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.

December Newsletter (PDF)
January 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 December, 2013

Sunday, December 1, 2013 - 8:00am
Rating:
LENGTH: ~12+ mi ELEV GAIN: ~+400 ft PACE: Enjoyable
Leaders:
Lynn Larremore - lynnwlarremore@gmail.com, 480-277-1046
Don Mahr - mahr.don@gmail.com, 602-339-8835
Larry A - ashcrofbks@yahoo.com, 602-789-9548

Meet at 8:00 am (depart at 8:15) at the Holiday Inn east side parking area, just south of US 60 on Country Club Dr in Mesa.

This is a casual 4X4 run from the Salt River to Apache Junction (north to south) through very scenic desert with wonderful views of the Superstition Mountains and Weavers Needle. Afterwards we will regroup at Dirtwater Springs for some lunch and libations. Children and well behaved dogs welcome. Bring water, snacks, and money for carpool.

We will need SUVs or pickups with off road ground clearance. If you are not sure if your vehicle qualifies, please call one of us beforehand.

Each driver will need a permit that is free and valid for 6 months. It takes around two minutes to apply online. Larry applied and received his permit in 4 days. Gates to the area are locked and access combinations are listed on the free six-month permits. To request a permit by email go to www.fs.usda.gov/tonto, click Passes and Permits, and then click Other Permits. Please call or email Lynn, Don or Larry if you have questions.

This event will be canceled if there is inclement weather in the forecast. Cost to non-members is $5.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013 - 4:00pm
Rating:
New & Fun!
Leaders:
Bonnie Tasch - 480-802-2836, arizbunzer@msn.com

Join fellow AzOTC members for happy hour prior to the monthly meeting at the Marriott Suites-3rd Avenue Grill, 7325 E. Third Avenue. Discounted prices off the entire 3rd Avenue Grill menu including appetizers and drinks. Appetizer choices include salad, hummus, chilled shrimp, onion dip, quesadillas and wings. Guests are very welcome! How awesome we can enjoy happy hour steps away from our General Meeting!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013 - 6:45pm

The location of our monthly General Membership meeting is the Marriott Suites in Old Town Scottsdale. The Marriott is located immediately east of Scottsdale Road at 7325 East Third Avenue, just one block north of Indian School Road. Join Diane Luce as she takes us on a fantastic hiking and biking trip to China. Come and learn many truths about China that are not necessarily in the news. Be there and see remarkable photos of her hiking the Great Wall, Hua Shan in the Old Quarter in Xian. Learn more about the Terra Cotta Warriors than you will ever read in the news. See what bugs are favorite cuisine. Yummy!! Hear about the serious pollution problem, and why few people can drive. Learn why many men will never have Chinese wives because of ancient birth control laws. Much time will be given to Q&A at the end. Come early and get a good seat; this is one program you don't want to miss!

Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 7:30am
Rating:
B LENGTH: 8.3 mi ELEV GAIN: ~1400 ft PACE: Medium
Leaders:
Peggy Moss - 602-400-4045
Grace Chen - 480-767-1727

Meet at 7:30 am (depart at 7:45) at the Fry's east side parking area, on the southeast corner of 101 and Shea Blvd in Scottsdale. Alternatively, meet at 8:15 am at Basha's in Carefree on Tom Darlington.

We will then carpool to the Cave Creek Trail #4 Trailhead. We will leave a car there and travel back down the road, about 5 miles, to the Bronco Trailhead and start the hike. The Bronco Trail #245 starts with a climb with beautiful views of the Supes, McDowells, Four Peaks, Continental Mountain and Skull Mesa. After 4 miles we will turn right onto the Cottonwood Trail #247 which follows the Bronco Creek. This is a beautiful riparian area with huge sycamores, cottonwoods and ash trees with great views north into the Tonto Nat'l Forest. We end at Cave Creek (the river) with some easy rock crossings, just west of the Cartwright Ranch and Seven Springs. Trail is unmaintained, rocky with a few trees across the trail and some cat claw. These trails are originally cattle trails for the many ranchers in the area. We will keep a moderate pace. Lunch along the way or we can always grab lunch afterwards on the porch of Harold's in the town of Cave Creek?! No dogs please. Bring sunscreen, hat, boots, plenty of water, snacks and $$ for carpool. Cost to non-members is $5.

Friday, December 6, 2013 - 6:45pm
This activity has been changed.
Rating:
C+ DISTANCE: 16-18 mi PACE: 10-12 mph
Leaders:
Karl - kfw300@gmail.com, 480-686-5826

Meet at 6:45 pm (depart at 7) at the parking lot area on the west side of Zipps Sports Grill on the south west corner of Camelback and Miller.

After a 2- year hiatus the popular Christmas Lights Bicycle Tour returns!! This ride will take us through parts of Scottsdale and East Phoenix. I will take a pre-bicycle ride to determine the best route once lights are out. HELMETS required. Bicycle lights strongly recommended. Bring water and appropriate attire as it can be cold. Ride will be canceled in case of rain. No signup, just show up. $5 fee for non-members.

Saturday, December 7, 2013 - 7:00am
Rating:
B LENGTH: 10 mi ELEV GAIN: 2000 ft PACE: Medium
Leaders:
Don Mowry - dgmowry@gmail.com

Meet at 7 am (depart at 7:15) at the Holiday Inn on the SW corner of US 60 and Country Club Drive.

In addition to expansive views of the Superstition Wilderness, this classic desert hike features nice views of Miner’s Needle and Weaver’s Needle. We begin by hiking up the Bluff Springs Trail and enjoying the beauty of Bark’s Canyon; connecting with the Dutchman Trail to Miner’s Needle. For those adventurous ones, join me on an easy “bushwhack” up the slope to the right of the rock outcropping that is the Needle. The views are great especially looking down over the 1,000 ft. cliff! Last year all fourteen of the hikers took the side trip and really enjoyed it. We’ll hike down the Miner’s Canyon and return to the trailhead on the Dutchman Trail. Bring sunscreen, sturdy hiking boots and rain gear. You’ll need snacks, lunch, and three liters of water. Cost to non -members is $5.

Saturday, December 7, 2013 - 5:00pm
Rating:
Holiday Cheers
Leaders:
Jeanie and Van - 623-465-7440

Meet at 5 pm at Bryan’s Black Mountain Barbecue for dinner (6130 E. Cave Creek Road).

After we eat we will carpool out to Spur Cross. The Christmas Pageant is a live re-enactment of the Nativity Story with live actors (local residents), animals and choir, narrated by the majestic voice of Rev. Bob Hutson. Originally started by the Cave Creek 4-H Club in 1952, this annual re-enactment of the Christmas story has been a holiday tradition for over 60 years. Admission and parking are free. Follow the beautiful luminaria along Spur Cross Road. Bring blankets to sit on, or low-rise chairs. A flashlight is recommended, as the desert is lit only by starlight. Dress warmly and wear comfortable walking shoes. Hot chocolate is being provided by the Kiwanis Club. Guests are welcome.

Monday, December 9, 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, December 11, 2013 - 7:45am
Rating:
C+ LENGTH: ~5 mi ELEV GAIN: <1000 ft PACE: Medium
Leaders:
Ralph Engler - 480-855-7062 (Cell)

Meet at 7:45 am (depart at 8:00) at the 7th St Visitor Center parking lot, about 1 mile south of Thunderbird Rd.

We will hike Trail 100 from the Visitor Center, to Trail 101, then follow it to Trail 44 and our summit on North Mountain (peak at 2104 ft), and then return by a loop back on Trails 44, 101, and 100. This hike has great views of the city. The pace will be adjusted for the group and the temperature. Bring plenty of water and sunscreen. No dogs or children. Cost to non-members is $5.

Thursday, December 12, 2013 - 2:30pm
This activity has been changed.
Rating:
C+, LENGTH: 3.5 mi, ELEV GAIN: 1100 ft, PACE: Slow- Bonnie's group/Medium-Bud's group
Leaders:
Bud and Bonnie Tasch - 480-802-2836

Meet at 2:30 pm (depart at 2:45) at Pinnacle Peak Park, east of Pima RD, off Alma School RD, between Happy Valley RD and Dynamite BLVD.

We'll skirt around the 3171-ft valley landmark on an in and out hike with a lot of ups and downs on a well maintained trail. Afterwards we'll go to Greasewood Flats for food & fun one more time before Taylor Morrison blows it up. By the way, our picture is featured on the Taylor Morrison Facebook page, but that is another story.

Friday, December 13, 2013 - 6:00pm
Rating:
Illuminating!
Leaders:
Mary Parke - 480-296-5796

Join us for an evening at the Desert Botanical Garden for the Las Noches de las Luminarias and Chihuly in the Garden together.

Each night of Luminaria, the Garden comes to life with the soft glow from more than 8,000 hand lit Luminaria bags, thousands of white twinkle lights and Chihuly’s vibrant works of art. As you walk the paths with a warm cup of cider, the sounds of hand bells ringing and Dickens Carolers singing remind you of what the season is all about. Tickets are $30 for non Desert Botanical Garden members and can be purchased in advance (recommended) through www.dbg.org. These events sell out, so best to purchase your ticket(s) as soon as possible.

We’ll meet in front of the ticket office at 6 PM. Guests Welcome!

Saturday, December 14, 2013 - 7:45am
Rating:
B+ LENGTH: 12 mi ELEV GAIN: 2500 ft PACE: Moderate
Leaders:
Grace Chen - 480-767-1727

Meet at 7:45 am (depart at 8) at the GatewayTrailhead in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, off Thompson Peak Parkway in north Scottsdale.

We’ll hike counterclockwise on this loop hike, which includes Bell Pass, East End, Tom's Thumb, Wingate Pass, and Gateway Loop. Nice views of the Valley on the west side, and of the McDowell Mountain Park on the east side of the passes. There are some steep sections, so hiking poles are recommended. Wear sturdy hiking boots, sunscreen, wide-brimmed hat or sunglasses. Bring snacks, lunch, electrolytes, and plenty of water. Cost to non-members $5

Saturday, December 14, 2013 - 6:00pm
Rating:
C- DISTANCE: 8-12 mi Pace: 8-10 mph
Leaders:
Karl - kfw300@gmail.com, 480-686-5826

Meet at 6 pm (depart at 6:15) at Eldorado Park, second left after turning north on 77th St from E McDowell Road. Lighted Parking lot.

We'll ride the green belt to Tempe Town Lake where the lighted floats and water craft parade starts at 7 pm. HELMETS required. Bicycle lights strongly recommended. Bring water and appropriate attire as it can be cold. Ride will be canceled in case of rain. No signup, just show up. $5 fee for non-members.

Sunday, December 15, 2013 - 5:00pm to 9:00pm
Rating:
Holiday Spirits and Fun
Leaders:
Bonnie Tasch - 480-802-2836, arizbunzer@msn.com

Please join Bud and Bonnie Tasch for a Christmas party at our home in Sun Lakes. BYOB and an appetizer to share. If you are not tired of enjoying luminarias after the AzOTC social event at the Desert Botanical Gardens on Friday evening, you can opt to take an approximately 3-mile round-trip walk (or carpool) from Bud and Bonnie's house to Lake Diamond for the Ninth Annual Christmas Food Drive and Luminaria walk in our community. The Sun Lakes Chorale will be performing, weather permitting. The cost to attend the luminaria walk is one or more non-perishable food items or a cash donation which will be donated to the Chandler Christian Community Center Food Bank. Flashlights recommended. RSVP no later than Wednesday, December 11th to Bonnie for directions.

Monday, December 16, 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, December 18, 2013 - 8:30am
Rating:
B LENGTH: 6+ mi ELEV GAIN: ~2400 ft PACE: Medium
Leaders:
Jim D - hikingstickjim@yahoo.com

Meet at 8:30 am (depart at 8:45) at the trailhead (from I-10 going south, exit on 202/Pecos Road. Go west (right) on Pecos Road for 7 miles and turn right on 17th Ave. Turn left on to Chandler Blvd. and go to end of road and park where road is closed off at 19th Ave.) E-mail me if you would rather meet at Fry’s Electronics at I-10 and Baseline Rd.

From the TH, we will hike a little over a mile to the ruins of an abandoned building at the base of South Mountain and then start up the Lost Ranch Ruins Trail (unofficial name). This trail is very steep and somewhat rocky. We will gain almost 1000 feet in less than a mile. Next we go west on the National Trail, passing several abandoned mines and then return on the Bursera Trail. This will be a strenuous hike, but it is interesting and scenic. Bring a minimum of 2 liters of water, electrolytes, and a snack. Wear appropriate footwear, sunscreen, and hat. Cost to non-members is $5.

Thursday, December 19, 2013 - 8:45am
Rating:
B- DISTANCE: 22-23 mi Pace: 11-13 mph
Leaders:
Beverly Koslow - 480 415-7147
Linda Holman - 480 947-3441

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

This loop will take us north through part of Paradise Valley, offering great views of Camelback and Mummy Mountains. Then we’ll head down to the Arcadia area. 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, December 21, 2013 - 6:15am
This activity has been changed.
Rating:
B+ LENGTH: 14.3 mi ELEV GAIN: 1635 ft PACE: Medium (2.5 mph)
Leaders:
Scott Green - 480-444-6244, kslmg@cox.net

This is a joint hike with the Arizona Trailblazers. Because this hike involves a car shuttle, participants must sign up in advance by calling the leader no later than Wednesday, December 18th.

We’ll meet at 6:15 am (depart at 6:30) from McDonalds at the SW corner of Priest and Elliot in Tempe and carpool to the trailhead south of Tucson. Arizona Trail - Passage 5 from Gardner Canyon north to FR 4072 will take 7 to 8 hours. The passage is 13.5 miles plus another 0.8 miles from FR 4072 to AZ 83. We will do a car shuttle with at least two vehicles, one of which will be mine. There will not be much time for pictures and, as shown below, the trail and the surrounding area is hilly but not mountainous. I have visited both trailheads and have milepost and distance information along with the GPS route and attached map, but have not hiked the trail between the trailheads. See Trail Description and Map.

As a side note, I’m planning to stay in Tucson Saturday and Sunday night for two additional days of AZT hikes of about 13 miles each if anyone else is interested in joining me either day. Bring plenty of water, lunch, and sunscreen. Cost to non-members is $5.

Important - You must call or email the leader to confirm!

Saturday, December 21, 2013 - 7:45am
Rating:
B- LENGTH: 8 mi ELEV GAIN: 900 ft PACE: Medium
Leaders:
Bev - 480-415-7147

Meet at 7:45 am (depart at 8:00) at the Fry's Electronics parking lot on the NW corner of I-10 and Baseline Rd.

I know everyone is extremely busy this time of the year but let's get out and do a local hike before hitting the malls, decorating our homes, and preparing meals for the holidays. Our loop hike will consist of Javalina Canyon, Mormon Loop, National Trail, Fat Man Pass, Hidden Valley, back to the National Trail and ending up at Javalina Canyon again. If you've never done this hike before, know that it will give you the real flavor of South Mountain Park when you squeeze through Fat Man's Pass, do a little rock scrambling, view petroglyphs, and hike on rocky trails with a few areas of steep ups and downs. Wear sturdy hiking boots, bring a light lunch or snacks, and a minimum of 2 quarts of water. Cost to non-members is $5.

Sunday, December 22, 2013 - 7:00am
This event has been canceled.
Rating:
B LENGTH: ~8 mi ELEV GAIN: ~1000 ft PACE: Medium
Leaders:
"Missed The Turn Mark" - mnashley@yahoo.com

Meet at 0700 (depart at 0715) at the Park-and-Ride on the south side of Bell Rd., just west of I-17.

Join "Missed The Turn Mark" for a loop hike in the shadow of Granite Mountain as winter approaches! We will follow the Willow Trail till we meet the Mint Wash Trail and break left for the return trip. One more turn and we will return. Apres hike, dining in Prescott . Beware of mistletoe and caroling is welcomed! Check in with the leader by 13 Dec to confirm as I have not done the recce yet and there could be issues with fire damage. Check weather conditions for December in Prescott and bring 2 liters of water, one of egg nog, three candy canes, lyrics for carols (I can't remember all the words) and your stocking. Cost to non-members is $5. Cost for singing out of tune... free of charge!

Monday, December 23, 2013 - 8:00am
This event has been canceled.
Rating:
B- LENGTH: 3.6 mi ELEV GAIN: 1200 ft PACE: Medium
Leaders:
Dan Rothman - 480-991-1647 (H), 480-773-5197 (C)

Meet at 8:00 am (begin hiking at 8:15) at the Hopi Trailhead (first left past ranger station) in Piestawa Peak Park, north of Lincoln between 22nd and 24th Streets.

Join us for this pretty, roller coaster hike through Sonoran desert, with nice views of urban landscapes and the always-adjacent and steep Piestawa Peak. Those wishing to add an extra 1.2 miles and 700 feet elevation are welcome to join the leader and climb to the summit at the end of the hike. Please wear sturdy hiking boots, rain gear if appropriate, and bring water. Cost to non-members is $5.

Saturday, December 28, 2013 - 8:00am
Rating:
C LENGTH: 6 mi ELEV GAIN: 200 ft PACE: Slow & Exploratory
Leaders:
Jeanie & Van 623-465-7440

Meet at 8:00 am (depart at 8:15) behind the McDonald’s on the Carefree Highway, just east of I-17.

The Black Canyon Stock Trail follows the historic route used by early pioneers to move livestock from Phoenix to Prescott. The portion we will hike will be from the Emery Henderson Trailhead on New River Road south ending near Pioneer Village. This will involve a car shuttle. Bring snacks and plenty of water. Hike will be canceled in case of rain. $5 fee for non-members.

Monday, December 30, 2013 - 8:30am
Rating:
B- LENGTH: 9 mi ELEV GAIN: ~1000 ft PACE: Medium
Leaders:
Jim D - hikingstickjim@yahoo.com

Meet at 8:30 am (depart at 8:45) at the Burger King, just south of US 60 at the NE corner of Power Rd. and Superstition Springs Blvd. OR meet us at the First Water Trailhead no later than 9:15 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.