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Past Hikes
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SCFH EVENTS

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Registration opened on August 7th!

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.

Winter/Spring events will be posted later in the year.

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The Milky Way and the Summer Triangle

Friday, September 08, 2023

8:30 PM to 9:30 PM

Location -

Adero Canyon Trailhead 14800 N Eagle Ridge Dr

Leader - 

Vicky Derksen
Janice Holden

Course

Eighty percent of the people on Earth can no longer see the Milky Way from where they live. If the conditions are just right, we might be able to catch a trace of it from the McDowell Mountain Preserve on this night. Vicky will also show us how to find the Summer Triangle, a special grouping of three bright stars that can be used to find the Milky Way. As always, she’ll share some star stories associated with those three stars and their constellations. This is not a hike. Bring preregistered children over 8 years, wear comfortable clothing, close-toed shoes, bring water, and a black light if looking for scorpions. 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

Birds - Sighting and Identification

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

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 Desert Botanical Garden with birder Peter Herstein you will be searching for birds, not only by sight, but by sound. October is an excellent time for birding here, with viewing of over 15 different species a distinct possibility.  Highlights could include Rock Wren, Gilded Flicker, Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, White-crowned Sparrow and Lincoln's Sparrow.  Bring water and a hat, and binoculars if possible. Peter 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 Please!

First Quarter Moon Stargazing Hike

Friday, October 20, 2023

7:00 PM to 8:30 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 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. Don't miss these increasingly. popular hikes. 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. 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.

What's in my Pack & Intro to Desert Safety

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

9:00 AM to 10:30 AM

Location -

Adero Canyon Trailhead
14800 N Eagle Ridge Dr

Leader - 

Yvonne Massman
Lori Stauffer
Janice Holden

Course

As the hiking season kicks off and in time for this year's Fountain Hills November Hike Challenge, join us for a review of What's in My Pack. Whether you're new to hiking or have had the same contents in your backpack for years, it's time to refresh. In addition, your brief intro to desert safety will include an overview of CPR and using an AED. This information can be life saving in the desert, at home and in public spaces. You wiill also receive a link to a 20 minute video on our You Tube channel with basic First Aid practices for hiking in the. Preserve. You'll learn from two professionals who have been managing first aid and saving lives in the Sonoran Desert - Yvonne Massman, Natural Resources Coordinator, McDowell Sonoran Preserve and Lori Stauffer, Public Information Officer, Community Relations, Scottsdale Fire Dep.

November Challenge Kickoff
Lake Overlook Trail

Wednesday, November 01, 2023

8:00 AM to 11:00 AM

Location -

Fountain Park
Red Yucca Ramada

Leader - 

Various

Course

Join SCFH leaders and volunteers to kick-off the hiking season and the Fountain Hills Hiking Challenge. Stop by at 8:00 a.m. for coffee and cookies and to chat with SCFH leaders. At 9:00 a.m. we will hike the 2 mile Lake Overlook trail. Those that wish to do more can add a mile by walking the circumference of Fountain Park. Bring 1 liter of water; wear shoes with grippy soles; hiking poles recommended. No dogs please! Registration for the November Challenge is encouraged but not required to join this hike. Separate registration for all SCFH hikes is required!

Moonless Stargazing Hike

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

7:00 PM to 8:30 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 identiify 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. Don't miss these increasingly popular hikes. 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. 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.

Sonoran Loop

Thursday, November 09, 2023

8:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Location -

Adero Canyon Trailhead
14800 N Eagle Ridge Dr

Leader - 

Dell Ouimet
Cindy Ouimet

Course

This is a moderately difficult 5.5 mile lollipop hike. We follow the Promenade trail to its end. Then we will take the Sonoran and Lower Sonoran Trails for a loop hike. This hike can also be shortened by taking one of two crossovers to the alternate trail. Bring 2 liters of water. and snacks; wear sturdy boots; hiking poles recommended. No dogs please! This hike is included in the November Challenge. Registration for the November Challenge is encouraged but not required to join this hike. Separate registration for all SCFH hikes is required!

Ridgeline Loop

Monday, November 13, 2023

8:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Location -

Adero Canyon Trailhead
14800 N Eagle Ridge Dr

Leader - 

Cheryl Piccirilli

Course

This moderately difficult hike will take in the entire 4.5 mile Ridgeline Loop. The Ridgeline trails are accessed from the Adero Canyon Trailhead. The Ridgeline follows the top of a ridge overlooking Adero Canyon. The Lower Ridgeline and the spur to a scenic overlook provide views to the east. Bring 2 liters of water and snacks; wear sturdy boots; hiking poles recommended. No dogs please! This hike is included in the November Challenge. Registration for the November Challenge is encouraged but not required to join this hike. Separate registration for all SCFH hikes is required!

Easy Pace Hikes at Sunrise
North Leg Trail

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

7:00 AM to 9:00 AM

Location -

Adero Canyon Trailhead
14800 N Eagle Ridge Dr

Leader - 

Cathy Pepperd

Course

Cathy Pepperd will again lead monthly hikes for those that enjoy an early morning hike that isn't too far, too fast or too hard. This month she will hike the North Leg Trail, the newest trail in the Preserve. The Trail is accessed from the Promenade Trail, about 1/2 mile from the Adero Canyon Trailhead. It follows a ridge about 1 mile, descending almost the entire way. So even though this hike is short, be prepared for an uphill hike on the return! Bring 2 liters of water and snacks; wear sturdy boots; hiking poles recommended. No dogs please! This hike is included in the November Challenge. Registration for the November Challenge is encouraged but not required to join this hike. Separate registration for all SCFH hikes is required!

Andrews-Kinsey to the Hitching Post

Monday, November 20, 2023

8:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Location -

Adero Canyon Trailhead
14800 N Eagle Ridge Dr

Leader - 

Pam Cissik
Larry Mills

Course

This is a 6 mile out and back moderately difficult hike starting from the Adero Canyon Trailhead. The trail climbs as it winds through the Adero Canyon to the Sunrise Trail with its hitching post. Those that want an extra challenge may opt to continue another 1/2 mile and climb to the top of Sunrise Peak. Bring 2 liters of water and snacks; wear sturdy boots; hiking poles recommended. No dogs please! This hike is included in the November Challenge. Registration for the November Challenge is encouraged but not required to join this hike. Separate registration for all SCFH hikes is required!

Walk off the Turkey
Dixie Mine, Coachwhip, Windmill, Bell Pass and Prospector Loop

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

8:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Location -

Golden Eagle Trailhead 14425 E Golden Eagle Dr

Leader - 

Nancy Whitton
Jude Martin

Course

This is an 11 mile exercise-paced difficult hike designed to work off some of those calories you are collecting over the holidays! This challenging loop goes through both the McDowell Mountain Regional Park and the Scottsdale McDowell Sonoran Preserve. $2 entrance fee to the regional park. Bring 3 liters of water, snacks and lunch; wear sturdy boots, hiking poles recommended. No dogs please!

Apache Tears, Mining and Rock Art

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

8:00 AM to 2:00 PM

Location -

Library to Carpool

Leader - 

Dell Ouimet
Cindy Ouimet

Course

This is a 5 mile moderate hike that explores some new areas near the Perlite Mine. Perlite is volcanic glass commonly known as Apache Tears. The route we plan to take on this hike will go through a historic mining area where we may find the tracks of wagons used to haul ore. We will also look at a shelter along a rock wall where rock art can be found. We may be crossing a stream bed so wear boots you don't mind getting wet. Bring 2 liters of water and lunch; hiking poles recommended. No dogs please! One hour drive to the trailhead with a mid-afternoon return. Please reimburse drivers for gas.

Rock On in the FH McDowell Mountain Preserve

Thursday, December 7, 2023

9:00 AM to 11:00 AM

Location -

Adero Canyon Trailhead
14800 N Eagle Ridge Dr

Leader - 

Dan Gruber

Course

Back by popular demand, the SCFH invites you to join Dan Gruber as he leads you on an informative hike in the FH McDowell Mountain Preserve. Dan will talk about the different rocks, the stories they tell about local geological history and their importance to the area, among other interesting facts about the Preserve. Wear comfortable clothing, close-toed shoes with ‘grippy’ soles; bring a hat, water, snacks and hiking poles if needed. No dogs please.

Western Loop and North Leg Trails

Monday, December 11, 2023

8:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Location -

Adero Canyon Trailhead
14800 N Eagle Ridge Dr

Leader - 

Steve Ehrlich

Course

This is a 4 mile more difficult hike involving 2 climbs but we will not be rushing! We climb to the top of the Western Loop - a steep rocky climb. We also hike the new North Leg Trail which descends for about 1 mile as it follows a ridgeline to its end. So even though the trail is short be prepared for an uphill hike on the return. Bring 2 liters of water and snacks; wear sturdy boots; hiking poles recommended. No dogs please!

Celebrating the holidays with an art walk, lights, hot chocolate and cookies!

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

3:30 PM to 6:30 PM

Location -

Fountain Hills Community Center 13001 N La Montana Dr

Leader - 

Cathy Pepperd

Course

What better way to get into a festive mood then to do an art walk, enjoy the holiday lights, and share some hot chocolate and cookies! We will meet at the Community Center for a 2.5 mile walk exploring the outdoor art work in downtown Fountain Hills. At 150 pieces, Fountain Hills is home to one of the largest public art collections in the state of Arizona. We will walk past the outdoor artwork found around the Community Center, the Avenue of the Fountains and Fountain Park. We will enjoy some hot chocolate and cookies as well! Learn more about the art work and view a map at: https://www.fountainhillsaz.gov/260/Public-Art. Bring a liter of water and snacks. Wear sturdy shoes. No dogs please!

First Quarter Moon Stargazing Hike

Saturday, December 16, 2023

7:00 PM to 8:30 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 to 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. Don't miss these increasingly popular hikes. 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. 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.

Easy Pace Hikes at Sunrise
Lake Overlook Trail

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

7:30 AM to 9:30 AM

Location -

Performance Pad Fountain Park Saguaro Blvd & Palisades Blvd

Leader - 

Cathy Pepperd

Course

Cathy Pepperd will again lead monthly hikes for those that enjoy an early morning hike that isn't too far, too fast or too hard. This month she will hike the 2 mile Lake Overlook Trail. If those participating wish to go further, an additional mile can be added by hiking the circumference of the park. Bring 1 liter of water and snacks; wear sturdy boots; hiking poles recommended. No dogs please!

South Mountain Loop

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

8:00 AM to 2:00 PM

Location -

Library to Carpool

Leader - 

Nancy Whitton
Jude Martin

Course

This is a 6.5 mile exercised-pace difficult hike that will take you up to the top of South Mountain. South Mountain Park is one of the largest city parks in the nation and this hike will give you an opportunity to explore part of it. It is, however, a difficult hike with a climb at the start comparable to the Tom's Thumb Trail. If you haven't tried the Tom's Thumb Trail we recommend you do so before signing up for this hike. For this hike, we will drop vehicles at the Mormon Trailhead, walk city streets to the start of the Geronimo Trail. Most of our climbing will be on the Geronimo Trail. We then follow the National Trail to the Mormon Trail to return to our vehicles. Bring 2-3 liters of water, snacks and lunch; wear sturdy boots; hiking boots recommended. No dogs please! One hour drive to the trailhead. Please reimburse drivers for gas.

Peralta Trail to Lone Tree

Thursday, December 28, 2023

8:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Location -

Library to Carpool

Leader - 

Pam Cissik
Larry Mills

Course

This is a 5.5 mile difficult hike that climbs to Fremont Saddle and a breathtaking view of Weavers Needle in the Superstition Mountains. From the saddle we will do a short hike to the Lone Pine, another spectacular setting. We return the way we came. The climb up to Fremont Saddle has an elevation gain similar to Tom's Thumb so you should be familiar with that hike before signing up for this one. However, we will do this hike at a moderate, rather than exercise, pace. You will have plenty of time at the saddle and at Lone Pine to savor the views. Due to a 7 mile dirt road drive to the trailhead, it will take us about 1.5 hours to reach the trailhead. High clearance vehicles are preferred due to the dirt road. Bring 2-3 liters of water, snacks and lunch; wear sturdy boots; hiking boots recommended. No dogs please! Please reimburse drivers for gas.

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