Tucson First Week or Last Week of March

Old Feb 3rd, 2014, 06:18 AM
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Thanks Jubilada
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Old Feb 8th, 2014, 08:13 AM
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How much time should I allow for Arizona Sonora Museum?
I would probably want to see the following:
Raptor Flight--10:00AM
Animal Interaction 11:00AM
Live and and the Loose 12:15 (appears to last about 30-40 mins)
1:00 Lunch @ Octillo Cafe in the Museum

I need to be at Mount Lemmon Observatorty about 4:00PM, so thought I would leave the Museum about 2:00PM. My Mount Lemmon Night Sky Program begins @ 4:15.

The Museum Opens at 7:30. Should I plan on getting there when it opens, or do you think arriving at say 8:30 would give me enough time. I just don't know exactly what this is like here really. I think I'm over-thinking it and it's really pretty much like a zoo???
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Old Feb 8th, 2014, 09:22 AM
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The Arizona -Sonora Desrt Museum is a tour through through the different desert eco systems, mountains, grasslands,riparian areas, desert etc and has the animals, birds and plants appropriate to the zone. So a zoo, a botanical garden, all of that and more. It is run by a private foundation. There is also an underground cave/ mine with gem stones in it. When we take guests there for the first time, we usually spend around 2.5-3 hours. The restaurant and food court both have decent enough food. Great gift shop.
It is a long drive from the Desert Museum up to Mt. Lemmon so allow enough time. I would recommend not doing them the same day. The road up to Mt. Lemmon will take some time but it is a very interesting drive going through a variety of ecosystems from desert floor to pine topped mountain. There are places to pull off along the way.
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Old Feb 8th, 2014, 01:52 PM
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Are you doing the behind the scenes stuff? Or are the programs you list the ones that are free and out in the general public area?

If those are just the general public programs then you'll see some of the exhibits just walking from one to the next. I personally couldn't spend 6.5 hours there. Not even 5.5 hours. So if you're just talking about the normal programs (not the behind the scenes stuff) I would get there more like 9 or 9:30. Otherwise I would be falling asleep during the Mt. Lemmon program that evening... And like HappyTrvlr said, try to do those two on different days.
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Old Feb 8th, 2014, 02:56 PM
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They are just the general programs. The Animal Interaction is no longer available, so I think I will just get there about 8:30. This will surely give me plenty of time to see a lot, eat lunch there. Should be able to leave by 1:30 or so. This should give me plenty of time to get to Mount Lemmon. Basically, we will do ASDM in the morning and then that evening Mount Lemmon Observatory.

I'm a little confused about Seven Fall Hike. I can't figure out if I'm supposed to take a tram or what. I see a lot of info about it online, but nothing very clear. It sounds like the tram might be not very reliable and I should just hike the entire thing.
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Old Feb 8th, 2014, 03:03 PM
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You wouldn't even need to eat lunch there. I mean, zoos aren't known for having reasonably priced quality food lol.

And I agree, the drive up to Mt. Lemmon is great. Not something you want to rush.

I have no idea on the tram.
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Old Feb 8th, 2014, 03:33 PM
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Seven Falls: You go to Sabino Canyon Visitors Center circle where there are trams up into Sabino and occasionally one over to the east of Sabino, to Seven Falls.
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Old Feb 8th, 2014, 04:46 PM
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Ocotillo Cafe in Arizona Sonora Museum- Looks good to me.
Tripadvisor and Yelp get good reviews.
Places like airports and amusement parks use to not have good food either, but that is no longer the case. BTW, had a meal in Crystal Bridges Museum a few days ago(in Arkansas and is pretty much owned by Walmart). A lot better than I would have expected and the coffee bar was really good too.

A link to the menu and yelp are below.

https://www.desertmuseum.org/visit/menu_ocotillo.php

http://www.yelp.com/biz/ocotillo-cafe-tucson
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Old Feb 8th, 2014, 04:54 PM
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When I go to SDM, I make a point of eating at the restaurant. It's that good. Have a Prickly Pear Iced Tea. Don't miss the raptor show.
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Old Feb 9th, 2014, 10:27 AM
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spiro, a partial clarification on the tram to Seven Falls: There is a tram that goes up Bear Canyon to the Seven Falls trailhead. From there it is still a 2.5 mile one-way hike to Seven Falls, a nice and worthwhile hike.

The tram does NOT go all the way to Seven Falls.

Or you could skip the tram altogether and simply walk to Seven Falls from the main parking lot. Take the trail on the left side of the visitor center, as you face the main entrance. This adds about 1.5 easy miles each way. The hiking route is shorter than the route the tram takes.

I'm not sure about the cost or schedule of the tram, I've always walked the whole distance.

The Ocotillo Cafe in Arizona Sonora Museum is quite good, different than standard zoo fare.

Of course everyone has their interests, but I would not miss the hummingbird enclosure and the walk-in aviary at the museum (they are different places). Both really fun and uncommon.
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Old Feb 9th, 2014, 10:54 AM
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Thanks. I'm somewhat of a Hummingbird nut. I have about 10 feeders and can have as many as 75-100 birds at a time at my house from April thru Oct. Usually best during a drought/dry year around end of July and August when the temps are 100+. We only have the standard ruby throat variety here. I can hold a feeder and they will land on my hand.
I would have liked to have done the "extra' tour of the hummers, but it wasn't available on the day we were going to be there.

I guess if the tram is available, I might take it and save a bit of energy for the first mile or so. Still not sure about the schedule of it. I'll try calling and see what I can find out.

Birdie, Prickly Pear Iced Tea sound good.
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Old Feb 9th, 2014, 12:01 PM
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A correction to what I said earlier, in case you don't take the tram:
"Take the trail on the <del>left</del> (should be right side of the visitor center."

Sorry for any confusion. But, yes worth a call to save some time and energy, and use the tram.

Thanks very cool about the hummers landing on your hand. We get a few coming through our yard in July / August as they are heading south, but nowhere near the numbers you have.

There is a group that does hummingbird banding in Sabino Canyon very early on some Saturday mornings. We have got to hold them in our hands there, it's amazing! Definitely hit the enclosure at the SDM.

Have a great trip.
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Old Feb 9th, 2014, 12:19 PM
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Another Easterner used to seeing one species of hummingbird, I love sitting by the feeders at the lodge at Madera Canyon and watching the different hummingbirds dart up to the feeders. Thankfully, the expert birders call out the species names and spare me the task of riffling through my guide.
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Old Feb 9th, 2014, 04:52 PM
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I imagined with a name of Birdie, you would like hummers.
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Old Feb 9th, 2014, 05:11 PM
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When I left my event in Yuma this afternoon it was 85F.
I'll do a trip report when I get home.
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Old Feb 10th, 2014, 11:31 AM
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It is unseasonably warm this winter, very rare.
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Old Feb 10th, 2014, 03:22 PM
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Hope it will be mid 70's when we are there.
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Old Feb 10th, 2014, 10:58 PM
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If MikeP or anyone else in Tucson wants to meet for a GTG, I'll be getting on the Sunset Limited tonight in Tucson. I'm heading back to Oregon where DW tells me there is a foot of snow to go snowshoeing in.
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Old Feb 11th, 2014, 12:15 PM
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Tucson is home to the 40,000 + - students/professors at the University of Arizona. Spring recess is March 15-23, 2014. I don't know if that means the town will be minus a few college kids or if it means they will be staying in town.
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Old Feb 11th, 2014, 04:01 PM
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The Tucson Festival of Books takes place at the U of A during spring break, March15-16, a a huge and terrific event, well known authors give talks, etc.
The college students will leave, go home, or head to Mexico or California.
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