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Hiking in the Desert: Arizona’s Valley of the Sun and Superstition Mountains

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Road Scholar
Program #6117RJ

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7 Days | 6 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderately 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. 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.
Come to the Arizona desert for some of the most dramatic and beautiful hiking country in the Southwest. On 4 1/2 days of hiking, experienced wilderness guides introduce facets of Arizona’s varied geology, unique ecology and fascinating human history while nighttime in the Superstition Mountains brings spectacular night skies for enthusiastic stargazers.


• Hike classic Sonoran desert trails while learning to identify many cactus species and exploring basin and range topography.
• While in Phoenix, return to your hotel to relax after invigorating hikes on challenging trails in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve and on South Mountain in Phoenix.
• Journey mid-week to hike through rugged and mysterious landscapes of Salt River Canyon and the volcanic Superstition Mountains, home to the legendary Lost Dutchman Mine.

Program Notes

This program is "Moderately Challenging". For a "Challenging" hiking program in the same area, we suggest program #19723. For two weeks of hiking in the area, we suggest these two programs back to back.
Due to the nature of this program, listening devices are not available.

Activity Notes

Hiking up to seven miles on trails over uneven terrain requiring agility. Some rock scrambling, a few sustained uphills. Elevation changes up to 1,200 feet. Elevations of 2,000-4,000 feet.

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 daily schedule for more detailed information.

Itinerary Summary

Arrival Phoenix, 3 nights; transfer to Apache Lake/Salt River Canyon, 3 nights; return to Scottsdale/Phoenix for airport/hotel drop offs.

Coordinated by Northern Arizona University.

Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

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


Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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