Sedona AZ (April 10, 2013) – The month of May brings Dennis Jex to Red Rock State Park to present a popular program about snakes, Close Encounters of the Reptilian Kind, as part of the Park’s monthly Lecture Series. The second Moonlight Hike of the season is also scheduled. The Park, located at 4060 Lower Red Rock Loop Road, is the perfect place to hike, either with a guide to help enhance your education and experience, or to explore on your own.
Sunday Lecture Series, May 5, 2013, 2:00 PM, Close Encounters of the Reptilian Kind: Dennis Jex will present hands-on and interactive opportunities with his program on Close Encounters of the Reptilian Kind. The fun and educational presentation about snakes will be held in the Park theatre. Dennis will talk about the many facts and myths associated with snakes. You will also learn how to treat (or better yet) avoid snakebites, and how to relocate a snake, if necessary.
Live snakes will be used to enhance your “up close and personal” educational experience. Do you know snakes eat termites? Some eat scorpions, centipedes, cockroaches, and other insects. Do you know the first thing to do if you’re bitten by a rattlesnake? Find out the answers to these and many other questions during this fun and interesting presentation. 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!
Dennis Jex has presented educational programs throughout Arizona for several years. His passion for reptiles began at any early age, compelling him to be an advocate for their place on planet earth. He will familiarize you with these wonderful creatures and share fun and interesting information about them. Dennis also assists in field research projects for the benefit of snakes and lizards in Arizona.
Dennis is a strong support of Red Rock State Park, stating, “We are very fortunate to have Red Rock State Park here in Sedona. It’s a special place in the heart of Red Rock Country that is a protected safe haven for many plants and animals, including snakes and lizards. Within its boundaries, the Park also protects a section of one of the most endangered ecosystems in the Southwest, the riparian area along Oak Creek. The Park maintains one of the best displays of flora and fauna, including identification books and pictures, that I have seen anywhere in Arizona. It’s a good place to learn about local history, geology, and other aspects of the area as well. The Park offers an ongoing variety of public education programs. Red Rock State Park has a dedicated staff and excellent core of volunteers that enable visitors to have a high quality of educational experience on every visit. The Park holds a special place in my heart where I can go relish and rejoice in the nature experience.”
Reservations are required for Close Encounters of the Reptilian Kind because space is limited. Call the Park at 928-282-6907 to ensure a seat at this educational and enjoyable program.
Geology Hike, Sunday, May 12, 2013, 2:00 PM: Spring is perfect to join an experienced guide on a hike that focuses on the area’s geology. Have you ever wondered why the rocks are red, where they came from, and where they are going? This experience will answer those questions while explaining the rock formations that create the scenic backdrop of Red Rock State Park. The hike includes the Eagle’s Nest Trail for great views while learning about the geology. More than a guided hike, it’s an interpretive experience for beginners and advanced geologists. The hike lasts approximately two hours and has a 250 feet elevation climb. Bring water and wear suitable shoes.
Moonlight Hike, Friday, May 24, 2013: The Moonlight Hike 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, while also having the chance to learn about Sedona and its surrounding areas. Verde Valley and park history, as well as archeology, geology, botany, and riparian wildlife information, is also offered by a knowledgeable guide. The hike lasts two to 2 1/2 hours and covers a distance of approximately two miles.
Rangers ask hikers to arrive approximately 30 minutes before starting time to insure participation. No late arrivals can be allowed and reservations are required! When you call 928-282-6907, the arrival time will be given because they are adjusted monthly according to the time of the moonrise.
Wear suitable clothing and shoes (prepare for cool nights) and bring water, a flashlight and insect spray. A $5.00 per person program fee is charged at the time of the reservation. There is also a $10.00 entrance fee to the park for a car of four adults. Program fees are non-refundable unless the park must cancel the hike after your arrival.
Wednesday and Saturday Bird Walks, 8:00 AM: Bird walks begin at 8:00 AM on Wednesday and Saturday mornings. Bird enthusiasts 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 varieties of birds who 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 Guided Nature Walks and Activities, 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM: At 10:00 AM daily, a naturalist leads a guided nature walk of one and a half to two hours to introduce visitors to the riparian ecosystem of Oak Creek. Subjects discussed along the way may include plants, wildlife, geology, history, and archaeology. Guided hikes are a learning experience allowing participants to take part in question and answer sessions. The Park also hosts a 45-minute guest speaker or ranger / naturalist-led activity at 2:00 PM. Programs may include a nature hike, a special presentation, or an educational / nature video.
Hike on Your Own! The family-oriented trail system is well marked for safety and enjoyment if you explore on your own. Five miles of trails have 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.
Junior Rangers: A Junior Ranger program is available for children between the ages of six and twelve. 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.
Visitor Center and Theatre: 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, mementoes, t-shirts, and snacks adjacent to the displays.
Join us at the park at any time of year! Whether you choose to take part in a planned activity, or hike and explore on your own, it will be a memorable day. See you at Red Rock State Park!
Red Rock State Park, 4050 Lower Red Rock Loop Road, Sedona. Park hours are 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM; Visitor Center, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Entrance fee is $10.00 per vehicle, up to four adults. The Arizona State Park Annual Fee is available for $75.00 (some restrictions apply). www.azstateparks.com, www.benefactorsrrsp.org, www.azstateparks.com/parks/RERO