April events at Saguaro National Park - Tucson News Now

April events at Saguaro National Park

(Source: National Park Service) (Source: National Park Service)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Saguaro National Park is offering a variety of walks and talks that explore the park’s wonderful natural and cultural histories. Program listings also are available on the park’s website, www.nps.gov/sagu, or visit us on Facebook. Interpretive programs are free, but park entrance fees apply. Be sure to call in advance to make your reservations, as some events require them. 

Naturalist Programs at Tucson Mountain District (West District):

April 4, 18  10:15 a.m.   Mountain Lions: Beyond the Myth     Talk: 45 minutes
Envision a puma stalking its prey, then uncover the true nature of this elusive but essential predator. Misunderstood, maligned, and nearly eradicated by settlers, the cougar remains threatened by human encroachment. Wheelchair accessible
 
April 8, 15, 22, 29  3:15 p.m.   Cooking With Prickly Pear     Talk: 30 minutes     
Learn how you can incorporate prickly pear into your diet. This program will show you how to collect and prepare prickly pear. Prepare for a sweet treat! Wheelchair accessible
 
April 21, 28    9:45 a.m.     The Plants Tell All      Walk: 2 hours, 1 1/2 miles
Plants are the foundation of the web of life. Join a park naturalist to learn the secrets of what ties the plants and animals of the Sonoran Desert together. Plant survival, insects and spiders, birds and mammals -- nothing is off limits for discussion on this discovery trek through the desert. For this moderate walk, closed-toed shoes, a hat, and water are required. 
 
April 3, 4, 7, 11, 17, 18, 21, 25, 28   2:15 p.m. Creepy Crawlers: The Silent - Majority   Talk: 30 minutes
Learn about some of our most feared and misunderstood arthropods who call this park home. Come discover how essential they are for our desert community and why we shouldn’t fear these mostly harmless creatures. Wheelchair accessible
 
April 10, 17, 24   3:15 p.m.    Raptors!  Talk: 30 minutes 
Southern Arizona and the Sonoran Desert Region are renowned for the large variety of animal and plant species, especially birds, that can be found in the area. Among the most fascinating of those are the raptors, top predators of the avian world, who either live here year-round, or migrate through the area. Wheelchair accessible
 
April  8, 15, 22   10:15 a.m. Picture This...Life Through A Different Lens    Talk and Walk: 45 minutes. 
April 14    2:15 p.m.; April 7, 21   3:15 p.m.
Experience the desert from a whole new view with this interactive photography program; designed to present the basics of photography while evoking emotional connections with the desert.
 
April 10, 24   11:15 a.m.   Life Cycle of the Saguaro: Seed to Giant   Talk: 45 minutes
Hear some astonishing reasons about why so few Saguaro seeds make it to fruition. Wheelchair accessible.

Naturalist Programs at the Rincon Mountain District (East, 3693 S. Old Spanish Trail):

April 2, 9, 16, 23, 30         2:00 p.m.       The Adventures of Thelma the Tortoise            Presentation
Go on a fantastic trip across the Sonoran Desert with one adventurous tortoise who called Saguaro National park her home – until she set her eye on farther horizons! Accessible Program
 
April 3, 10, 17, 24                     11:00 a.m.         Not So Creepy Crawlies            Presentation
Come discover the fascinating world of snakes, insects and arachnids that live in Saguaro National Park in this 30-minute presentation. Accessible Program
 
April 3, 10           2:00 p.m.       Here Come the Hummers         Presentation
Discover these tiny winged jewels that call Arizona their home. Accessible Program
 
April 4, 11, 25   11:00 a.m.         History of the Rincon Valley     Guided Hike
Take a stroll down the Hope Camp and Ridge View Trails and learn about the homesteaders and ranchers who settled here, as well as other aspects of the Rincon and Tanque Verde Valleys. Comfortable walking shoes and water are recommended.
 
April 5, 12, 19, 26         10:00 a.m.         Life and the Desert       Tour/Activity
Explore the basic principles and structures of life. Then, use this knowledge to investigate life in the desert to determine the forces various species have had to overcome and the adaptations those species have acquired to thrive in the desert. Accessible program
 
April 5, 19, 26   3:00 p.m.          Night as Day: Nocturnal Life in Saguaro National Park   Presentation
Discover the ecological community that comes to life in the nighttime, including nocturnal animals, night-blooming plants and pollinators. Accessible Program
 
April 6              9:00 a.m.          Douglas Spring Hike    Guided Hike
Come explore the sights along the Douglas Spring Trail, including Bridal Wreath Falls (will there be water?) and Wildhorse Tank. This is 5-mile, 4-hour hike. Sturdy hiking shoes, water and a trail snack are recommended.
 
April 7              2:00 p.m.          Drive-Thru Geology  
   Auto Tour
Hop in your car for a journey through 25 million years of earth history…in one hour! We’ll observe the varied landforms of the desert – bajadas, washes, outcrops – and find out why geology students from around the world come to see the Rincon Mountain foothills. (Hint: it’s the mylonitic gneiss!)
 
April 7                6:00 p.m.                  Sunset Hike                    Guided Hike
Join a park guide to take a short hike up to a rocky overlook of the Tucson Basin.   Nature will determine how good the sunset is, but bring your camera just in case it’s a famous Arizona sundown!
 
April 8, 15, 22               5:15 p.m.          Closing Time at the Ridge View Trail   Guided Hike
Join park staff to hike up the Ridge View Trail to watch and capture the sunset. Water and a flashlight are required on this1.8 mile hike, roughly 2 hours. Reservations are required. Call the Visitor Center at (520) 733-5153.
 
April 9, 23           9:30   a.m.      Cristate Crusaders        Guided Hike      
Admire and discover 4 of the most assessable crested saguaros off the Cactus Forest Loop. The tour will take 2 hours, including 2 miles of hiking. Comfortable walking shoes and water are recommended.
 
April 12                        7:00 p.m.            Star Party                   Illustrated Program & Activity
Join park naturalists for an introduction to astronomy and a look at the desert night sky. Telescopes and binoculars will be available. Reservations are required. Call the Visitor Center at (520) 733-5153. Accessible Program

Both visitor centers are open daily from 9 am to 5 pm, except Christmas Day.

  • Red Hills Visitor Center  (Saguaro WEST) - 2700 North Kinney Road Tucson, AZ 85743  (520) 733-5158                            
  • Rincon Mountain Visitor Center  (Saguaro EAST) - 3693 South Old Spanish Trail Tucson, AZ  85730 (520) 733-5153

For more information about Saguaro National Park and some of its partners, Friends of Saguaro National Park, Western National Parks Association, and the Rincon Institute, visit these websites:
www.nps.gov/sagu
www.wnpa.org  
www.friendsofsaguaro.org
www.rinconinstitute.org

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