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Past Hikes
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SCFH EVENTS

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Most events are free and have a limited number of openings. Pre-registration with the Town of Fountain Hills is required. Click on the course number to register.

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Wildflowers and Plants Found in the Preserve

Friday, March 01, 2024

9:00 AM to 11:00 AM

Location -

Adero Canyon Trailhead
14800 N Eagle Ridge Dr

Leader - 

Jan Jensen

Course

Jan Jensen and other stewards will lead this leisurely paced 2 hour interpretive walk in the Preserve. We can hope for a wonderful wildflower season. However, if the wildflowers fail to cooperate, there are many interesting plants to identify and discuss. Jan will show you how to use iNaturalist to identify plants so download this free app to your phone before you come. Bring 1 liter of water and snacks. Wear sturdy boots. Hiking poles recommended. No Dogs Please.

Birds - Sighting and Identification

Saturday, March 09, 2024

7:30 AM to 9:00 AM

Location -

Fountain Hills Desert Botanical Garden
11300 N Fountain Hills Blvd

Leader - 

Peter Herstein

Course

During this walk through the Fountain Hills Desert Botanical Garden with birder Peter Herstein you will be searching for birds, not only by sight but by sound. March is an excellent time for birding here - with over 15 different species sighting is a distinct possibility. Highlights could include Rock Wren, Lucy's Warbler, Gilded Flicker, and American Kestrel. Bring water, a hat, and binoculars if possible. Pete will also demonstrate the use of the ebird, Merlin and birdNET apps. Wear shoes or boots with grippy soles. Hiking poles recommended. Bring a bottle of water and snacks. No Dogs Pease.

First Quarter Moon Stargazing Hike

Thursday, March 14, 2024

7:30 PM to 9:00 PM

Location -

Adero Canyon Trailhead
14800 N Eagle Ridge Dr

Leader - 

Vicky Derksen
Janice Holden

Course

The SCFH invites you to join Vicky Derksen of Night Sky Tourist and the FH Dark Sky Association at the FH Preserve during the first quarter moon to observe the night skies. You might see a planet or two, and locate and identify constellations and their stars while Vicky recounts some myths and stories held by ancient cultures. After the hike the Star Dudes will point their telescopes at deep space objects that can't be seen with the naked eye. Bring preregistered children over 8 years, wear comfortable clothing, close-toed shoes, bring water, hiking poles if needed, and a red flashlight to protect everyone's night vision. Be prepared to hike approx. 2 miles. No pets please. Vicky Derksen is the host of the Night Sky Tourist podcast, President of the Fountain Hills Dark Sky Association and serves on the board of the International Dark Sky Discovery Center. You can find her online at nightskytourist.com.

Exercise Pace Hike - Dixie Mine to Windmill

Thursday, March 14, 2024

8:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Location -

Golden Eagle Trailhead
14425 Golden Eagle Dr

Leader - 

John Thompson

Course

Here is a new opportunity for those of you interested in a faster paced workout that doesn't take up much of your day. John Thompson will lead an exercise paced hike from the Golden Eagle Trailhead. He will take the Dixie Mine trail to Coachwhip to Windmill and then return. This will be an 8.5 mile out and back hike at about a 3 mile an hour pace. It will be sure to get your heart pumping. Bring 2-3 liters of water and salty snacks. There will be a short break before we turn around. There will be a second stop if needed. Wear sturdy boots. Hiking poles recommended. No dogs please. $2 entrance fee to the Regional Park.

Surviving with Plants in the Sonoran Desert

Saturday, March 16, 2024

9:00 AM to 11:00 AM

Location -

Fountain Hills Desert Botanical Garden
11300 N Fountain Hills Blvd

Leader - 

Bernie Finkel

Course

Bernie Finkel will lead an interpretive walk through the Fountain Hills Desert Botanical Garden demonstrating how the Native Americans of the Sonoran Desert used and related to their plants to survive. Wear shoes or boots with grippy soles. Hiking poles recommended. Bring a bottle of water and snacks. No dogs please.

Easy Pace Hikes at Sunrise - North Leg Trail

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

6:30 AM to 8:30 AM

Location -

Adero Canyon Trailhead
14800 N Eagle Ridge Dr

Leader - 

Cathy Pepperd

Course

Are you an early bird looking for an early morning hike that isn't too far, too fast, or too hard? Then this series of hikes is for you and perfect to introduce new hikers to the Preserve. Cathy Pepperd will again lead a nearby hike starting at sunrise. This hike will take the Promenade to our newest trail, the North Leg, and follow it to the end for a 3 mile out and back hike. Bring 2 liters of water and snacks. Wear sturdy boots. Hiking poles recommended. No dogs please.

Spanish Ruins - Payson

Friday, March 22, 2024

8:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Location -

Library to Carpool

Leader - 

Pam Cissik
Larry Mills

Course

The Spanish Ruins are located on top of a ridge with incredible views. The ruins appear to be a rock corral with one side the edge of a cliff. But who built and used it is a mystery. We will also see a row of grinding holes evidencing Native American use. To access this site, we have an uphill hike on an old road and then follow an informal trail with a bit of scrambling at the end. Total hike distance is about 4 miles. We have a 1.5 hour drive to the start of our hike. Part of it is on a dirt road so low clearance vehicles are not recommended. Lunch afterwards in Payson for those interested. Bring 2 liters of water and snacks. Wear sturdy boots. Long sleeve shirts and pants recommended. Hiking poles suggested. No dogs please.

Wild Horses Photography with your Mobile Phone

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

8:30 AM to 11:00 AM

Location -

Library to Carpool

Leader - 

Paul Stark

Course

Learn how to capture the beauty of the wild horses using your I-Phone. Join Paul Stark and learn how to get better photos of the horses with interesting backgrounds and experiment with the zoom on your phone compared with cropping later. Although Paul will be using an I-Phone, most tips will also apply to Android phones. We will travel to a spot by the Salt River or Bush Highway. A National Parks pass, Senior Pass or Tonto National Forest day pass is required. If you need a day pass, you can purchase one online at https://www.myscenicdrives.com/store/item/forest-passes/tonto. Bring a fully charged cell phone, water, snacks, and wear closed toed shoes and a hat. No dogs please.

Introduction to the Plants of the Fountain Hills Desert Botanical Garden

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

9:00 AM to 11:00 AM

Location -

Fountain Hills Desert Botanical Garden
11300 N Fountain Hills Blvd.

Leader - 

Bernie Finkel

Course

The Fountain Hills Desert Botanical Garden should be in full bloom in early April and an excellent time to learn about the plants in the Garden. Bernie Finkel will discuss the strategies that plants have adopted in the harsh environment of the Sonoran Desert. We will look at some of the special properties of these plants and how they were utilized by the early people of the desert. Bring water and wear a hat. Wear shoes or boots with grippy soles. Hiking poles recommended. Bring a bottle of water and snacks. No Dogs Please!

Exploring the Arizona Trail - Bushnell Tanks

Thursday, April 04, 2024

8:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Location -

Library to Carpool

Leader - 

Nancy Whitton

Course

The Arizona National Scenic Trail is a non-motorized trail stretching 800 miles from Utah to Mexico. We are fortunate to live near several easy to access sections of the trail. This is an out and back hike following a 4-5 mile section (8-10 miles total). We will access the trail from the Bushnell Tank turnoff on Highway 87. This is a moderate hike with the potential of wonderful wildflowers. If the wildflowers don't cooperate, there will still be excellent views on this hike. There are two water crossings so some rock hopping or wading may be required. The water level will be dependent on how much rainfall we receive over the winter. Bring 2-3 liters of water and snacks or lunch. Wear sturdy boots you don't mind getting wet. Hiking poles recommended. No dogs please.

Easy Pace Hikes at Sunrise - Andrews-Kinsey Trail

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

6:00 AM to 8:30 AM

Location -

Adero Canyon Trailhead
14800 N Eagle Ridge Dr

Leader - 

Cathy Pepperd

Course

Are you an early bird looking for an early morning hike that isn't too far, too fast, or too hard? Then this series of hikes is for you and perfect to introduce new hikers to the Preserve. Cathy Pepperd will again lead a nearby hike starting at sunrise. This hike will follow the Andrew-Kinsey trail for about 2 miles, for an out and back hike of 3.5 to 4 miles. Bring 2 liters of water and snacks. Wear sturdy boots. Hiking poles recommended. No dogs please.

Birds Early Evening

Thursday, April 25, 2024

5:30 PM to 7:00 PM

Location -

Fountain Hills Desert Botanical Garden
11300 N Fountain Hills Blvd

Leader - 

Peter Herstein

Course

During this walk through the Fountain Hills Desert Botanical Garden with Birder Peter Herstein, you will be looking for birds before they roost for the evening. The garden in the late afternoon at this time of year has quite a bit of shade. It is an excellent time for a late afternoon walk, with over 15 different species sighting is a distinct possibility. We will be specifically looking and listening for Lesser Nighthawks and Ash throated Flycatchers. We will be identifying birds both by sight and song. Peter will also demonstrate the use of ebird, Merlin and birdNET apps. Wear shoes or boots with grippy soles. Hiking poles recommended. Bring a bottle of water and snacks. No dogs please.

Moonless Stargazing Hike

Monday, April 29, 2024

8:00 PM to 9:30 PM

Location -

Adero Canyon Trailhead
14800 N Eagle Ridge Dr

Leader - 

Vicky Derksen
Janice Holden

Course

The SCFH invites you to join Vicky Derksen of Night Sky Tourist and the FH Dark Sky Association at the FH Preserve on this moonless evening to observe the night skies with less moonlight interference. You might see a planet or two, and locate and identify constellations and their stars while Vicky recounts some myths and stories held by ancient cultures. After the hike the Star Dudes will point their telescopes at deep space objects that can't be seen with the naked eye. Bring preregistered children over 8 years, wear comfortable clothing, close-toed shoes, bring water, hiking poles if needed, and a red flashlight to protect everyone's night vision. Be prepared to hike approx. 2 miles. No pets please. Vicky Derksen is the host of the Night Sky Tourist podcast, President of the Fountain Hills Dark Sky Association and serves on the board of the International Dark Sky Discovery Center. You can find her online at nightskytourist.com.

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