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.

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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 February, 2018

Thursday, February 1, 2018 - 7:30am
B- LENGTH: 8.0 mi ELEV GAIN: 1,100 ft PACE: Medium
Bud Tasch –, 303-868-0216

Meet at 7:30 (depart at 7:45) at the Burger King on Power Road just south of Highway 60. 

This trail follows ATV and rugged jeep roads through a beautiful and narrow canyon with lichen-covered cliffs.  In places the canyon narrows to 15 feet.  Eventually, the route climbs to a higher ridge with views of Martinez and Box Canyons. ATV traffic should be minimal on a weekday. 

High-clearance vehicles are needed to access the trailhead.

Monday, February 5, 2018 - 7:30am
B LENGTH: 11.0 mi ELEV GAIN: 600 ft PACE: Fast (2.5-3.0 mph)
Dan Rothman -, 480-773-5197
Mark Miller - Mark Miller -, 623-640-5375

This month we’ll be hiking trails in Southern Region of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, starting from four different trailheads: WestWorld, Gateway, Tom’s Thumb and Golden Eagle (in Fountain Hills).  The hikes will range from easy to very difficult and the pace will vary accordingly.  

Meet at 7:30 am (start 7:35) at the WESTWORLD TRAILHEAD, located at 15939 N. 98th Street, at the intersection of 98th Street and McDowell Mountain Ranch Road (go to for further directions). 

This relatively flat and generally urban hike will take us from WestWorld to the end of the WestWorld Trail, near Cactus Road.  The elevation gain will come on the way back, where we’ll take a loop on the Taliesin and Quartz Trails.  The pace will be brisk, but the trails are flat and generally smooth. 

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

Wednesday, February 7, 2018 - 9:30am
C+ LENGTH: 5.4 mi ELEV GAIN: 1,100 ft PACE: Medium
Jim D –

Meet at 9:30 am (depart at 9:45) at the Burger King, just south of US 60 at the NE corner or Power Road and Superstition Springs Blvd. OR meet us at the Crosscut Trailhead no later than 10:15 am.  The signed Crosscut TH is a half mile down First Water Road off Highway 88. 

The hike ends atop a cliff overlooking Massacre Grounds, the site where according to legend, Apache warriors slaughtered a party of Mexican miners.  From there, we will have great views of the Superstitions, Goldfield Mountains, Four Peaks, Weaver’s Needle, bizarre rock formations and towering hoodoos.  Expect around 3.5 hours, which will include time for a snack. 

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

Wednesday, February 7, 2018 - 6:45pm

Location: Granite Reef Senior Center, located in Scottsdale on Granite Reef Road just north of McDowell Road.

All About Desert Edibles

How have people in the desert survived off the land for thousands of years?  Which desert plants are edible and when are they edible?  Can you get water from a cactus?  Discover the answers to these questions and more in this informative presentation by Ranger B from Usery Mountain Regional Park. 

Mark your calendars now for this one!

Monday, February 12, 2018 - 7:30am
B- LENGTH: 8.6 mi ELEV GAIN: 750 ft PACE: Medium (2.5 mph)
Dan Rothman -, 480-773-5197
Mark Miller -, 623-640-5375

Meet at 7:30 am (start 7:35) at the GATEWAY TRAILHEAD, located at 18333 N. Thompson Peak Road (go to for further directions). 

This is a good hike for beginners and intermediate hikers.  The hike itself is easy, fairly flat and moderately paced, and we’ll always be within a couple miles of our trailhead.  Nevertheless, the desert scenery is great and we may get lucky and see some wildflowers.  We’ll be exploring a number of the short trails located near the Gateway Trailhead itself, including the Bajada Nature Trail, Saguaro Loop Trail, Paradise Trail, Levee Trail, Crossover Trail, 104th Street Trail and Equestrian Bypass Trail. 

It’s still the desert, though, so bring plenty of water, snacks, electrolytes and wear sturdy hiking boots.  

Thursday, February 15, 2018 - 8:00am
This event has been canceled.
B- LENGTH: 8 mi ELEV GAIN: 1,200 ft PACE: Medium
Bud Tasch -, 303-868-0216

Meet at 8:00 (leave 8:15) at the south end of the Kohl’s parking lot on the NE corner of Arizona Avenue and Willis in Chandler (just south of the Arizona Avenue exit off the SOUTH 202 freeway (San Tan Freeway). 

This hike in the Tucson Mountain Park, which involves a short car shuttle, starts below Gates Pass and finishes at Gates Pass.  We will start at the Camino de Oeste trailhead, passing the ruins of the 1930’s Bowen Ranch.  We will then take a side trail to an overlook of Cat Mountain, before continuing up to Gates Pass and views of Saguaro National Park. 

There is an optional lunch stop at Bud’s favorite Mexican restaurant, Nana’s Kitchen in Marana.

Friday, February 16, 2018 - 10:00am
C LENGTH: 4 mi ELEV GAIN: 550 ft PACE: Medium
Jim D -

Meet at 10:00 am at the Water Users parking lot (east lot) on the Bush Highway. The west lot is where Salt River tubers are bussed, just below the Stewart Mountain Dam. Turn into this lot and make an immediate left to reach the meeting place. Email me if you need a photo drawing of the Water Users area. Display a Tonto pass or a National Park senior pass on your vehicle.

This is a scenic lasso hike on unnamed trails and sandy washes. Views from the highest hill include Saguaro Lake, Four Peaks, the McDowells, the Superstitions and the surrounding Goldfields. Trail conditions range from sandy to sometimes rocky trails. Hiking time will be around 2.5 hours.

Bring water and sunscreen. Hiking sticks would be helpful. Cost to non-members is $5. Only guests and new members need to contact the hike leader prior to the hike.

Saturday, February 17, 2018 - 7:00am
B+ LENGTH: 12.4 mi ELEV GAIN: 1,912 ft PACE: Medium
Grace Chen - 480-767-1727,

Meet at Wendy’s in Fountain Hills on Shea Blvd just west of Highway 87 at 7:00 am (depart at 7:15). We’ll carpool to the Barnhardt Trailhead and head up Barnhardt Canyon.

This is a “climber” but the beauty is worth it! We’ll start in desert scrub but as we gain elevation, we’ll encounter Ponderosas and small Oaks. At mile 2.5, we’ll encounter a highlight of this hike - a small seasonal waterfall nestled in a grotto just off the trail. Hopefully we’ll have rain by then and the waterfall will be gushing!  We’ll view some promontories and ledges on our way to over 6,200 ft. Last year at this time, the flowers were beautiful and prolific! If we are fortunate, we might find some strawberry claret cups blooming.  We’ll reach the Mazatzal Divide Trail at mile 5.5 miles and will descend to Chilson Springs where we’ll have lunch, then return to the trailhead via the same route.

Bring 2 – 3 liters of water, hiking poles, electrolytes, rain gear, high energy snacks and lunch. No dogs or children please. Cost to non-members is $5.

Monday, February 19, 2018
A- LENGTH: 14.5 mi ELEV GAIN: 2,500 ft PACE: Medium (2.5 mph)
Dan Rothman -, 480-773-5197
Mark Miller -, 623-640-5375

Call one of the leaders for the meeting time and to make sure this is the right hike for you.  It’s difficult but very rewarding.  We’ll meet at the GOLDEN EAGLE TRAILHEAD IN FOUNTAIN HILLS, located 3 miles north of Palisades Boulevard on East Golden Eagle Boulevard.  (The trailhead parking lot is located at the entrance to a gated community on Golden Eagle.  If you’d like to carpool to it from Route 101 and Shea Boulevard in Scottsdale, contact one of the leaders.) 

The hike begins in McDowell Mountain Regional Park in Fountain Hills and passes into the McDowell Sonoran Preserve in Scottsdale.  We’ll take a loop along the Dixie Mine, Coachwhip, Windmill, Bell Pass and Prospector Trails before ascending to Thompson Peak on a very steep but very good trail, paved near the top.  The views are great all along the way, and fantastic from the peak. 

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

Wednesday, February 21, 2018 - 7:30am
B LENGTH: 11.4 mi ELEV GAIN: 200 ft PACE: Medium
Dennis Weist -, 480-251-5965
Barbara Weist -, 480-529-4142

Meet at 7:30 am (depart at 7:45) at the Granite Mountain Trailhead in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve at 31042 N. 136th St. Scottsdale, just north of Dynamite Road - City of Scottsdale - Trailheads. 

We did this hike last June on a hot, sunny morning and we had a good turn-out and a great time and want to do this again in cooler temps. This gorgeous hike has stunning mountain views to the east and great rock formations along the hike and the best cactus display around; this trail just slides by. It is a lollipop hike through the Black Diamond bike trails on the North and South Diablo trails. These are easy for hikers but you can see why they warn those on bikes.

Bring plenty of water, snacks, hat, etc.  No water or toilets at trailhead.

Thursday, February 22, 2018 - 8:00am
Mark Miller - markm50@, 623-640-5375
Nancy Spence - nancyactpar@, 480-357-0996

Our segment: Black Mesa Trail in the Superstitions Mountains.

The trail originates two miles from First Water Trail Head and extends for three miles. We will be trimming brush and cacti back from the trail using tools provided by the forest service.  The event will start at 8:00AM at First Water Trail Head, where there will be an orientation and sign in. From there we will hike to the Black Mesa Trail where we trim the center section of the trail, then we will have trimmed the entire trail this hiking season. 

Bring and/or wear: long sleeve shirt, sturdy gloves and hat.  Also bring 3 liters of water, snacks and a lunch to enjoy while working. 

We have had great success with hard working people. Join us for this opportunity of exercise, camaraderie, contributing and getting dirty while improving our own hiking trail.

Saturday, February 24, 2018
A- LENGTH: 10 mi ELEV GAIN: 2,700 ft PACE: Medium
Mark Miller -, 623-640-5375
Won Fogel -, 414-659-5196

Contact one of the hike leaders for meetup details.

Driving north on I-17 past Anthem, Daisy Mountain appears as the tallest peak to the east. This is a seldom hiked trail by people of the valley. We will start at the trailhead at Anthem, proceed through several miles of gently and attractive Sonoran Desert landscape, then begin our ascent of the mountain. The climb is fun but challenging, especially considering that the trail builders did not believe in switchbacks. The views from the top of Daisy Mountain are great, with 360-degree views of the Superstitions and Goldfields to the southeast, Skull Mesa and Elephant Mountain in the Cave Creek wilderness and Phoenix to the south. From the top we'll continue along the ridgeline with even more great views of Anthem and New River before descending and re-ascending on a double lollipop loop.

Monday, February 26, 2018 - 7:30am
A- LENGTH: 9 mi ELEV GAIN: 1,200 ft PACE: Fast (2.5 - 3.0 mph)
Dan Rothman -, 480-773-5197
Mark Miller -, 623-640-5375

Meet at 7:30 am (start 7:35) at the Tom’s Thumb Trailhead located at 23015 N. 128th Street (go to for further directions). 

The Lookout, located on a high ridge off the Tom’s Thumb Trail, offers great and unobstructed views across the McDowell Mountains, Verde River Valley and McDowell Mountain Regional Park.  To get there, we’ll first hike a few of the trails near the Tom’s Thumb Trailhead, then ascend the Tom’s Thumb Trail to the Lookout Trail.  On the way down, we’ll complete our last hikes from Tom’s Thumb TH by covering a few of the short access trails near the parking area. 

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