Travel 2017-09-20T11:37:57+00:00


There’s always someplace to go…

Tohono Chul’s trips are some of the most rewarding ways you can spend just a day or an entire week in the Southwest. Always modestly priced, our Travel “Ed-ventures” are perfect for anyone who is simply curious about our region or looking for an adventure that will reward mind and body alike. Take a look at what we’re offering!

Land of the Seri

October 21 – 24 | $1150 pp/double occupancy members | $150 single supplement

Living along the coast of the Gulf of California where the desert meets the sea, the Seri (Comca’ac) were a nomadic people numbering in the thousands when first encountered by the Spanish in the 16th century, migrating seasonally between the Río San Miguel in central Sonora to the coast and Isla Tiburón. Living in an inhospitable land, these traditional hunter/gatherers relied on the edible and useful plants of the Sonoran Desert, its wildlife and the bounty of the sea to survive where others could not.

Resistant to early Spanish attempts to bring them into the mission system, and later impacted by the forced assimilation/extermination polices of the Mexican government, by the beginning of the 20th century the remaining Seri (about 300 in 1930) had consolidated along the coastline, retreating into the remote mangroves and canyons of Isla Tiburón when threatened.

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Sonoran Borderlands Day of the Dead

Thursday, November 2 | 7am – 7pm | $135 members, $155 general public

Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a centuries-old tradition in Mexico and the Arizona-Sonoran borderlands, a vibrant celebration that is also a time of respect and remembrance. Now that you have enjoyed our exhibit and reveled in our heritage festival of Chiles & Chocolate & Day of the Dead, come experience this holiday firsthand. Our host is Stephen Bernier of South of the Border Tours. We will visit the small “cementario” (sic) in historic Tubac, and by way of contrast, the large Pantéon Nacional in Nogales, Sonora where the spirit and colorful pageantry of the holiday awaits. Families gather to clean and decorate the graves and socialize with friends, while colorful street vendors sell ribbon wreaths, cempasúchiles (marigolds) and amaranth (red cock’s comb). Lunch will be at famed La Roca Restaurant, just across the border. Be prepared for about a mile of walking on uneven surfaces. Participants need to bring a passport. Cost includes motorcoach transportation, guide services and lunch.

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Birding at Boyce . . .

Thursday, November 16 | 7:30am – 5pm | $115 Tohono Chul & Tucson Audubon Society Members, $135 general public

. . . Thompson that is. We’ve visited Boyce Thompson Arboretum in the past to marvel at its diverse collections of flora, and we’ve been birding before, but it’s been awhile, so we thought we’d partner up with our resident bird expert Lynn Hassler and head back north to spend some time observing the migrating birds that stop by on their travels along the North American flyways. While many species are just passing through, many others will be settling in for the winter in this oasis in the desert. We should spot warblers, vireos, thrushes, flickers, finches and up to four species of towhee. And, of course, surprises are our specialty! Cost of the trip includes transportation, guide services, admission fees and boxed lunch.

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Sandhill Snowbirds

Tuesday, January 16 OR Thursday, January 18 | 7:30am – 5pm | $99 Tohono Chul & Tucson Audubon Society Members, $120 general public

No one ever forgets their first sight, nor sound, of quite literally thousands of Sandhill Cranes filling the wide-open skies above Sulphur Springs Valley. These majestic birds fly with their long necks and legs fully extended, chorusing a wild-sounding guttural bugle in flight. The Cranes are winter visitors to the area, “snowbirds” if you will, and gather to feed on corn stubble and other grain waste. On this daylong birding trip with guide Lynn Hassler, we visit Whitewater Draw to meet Cranes coming back from early morning feeding forays, and to check out the local waterfowl. Sulphur Springs is also a good spot for wintering raptors. Cost of the trip includes transportation, guide services and boxed lunch.

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Death Valley: Geology, Ghost Towns and Glam!

March 4 – 9 | $2395 per person / double occupancy members ($500 single supplement)

Many of us who remember the 1950s, remember Ronald Reagan hosting “Death Valley Days,” a TV western sponsored by 20-Mule Team Borax. That’s what we knew of Death Valley then — desolate vistas, unrelenting heat and borax. Well, prepare to be surprised by the beauty of this amazing out-of-the-way National Park filled with incredible history, geologic mystery and, fingers-crossed, wildflowers! Our personal guides are renowned, southwestern geologist Bob Scarborough and native plant guru, landscape designer and artist, Greg Corman.

Some of the high, and low, points of our travels include the Valley panorama from mile-high Dante’s View down to Badwater Basin, the lowest point in North America at 282’ below sea level; long-abandoned borax works and the ghost towns of Rhyolite and Leadfield; the twists and curves of Titus Canyon, the shifting dunes of Mesquite Flats and, of course, Ubehebe Crater!

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