Driving approx. 80 miles; about 2 hours roundtrip, with stop. Hiking approx. 5 miles roundtrip; about 3 hours; well-established rocky trails.
At the SDCC, we’ll have a breakfast buffet with choices including eggs, oatmeal and yogurt with a variety of toppings, assorted cold cereals, breads, jams and fruit, plus coffee, tea, juice, water. After breakfast, we will assemble our own lunches of fruit, veggies, chips, cookies, and other snacks as desired. Sandwiches will be made to order by a conference center chef.
Heading out from the hotel, we’ll make our way to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument Visitor Center and obtain entrance permits for the group. Today will be an "Instructor's Choice" hike day. Hiking locations will include one or more of the following areas of the park. Senita Basin: which has a network of hiking trails through a botanical wonderland that is host to all three columnar cactus found in the United States – Saguaro, Organ Pipe and Senita – growing side by side in this sheltered locale. Alamo Canyon Trail: located along a major drainage of the Ajo Mountains, this hike features desert bird species, historic ranching structures, riparian habitat and towering rock faces. During the day, we will plan a visit to the southern boundary of Organ Pipe National Monument, which is also the international boundary with Mexico. During our stop we’ll take a short walk to a portion of the "wall"/fence that is in place to separate Sonoita Mexico and the U.S. Truly a current topic of discussion, this will be an opportunity to see for yourself the reality of the edifice.
Along the trail, we’ll stop at a pleasant spot to enjoy the sack lunches we prepared after breakfast.
Upon the completion of our hike in the mid-afternoon, we’ll return to our accommodations.
In the SDCC dining room, we’ll enjoy a fresh homemade dinner prepared by a local Ajo family served family style. Coffee, tea, and water included. Feel free to bring beverages of your own.
Gathering in the meeting room with a local expert, we’ll settle in for an informative presentation relating to Ajo and the surrounding area such as local arts, stargazing, native cultures or other topics of interest. Ajo, stargazing, native cultures or other topics of interest.