Getting in/out of passenger vans; driving about 80 miles, approximately 2 hours riding time roundtrip with a stop. Hiking about 5 miles roundtrip, approximately 3 hours; well-established rocky trails.
At the SDCC. After breakfast, we will assemble our own lunches; 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 home 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, 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 Sonoyta, Mexico and the United States. A current topic of interest, this will be an opportunity to see for oneself 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 delicious dinner. 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. Potential topics include local arts, native cultures, or other topics of interest.