Tucson, AZ
Sky Island Alliance
Spring Assessments: Aravaipa Uplands in February
From  Fri, February 17, 2017 at 1:30PM (Arizona)
To  Sun, February 19, 2017 at 6:00PM
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Hosted by Sky Island Alliance
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This weekend, we will be assessing springs in the upland watershed of Aravaipa Canyon. 
You should be comfortable hiking off-trail (bushwhacking). We will have spots for 3-5 people in the SIA vehicles, but after these fill up, you'll need to bring your own high clearance, 4WD, vehicle. Please contact us to check if your vehicle is suitable.

Friday 1:30 pm:  Meet SIA staff at our office (406 S. 4th Ave, north side of SW corner of 4th Ave and 14th St). Drive out to camp in the uplands on the east or west side of Aravaipa Canyon. Set up camp and enjoy the evening.

Saturday 8:00 am: Breakfast with a quick refresher on use of spring assessment equipment. Then split up into teams and work through the day, returning to camp around 5:00 pm.
Sunday 8:00 am: Continue assessment work until about 2:00 pm, then pack up and head home for a shower! We will try and be back to Tucson by 5 or 6 pm.


At the springs, we will be recording water quality and quantity, taking photographs, making a map of the spring, and documenting the flora and fauna.

Spring assessments require hiking off-trail, potentially in steep terrain. Springs in this area have limited road access, so we will be driving on a high clearance, 4WD road, and then hiking off trail to the springs, up to about 2 miles each way. Each team will probably be able to assess 2-3 springs per day. We may hike as much as 8 miles in one day with part or all of that being off-trail.

For spring assessments, prior training is not required, but experienced volunteers and volunteers with tracking skills, plant identification skills, invertebrate or vertebrate identification skills are desired.


We will caravan out to the east or west side of Aravaipa, and then explore a bit together to find a good camp site for the weekend. It will be an undeveloped site, so plan to bring your own water for drinking and washing (it's a good idea to bring more than you think you will need), as well as trowels and toilet paper for bathroom breaks.

  • All tents, sleeping bags, mattresses, stoves, etc. that you might bring on any normal car camping trip. 
  • Please bring a larger backpack in which to carry shared springs assessment gear. 
  • Several gallons of water per person plus all the food you’ll need for a minimum of 6 meals out, plus snacks.
  • Sturdy footwear (ex. hiking boots, sandals) plus clothing for wet and cold weather, binoculars, field guides, etc. 
  • Long, tough pants are strongly recommended. If you have gaiters, bring them!
  • Anything else you would normally bring for a dayhike.
  • If you need to carry an EpiPen, please bring it.
  • Volunteer Agreement/Waiver – All volunteers need to sign the agreement annually. We will have extras on-hand if this is your first time volunteering in 2017.


Tools, basic camp kitchen set-up including camp stove, extra water, cameras, GPS, data sheets, maps, first-aid kits.

Due to the sensitive nature of springs, dogs are not allowed.

This trip will be led by Sami Hammer. Contact her with questions at sami@skyislandalliance.org or 520-624-7080, ext. 16. 
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William Bemis
Deb Clark
Thomas Clark
Leslie Langbert
Steve Marlatt
Julie Martin
David Medic
Carley Schwartz
Tom Swenson-Healey
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