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, 2014

Tuesday, December 2, 2014 - 5:00pm to 6:30pm
Rating:
Fun!

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, December 2, 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. Note that this is our last meeting at the Marriott. Commencing on Wednesday, January 7, our meetings will be on the first Wednesday of each month in the Granite Reef Senior Center, located in Scottsdale on Granite Reef Road just north of McDowell Road. Join AzOTC Activity Coordinator Dan Rothman for a discussion of the American Southwest’s slot canyons. In Arizona and Utah, we’re lucky to have the greatest concentration and most famous slot canyons anywhere in the world. Dan will share with us how these dramatic features are formed; their geology, hydrology and history; as well as the beauty and most importantly, the serious potential dangers of hiking within them. He’ll take you on a magnificent photo tour through Wire Pass, Buckskin Gulch – the world’s longest continuous slot canyon -- and the Upper Paria Canyon in southern Utah. Further he will outline his plan for the upcoming Club trip in the Spring of 2015. Learn about the 1997 tragedy when 11 hikers died during a flash flood in nearby Antelope Canyon, and the potential dangers of slot canyon hiking which have been very well documented. Nevertheless, as recently as this fall, a hiker was killed during a flash flood in the “Narrows” of Zion National Park. Dan will discuss these tragedies and how to avoid them, while still enjoying the unique beauty of our famous slot canyons. Mark your calendar now! Don’t miss our last meeting of the year, and last ever meeting at the Marriott Inn and Suites.

Friday, December 5, 2014 - 7:45am
This activity has been changed.
Rating:
C+ to B- LENGTH: ~6 mi ELEV GAIN: < 1500 ft PACE: Medium
Leaders:
Ralph Engler - 602-996-7312(H), 480-855-7062(C)

Meet at 7:45 am (hike at 8:00) in the 40th St. (North) parking lot. 40th St. is west of Tatum and the parking area is about a mile south of Shea Blvd. at the end of 40th St.

This is a morning hike through the Phoenix Mountain Preserve. Our hike will use a variety of trails and trailheads, with great views of Paradise Valley.

Bring water and sunscreen. No dogs or children. Cost to non-members is $5.

Saturday, December 6, 2014 - 9:00am
This event has been canceled.
Rating:
C+ LENGTH: 6.3 mi ELEV GAIN: 800 ft PACE: Medium
Leaders:
Jim D - hikingstickjim@yahoo.com
John Nichols - johnnchls83@gmail.com

Meet at 9:00 am (depart at 9:15) at the McDonalds on the Carefree Hwy., just east of I-17. Trail access - typical bumpy dirt road. It might be good to have a high- clearance vehicle, but 4WD not needed. $6 per car fee. The top of the mesa is spacious and has a commanding view of the river valley and Lake Pleasant below, plus the surrounding desert, mesas and hills. The ruins have about a dozen rooms with walls still intact (built sometime between A.D. 800 and 1150). We'll have lunch or snack on top of the mesa. Bring water and sunscreen. We hike across the Agua Fria River first thing. Water shoes, spare socks and hiking sticks are recommended, although there's a good chance no water will be in the river. Cost to non-members is $5.

Monday, December 8, 2014 - 9:00am
Rating:
C LENGTH: 5.7 mi ELEV GAIN: 500 ft PACE: Slow
Leaders:
Jim D - hikingstickjim@yahoo.com

Meet at 9:00 am (depart at 9:15) at the Holiday Inn, east side parking area, just south of US 60 on Country Club Dr. in Mesa; or meet group at the First Water trailhead no later than 10:00 am. This scenic loop hike is my favorite short Superstitions hike. I'll lead it slower than normal in hopes of giving slower hikers an opportunity to enjoy one of the most scenic areas of the Superstitions. Expect some rocky trail conditions, but not too difficult overall. We'll go from the First Water trailhead to Garden Valley, follow a horse trail to Hackberry Springs, and then return to First Water. Bring water, lunch or snack, boots, sunscreen, sunglasses, hat, and $ for carpool. Cost to non-members is $5.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014 - 7:45am
Rating:
B LENGTH: 20+ miles PACE:12-14 mph
Leaders:
Bev - 480 415-7147
Don - 480 209-7963

Meet at 7:45 am (leave at 8:00) in the Lowe's parking lot at 734 S Gilbert Rd in Gilbert (that's on the NW corner of Gilbert and Warner Roads in Gilbert).

Our ride will be on the east side of the Consolidated Canal that runs from north to south on a (mostly) paved walkway. We'll ride through local parks, past a dairy farm, an airport, a few housing developments, and a golf course. Just south of Riggs Road we'll do a loop through a fairly new housing development before heading back the same way we came. Two blocks of our ride are on dirt/gravel, so road bikes may not be suitable.

Make sure you bring drinking water. Helmets are required. Cost to non-members is $5.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014 - 8:00am
Rating:
B- LENGTH: 8.1 mi ELEV GAIN: <1000 ft PACE: Medium
Leaders:
Grace Chen - 480 767-1727

Meet at 8:00 am (depart at 8:15) at Fry's on 90th and Shea Blvd, just east of 101. Park on the east end of the parking lot closer to Chase Bank. OR meet us at Brown's Ranch Trailhead on Alma School Pkwy off of Dynamite Blvd at 8:45.

Join us in exploring this relatively new northern McDowell Sonoran Preserve area. We will hike a variety of trails, visit the Cathedral Rock, sit at the Amphitheatre and hike around Cholla Mountain. Enjoy the serene desert vista and beautiful trails.

Bring snack, water and sunscreen. Cost to non-members is $5.

Saturday, December 13, 2014 - 6:30am
Rating:
A LENGTH: 15-16 mi ELEV GAIN: 3600 ft PACE: Medium-Fast (~2.5mph)
Leaders:
Don Mowry - dgmowry@gmail.com

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

This hike offers great views of Weaver's Needle from all directions. We'll climb Bluff Springs Trail and connect with the Terrapin Trail. We'll extend this hike to include a side trip to the top of Black Top Mesa for lunch, then loop around Black Top Mesa and return on the Peralta Trail. There are three significant climbs: Bluff Springs, Black Top Mesa, and up the Peralta at the Dutchman crossover.

I recommend zip-off long pants due to some cat’s claw bushes on the Terrapin Trail. Bring 3-4 liters of water, electrolytes and food. No dogs or children please. Bring rain gear. Cost to non-members is $5.

Saturday, December 13, 2014 - 5:00pm
Rating:
Fun!
Leaders:
Bonnie Tasch - 480-802-2836 (home), 303-868-7360 (cell)

Light up the night and be dazzled at the Valley’s most unique holiday event – the Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade at Tempe Town Lake. The boat parade will feature as many as 50 festively lighted boats of all sizes. Fireworks will light up the night also following the end of the boat parade. Spectator admission is free to the public.

Event details:
5:00 pm - event opens to the public
6:00 pm - arrival of Santa Clause to Tempe Beach Park
7:00 pm - boat parade begins.

If you wish to experience the whole event, we will meet at 5:00 pm on the north end of the pedestrian bridge by the Tempe Center for the Arts. Call Bonnie for parking information.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - 7:00am
This event has been canceled.
Rating:
B LENGTH: 10.9 mi ELEV GAIN: 1200 ft PACE: Slow to medium
Leaders:
Cathy Schuyler - cschuyler@q.com
Jim D - hikingstickjim@yahoo.com

Meet at 7:00 am (depart at 7:15) at the Burger King, just south of US 60 at the NE corner of Power Rd and Superstition Springs Blvd.

This hike starts at Peralta Trailhead and we will follow Trail 104 (Lost Dutchman Trail) up a small hill and eventually intersect with Trail 108 (Coffee Flats Trail), which will go past Miner's Needle and Castle Rock. Gorgeous views!

Bring hat, good boots, 2 or 3 quarts of water, sunscreen, snacks, and lunch. This will be a good chance to get a workout and to get away from holiday stresses. Cost to non-members is $5.

Saturday, December 20, 2014 - 8:30am
Rating:
C+ LENGTH: 8.5 mi ELEV GAIN: 750 ft PACE: Medium
Leaders:
Bud and Bonnie Tasch - 480-802-2836

Meet at 8:30 am (depart 8:45) at Bashas at 36889 N. Tom Darlington Road in Carefree, on the right, just past N. Bloody Basin Rd.

Join Bud, Bonnie and Oggie for the little-known, beautiful hike through a riparian jewel that I call "mini Aravaipa". Water shoes, spare socks and hiking sticks are recommended since there are many wet crossings of the ankle deep, gravelly stream bed. Our goal is to reach the Verde River confluence. 4WD is needed for the last 2.3 miles to the TH. There are many wildlife viewing opportunities -- we have seen turkey, javelina and bobcats in the past.

Friendly, well-behaved dogs are welcome. There will be an optional dinner stop in Cave Creek. Bring water and sunscreen. Cost to non-members is $5.

Monday, December 22, 2014 - 7:45am
Rating:
B- LENGTH: 5-7 mi ELEV GAIN: < 1000 ft PACE: Medium
Leaders:
Grace - 858-663-5173

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 an exercise hike through the Phoenix Mountain Preserve, which will encompass a variety of trails. Bring water and sunscreen. Cost to non-members is $5.

Saturday, December 27, 2014 - 10:30am
This event has been canceled.
Rating:
B LENGTH: 12-18 miles PACE: Slow
Leaders:
Bud Tasch - 480-802-2836 (h), 303-868-0216 (c)

Meet at 10:30 am (depart at 10:45) at the San Tan Regional Park Visitors Center at 6533 W. Phillips Rd. in Queen Creek.

We will ride a variety of easy/moderate twisting, single-track gravel/dirt trails through a Sonoran landscape. Plan on riding 2-3 hours. There will be a few steep, short climbs.

Helmets required. Bring adequate water. Optional lunch stop afterwards at San Tan Flat (similar to Greasewood Flat). Even if you don't ride, everyone is welcome to meet us at San Tan Flat about 2:00 pm to help us celebrate the holidays.

Event will be cancelled if wet or rainy. Cost to non-members is $5.

Sunday, December 28, 2014 - 7:30am
Rating:
Dan Rothman - 480-773-5197, dwrr1@yahool.com
Leaders:
A- LENGTH: 9 mi ELEV GAIN: 2600 ft PACE: Medium

Meet at 7:30 am (depart at 7:45) at the Holiday Inn by the Country Club Drive exit of Route 60 in Mesa.

We’ll carpool to the Peralta Trail parking area, and from there head out on this beautiful loop hike in the Superstitions, which includes a flat approach on the Lost Gold Mine Trail, steep and difficult ascent up Carney Springs, scenic traverse on the ridgeline to Robber’s Roost, and challenging descent via Fremont Saddle and the (Geronimo) Cave Trail, with an option to head down from Fremont Saddle on the easier Peralta Trail.

Robber’s Roost itself is a wonderful and well hidden rock playground, where we’ll stop for lunch. Great views of Superstitions rock formations and panoramas all along the hike, but be prepared for a steep descent on slick rock going down the Cave Trail.

Please wear sturdy hiking boots, rain gear if appropriate, and bring plenty of water and food for snacks and lunch. Cost to non-members is $5. No dogs or children please.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014 - 7:45am
This event has been canceled.
Rating:
B+ LENGTH: 10 mi ELEV GAIN: 2250 ft PACE: Medium
Leaders:
Grace Chen - 480 767-1727

Meet at 7:45 am (depart at 8:00) at Fry's on 90th and Shea Blvd, just east of 101. Park on the east end of the parking lot closer to Chase Bank. Ate too much for Thanksgiving and Christmas? Want to look smashing for the New Year's Eve party? Join us for this “bun burner” hike. The first part of the trail (going to Dixie Mine) is relatively flat. After reaching the mine, we’ll begin our ascent straight up the mountain. The last two miles are extremely steep, as the road builders decided to charge directly up the mountain – and you will feel it! Views from the top of Thompson Peak are of the entire Phoenix metro area, south to the Catalinas, east to the Superstitions, and north to the Mazatzals. Hiking poles are highly recommended to save the knees. Bring snacks, water, and layer your clothing, as it could be very windy and cold on the top. Cost to non-members is $5.