Road Scholar educational adventures are created by Elderhostel,
the not-for-profit world leader in lifelong learning since 1975.


Call (800) 454-5768

Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET


Create an account                             Forgot your password?

or Log In via Facebook

Log in to see all you can do with your online Road Scholar account.

BEGINS IN: MESA, ARIZONA

Hiking Arizona's Sonoran Desert: Exploring the Superstition Mountains

Select a Date

 

SIGN UP

and receive your

FREE E-NEWSLETTER

&

E-Photo Book:



Top 10 Learning Experiences Around the World

Find A Program

Search By:

Location

AZ

Interest

Walking/Hiking

Price Range

$700 - $1000

Start Date

End Date

More Options


Road Scholar
Program #19723RJ
7 Days | 6 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Challenging
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Elevation Note
4,500 to 5,000 feet first 4 days; under 3,500 feet next 2 days.

Itinerary for Feb 19 — Feb 25, 2015

Expand all
Type: Hotel

Description: Seven floor hotel close to restaurants, Fiesta Mall and golf courses.

Contact info:
902 W Grove Ave
Mesa, AZ 85210-4930 USA
phone: 480-844-8747
web: www.lq.com

Room amenities: Cable TV, individually controlled air conditioning, coffee maker, hair dryer, iron / board, alarm clock, free high speed internet access, dataport phones.

Facility amenities: Outdoor pool, fitness center, local shuttle available, laundry services, continental breakfast, hot tub, free local calls.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Seasonal
Call hotel for rates in effect during your dates of stay.

Check in time: 1:00 PM


Day One: Thursday, February 19 - Orientation and Introductions
Afternoon: Participants check in to La Quinta Mesa West after 3:00 PM. Program registration in hotel meeting room anytime between 4:30-5:15 PM.

Dinner: Dinner at a nearby restaurant.

Evening: Introductions and orientation in the motel meeting room following dinner. This program is Activity Level "Challenging". Come prepared to hike with proper equipment and in good physical shape through regular aerobic exercise. Hikes will be on both established trails and “off trail” routes with uneven terrain, high steps, desert vegetation and rocky areas. Hikes are usually conducted as one group with a hike leader and a sweep. See the Daily Schedule for more detailed information. NOTE: Each day's destination is dependent on the current weather and/or road conditions and/or participants abilities, and may change to other days of the week or alternative destinations.

Lodging: Mesa West La Quinta Inn & Suites

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Seven floor hotel close to restaurants, Fiesta Mall and golf courses.

Contact info:
902 W Grove Ave
Mesa, AZ 85210-4930 USA
phone: 480-844-8747
web: www.lq.com

Room amenities: Cable TV, individually controlled air conditioning, coffee maker, hair dryer, iron / board, alarm clock, free high speed internet access, dataport phones.

Facility amenities: Outdoor pool, fitness center, local shuttle available, laundry services, continental breakfast, hot tub, free local calls.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Seasonal
Call hotel for rates in effect during your dates of stay.

Check in time: 1:00 PM


Day Two: Friday, February 20 - Hike in the Superstition Mountains/ Evening progr...
Note: 7.4 miles loop with 1020 feet of elevation gain.

Breakfast: Enjoy a continental breakfast at the hotel including waffles, hot and cold cereal, bread and muffins, fresh fruit, all-you-can-drink coffee and juice, milk, hard boiled eggs, oatmeal, and yogurt.

Morning: Each day's destination is dependent on the current weather and/or road conditions and/or participants abilities, and may change to other days of the week or alternative destinations. Typical hiking distances are 6-10 miles with 600-1500 feet of elevation change. Pass Mountain Trail: We start off the week with a hike outside of the Superstition Mountains at the Usery Mountain Regional Park on the outskirts of town. The Pass Mountain Trail provides a good introduction to the Sonoran Desert and great views of the Superstitions in the distance. This trail is a 7.4 miles loop with 1020 feet of elevation gain. You'll see a variety of plants adapted to desert conditions including the stately Saguaro cactus, chainfruit and teddy bear cholla cacti, Palo Verde trees and seasonal wild flowers.

Lunch: Sack lunches along the trail.

Afternoon: Continue hike, return to the La Quinta in late afternoon.

Dinner: Dinner at a nearby restaurant.

Evening: Evening program on the Geology, Human History or Natural History of the Superstition Mountains and the surrounding area.

Lodging: Mesa West La Quinta Inn & Suites

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Seven floor hotel close to restaurants, Fiesta Mall and golf courses.

Contact info:
902 W Grove Ave
Mesa, AZ 85210-4930 USA
phone: 480-844-8747
web: www.lq.com

Room amenities: Cable TV, individually controlled air conditioning, coffee maker, hair dryer, iron / board, alarm clock, free high speed internet access, dataport phones.

Facility amenities: Outdoor pool, fitness center, local shuttle available, laundry services, continental breakfast, hot tub, free local calls.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Seasonal
Call hotel for rates in effect during your dates of stay.

Check in time: 1:00 PM


Day Three: Saturday, February 21 - Hiking in the Sonoran Desert in the Southern Supe...
Note: 6 miles and 1400 feet.

Breakfast: Enjoy a breakfast buffet at the hotel.

Morning: Peralta Cave Trail Loop: The trail starts out in the relatively lush riparian foliage along the wash. As you climb towards Fremont Saddle out of the wash, the vegetation thins and become more desert like, with a lot of bare rock. The view of Weaver's Needle from the Saddle is good, but with a short walk out the Weavers Needle Overlook Ridge the view gets even better with views down into the labyrinth of needles guarding the needle. The hike returns on the Cave Trail for 6 miles and 1400 feet. This off the beaten track route takes us down a ridgeline with magnificent views past brilliantly colored lichen on walls of volcanic tuff and some steep sections where you will learn to trust your boots. NOTE: Each day's destination is dependent on the current weather and/or road conditions and/or participants abilities, and may change to other days of the week or alternative destinations.

Lunch: Sack lunches along the trail.

Afternoon: Continue hike, return to the hotel in late afternoon.

Dinner: Dinner at a nearby restaurant.

Evening: Evening program on the Geology, Human History or Natural History of the Superstition Mountains and the surrounding area.

Lodging: Mesa West La Quinta Inn & Suites

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Lodge

Description: Beautiful remote and scenic lodging site overlooking Apache Lake in the heart of Salt River Canyon. Quick and easy access into the adjacent Superstition Mountains.

Contact info:
AZ 88 about 13 miles northeast of Tortilla Flat
Tortilla Flat, AZ 85290 USA
phone: 928-467-2511
web: www.apachelake.com

Room amenities: Air conditioning; cable TV.

Facility amenities: Lake swimming; restaurant; full-service marina.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Additional nights after: Call for rates
Call for rates and availability, Apache Lake Marina and Resort (928) 467-2511.

Check out time: 10:00 AM

Day Four: Sunday, February 22 - Hike Hieroglyphics Trail in the southern Supersti...
Hike Hieroglyphics Trail in the southern Superstition Mountains/Drive to the Apache Lake Resort

Note: 3 miles and about 600 feet.

Breakfast: Enjoy a breakfast buffet at the hotel.

Morning: Hieroglyphics Trail After Breakfast, pack up. Load luggage into the vans, then we depart for an easier hike. Hieroglyphics Trail starts out in fields of Saguaro Cacti, Jumping Cholla Cacti, Palo Verde, Creosote, and other desert plants. The trail climbs to Hieroglyphics Canyon, and follows the drainage up to the rock art which is more accurately called petroglyphs. The hike is about 3 miles round trip with about 600 feet in elevation. Then we are off for the exciting ride to the Apache Lake Resort. NOTE: Each day's destination is dependent on the current weather and/or road conditions and/or participants abilities, and may change to other days of the week or alternative destinations.

Lunch: Sack lunches along the way.

Afternoon: After lunch, continue our hike and check in to Apache Lake Resort.

Dinner: Dinner at Apache Lake Resort

Evening: Free Evening.

Lodging: Apache Lake Resort

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Lodge

Description: Beautiful remote and scenic lodging site overlooking Apache Lake in the heart of Salt River Canyon. Quick and easy access into the adjacent Superstition Mountains.

Contact info:
AZ 88 about 13 miles northeast of Tortilla Flat
Tortilla Flat, AZ 85290 USA
phone: 928-467-2511
web: www.apachelake.com

Room amenities: Air conditioning; cable TV.

Facility amenities: Lake swimming; restaurant; full-service marina.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Additional nights after: Call for rates
Call for rates and availability, Apache Lake Marina and Resort (928) 467-2511.

Check out time: 10:00 AM

Day Five: Monday, February 23 - Hiking in the Sonoran Desert in the northern Supe...
Note: 7.5 miles and 1600 vertical feet.

Breakfast: Breakfast at Apache Lake Resort

Morning: First Water Trailhead/Canyon Lake Trailhead Keypass Hike: Today, half the group parks at each trailhead and hikes towards the other, trading keys in the middle. From the First Water Trailhead, we hike towards Garden Valley starting in a usually dry wash, leading to a mesquite and chainfruit cholla "forest". Near the trail you will see Ruins of an ancient house with pot sherds and stone metates used for grinding corn. As the trail descends down to Boulder Canyon, it is steeper but still fairly easy. From the Canyon Lake trailhead we climb up a hill with views of the Canyon Lake area, levels off for a while, then descends down into the Boulder Canyon drainage. Somewhere near the Indian Paint Mine, where they extracted red lay for paints and pottery, you’ll meet the other half and trade van keys. NOTE: Each day's destination is dependent on the current weather and/or road conditions and/or participants abilities, and may change to other days of the week or alternative destinations.

Lunch: Sack lunches along the trail.

Afternoon: Continue hike, returning to hotel in mid to late afternoon.

Dinner: Dinner at Apache Lake Resort

Evening: Evening program on desert wildlife, or another program of interest.

Lodging: Apache Lake Resort

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Lodge

Description: Beautiful remote and scenic lodging site overlooking Apache Lake in the heart of Salt River Canyon. Quick and easy access into the adjacent Superstition Mountains.

Contact info:
AZ 88 about 13 miles northeast of Tortilla Flat
Tortilla Flat, AZ 85290 USA
phone: 928-467-2511
web: www.apachelake.com

Room amenities: Air conditioning; cable TV.

Facility amenities: Lake swimming; restaurant; full-service marina.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Additional nights after: Call for rates
Call for rates and availability, Apache Lake Marina and Resort (928) 467-2511.

Check out time: 10:00 AM

Day Six: Tuesday, February 24 - Hiking in the Sonoran Desert in the northern Supe...
Note: Windy Pass is a hike of 12 miles and 1500 vertical feet, while turning around at the shoulder is 9 miles and 1000 vertical feet.

Breakfast: Breakfast at Apache Lake Resort.

Morning: Reavis Mountain Trail: Today's hike starts with a spectacular view above Apache Lake, It begins its ascent on a moderately graded former road bed through grassy rolling hills towards Castle Dome. The trail is mostly smooth but an occasional Rocky section keeps you on your toes. After a rest below Castle Dome We go around the north side to Windy Pass. Windy Pass is a hike of 12 miles and 1500 vertical feet, while turning around at the shoulder is 9 miles and 1000 vertical feet. NOTE: Each day's destination is dependent on the current weather and/or road conditions and/or participants abilities, and may change to other days of the week or alternative destinations.

Lunch: Sack lunches along the trail.

Afternoon: Continue hike, returning to hotel in mid to late afternoon.

Dinner: Dinner at Apache Lake Resort.

Evening: Program wrap-up and farewells.

Lodging: Apache Lake Resort

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Seven: Wednesday, February 25 - Depart to Phoenix Airport and starting hotel for ...
Breakfast: Breakfast at the Apache Lake Resort.

Morning: NAU Road Scholar vans depart from Apache Lake Resort after breakfast with a drop off at the Phoenix Airport by 10:30 AM followed by a stop at the starting hotel.

Meals Included: Breakfast


Free Time Opportunities


Mesa, AZ
Botanical gardensBoyce Thompson Arboretum The Boyce Thompson Arboretum brings together plants from the Earth's many and varied deserts and dry lands. Approximately 3,200 different desert plants can be found within the arboretum, and most of them can be seen along the 1.5 mile main trail. During wildflower season, the Boyce Thompson Arboretum is especially beautiful, displaying all the wonderful colors of the desert. Are you a bird lover? More than 250 species of birds have been recorded at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum. Desert Botanical Garden The Desert Botanical Garden has one of the world’s finest collections of desert plants. It is one of only 44 botanical gardens accredited by the American Association of Museums. At the Desert Botanical Garden you will find 50 acres of beautiful outdoor exhibits. Home to 139 rare, threatened and endangered plant species from around the world, there is no finer place to enjoy desert beauty than the Desert Botanical Garden. The Garden is located in Papago Park in Central Phoenix.
GolfingWith so many golf courses to choose from, the best bet for information and bookings is to go to: teetimes@azcentral.com or: golfnow.com
Heard MuseumHeard Museum** Every major city, and most minor ones, have museums. The Heard Museum is unique, however, not only in the exhibits that are displayed, but the style and grace with which it displays them. I never tire of visiting the Heard Museum, with its more than 32,000 pieces of cultural and fine art. There are permanent exhibits, like the famous Barry Goldwater collection of Kachina Dolls, as well as special exhibit year-round.
Scottsdale Fashion SquareScottsdale is known for many things, and shopping is one of them. A list like this would not be complete without a recommendation for a shopping destination. There are newer malls in the greater Phoenix area, but none are as appealing as Scottsdale Fashion Square. In a city that's not known for haute couture, you'll be able to satisfy that urge here. When the rich and famous, locals and visitors, need an upscale mall, this is where they go!
South Mountain Regional ParkSouth Mountain Park At over 16,000 acres, South Mountain Park and Preserve often is considered the largest municipal park in the country. There are more than 50 miles of trails for horseback riding, hiking and mountain biking. Dobbins Lookout, at 2,330 feet, is the highest point in the park accessible by trail. If you aren't into hiking, biking or riding, you can simply drive to Dobbins Point to get a fantastic view of the Valley of the Sun. It's just over 5 miles from Central Avenue to Dobbins Lookout.
Taliessen WestA few miles northeast of Scottsdale, Arizona there is a living memorial to a great American architect. Nestled in the foothills of the rugged McDowell Mountains and surrounded by the spectacular Sonoran Desert lays a sprawling 600-acre complex called Taliesin West. It was designed and built by Frank Lloyd Wright. Taliesin West today houses The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, The Frank Lloyd Wright Memorial Foundation, and The Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture. The Taliesin Association of Artists, a group of architects dedicated to the spirit of the founder, is also onsite at Taliesin West. To get the full impact and understanding of the project and the man, I recommend you take the tour.
art walkScottsdale Art Walk** There are more than 100 art galleries in Scottsdale. You can enjoy Scottsdale ArtWalks every Thursday evening, year-round (except Thanksgiving) from 7 - 9 p.m. Each week, Scottsdale Gallery Association members host special exhibits - many with artist receptions - and join together for an informal come-and-go “open house” throughout the district.
Scottsdale, AZ
Taliesin WestFrank Lloyd Wright began building this desert masterpiece in 1937 as his personal winter home, studio, and architectural campus. Located on the beautiful Sonoran desert in the foothills of the McDowell Mountains in northeast Scottsdale, the site offers a broad range of guided public tours. Visitors experience firsthand Wright’s brilliant ability to integrate indoor and outdoor spaces.
For additional information, visit: www.franklloydwright.org

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
6 nights of accommodations
17 meals: 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 6 dinners
3 Expert-led lectures
5 Field trips

Ratings

5
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

Back to Back Adventures

Choose a nearby learning adventure to add before or after this program:

Support Lifelong Learning

Our educational adventures are made possible by donors like you

Please support lifelong learning here

Free Catalog | Refer a Friend | Gift Certificates | Press | Site Map | Privacy Policy | Careers | Contact Us

© Elderhostel, Inc. 2014
11 Avenue de Lafayette | Boston MA 02111 | Toll-Free 1-800-454-5768