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A variety of half-day tours to connect you with nature in the most unique ways.


San Pedro River

Birding On The San Pedro River

The San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area is considered one of the largest and most critical avian migratory corridors remaining in the western United States. It supports more than 350 species of birds, in addition to more than 80 species of mammals, two native and several introduced species of fish, and more than 40 species of amphibians and reptiles.

The area, which includes about 40 miles of the upper San Pedro River, offers ample opportunities to see the migrating and native birds of Southern Arizona. Guided tours leave from the San Pedro House and feature information on the history of the area, hydrology, geology, and plant and animal life, as well as time to look for the myriad birds that use the precious water in the San Pedro River. More "birdy" hot spots and tours can be found on our bird watching page.

Special Instructions:

Comfortable clothing and walking shoes recommended. Bring your own binoculars. Commercial tour operators must contact the Bureau of Land Management for parking permit information at (520) 439-6400.

Contact: Friends of the San Pedro River

1763 Paseo San Luis, Sierra Vista, AZ 85635

(520) 459-2555

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

Live & (Sort Of) On The Loose Reptiles

Rattlesnakes and Gila monsters, fangs and venom-the mere mention makes most people run for cover. Truth is, people tend to misinterpret the normal defensive reactions these amazing creatures exhibit when faced with our often-unintended blunderings into their lives. Learn how to tread safely among these true natives of the desert Southwest, with the help of trained docents at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Separate myth from reality, and get a rare chance to meet a live Gila monster or rattlesnake.

Attendees: No min./60 max.

Length: 30 minutes

Contact: Yolanda Calkins, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum  

2021 N. Kinney Rd., Tucson, AZ 85743

(520) 883-1380 x100

Video: A Day at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum

Reid Park Zoo

Behind-The-Scenes Tour

When visiting zoos across the country, have you ever wondered what the animals actually eat and who's in charge of making sure they get enough of their specialized delicacies? Tucson's Reid Park Zoo will take you behind the scenes with visits to the kitchen, health center, and an animal night house to give you a close look at what it takes for the care of more than 500 animals each day! Afterward, your group may take your new perspective out into the zoo and explore for as long as you like.

Attendees: 10 min./30 max. 

Length: 1 hour

Contact: Kristen Metzger,  Reid Park Zoo

1100 S. Randolph Way, Tucson, AZ 85715 

(520) 837-8088

Evening Safari

Explore the Reid Park Zoo at night, and find out what the animals do when no one's around. Staff lead flashlight tours and give you some up-close animal encounters all in one unforgettable evening.

Special Instructions: The zoo will provide flashlights and snacks, but participants should eat dinner before arriving. 


Attendees: 15 min./30 max.

Length: 3 hours

Times: 6:30-9:30 p.m.

Contact: Kristen Metzger, Reid Park Zoo  

1100 S. Randolph Way, Tucson, AZ 85715 

(520) 837-8088  

Video: Reid Park Zoo

Sweet P's Studio

Fruits And Fragrances Of The Desert

Come and enjoy a totally unique Tucson experience! Indulge in the creation of your own organic skincare gift made with Tucson fruits and fragrances. The set includes body wash, lotion, sunscreen, hand & body whip, and bath salt. Sweet P's Studio is also nestled where the expansive Catalina Mountains meet the Rincon Mountains allowing you to relax in the sights, smells, and stories of the Sonoran Desert.

Attendees: No min./max.

Length: 1-2 hours.

Contact: Paula Morris, Sweet P's Studio 

4950 N. Avenida de Suzenu, Tucson, AZ 85749  

(520) 909-1192


More Nature Ideas

Catalina State Park 

Fantastic birding trails in a desert habitat. (520) 628-5798, north of Tucson.

Colossal Cave Mountain Park

On the National Historic Register, showcasing crystal-filled Colossal Cave and historic La Posta Quemada Ranch.

Garden Canyon

Moderate hiking trails that get you up close and personal with a wide array of native and migratory birds. (800) 288-3861, Fort Huachuca off AZ Hwy. 90.

Kartchner Caverns State Park®

A rare living wet cave. The visitor center details the discovery of the cave, its unique formations, and preservation efforts that went into building Arizona's newest state park.

Madera Canyon 

An outstanding cross-section of Southwestern bird habitats with trails from desert grassland to mountain forest. (520) 281-2296, off I-19 or I-10 to AZ Hwy. 83, east of Green Valley, AZ

Mt. Lemmon

Scenic viewpoints, camping, picnic grounds, and hiking trails. Tour the dramatic Catalina Highway using the Mt. Lemmon Science Tour App. This fascinating, family-friendly audio guide features music by the band Calexico.

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

The largest national monument in the United States established to protect the unique cactus.

Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve 

Groves of cottonwoods and dense willows along Sonoita Creek, supporting 300 bird species. One of the best spots in the country to see the rare Gray Hawk. (520) 394-2400, off AZ Hwy.

Culinary - Half-Day Itinerary

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