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.

February Newsletter (PDF)
March 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 to get them posted on the website!

Activities for November, 2014

Saturday, November 1, 2014
Bev - 480 415-7147,
Patty - 602 620-7406

Take a 4-hour ride on the Verde RR during the peak season for fall colors.

Our first class car, reserved for only AzOTC members and their guests, includes a complimentary glass of champagne, hot and cold appetizers, a cash bar and our own dedicated tour guide. We'll also be greeted by a special passenger who is an expert on bald eagles and will point out nesting areas along the way, and answer any questions we may have.

Cost is $76.94 per person and is due when you sign up. The guest fee is waived for this activity, so please invite your friends and family members.

Call or e-mail either leader to get instructions on where to send your check AND to receive a copy of the cancellation policy.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014 - 5:00pm

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! General Membership Meeting to follow immediately afterward across the hall.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014 - 6:45pm

Meeting starts at 6:45 pm. 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 AzOTC member Bonnie Tasch who will share a magnificent program of "flowers, fauna and fall" at the general meeting. Bonnie refers to herself as a “flower freak” and can’t resist taking a photo of almost every flower she ever sees – most of the flowers you will marvel are wildflowers that Bonnie has experienced along Arizona and Colorado trails. She also calls herself a "fauna freak", and aspires to have enough time to patiently sit out in the forest and just wait for the animals to approach her. Since they don’t seem to want to cooperate, she has energetically tried to capture many of the domestic and wild animals that cross her path. And Bonnie also calls herself a “fall freak,” and has spent many days taking hikes and scenic drives to capture the magnificence of the fall colors. You certainly don't want to miss Bonnie and her "freakie" presentation.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014 - 6:30am
C- LENGTH: 3 mi ELEV GAIN: 600 ft PACE: Slow to medium
Catherine Schuyler -
Jim D -

Meet at 6:30 am (depart 6:45) 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 Red Sage Restaurant in Gold Canyon no later than 7 am. The Red Sage is a short distance off Hwy 60 on Kings Ranch Rd., just past Walgreens on the right side of the road.

Hieroglyphic Canyon was important to the ancient Hohokam Indians, who inhabited this desert region up to 1,500 years ago. Evidence of their settlement includes hundreds of petroglyphs etched into the dark, weathered surface of the basalt cliffs above the pools, some with very intricate designs.

Please bring snacks, sunscreen, hat, good hiking boots, and water. Good trail conditions, with gradual elevation change, but some sections are rocky. Cost to non-members is $5.

Friday, November 7, 2014 - 7:45am
C+ LENGTH: ~5 mi ELEV GAIN: < 1000 ft PACE: Medium
Ralph Engler - 480-855-7062 (C)

Meet at 7:45 am (depart 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 2104'); returning by a loop back to Trail 44/101 and Trail 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 sun-screen. No dogs or children. Cost to non-members is $5.

Saturday, November 8, 2014 - 7:00am
A-/B+ LENGTH: 5.5 mi ELEV GAIN: 2000 ft PACE: Slow-Medium
Dan Rothman - 480-773-5197,

Meet at 7:00 am (depart 7:15) at the Holiday Inn at US 60 and Country Club Drive.

Join us for this unique destination hike. We’ll carpool to the trailhead at Tortilla Flat, and from there head off on a rough but beautiful trek through prime Superstition Wilderness terrain. In places the slopes are steep with loose rock, but there are no exposed areas or precipitous fall-offs. Although we won’t be going through any dense brush, there is enough cactus and catclaw along the trail to warrant long hiking pants or jeans. Our destination is Geronimo head, a seldom-visited, towering edifice that looks down over LaBarge Creek and provides a beautiful panorama of the Ridgeline, Battleship Mountain, Black Top Mesa, Malapais Mountain, and many other familiar Superstition landmarks. Because of the terrain, our hiking pace will be slow to medium.

Lunch in Tortilla Flat after the hike is an option. Please wear sturdy hiking boots, and bring plenty of water and snacks. Cost to non-members is $5. No dogs or children please.

Sunday, November 9, 2014 - 6:30am
This activity has been changed.
B+/A- LENGTH: 9.2/10.4 mi ELEV GAIN: 2300/2800 ft
Bud Tasch - 480-802-2836

Meet at 6:30 am (depart 6:45) on the south side of the Kohl's parking lot, one block south of the 202 San Tan Freeway at Arizona Ave.

This hike will follow the Green Mountain Trail, accessed by the Catalina Highway, to a side trail leading to Guthrie Mountain with a good trail all the way. I saw a cool coati on this hike last April. Interesting red rock formations on the summit with spectacular views. We may do an additional side hike to Maverick Spring (adding another 1.2 miles and 300', if we are so inclined).

Optional dinner stop at a great Mexican restaurant in Marana afterwards to cap off an all-day adventure. Wear hiking boots and bring plenty of water and snacks. Cost to non-members is $5.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014 - 9:30am
Jeanie and Van - 928- 252-3322

Meet at 9:30 am (depart 9:45) at the trailhead at the end of 24th St., south of Baseline Rd.

This will be a joint hike with the Sun City Festival Hiking Club. We will hike up the Mormon Trail to the top of South Mountain where we will have a great view of the entire Valley of the Sun. We will take the National Trail and squeeze through Fat Man’s Pass, then come down a big wash into Hidden Valley. We will go through the Natural Tunnel and cross over the Natural Bridge. We’ll show you petroglyphs at the Natural Spring and other locations.

Bring snacks and plenty of water. Hike will be canceled in case of rain. We will stop for lunch afterwards at Poncho’s. Cost to non-members is $5.

Friday, November 14, 2014 - 8:00am
Van - 928-252-3322
Don - 602-339-8835
Larry - 602-789-9548

Meet at 8 am for breakfast at Denny’s Restaurant - 3205 East Bell Road Phoenix.

After breakfast we will head over to the Good Guys Car Show which is the 17th Southwest Nationals Car Show at West World at 16601 N. Pima Road in Scottsdale.

There will be over 3,000 pre 1972 cars and trucks. Plan on at least 4 hours to see the top cars.

Call leaders for more information. $17 for on-line advance tickets $20 at the Gate.

Monday, November 17, 2014 - 8:00am
C+ LENGTH: 7 mi ELEV GAIN: 900 ft PACE: Medium
Jim D -

Meet at 8:00 am (depart 8:15) in the Fry's parking lot on the SW corner of I-17 & Bell Road. Park behind Denny's, near the entrance to the Park-and-Ride.

There are lots of trail options in this relatively new preserve and we will do an approximate 7-mile loop using several popular trails in the northern section. There will be several moderate ups and downs throughout the hike. The trails are well marked, wide, and easy to follow, but with very little shade. There are valleys surrounding the small peaks giving good views to the hills in Cave Creek and the southern part of the Sonoran Preserve. Great views in all directions at several locations. We'll start at the Apache Wash Trailhead and our main trails will be the Ocotillo, Ridgeback, and Sidewinder Trails.

Bring snacks, sunscreen, and plenty of water. Cost to non-members is $5.

Saturday, November 22, 2014 - 6:45am
B+ LENGTH: ~4 mi ELEV GAIN: 1950 ft PACE: Medium
Don Mowry - 480-209-7963,
Jeff Bender - 480-220-2342,

Meet at 6:45 am (depart 7:00) at the east end of the Holiday Inn parking lot, SW corner of Country Club and US 60. Picketpost Mountain was used by the US Cavalry in 1870 to guard against enemy attacks. We will hike and climb to the top of Picketpost Mountain for fantastic views in all directions. There is steep climbing on the way up, so if you’re not comfortable with that, this hike isn't for you. However, if you like Siphon Draw to Flatiron, you’ll love this hike! Good agility in climbing the steep sections is important without too much fear of heights. At the summit, there’s a cool mailbox to write your comments. Wear a hat and use sunscreen. You'll also need 2-3 quarts of water and snacks. Cost to non-members is $5.

Saturday, November 22, 2014 - 5:00pm
Mary Parke -, 480-296-5796

Dine under the stars as you cruise along 1000 foot cliffs at beautiful Canyon Lake. Dr. Sky breaks down the solar system in a 2-1/2 hour cruise as you view the night sky aboard the Dolly Steamboat. Enjoy a presentation on the solar system complete with on-board telescopes! Dr. Sky plays host to these memorable cruises. Dr. Sky has worked with CNN as a special correspondent, Superstation WWOR, and a variety of radio shows including Skywatch, the weekly radio update on WBAI in New York.

Dinner menu includes BBQ salmon with bruschetta chicken. Dinner buffet includes: mixed field green salad, fresh artisan dinner rolls, sautéed seasonal vegetables, rosemary roasted potatoes or confetti rice and chef's seasonal dessert. Vegetarian meal is available on request.

The Dolly Steamboat departs from Canyon Lake Marina, located just off of the Apache Trail (Hwy 88), about 16 miles NE of Apache Junction. Cost is $72.95, which includes tax and gratuity.

Sunday, November 23, 2014
This activity has been changed.
A- LENGTH: 9.5 mi ELEV GAIN: ~2500 ft PACE: Medium
"Missed The Turn Mark" -, 602-725-4993

Contact the the hike leader by 7 pm on November 21st for the meeting place and time details.

Wander Horton Creek without a paddle and in the company of the notorious "Missed the Turn Mark." This will be a fall hike in the Payson area, so be prepared for what may come weather-wise. Bring appropriate head gear, boots, 2 or 3 liters of water, and late November kit for Payson under the rim plus and snacks and/or lunch.

Speaking of food, we will no doubt stop in Payson on the way back for a nosh.

Cost to non-members is $5.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014 - 6:30am
B LENGTH: 9 mi ELEV GAIN: ~1500 ft PACE: Slow to Medium
Cathy Schuyler -
Jim D -

Meet at 6:30 am (depart 6:45) 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 Red Sage Restaurant in Gold Canyon no later than 7 am. The Red Sage is a short distance off Hwy 60 on Kings Ranch Rd., just past Walgreens on the right side of the road.

This hike starts at Peralta Trailhead and we will follow Trail 235 (Bluff Spring Trail) up Cardiac Hill and eventually intersect with Trail 104 (Dutchman Trail), which will loop us around Miner's Needle. Gorgeous views! There are several old mines and prospect holes along the cliffs of Bluff Springs Mountain. Jim Bark, after whom Bark’s Canyon is named, bought his nearby ranch in 1891, the same year that the "Dutchman" Jacob Waltz died. It is he who has been attributed with coining the phrase "Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine" around 1893.

Bring hat, good boots, 2 or 3 quarts of water, sunscreen, and snacks and/or lunch. This will be a good chance to work out before consuming all that turkey on Thanksgiving. Cost to non-members is $5.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014 - 9:15am
B LENGTH: 15-20 miles. PACE: Slow
Bud Tasch - 480-802-2836 (h), 303-868-0216 (c)

Meet at 9:15 am (depart 9:30) at the Browns Ranch Trailhead in North Scottsdale.

We will ride a variety of easy moderate twisting, single-track gravel/dirt trails through a beautiful Sonoran landscape. Plan on riding 2.5 to 3.5 hours. Some climbs will be moderately steep but short.

Helmets required. Bring adequate water. Optional lunch stop at Portillos on Shea afterwards for Authentic Chicago hot dogs or Italian beef (my favorite). Cost to non-members is $5. Event will be cancelled if it is wet or rainy.

Thursday, November 27, 2014 - 10:00am
Bonnie Tasch - 303-868-7360,

Join AzOTC members, family and friends for a wonderful and delicious pot-luck Thanksgiving feast on November 27th. Our holiday celebration will be held at Veterans Oasis Park located at the intersection of Lindsay and Chandler Heights Roads in Chandler. Veterans Oasis Park is a 113 acre Sonoran desert landscape with 4-1/2 miles of hiking and biking trails, wildlife viewing, a butterfly and hummingbird habitat, a solar system walk and a 5 acre fishing lake.

We will start the festivities at 10:00 am. You can walk, bike, relax, educate yourself, kayak or fish on the lake, play volleyball, badminton or softball catch – or just sit in your chair and enjoy the scenery and smell the wonderful scents of Thanksgiving dinner being prepared.

If you would like to join us, please call or e-mail Bonnie Tasch at 303-868-7360 or to confirm the dish you will be contributing. AzOTC will supply dishes, cold and hot cups, napkins, silverware, water, soft drinks, tea, coffee and one spiral ham and one turkey.

We look forward to having you join us in this holiday tradition of fun activities and great food!

Friday, November 28, 2014 - 7:45am
B LENGTH: 8.5 mi ELEV. GAIN: 1600 ft PACE: Medium
Dan Rothman - 480-773-5197

Meet at 7:45 am (depart 8:00) at the Park-and-Ride at the southwest corner of the Bell Road exit to I-17.

Work off that Thanksgiving dinner! This relatively new trail is one of the best in Sedona. It offers sensational views of Sedona itself, and most of the famous red rock landmarks in the area. It’s called “Hangover Trail” because, at places, it does literally hang over Bear Wallow Canyon, though none of the exposures is too frightening. For those wishing a little more exposure, there’s a short, steep and optional ascent to the arches atop Mitten Ridge. We’ll start at the base of Schnebly Road Hill, hike up Munds Wagon Trail to Cow Pies, then loop around Mitten Ridge on the Hangover Trail back to Munds Wagon.

Wear sturdy hiking boots and bring plenty of water. Cost to non-members is $5.

Saturday, November 29, 2014 - 6:45am
B+ LENGTH: ~11-12 mi ELEV GAIN: ~1500 ft PACE: Medium
Don Mowry - 480-209-7963,

Meet at 6:45 am (depart at 7) at the Holiday Inn, SW corner of Country Club and US 60 OR meet us at the First Water Trailhead no later than 7:45 am. This is a beautiful hike with lush desert foliage and good trails, with rolling ups and downs, but sometimes rocky. This loop hike involves the Second Water, Black Mesa, Bull Pass, and the Dutchman Trails. We will be climbing to the top of Black Top Mesa; a heart-pounding ascent of 800 ft. We’ll eat lunch at the south end of the Mesa with great views of Weaver’s Needle, and see some petroglyphs too. Bring at least 3 liters of water and electrolytes, lunch, and $ for carpool. Wear appropriate footwear, sunscreen, and hat. Cost to non-members is $5.