appropriate clothing.

Bring a minimum of 3 liters of water and snacks.

Possible lunch afterwards in Payson.

Cost to non-members is $5.


Future Membership Meeting Programs
Wednesday, October 5th - 6:45 pm
October General Membership Meeting
In October our speaker is Charles Liu, author of the book "60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Phoenix".

He will share lots of thrilling hike options right in our own backyard. If you want petroglyphs, streams, beautiful spring flowers, or ruins, he can tell you where to find them.

Mark your calendar for Wednesday October 5th for his presentation.


Looking Ahead Activities
Take a look at these other great activities coming up soon!
November, 2016
Hang Gliding - Interest Only
Leader: Dan Rothman -, 480-773-5197
When: Some Saturday or Sunday in November

Location: Sonora Wings Tandem Hang Gliding, Maricopa, AZ

Yes, you read that right - hang gliding! If you haven't done it before, it's as close to flying like an eagle as you'll ever get, and something that everyone should have on their bucket list. On tandem flights, Sonora Wings' certified hang gliding instructors take you to an altitude of 2,000 feet from where you'll be released to soar over Arizona's Sonoran desert, with breathtaking views of the desert below and mountains all around. To reach the release point, the wheeled gliders are towed behind the company's Dragonfly, a small aircraft specifically designed to launch hang gliders.

It's fun, exhilarating and safe for all ages. (I was skeptical of that myself but, having tried it, am now a believer.) To get a better idea of the activity, you can view the following YouTube video.

Depending on group size, the cost per person is approximately $155. If you're interested, contact the leader to be placed on the list and indicate any Saturdays or Sundays in November when you're not available. Once we've determined how many are interested, we'll finalize a date and collect a deposit.
Thursday, February 9th, 2017 - 8:45 am
Tour of Tovrea Castle at Carraro Heights
Rating: Fun!
Leader: Regina Marie Miskewitz - 602-448-0684,
Meet at Tovrea Castle Visitor Center/Gift Shop at 8:45 AM. Address: 5025 East Van Buren, Phoenix, Arizona 85008. There is good parking.

Tour starts at 9 AM and will be ~ 2-hours. COST: $15.00 a person.

Contact the leader to reserve a place on this tour (limited to 12 individuals, first-come basis.) Payment is due as you reserve your spot, make checks payable to AzOTC.

Have you ever wondered about the wedding-cake-like structure one sees when driving along the 202?? Then join us for a tour of Tovrea Castle and Cactus Gardens and get a first-hand look at the Castle and surrounding Cactus Gardens and Outbuildings as we learn about this unique and historic Phoenix landmark. Tovrea Carraro Society Docents will guide us back in time as they introduce us to the three families that homesteaded the land, designed and constructed the Castle and Cactus Gardens, and made the Castle their home while sharing interesting, fact-filled stories about the property and its history.

We are able to bring water on the tour as long as it is in a closed container.

Photography is allowed; Flash photography is not permitted within the Castle.

Optional lunch afterward at Gertrude's Restaurant at the Botanical Gardens.
Saturday, September 15th to Friday, September 28th, 2017
Bike and Barge Along the Danube 
Rating: Moderate Activities: Bike Riding, sightseeing, eating, and having fun!
Bev - 480 415-7147,
Ray -
Sept 15-23, 2017 Bike and Barge along the Danube
Sept 24-28, 2017 Sightsee in Berlin, Germany

The first portion of our trip is a 4 country self guided bike ride along the Danube River - which is the most popular European bike and barge trip being offered by our outfitter. Our hotel and restaurant for 7 nights and 8 days is our barge called the MS Normandy. Our days will be spent riding on well marked bike paths along the Danube River through Austria, Germany, Slovakia, and Hungary. The bike paths will take us past castles, Danube National Park, the Hungarian Danube Bend, and the capital cities of Vienna, Bratislavia, and Budapest. Along the way, we will stop to see some local sights, perhaps do a little shopping, grab a snack, etc. before meeting our barge in the late afternoon/evening where we can unwind and socialize with other passengers before retiring to our double occupancy cabins on the barge. Where will we get our meals, you ask? The Barge is also our restaurant where we will get three great meals a day...(Breakfast and dinners will be served on the barge, and we will have sack lunches while riding).

After the bike and barge, we're off to Berlin for an additional 4 nights and 5 days sightseeing, bike riding, taking a river cruise, visiting museum island, Checkpoint Charlie, The Holocaust Museum., The Brandenburg Gate, etc. Meals for this portion of the trip are NOT included in the overall cost.

Cost for Bike and Barge = $1975 double occupancy. (Single Supplements are available for an additional $400) Cost for Berlin portion of the trip is $527. Airfare to/from the United States is additional. You are welcome to join us on either portion of the trip, or the whole thing.

The bike and barge is currently full, buy please contact Bev to put your name on the waiting list as cancellations do happen.


Arizona Outdoor and Travel Club
PO Box 21951
Mesa, AZ 85277