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.

September 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, 2015

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 - 4:45pm

Join fellow AzOTC members for happy hour prior to our monthly meeting at the Granite Reef Senior Center. Carlsbad Tavern offers New Mexican cuisine, including a great selection of food and drinks, in their “bat cave.” The Tavern has won Trip Advisor’s Certificate of Excellence for the last three years. It’s located on the east side of Hayden Road, just south of Osborn (across the street from Office Max), and about two miles north of the Senior Center. 3313 N Hayden Rd Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 - 6:45pm

(Come at 6:15 to socialize!)

Granite Reef Senior Center
1700 North Granite Reef Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85257
Located in Scottsdale on Granite Reef Road just north of McDowell Rd.

Join Lew Fox, a semi-retired chemist, AzOTC member, and amateur oil painter as he shares his "Art and Travel Adventures" with us.

He will take us to a number of locations on 3 continents where he has traveled. While traveling, Lew took images of boats that he later painted. Over the last 12 years he has done more than 50 canvases. Lew is inspired both by the Marine Art of the 18th century and the Impressionists of the late 19th century. As he paints and later views his work, memories of the trips and places he visited are brought back. During this unique presentation that you should not miss, Lew will use his paintings to lead us into short discussions of where, how and why he got where he was and will also comment on points of interest and hiking trails in those areas.

(Lew’s work is not for sale so you don’t bring your check book)!

Thursday, November 5, 2015 - 7:00am
B- LENGTH: 6 mi ELEV GAIN: 750 ft PACE: Medium
Dan Rothman -, 480-773-5197

Meet at 7 am (depart 7:15) at the parking lot behind Denny’s, right next to the Park-and-Ride at the southwest corner of the Bell Road exit to I-17.

This loop hike around scenic Watson Lake in Prescott is more difficult than the length and elevation gain suggest. That’s because, in addition to stretches of shoreline with great views, it includes lots of boulder hopping through the spectacular rocks of the Watson Dells. (Think of the Boulders in North Scottsdale surrounding a scenic lake.)

The loop also includes sections passing through beautiful riparian and woodland areas, and provides great views of surrounding landmarks like Granite Mountain and Thumb Butte.

As always, bring plenty of water, snacks/electrolytes, and sunscreen.

Cost to non-members is $5. Guests and new members should call the hike leader in advance.

Sunday, November 8, 2015 - 8:45am
B LENGTH: 7.3 mi ELEV GAIN: 1800 ft PACE: Medium
Bud Tasch - 480-802-2836, 303-868-0216 (cell)

Meet at 8:45 am (depart 9:00) at the south end of the Kohl's parking lot, just south of the San Tan 202 Freeway on the NW corner of Arizona and Willis.

Romero Pools is a spectacular hike in Catalina State Park. We may hike a little beyond the pools to attain the stated mileage and gain.

If you haven't seen it before, the Day of the Dead Parade is remarkable. After the hike we will have "linner" at Macayo's on Oracle Ave before going downtown to view the surreal parade (which starts at 6:30 pm) of 20,000 dead-looking marchers and marching bands. Write a message to your departed loved ones and throw it in the huge urn that will be pyrotechnically blown up.

You can do the hike or hike and dinner minus the parade. Overnight lodging is possible for those wishing to see the whole event, but that part is not included in this activity. We should be back to Kohl's by 9:00 pm.

No dogs or children please.

Cost to non-members is $5. Guests and new members should call the hike leader in advance.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015
B- LENGTH: ~8.5 mi ELEV GAIN: 1000 ft PACE: Fast
"Missed The Turn" Mark -, 602-725-4993

Contact the hike leader by 6 pm on November 8th for the meeting place and estimated departure time.

Come descend into Sandy's Canyon and enter Walnut Canyon with "Missed The Turn Mark" on Veteran's Day. This is a mostly flat hike but conditions in early November in Flagstaff can be a mystery. Add to that a bit of a difficult trail to follow once we are in Walnut Canyon.

Finally, this will be a story hike. If you come, once we hit end of trail inside Walnut Canyon, you must tell a story about a veteran...yours, your friend, a family member. We will say it soft but clear in that canyon so the story stays after we leave.

That said, I may not have a chance to check on conditions inside Walnut Canyon before we go, including that scary cave. Keep an eye on the weather forecast and be prepared for fall conditions in the Flagstaff area.

Bring a minimum of 2 liters of water, appropriate snacks, hiking boots, and a story. If the group is too large, we will stop at intervals and listen to the stories on the way back.

Time permitting, we will retire to somewhere in Flagstaff for a meal after the hike.

$5 fee for non-members, unless you are a veteran.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015 - 8:00am
This activity has been changed.
C LENGTH: ~6 mi ELEV GAIN: 500 ft PACE: Medium
Cathy Schuyler -

Meet at 8:00 am (depart 8:15) at the CVS Pharmacy on the NW corner of Brown & Ellsworth Rds. in Mesa (exit off the 202 Freeway and drive east on Brown Rd.). This hike was rescheduled after the October 29th rain-out.

There is a 15-person limit, so email hike leader.

This is an easy loop hike from First Water TH to Indian Gardens Tank to the Spring and then back to the First Water TH. The trail does have some narrow spots; some ledges after Indian Gardens and the cave. Lots of pretty views. Return thru some twisting canyons via the broken windmill and cattle pens.

Bring plenty of water, good boots, snacks, hat, sunscreen etc. We can do post-hike lunch or libations at Dirtwater Springs or at Goldfields if hikers wish to socialize.

Well behaved small dogs are welcome.

Cost to non-members is $5.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015 - 5:00pm to 7:00pm
Bud Tasch - 480-802-2836

For a blast from the past, join fellow AzOTC members for happy hour. Drink specials range from $3-$7 and a variety of mouth-watering appetizers from $6-$7.

They said they remember us; let’s make them sorry we left! You know the drill; we will meet on the beautiful outdoor patio to share summer adventures and welcome President Bud back to the valley.

I've been assured that plenty of on-street parking will be available.

Thursday, November 12, 2015 - 7:45am
C+ LENGTH: ~6 mi ELEV GAIN: <1500 ft PACE: Medium
Ralph Engler - 480-855-7062 (cell)

Meet at 7:45 (depart at 8:00) in the 40th St (North) parking lot.

Join me for a loop hike across the Phoenix Mountain Preserve on Trails 8A and 8B, the Quartz Ridge Trail.

Bring water and sunscreen. No dogs or children.

Cost to non-members is $5. Guests and new members should call the hike leader in advance.

Saturday, November 14, 2015 to Sunday, November 15, 2015

Come and visit the AzOTC booth staffed by Bud Tasch and AzOTC volunteers.

Exhibitors feature Arizona history and attractions, native American heritage, adventure tourism, southwest travel, international and luxury travel and deals on European vacations, island getaways and cruises.

Hours are 10 am - 5 pm on Saturday and 10 am - 4 pm on Sunday. General admission is $7 + $5 for parking. Seniors get 2 for 1 admission before noon. Ticket price also includes admission to the Elegant Home Food and Wine Expo.

Saturday, November 14, 2015 - 7:30am
B LENGTH: 10 mi ELEV GAIN: ~1500 ft PACE: Medium
Grace Chen - 480-767-1727

Meet at 7:30 am (depart 7:45) at the Lost Dog Wash Trailhead (1 mile north of Shea Blvd. at the end of 124th Street).

Join us hiking the beautiful new Andrews-Kinsey Trail, which connects the McDowell Sonoran and Fountain Hills Preserves. We’ll leave from Lost Dog Wash Trailhead and hike to the Sunrise Peak saddle, where we’ll pick up the A-K Trail and head off toward the border with the Fountain Hills Preserve. We will hike to the junction with the Western Loop Trail before returning.

There are beautiful views along the way of the Four Peaks, Superstitions, Adero Canyon, and Fountain Hills.

Bring plenty of water, snacks, electrolytes, and wear sturdy hiking boots.

Cost to non-members is $5. Guests and new members should contact the hike leader prior to the hike.

Sunday, November 15, 2015 - 7:30am
B- LENGTH 10 mi ELEV GAIN: 1200 ft PACE: Medium
Joyce Morningstar - 602-299-7244

Meet at 7:30 am (depart at 7:45) at the Starbucks on the NW corner of Scottsdale Road and Mayo Blvd. (7000 E Mayo Blvd), the parking lot for the Scottsdale 101 Shopping Center. Meeting place map:

This scenic loop hike winds though the Sonoran desert foothills on a series of trails including Spur Cross, Metate, Tortuga, and Elephant Mountain. We’ll stop for an early lunch at the saddle on Elephant Mountain, which offers panoramic views of Sugarloaf Mountain and Skull Mesa. Descending the other side of the saddle, the trail loops around Elephant Mountain to return to the trailhead.

Wear sturdy hiking boots, wide brimmed hat or sunglasses. Sections of the trail are steep, so hiking sticks are recommended. Bring a rain jacket, snacks, lunch, plenty of water, and $3 for the entrance fee to the Spur Cross Conservation Area.

Non-members - $5 fee and non-members must call the hike leader before the hike.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015 - 8:00am
B LENGTH: 20-22 miles PACE: 11-13 mph
Bev - 480 415-7157
Patty - 602 620-7406

Meet at 8:00 am (depart at 8:15) on the northeast corner of the Arizona Mills parking lot near Priest and Baseline roads in Tempe, adjacent to the front of the Sports Authority Store.

Our ride will mostly be on bike paths along the Western Canal, heading east towards Gilbert. We'll ride past Kiwanis Park, a golf course, and over the 101 on our way to our turn-around point to Pima Park on McQueen Rd.

Helmets required. Carry 1-2 quarts of water. Cost to non-members is $5. In case of rain the ride will be canceled.

Thursday, November 19, 2015 - 8:00am
C+ LENGTH: 7.5 mi ELEV GAIN: 950 ft PACE: Medium
Cathy Schuyler -

Meet at 8:00 am (depart at 8:15) at the CVS Pharmacy on the NW corner of Brown & Ellsworth Roads in Mesa (exit off the 202 Freeway and drive east on Brown Rd.)

This is a good loop hike with views of the Goldfield Mountains, Four Peaks, and the Superstition Mountains. Mostly good trail conditions.

Bring plenty of water, boots, hat, snack, and sunscreen. Optional lunch or libations after the hike at Dirtwater Springs Restaurant in Apache Junction.

Non-members - $5 fee and non-members must email the hike leader before the hike.

Saturday, November 21, 2015 - 7:30am
This activity has been changed.
Van - 928-252-3322
Larry - 602-789-9548

Meet at 7:30 am for breakfast at Denny's - 32nd St and Bell Rd. We will carpool to Westworld. The show is estimated to have 3,000 pre 1972 cars. Parking is $5 per vehicle. Entry fee is $20 each. For more information, check here Cost to non-members is $5. Guests and new members should call one of the leaders in advance.

Saturday, November 21, 2015 - 7:30am
B- LENGTH: 9.5 mi ELEV GAIN: 1350 ft PACE: Medium
Bud Tasch - 480-802-2836, 303-868-0216 (cell)

Meet at 7:30 am (depart 7:45) at the Park-and-Ride at the southwest corner of the Bell Road exit to I-17.

This hike along a gorgeous riparian area requires 4 crossings of West Clear Creek each way.

In addition to your hiking boots, please bring water shoes (sandals with toe protection, tevas, old tennis shoes or designated water shoes), a small towel, extra socks, and hiking sticks. The crossings are benign at this time of year but the rocks may be slippery.

No dogs or children please. This hike will be cancelled if rain is predicted.

Cost to non-members is $5. Guests and new members should call the hike leader in advance.

Sunday, November 22, 2015 - 8:00am
B LENGTH: 11 mi ELEV GAIN: 2000 ft PACE: Medium
Joyce Morningstar - 602-299-7244

Meet at 8 am (depart at 8:15) at the Gateway Trailhead at 18333 N. Thompson Parkway in Scottsdale.

This beautiful loop hike through the McDowell Sonoran Preserve climbs to several overlooks with sweeping views of the Valley to the south, the Verde Valley, Four Peaks, and Fountain Hills to the north. Along the way, we’ll enjoy the classic Sonoran Desert landscape.

Wear sturdy hiking boots, sunscreen, wide brimmed hat, and sunglasses. Bring a rain jacket, snacks, lunch, and plenty of water.

Non-members - $5 fee and non-members must call the hike leader before the hike.

Thursday, November 26, 2015
Food, hikes, games
Bev - 480 415-7147,

It's another Thanksgiving potluck and this year we will celebrate at the Cave Creek Recreation Area. Our day will begin with hikes scheduled at 8:30 am, 9:00 am, and 10:00 am. If you don't want to hike, come for the feast. Our feast of turkey, ham, and all the fixings will be served at 12:30 pm. That will be followed by either taking a short hike, playing group games with prizes, socializing, or going to the park's visitor center near our ramada.

This is a free event for AzOTC members and their guests. All we ask is that you bring a dish to share.

Please call/email the leader no later than Tuesday, November 24 to sign up, get directions to the park and our ramada, and let her know what dish you will be bringing.

You are invited to join us for all or part of the day. The guest fee is waived for this event.

3 Thanksgiving Day-Cave Creek Rec. Area Hikes:

RATINGS: B+, B, and C / LENGTHS: 7.5 mi, 6.5 mi, and

LEADERS: Bud, Grace, and Howard


You don't have to participate in the Thanksgiving potluck to hike! The following hikes will be led by 3 of our club members Thanksgiving morning. The meeting place for all three hikes will be at Ramada #3 in the Cave Creek Recreation area. There is a $6 per vehicle entry fee at the park - and you can park right next to our Ramada.

Please carry 2 quarts of water for Bud and Grace's hike, and 1 quart of water for Howard's hike. Sturdy hiking boots are recommended for Bud and Grace's hike. Salty snacks are a good idea for all hikes, but don't overdo it on the snacking as I'm sure everyone is going to be eating lots of food the rest of the day! The guest fee is waived for all Thanksgiving activities!

- Hike#1 will be led by Bud. This will be a fast paced, 7.2 mile loop encompassing some of the parks newest trails. He will start out on the Go John Trail, followed by the Quartz, Slate, and Jasper Trails before getting back onto the Go John Trail. This hike has more elevation gain than the other two hikes being offered, but with that said, you will only be climbing less than 1000 ft. Please meet Bud at Ramada #3 at 8:30 am. You can reach Bud at 303-868-0216.

- Hike #2 will be led by Grace. Grace will also lead a loop hike, but hers is 6.5 miles in length. This will be moderately paced with a little over 500 ft elevation gain. Grace's hike will begin on the Go-John Trail and end on the Overton trail. Please meet Grace at Ramada #3 at 9 am. You can reach Grace at 480-767-1727.

- Hike #3 will be led by Howard. Howard is leading a hike to Clay Mine. This is slow paced, less than 3 miles with minimal elevation. The trail is not typical of desert hiking, as there are few rocks on this wide trail. The treat on this hike is the old Clay Mine at your turn around point. The mine is fenced off, but is still a great place for picture taking. Please meet Howard at Ramada #3 at 10 am. Howard can be reached at 480-962-9321.

Friday, November 27, 2015
This activity has been changed.
C+ LENGTH: ~7 mi ELEV GAIN: <1000 ft PACE: Medium
"Missed The Turn Mark" -, 602-725-4993

Contact the leader for meeting location and time.

Send a turkeymail to the leader before 8 pm the Tuesday before or call me by then to be given the gravy on when and where to meet. Join "Missed The Turn Mark" for a seriously crooked loop hike in the shadow of Granite Mountain, west of Prescott.

We will park at Wekuvde picnic area and head out on Trail 351, to 345, and back on 347. This is a mostly flat, but still verdant hike below Granite Mountain. Let's do this in three hours or less. Possible encounters with horses and mountain bikers.

Apres hike? If the Iron Springs Cafe is open, it will be Cajun or black beans a plenty.

Bring water, sunscreen, hat, and boots. Be prepared for late November conditions in the Prescott area and a stop for a late
lunch afterwards. No shopping planned!

Cost to non-members is $5.

Friday, November 27, 2015 - 9:00am
C LENGTH: 4-5 mi ELEV GAIN: ~800 ft PACE: Medium
Jim D - 602-639-2702,

Meet at 9:00 am (depart at 9:15) at the Burger King, just south of US 60 at the NE corner of Power Rd. and Superstition Springs Blvd. or email Jim for directions to the trailhead.

This is a loop hike in an interesting wash, dirt road, and horse trail. Variety of trail conditions - sandy in the wash to sometimes rocky on the trail. Enjoy many scenic views of the beautiful Goldfield Mountains. The hike starts near a neighborhood at the end of Idaho Rd., but you soon disappear into the Goldfields.

Bring water, sunscreen, hat, and boots. Lunch and/or libations at the Mammoth Steakhouse and Saloon afterwards, if anyone is interested.

Cost to non-members is $5. Guests and new members should call the hike leader in advance.

Saturday, November 28, 2015 - 7:00am
A- LENGTH: 10.2 mi ELEV GAIN: 3728 ft PACE: Medium
Grace Chen - 480-767-1727

Meet at 7 am (depart at 7:15) at the McDonald’s parking lot on the east side of I-17 and on the Carefree Hwy.

Want to work out the Thanksgiving meal? Join us for this hike to the highest peak in southwestern Arizona. The peak elevation is 5681 ft. The last portion of the trail is a leg burner, climbing more than 1,400 feet in 0.75 miles. After reaching the peak, enjoy the spectacular view.

As an added bonus, learn how the microwave tower at the summit is used to control the gates of Central Arizona Project from Lake Havasu City to Tucson. This from our member, Rudy Gates, who erected the tower. Learn about how the water is distributed between CA, AZ and NV, the importance of water conservation and many more. This is guaranteed to be a very educational and informative hike.

Hiking poles are highly recommended to save the knees. Bring snacks, lunch, water, and layer your clothing, as it could be very windy on the top.

Cost to non-members is $5. Guests and new members should contact the hike leader prior to the hike.

Sunday, November 29, 2015 - 6:45am
A LENGTH: 16.5 mi ELEV GAIN: 3800 ft PACE: Fast (2.7 mph)
Dan -, 480-773-5197

Meet at 6:45 am. Contact hike leader for meetup location and to determine if this hike is right for you.

It’s a challenging out-and-back hike that will take us up Munds Wagon Trail to the top of Schnebly Hill, from where we’ll ascend a steep trail to the top of Munds Mountain. The long and strenuous climb will be rewarded, along the way and at the top, by fantastic views down upon Red Rock country, including many of the famous landmarks in Sedona and Oak Creek, from a little-used vantage point to the west.

Bring plenty of water and check the Sedona weather to dress appropriately.

Cost to non-members is $5.