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PORTAL, ARIZONA

Cave Creek Canyon Birding At Portal

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AZ

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Birding

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$1000 - $1500

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Road Scholar
Program #11973RJ
6 Days | 5 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Active
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
Portal Peak Lodge is located at 5000 ft. Field trips to approximately 7000 feet elevation.

Equipment Requirements
Good walking shoes, binoculars, spotting scope (optional).

Itinerary for May 25 — May 30, 2014

Expand all
Type: Lodge

Description: Southwestern-style rooms surrounded by a wooden deck furnished w/patio tables and chairs. Lodge is built beside Cave Creek behind the Portal Store & Cafe.

Contact info:
2358 S Rock House Road
Portal, AZ 85632 USA
phone: 520-558-2223
Room amenities: Coffee in each room. Color television and refrigerated rooms.

Facility amenities: Each room has a furnished deck to enjoy the magnificient views of the area.

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

Additional nights before: $95.00
When making reservations for an early or extended stay, mention you are participating in the Geronimo Road Scholar Program.

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day One: Sunday, May 25 - Check In at Portal Peak Lodge. Take this opportu...
Check In at Portal Peak Lodge. Take this opportunity to observe the magnificent views of beautiful vistas, imposing canyon walls, and mysterious caves.

Note: Orientation follows dinner. This will be an opportunity to find out about schedules, program activities and answer any questions you may have regarding the program.

Arrive To: Check-In after 4:00 PM. This charming Lodge is located in a remote area surrounded by majestic mountains, abundant wildlife and diverse flora. Enjoy the tranquility of your surroundings before gathering at the Lodge restaurant for a 6:PM dinner.

Dinner: Dinner served at Lodge at 6:00 PM. The restaurant will serve home cooked nutritious meals. This will be an opportunity to enjoy the company and camaraderie of new friends. The Lodge staff is very friendly, courteous and helpful.

Evening: Orientation immediately following dinner. The group leader will review the week's itinerary, discuss what the birding species you can expect to see and introductions will be made . This is a remote area so be aware cell phones do not get reception and internet is not always available . This will be a week to leave the cares of daily life behind and enjoy the natural beauty of this area.

Lodging: Portal Peak Lodge

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Lodge

Description: Southwestern-style rooms surrounded by a wooden deck furnished w/patio tables and chairs. Lodge is built beside Cave Creek behind the Portal Store & Cafe.

Contact info:
2358 S Rock House Road
Portal, AZ 85632 USA
phone: 520-558-2223
Room amenities: Coffee in each room. Color television and refrigerated rooms.

Facility amenities: Each room has a furnished deck to enjoy the magnificient views of the area.

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

Additional nights before: $95.00
When making reservations for an early or extended stay, mention you are participating in the Geronimo Road Scholar Program.

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day Two: Monday, May 26 - The Chiricahua Mountains provide some of the grea...
The Chiricahua Mountains provide some of the greatest diversity of species in all of North America, for birds as well as mammals, reptiles, plants, and insects. Cave Creek is one of the few canyon areas in the US where the Elegant Trogon nests.

Note: Explore Cave Creek Canyon where the Elegant Trogon nests.

Breakfast: Breakfast served at 6:30 AM. Start your day with a delicious home-cooked breakfast. The coffee is always on. You may want to take an early morning walk around the Lodge grounds to observe the birds and wildlife.

Morning: The Birding Adventure begins. Walk along Main Street starting at the Portal Peak Lodge and Store and enjoy the many bird feeders and hummingbird feeders. Arrangements have been made to visit some of the local feeders. Fourteen species of hummingbirds can be seen (Berylline, Violet-crowned, Lucifer, Broad-billed, White-eared, Blue-throated, Magnificent, Plain-capped Starthroat, Black-chinned, Costa’s, Anna’s, Broad-tailed, Calliope, and Rufous). There has been a Great Horned Owl nesting by the Portal Library for years and the Acorn Woodpecker colony is doing great. You will also start to see large Sycamore trees along Cave Creek so watch for Painted Redstarts and some of the lower canyon species mentioned below.

Lunch: 12:00 noon lunch is served. The group will return to the Lodge for a hot lunch. Following lunch the group will be refreshed and ready for an afternoon of birding.

Afternoon: Following lunch the birding adventure resumes at Portal-Paradise Road. This road starts out in a dry chaparral area just above Portal. Keep an eye out for Black-chinned Sparrows, Greater Roadrunners, Rock Wrens, and Scott’s Orioles. About two miles up you will notice a change in habitat to oak-juniper. Watch for Juniper Titmice, Phainopeplas, Red-breasted Nuthatches and all of the Thrashers. Check out the rock outcroppings for Rufous-crowned Sparrows . Visitors from around the world travel to the Chiricahuas to view the magnificent elegant trogon bird in its surroundings. This area is home to 330 species of birds which include 14 species of hummingbirds and 10 species of owls. Our group will be continously on the lookout for the elegant trogon which nests in this area.

Dinner: Dinner served at 6:PM. Time for a home cooked meal prepared for the group. As this area is remote all of the group meals will be served at Portal Peak Lodge. The meals will be varied, prepared in the Lodge kitchen and most special request can be accommodated. This will be an opportunity to review the birding list and enjoy the company of new friends.

Lodging: Portal Peak Lodge

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Lodge

Description: Southwestern-style rooms surrounded by a wooden deck furnished w/patio tables and chairs. Lodge is built beside Cave Creek behind the Portal Store & Cafe.

Contact info:
2358 S Rock House Road
Portal, AZ 85632 USA
phone: 520-558-2223
Room amenities: Coffee in each room. Color television and refrigerated rooms.

Facility amenities: Each room has a furnished deck to enjoy the magnificient views of the area.

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

Additional nights before: $95.00
When making reservations for an early or extended stay, mention you are participating in the Geronimo Road Scholar Program.

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day Three: Tuesday, May 27 - Rodeo, New Mexico is located in the San Simon Val...
Rodeo, New Mexico is located in the San Simon Valley, a wide desert valley with the Chiricahua Mountains to the west and the Peloncillo Mountains to the east.

Note: Travel to the San Simon Valley to learn about and view the desert birds.

Breakfast: Breakfast served at 6:30 AM. Breakfast served at 6:30 AM. Start your day with a delicious home-cooked breakfast. The coffee is always on. You may want to take an early morning walk around the Lodge grounds to observe the birds and wildlife

Morning: This morning the group will travel to San Simon and Rodeo. This road will have brushy areas with Bendire’s Thrashers, Cassin’s Sparrows and possibly a White-tailed Kite. While passing through Rodeo be on the look out for Inca Doves, Gila Woodpeckers, and Great-tailed Grackles.

Lunch: 12:00 PM lunch served at Portal Peak Cafe. Return to the Lodge for a hearty lunch. This is a time to refresh and prepare for an afternoon of birding.

Afternoon: Field trip resumes after lunch with Mountain birding.This afternoon you may have a good chance to find Elegant Trogons, Buff-breasted Flycatchers, Mexican Chickadees and Red-breasted Nuthatches. Other species to be on the look out for are Montezuma Quail, Yellow-eyed Juncos, Painted Redstarts, Northern Pygmy-owls, Arizona Woodpeckers Bridled Titmice, Hutton’s Vireos and Virgina’s Warblers.

Dinner: Dinner served at 6:00 PM. The Lodge will once again provide a home-cooked meal. After dinner the group will have an opportunity to relax around the dinner table and review birding lists.

Lodging: Portal Peak Lodge

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Lodge

Description: Southwestern-style rooms surrounded by a wooden deck furnished w/patio tables and chairs. Lodge is built beside Cave Creek behind the Portal Store & Cafe.

Contact info:
2358 S Rock House Road
Portal, AZ 85632 USA
phone: 520-558-2223
Room amenities: Coffee in each room. Color television and refrigerated rooms.

Facility amenities: Each room has a furnished deck to enjoy the magnificient views of the area.

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

Additional nights before: $95.00
When making reservations for an early or extended stay, mention you are participating in the Geronimo Road Scholar Program.

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day Four: Wednesday, May 28 - Located near Willcox, AZ are Cochise Lakes and th...
Located near Willcox, AZ are Cochise Lakes and the Willcox Playa. This is habitat for waterfowl and shorebirds and is a popular destination for birders.

Note: Today the group will leave the Mountain for a scenic drive to the small historic community of Willcox, AZ, home to famed singer/entertainer Rex Allen. Located near Willcox are Cochise Lakes and the Willcox Playa. This is habitat for waterfowl and shorebirds. Enroute to the Lakes the group will be looking for Chihuahuan birds and hawks.

Breakfast: Breakfast served at 6:30 AM. Start your day with a delicious home-cooked breakfast. The coffee is always on. You may want to take an early morning walk around the Lodge grounds to observe the birds and wildlife

Morning: The journey begins after breakfast. The group will leave the Mountain for a scenic drive to the small historic community of Willcox, AZ, home to famed singer/entertainer Rex Allen. Located near Willcox are Cochise Lakes and the Willcox Playa. This is habitat for waterfowl and shorebirds. Enroute to the Lakes the group will be looking for Chihuahuan Birds. We will also be on the alert for Zone Tailed Hawks and Golden Eagles.

Lunch: The group will enjoy the local cuisine of Willcox, AZ.

Afternoon: The birding continues after lunch. There are many birds to view and wildlife to observe. Early In the afternoon the group will start the return journey to Portal Peak Lodge. There will be an opportunity to view many birds along the way.

Dinner: Dinner served at 6:00 PM. The Lodge has prepared a home cooked hearty meal for the group to enjoy. It has been a full day of birding while enjoying the beauty of the area. Following dinner the group will once again review birding lists. Rest will be welcomed.

Lodging: Portal Peak Lodge

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Lodge

Description: Southwestern-style rooms surrounded by a wooden deck furnished w/patio tables and chairs. Lodge is built beside Cave Creek behind the Portal Store & Cafe.

Contact info:
2358 S Rock House Road
Portal, AZ 85632 USA
phone: 520-558-2223
Room amenities: Coffee in each room. Color television and refrigerated rooms.

Facility amenities: Each room has a furnished deck to enjoy the magnificient views of the area.

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

Additional nights before: $95.00
When making reservations for an early or extended stay, mention you are participating in the Geronimo Road Scholar Program.

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day Five: Thursday, May 29 - Rustler Park is a wildflower-carpeted meadow high...
Rustler Park is a wildflower-carpeted meadow high in the Chiricahuas. Around the turn of the century, rustlers concealed stolen stock there while altered brands healed and pursuit cooled. Many high elevation birds can be seen here.

Note: View many high elevation birds at Rustler Park.

Breakfast: 6:30 AM breakfast served. Start your day with a delicious home-cooked breakfast. As each day offers new findings, you may want to take an early morning walk around the Lodge grounds to observe the birds and wildlife

Morning: All day birding field trip for a day of High Elevation Birding and a visit to Rustler's Park. Continuing up the road you will reach Onion Saddle. Species at this altitude include the Olive Warblers, Red-faced Warblers, Grace’s Warblers, Yellow-eyed Juncos, Pygmy Nuthatchs, and Flammulated Owls. Continuing up the Mountain the group will be looking for Hairy Woodpeckers, Greater Pewees, Steller’s Jays, Mexican Chickadees, Western Bluebirds and Northern Saw-whet Owls may be spotted in this area.

Lunch: Boxed lunch served in field. There are so many birds to observe, natural beauty to enjoy and the excitement of wildlife that the group will enjoy a boxed lunch.

Afternoon: Birding continues following lunch. At the top of the Mountain is Rustler Park. All of the high elevation species can be seen here. Spring and fall migration may bring mixed flocks of Townsend’s, Hermit, Yellow-rumped, Grace’s, Olive and Red-faced Warblers. Look around the Forest Service buildings. This is a favorite spot for the Mexican Chickadee. Check out the steep cleared area above the meadow. There is a spring on the left hand side and the Red-faced Warbler likes this area. This is an old burn area and wildflowers are prolific here.

Dinner: Dinner served at 6:PM. Return to the Lodge for an evening meal. Following dinner the group will review the birding list while relaxing around the dinner table. The clean mountain air and a full day of birding will make for a good night's rest.

Lodging: Portal Peak Lodge

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Six: Friday, May 30 - A last birding expedition to Cave Creek Canyon w...
A last birding expedition to Cave Creek Canyon with its running stream, an exceptional feature in the arid Southwest.

Note: Cave Creek Canyon is a birder's paradise. The beauty of this remote area will be forever in your memory.

Breakfast: Breakfast served at 6:30 AM. Start your last program day with a delicious home-cooked breakfast. The coffee is always on. You may want to take an early morning walk around the Lodge grounds to observe the birds and wildlife.

Morning: Field trip to scenic Cave Creek. The group will return once again to this area of stunning vistas of the ragged cliff faces which are themselves marked with numerous caves. Nestled in the canyon this rich forest supports a diverse range of wildlife and birds. One could visit this magnificent area daily and never witness all that the mountains have to offer. Memories will stay with you for a lifetime. In fact, you may hear the Canyons calling you for a return visit.

Lunch: 12:00 PM lunch is served. The Lodge will serve a farewell lunch. This week you have witnessed the wonders of nature and seen many species of birds. The week has gone by very quickly but the memories will linger for a lifetime. Program concludes following lunch.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

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 ...
5 nights of accommodations
15 meals: 5 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 5 dinners
5 Field trips

Ratings

4.7
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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