Journey to a magical place that has drawn people from all over the world for centuries. From the Hohokam, Tohono O'odham and Apache, to Spanish Missionaries, Miners, Cowboys, Outlaws, Army Cavalry, and Adventurers of all stripes, the Sky Islands always hold a special place in the hearts of those who visit.
The Sky Islands are isolated mountain ranges that spring up from the desert. Traveling from the base to the summit is akin to driving from Mexico to Canada and visitors to the top will be rewarded with cooler temps, pine trees, and even the Southernmost ski resort in North America. Boasting truly diverse flora and fauna, you'll have the opportunity to view everything from Gila Monsters and Big Horn Sheep, to Black Bear and Mule Deer, "Jumping Cactus" and Saguaros, to Douglas Fir and Ponderosa Pines.
Surrounded by four mountain ranges, Tucson will serve as our home base for this trip but we'll lead you on adventures that range throughout Southern Arizona, including hikes in three different mountain chains, including the highest peak in the region at just under 10,000 feet. This is where our founder and lead guide, Kevin, got his start in the outdoors and we're confident that the region will inspire you as much as it did him. This trip is a special homecoming of sorts and not one to miss!
The hiking is amazing but it's also the home of "The Old West" so we'll make sure you get to visit Tombstone and the OK Corral, as well as a trail ride with some local cowboys. We'll spend two nights in the historic mining town, turned artist colony of Bisbee, and even ride a mine train through what used to be the most productive copper mine in Arizona before we head East for a hike in the same mountains that once sheltered Geronimo and the Chiricahua Apache from Army Cavalry Scouts. Southern Arizona also played an important role in the cold war so we'll take you to the Titan Missile Museum where you can see what it was like to stand watch in an ICBM silo during the Cold War.
With very little light pollution and several isolated mountain ranges providing unobstructed views of the heavens, Tucson is an Astronomer's paradise. In fact the University of Arizona boasts not only the number one Astronomy program in the Nation, it also produces many of the high precision mirrors used by researchers to peer deep into the cosmos! To help you take advantage of this unique opportunity we've arranged for a special night of guided stargazing at one of the many observatories surrounding Tucson.
If all this doesn't have you ready to sign up for the trip and book your flight then there's always the food! Rich in culture and fresh local ingredients, Tucson's food scene boasts some of the finest Mexican and Southwestern cooking you can find. This isn't watered down and overprice Mexican food you'll find in an East Coast city, this is the real deal. From rich mole sauces, hand made tamales, and roasted chili peppers, to prickly pear cactus, chorizo sausage, and even lesser know traditional dishes such as birria or menudo (not the band). Join us for a true Southwest experience!
GROUP SIZE (12 Maximum + 2 Guides)
3/10 - Arrive in Tucson / Drive to scenic overlook of city
3/11 - Tour Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum / Hike to view petroglyphs / Sunset at mountain overlook
3/12 - Hike in the Santa Catalina Mountains
3/13 - Tour San Xavier Mission, Titan Missile Museum, and Tubac Presidio/Artists Colony
3/14 - Hike in the Santa Rita Mountains
3/15 - Tour Tombston/OK Corral, Trail Ride, Bisbee/Copper Mine Tour
3/16 - Hike in Chiricahua Mountains
3/17 - Tour Tucson / Kitt Peak Observatory Stargazing
3/18 - Tour Tucson / Return Home
INCLUDES (Everything except Airfare and Most Meals)
- Lodging - Tucson
- Lodging - Bisbee
- Ground Transportation
- Lunch on Day Hikes
- Admission to sites and attractions
- Licensed English Speaking Guides
- Gift Package