Sedona AZ (April 26, 2013) – Red Rock State Park brings a program about snakes, as part of the Park’s monthly Lecture Series, and the second Moonlight Hike of the season in May 2013. Red Rock State Park is the perfect place to hike, either with a guide or to explore on your own.
On Sunday, May 5 at 2 p.m., Dennis Jex will present “Close Encounters of the Reptilian Kind.” The fun and educational presentation about snakes will be held in the Park theatre. Jex will talk about the many facts and myths associated with snakes. Participants will learn how to treat or avoid snakebites, and how to relocate a snake, if necessary.
Live snakes will be used to enhance the “up close and personal” educational experience. Visitors will have the opportunity to touch and hold non-venomous snakes for an entertaining and educational close encounter. At the end of the presentation, there will be time for questions. Don’t forget to bring your camera! Reservations are required because space is limited. Call the Park at (928) 282-6907 to ensure a seat at this educational and enjoyable program.
On Sunday, May 12 at 2 p.m., join an experienced guide on a hike that focuses on the geology of the area. Learn why the rocks are red, where they came from, where they are going, and more. The hike includes the Eagle’s Nest Trail for great views while also learning about the geology. It’s more than a guided hike. It’s an interpretive experience for beginners as well as advanced geologists. The hike lasts 2 to 2½ hours and has a 250 feet elevation climb. A knowledgeable guide will explain the rock formations that create the scenic backdrop of Red Rock State Park. Bring water and wear suitable shoes.
On Friday, May 24, join us for a Moonlight Hike. This is among the most popular interpretive hikes at the Park. Led by a naturalist, it gives hikers the rare opportunity to enjoy the sunset and moonrise from an overlook and return by the light of the moon. The hike lasts 2 to 2½ hours and covers a distance of approximately two miles. Rangers ask hikers to arrive approximately 30 minutes before starting time to ensure participation. No late arrivals are allowed and reservations are required by calling (928) 282-6907. At that time, the arrival time will be given. Wear suitable clothing and shoes (prepare for cool nights) and bring water, a flashlight and insect spray. A $5 per person program fee is charged at the time of the reservation in addition to the Park Entrance Fee.
On Wednesday and Saturday mornings at 8 a.m., bird enthusiasts will join a naturalist for a guided walk directed at beginning and advanced birders. Bring your own binoculars; only a limited number are available for loan from the park. Visitors will see many birds that make the park their home. The Hummingbird Patio is an excellent spot to start your tour. Another good viewing point is the visitor center roof. Most year-round birds are found in the riparian area next to Oak Creek or along the field behind the visitor center. The Audubon Society has designated Red Rock State Park as an Important Birding Area because of the many species who live or visit here.
Daily at 10 a.m., visitors can join a naturalist on a guided nature walk that lasts 1½ to 2 hours and will introduce them to the riparian ecosystem of Oak Creek and other aspects of the park. Plants, wildlife, geology, history and archaeology are some of the subjects that may be discussed. Guided hikes are a learning experience allowing participants to take part in question and answer sessions.
Daily at 2 p.m., the park hosts either a guest speaker or a ranger/naturalist led activity of approximately 45-minutes. Programs may include a nature-hike, a special presentation or an educational/nature video. This program may be an indoor or outdoor activity.
Visitors are also invited to explore the trails. The family-oriented trail system is well marked for both safety and pleasure. Five miles of trails consist of interconnecting loops, leading to red rock vistas or along the lush greenery of Oak Creek. The three major loops are connected along the riparian corridor by the Kisva Trail, which also leads to the short loop of the Yavapai Ridge Trail. The Javelina Trail takes you into the pinon/juniper woodlands and back to the other loops. Detailed information is available at the Visitor Center. Bikes and horses are allowed on designated routes.
A Junior Ranger program is available for children between the ages of six and 12. Junior Rangers pledge their part in helping preserve the beauty of the park for everyone! Junior Ranger booklets, available at the Visitor Center, have activities to complete and, once approved by a Ranger, the newest Junior Ranger at Red Rock State Park is sworn in after taking the pledge and receiving a Junior Ranger button.
The Park Visitor Center features many displays about the area’s geology, archaeology, flora and fauna, including an interactive relief map of Sedona and computer programs about various park features, including the House of Apache Fires. The popular video, “The Natural Wonders of Sedona” narrated by local voice-over artist John Conway, is shown several times daily in the Park Theatre. Aerial explorations reveal ancient Indian ruins and dramatic landscapes, colorful desert wildflowers and local wildlife. There is also a Gift Shop with a wide selection of books, mementos, t-shirts and snacks, adjacent to the displays.
For more information about Red Rock State Park call (928) 282-6907. Red Rock State Park is located at 4050 Lower Red Rock Loop Road in Sedona, AZ. Park hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the Visitor Center is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Park Entrance Fee is $10 per vehicle, up to four adults. The Arizona State Park Annual Fee is available for $75 (some restrictions apply).
For information about all 27 Arizona State Parks, the Trails and Off-Highway Vehicle Programs and State Historic Preservation Office call (602) 542-4174 (outside of the Phoenix metro area call toll-free (800) 285-3703), visit the website and online camping reservations at AZStateParks.com, Twitter/Facebook AZStateParks.