Activities

Note: Unless otherwise specified in an activity’s description, there is no need to contact the leader to sign up for the activity – just show up on time at the designated meeting spot.

How are activities rated? View the Activity Rating Guide.

March Newsletter (PDF)
April Newsletter (PDF)

Embroidered club logo polo shirts are available in both men's and women's sizes. They may be purchased at club meetings and are offered at cost to members and non-members in a dazzling array of 14 color choices in both non-pilling 100% cotton ($29) and cotton/poly blend ($25). Club caps can also be ordered. The beautiful logo has been brilliantly reproduced in all its 12 colors in a classy style that will show your pride in our club.

If you have pictures from your activities, please contact our webmaster, Greg at webmaster@azotc.com to get them posted on the website!


Activities for March, 2013

Saturday, March 2, 2013 - 7:00am
Rating:
A (or A-) LENGTH: 17 mi (or 12 mi) ELEV GAIN: 3600 ft (or 3000 ft) PACE: Medium
Leaders:
Cat Colby (614-419-1040)
Dan Rothman (480-773-5197)

Meet at 7:00 am (depart 7:15) in the Fry’s parking lot on the south side of Shea Blvd., just east of the Rte. 101 exit.

We’ll carpool to the Spur Cross Recreation Area, and from there head out on this out-and-back hike, crossing Cave Creek several times, rolling up and down through beautiful Sonoran desert and past Cottonwood Springs, and eventually ascending a series of steep switchbacks to the top of dramatic Skull Mesa at approximately 6 miles. Here we’ll take a break, enjoy great views of Sugar Loaf, Black Mesa and Elephant Mountain, and have the option to return and make it a 12-mile hike. Those opting for the longer hike will continue for several miles across the top of the Mesa, bushwhacking in places, to the ruins of an ancient Verde Hohokam pueblo and fort. We’ll end the day with dinner in Cave Creek. Please wear sturdy hiking boots, rain gear if appropriate, and bring plenty of water and food for snacks and lunch. No dogs or children please. Cost to non-members is $5.

Monday, March 4, 2013 - 7:45am
Rating:
B- LENGTH: 5-7 mi ELEV GAIN: < 1000 ft PACE: Fast
Leaders:
Gary 623-878-6106
Tom 602-264-9813

Meet at 7:45 am (depart at 8:00) at the parking lot, SW corner of 32nd ST and Lincoln, west of the Chase Bank building. This is a quick-paced exercise hike through the Phoenix Mountain Preserve, which will encompass a variety of trails. Bring water and sunscreen. Cost to non-members is $5.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013 - 6:45pm

At the Scottsdale Days Hotel (5101 North Scottsdale Road - east side of Scottsdale Road just north of Chaparral). Meeting starts at 6:45. Have you ever experienced an outdoor adventure creating memories that last for years? Have you been on an AzOTC trip? If you have, you have made lasting friendships that have enriched your life. Join Bud Tasch as he and Bonnie show you how much fun an AzOTC trip can be as they hosted 17 members who were thrilled by the 2012 Colorado Alpine Adventure. From the Uncompaghre Wilderness to the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness they pushed through 7' tall flower fields, crossed rushing mountain streams, explored a mystical hot spring basin with rare flora and fauna, climbed to cool mountain passes, and touched the sky with spectacular 14,000' mountain vistas. Bud will also provide a sneak preview of possible AzOTC future trips. Enrich your life, join or consider leading an AzOTC trip.

Thursday, March 7, 2013 - 7:30am
Rating:
B: LENGTH: ~ 10 mi ELEV GAIN: ~2000 ft PACE: Medium
Leaders:
Grace Chen - 480-767-1727

Meet at 7:30 am (depart at 7:45) at Wendy’s on Shea (east of Saguaro Blvd.) in Fountain Hills.

Join us for this in-and-out hike starting at the trail head to the junction with the AZ trail. This trail is an alternate route into the Mazatzals with beautiful views along the way. This trail is a hidden gem with the most profuse wildflowers I have even seen the last time I did this hike. With the abundant rain we have recently, let's keep our fingers crossed for a repeat of this spectacular display. Those not wishing to go the distance can stop at the saddle at the 4-mile point. Bring sunscreen, hat, boots, water, lunch and snacks. Hike will be canceled in case of rain. Cost to non-members is $5.

Saturday, March 9, 2013 - 7:45am
Rating:
C LENGTH: 5 mi ELEV GAIN: 500 ft PACE: Slow
Leaders:
Bonnie Tasch - 480-802-2836 (home); 303-868-7360 (cell)

Meet at 7:45 am (depart at 8:00) at the Holiday Inn east side parking area just south of US 60 on Country Club Drive in Mesa.

Whitford Canyon is a delightfully scenic rhyolite canyon comprising a variety of pleasing hues in the canyon walls and seasonal water with lush green grass and a multitude of flowers in the spring. We will "lollygag" on our way to an old jail at the end of the trail where we will have a snack and then return via the same route. High clearance vehicles are required to access the trailhead. *Please call the leader no later than Thursday, March 7th to coordinate vehicles and occupants. Hike will be canceled in the event of rain.* Bring water, sunscreen, and snacks. Cost to non-members is $5.

Monday, March 11, 2013 - 7:45am
Rating:
B- : LENGTH: 5-7 mi ELEV GAIN: < 1000 ft PACE: Fast
Leaders:
Gary 623-878-6106
Tom 602-264-9813

Meet at 7:45 am (depart at 8:00) at the parking lot, SW corner of 32nd ST and Lincoln, west of the Chase Bank building. This is a quick-paced exercise hike through the Phoenix Mountain Preserve, which will encompass a variety of trails. Bring water and sunscreen. Cost to non-members is $5.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013 - 7:00am
Rating:
B- LENGTH: 7.7 mi ELEV GAIN: 1314 ft PACE: Medium
Leaders:
Bev - 480-415-7147
Don - 480-209-7963

Meet at 7:00 am (depart at 7:15) at McDonald's on the NE corner of McKellips and Country Club Roads in Mesa (

Our loop hike, which is part of the Sonoran Desert Trail system in East Mesa, is a favorite among mountain bikers on week-ends, but a great place for hikes during the week. Our loop will consist of the Hawes, Saddle, Saguaro, Mineshaft, Granite, and Ridge trails, and will pass by several old mines. Although the trails are close to civilization, you'd never know it when looking off in every direction at our beautiful mountains, Salt and Verde Rivers, and views of Four Peaks and beyond. There's not much shade on the trail, so dress accordingly. Bring snacks and at least 2 quarts of water. Cost to non-members is $5.

Thursday, March 14, 2013 - 7:45am
Rating:
C+ to B- LENGTH: ~6 mi ELEV GAIN: <1500 ft PACE: Medium
Leaders:
Ralph Engler 602-996-7312(H) or 480-855-7062(C)

Meet at 7:45 am (depart at 8:00) at the 40th St. (North) parking lot located at the end of 40th Street, south of Shea Boulevard. Join me for a loop hike across the Phoenix Mountain Preserve on Trail 8A & 8B, the Quartz Ridge Trail. Bring water and sunscreen. No dogs or children. Cost to non-members is $5.

Saturday, March 16, 2013 - 6:30am
This activity has been changed.
Rating:
B LENGTH: 10 - 11 mi ELEV GAIN: ~2000 ft PACE: 2+ mph
Leaders:
Don - 480-209-7963 dgmowry@gmail.com

Meet at 6:30 am (depart at 6:45 sharp!) at the Holiday Inn, SW corner of Country Club and US 60.

We’ll carpool to the Peralta trailhead, hike the Dutchman to Miner’s Needle, climb to at least the notch between the two segments of the rock face (the actual climb into the eye of the Needle requires climbing gear). We’ll then hike the Dutchman Trail connecting with the Bluff Springs Trail and return through Bark’s Canyon to the trailhead. This is beautiful country with panoramic views of canyons and mountain peaks. The flowers right now are outstanding with poppies, blue dicks, lupines and other varieties. Make sure you bring energy food, and 3 to 4 liters of water and electrolytes. Cost to non-members is $5.

Sunday, March 17, 2013 - 7:00am
Rating:
B LENGTH: ~8 mi ELEV GAIN: ~2000 ft PACE: Medium
Leaders:
Slow Mark - mnashley@yahoo.com 602-725-4993

Meet at 7:00 am (depart at 7:15) at the Park-and-Ride on the south side of Bell Rd., just West of I-17.

See red, see green, kiss whatever stone ye might wish as you follow "Slow Mark" on a wee stroll up Schnebly and Munds Trail in the Sedona area. The leader must tease the secrets out of the trail leprechauns so stay tuned for details, but wear green or be prepared to be painted! If trail conditions happen to be wet, we'll do an alternate but equally fun trail at lower elevations. Bring a spot of food and plenty of....water. Stout and a wee drop might follow! $5 fee for non-members.

Monday, March 18, 2013 - 7:45am
Rating:
B- LENGTH: 5-7 mi ELEV GAIN: < 1000 ft PACE: Fast
Leaders:
Gary 623-878-6106
Tom 602-264-9813

Meet at 7:45 am (depart at 8:00) at the parking lot, SW corner of 32nd ST and Lincoln, west of the Chase Bank building. This is a quick-paced exercise hike through the Phoenix Mountain Preserve, which will encompass a variety of trails. Bring water and sunscreen. Cost to non-members is $5.

Thursday, March 21, 2013
This activity has been changed.
Rating:
C: LENGTH: 8.5 miles or less ELEV. GAIN: < 400 feet PACE: Medium
Leaders:
Julie Swanson (480-584-7615)

Loop hike which will encompass a variety of trails in Sedona's Red Rock Country. Have been looking at Girdner, Arizona Cypress, OK, Dawa, Cockscomb & Rupp which are nice trails with lovely views. Please wear sunscreen, hat, boots, and bring sufficient water, snacks & lunch. Cost to non-members is $5. Please call leader no later than the day before, Wednesday, March 20 to verify meet place and time.

Saturday, March 23, 2013 - 7:45am
Rating:
A LENGTH: 13 mi ELEV GAIN: 3700 ft PACE: Medium
Leaders:
Cat Colby (614-419-1040)
Dan Rothman (480-773-5197)

Meet at 7:45 am (depart 8:00) at the Holiday Inn east side parking area, just south of US 60 on Country Club Dr. in Mesa.

We’ll carpool to the Carney Springs Trail parking area, and from there head out on this beautiful but challenging loop hike in the Superstitions. We’ll follow the Lost Gold Mine Trail to Hieroglyphic Canyon, then head up to the numerous hieroglyphs and pools which make this trail so popular. Instead of returning, however, we’ll continue up Hieroglyphic Canyon to the Ridgeline. This is a very steep and challenging climb, rewarded by great views along the way and at the top. Once on the Ridgeline, we’ll proceed eastward past Superstition Mountain to the top of the Carney Springs Trail, then descend to our cars. Please wear sturdy hiking boots, rain gear if appropriate, and bring plenty of water and food for snacks and lunch. No dogs or children please. Cost to non-members is $5.

Saturday, March 23, 2013 - 8:15am
Rating:
C+ LENGTH: 5 mi ELEV GAIN: 1300 ft PACE: Slow
Leaders:
Jeanie & Van 623-465-7440

Meet at 8:15 am (depart at 8:30) behind the McDonald’s on the Carefree Highway, just east of I-17. We will join Ranger Mark for an adventure as we explore the Clay Mine! Once inside, he'll discuss the history of this mine. Learn how its contents were used to "cure what ailed ya"! The park will supply the hard hats. You bring water & a flashlight. We will park at the Nature Center parking lot and follow the signs to the mine. We will continue on around the Overton Trail back to the parking lot. There is a $6 per vehicle park entry fee (free with Maricopa County Parks Pass.) Bring plenty of water and snacks for the hike. $5 fee for non-members.

Sunday, March 24, 2013 - 8:30am
Rating:
B- LENGTH: ~6 mi ELEV GAIN: ~650 ft PACE: Medium
Leaders:
Larry - ashcrofbks@yahoo.com 602-789-9548

Meet at 8:30 am (depart at 8:45) in west Phoenix on the west side of the Fry’s Mercado parking lot at NE corner of 43rd. Ave. & McDowell, just N. of I-10, exit 140.

The hike will begin at the Rainbow Valley Trail that is part of a scenic loop in the northern reaches of the Sierra Estrella Foothills, then swing by the Rock Knob and return on the Toothaker Trail through the beautiful desolation of the foothills. Here’s hoping the desert will be green & blooming! Bring sunscreen, hat, boots, plenty of water, snacks and $ for carpool. There is a $6 per vehicle entrance fee. Cost to non-members is $5.

Monday, March 25, 2013 - 7:45am
Rating:
B- LENGTH: 5-7 mi ELEV GAIN: < 1000 ft PACE: Fast
Leaders:
Gary 623-878-6106
Tom 602-264-9813

Meet at 7:45 am (depart at 8:00) at the parking lot, SW corner of 32nd ST and Lincoln, west of the Chase Bank building. This is a quick-paced exercise hike through the Phoenix Mountain Preserve, which will encompass a variety of trails. Bring water and sunscreen. Cost to non-members is $5.

Monday, March 25, 2013 - 8:45am
Rating:
B- LENGTH: 20-25 mi PACE: 11-13 mph
Leaders:
Linda Holman - 480-947-3441, Lindaanne@cox.net
Beverly Koslow - 480-415-7147

Meet at 8:45 am (depart at 9:00) at Chaparral Park at the northeast corner of Jackrabbit and Hayden in central Scottsdale.

This loop will take us south and west through areas of South Scottsdale and Tempe - passing the Tempe Center for the Arts. Then we'll head back north riding along Tempe Town Lake and up the Greenbelt. HELMETS required. Bring plenty of water. Ride will be canceled in case of rain. No signup, just show up. $5 fee for non-members.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013 - 4:00pm to 6:00pm
Rating:
A+++ for fun
Leaders:
Linda Holman - Lindaanne@cox.net

Join us for Happy Hour at Olive & Ivy, 7135 E Camelback Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251 (480) 751-2200. (The entrance faces Marshall Way just south of Camelback Rd. and about one block west of Scottsdale Rd., and there is an underground parking garage on the east side of Marshall Way very close to the restaurant.)

Enjoy $5 house wine, $5 sangria & $5 well drinks. Food items include $3 bruschetta, $5 humus, and $8 flatbread. They have other small plates on their menu, which features Mediterranean and Spanish food.
Guests are welcome.

Thursday, March 28, 2013 - 8:45am
Rating:
B- LENGTH: 9 mi ELEV GAIN: ~1000 ft PACE: Medium
Leaders:
Jim D - hikingstickjim@yahoo.com

Meet at 8:45 am (depart at 9:00) at the Holiday Inn east side parking area, just south of US 60 on Country Club Dr. in Mesa or meet me us at the First Water Trailhead at 9:30 am. This is one of the classic Superstitions hikes with great scenery. Good trail, with rolling ups and downs, but sometimes rocky. This loop hike involves the Second Water Trail, the Black Mesa Trail, and the Dutchman Trail. Bring a minimum of 2 liters of water, electrolytes, lunch, and $ for carpool. Wear appropriate footwear, sunscreen, and hat. Cost to non-members is $5.

Friday, March 29, 2013 - 7:30am
This activity has been changed.
Rating:
C+: LENGTH: 7.0 mi ELEV GAIN: 1000 ft PACE: Leisurely for Photographing Flowers
Leaders:
Peter Yanover - 480-614-9910, pyanover@q.com

Meet at 7:30 am (depart at 7:45) Holiday Inn Parking Lot Just S. of Superstitions Freeway on Country Club.

We will take the Dutchman’s Trail from the Peralta Trailhead heading East along the base of the Superstition Mountains towards Miners Needle. This area has been a goldmine of wildflowers in past seasons and this one should be one of the best. The base of the mountains somehow promotes wildflower growth and the views are spectacular. It will be an out-and back so people can stop wherever and return if you don’t want to do the whole length. At the end there is about a 300’ moderately steep climb as the trail winds up around the Needle. But this slope has been literally covered in poppies, lupines and other varietals in past years—so you will probably want to do the climb. $5 fee for non-members.

Saturday, March 30, 2013 - 7:45am
This activity has been changed.
Rating:
C-: LENGTH: 3.5 mi ELEV GAIN: minimal PACE: Slow & Exploratory
Leaders:
Jeanie & Van 623-465-7440

Meet at 7:45 am (depart at 8:00) behind the McDonald’s on the Carefree Highway and just east of I-17.

The Maricopa Trail will eventually circle the entire Valley of the Sun connecting all of the County Parks. We have been hiking it in small sections. This time we will explore another portion west of Interstate 17, connecting to the Black Canyon Stock Trail and ending near Highway 74 at the Arizona Fish and Game Building. This will involve a car shuttle. Bring plenty of water and snacks. Hike will be canceled in case of rain. $5 fee for non-members.