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Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, AZ

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Guide 7 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Tucson > Tucson W
2 of 5 by 2
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Difficulty 0.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Multi-Loop 2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,845 feet
Elevation Gain 50 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 4-6 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 2.25
Backpack No
Dogs not allowed
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
10  2017-12-26
Sentinel Peak - A Mountain
87  2016-01-31 New2hyk
18  2014-03-08 Crzy4AZ
2  2010-03-27 Crzy4AZ
9  2004-03-22 Crzy4AZ
Author Crzy4AZ
author avatar Guides 31
Routes 96
Photos 2,588
Trips 589 map ( 2,119 miles )
Age 46 Female Gender
Location Scottsdale, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Mar, Feb, Jan, Dec → 8 AM
Seasons   Late Autumn
Sun  6:13am - 6:22pm
1 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Culture Nearby
Zoo and botanical garden combo
by Crzy4AZ

The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum was founded in 1952 to inspire people to live in harmony with the natural world by fostering love, appreciation, and understanding of the Sonoran Desert. * The museum is a mix of zoo and botanical garden over 21 acres including 230 animal species and 1200 types of plants. You will find an impressive regional mineral collection including 14,000 specimens and 2000 fossils. More recently a small aquarium was added along with art gallery exhibit.

The Museum’s double name refers to the Mexican state of Sonora immediately south of Arizona and the relationship to share and exchange research and education programs with our neighbor. There are dozens of ways for children to interact with museum, and you can achieve the status of “Honorary ASDM Animal Tracker” if you locate and stamp all 15 animal tracks at the stations across the Museum. The shaded Fossil Dig exhibit is particularly fun for kids to find dinosaur eggs, claw, footprint, and nose horn.

There are two miles of interlocking trails that weave through a natural desert environment and animals are kept as close to visitors as safely possible. Don’t miss the Hummingbird Aviary with eight species of hummingbirds and nectar plants that feed them. Of note the Museum does not sell water bottles; however they have a free cold water fountain at the entrance for refilling your own water bottle.

Exhibit areas (from museum brochure):

  1. Warden Aquarium- two galleries of fresh and salt water species including those from Gulf of California.

  2. Reptile, Amphibian & Invertebrate Hall

  3. Earth Sciences Center – replica limestone cave, minerals exhibit

  4. Ancient Arizona – prehistoric AZ

  5. Mountain Woodland – mountain lion, white-tailed deer, Mexican gray wolves, thick-billed parrot, Merriam’s turkey, American kestrel, black bear

  6. Desert Grassland – prairie dogs, great blue heron

  7. Desert Loop trail – javelina, coyote, lizard

  8. Life on the Rocks

  9. Cat Canyon – bobcats, porcupine, grey fox, ocelot

  10. Riparian Corridor – river otter, beavers, bighorn sheep, coatis

  11. Aviary – 20 species native birds

  12. Life Underground

  13. Hummingbird Aviary

Ironwood Terraces: food court, children’s menu
Ocotillo Café: fine dining, accepts reservations
Phoebe’s Coffee bar: snacks, coffee, ice cream
Cottonwood snack shop: soft service ice cream, hand scoop ice cream

* Reference: Official website

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2014-03-09 Crzy4AZ
  • sub-region related
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

Most recent Triplog Reviews
Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
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went to the museum with a couple of stewards to watch the raptor free flight. The show is offered at 10am and 2pm during the non summer months. The price is included in the admission fee. They release about 4 different raptors during the show and educate us with information about each raptor. Nice opportunity to practice raptors in flight photography. Morning show did not have many people but 2pm show had attracted huge group. It was very windy and they had decided to show only 2 raptors for the afternoon show. Apparently birds stay away from too much wind and they picked harris hawks and peregrine falcon to show off their use of wind....those guys had lot of fun enjoying the wind. Overall, it was wonderful experience for me. I got to know the museum and 2 stewards. I took photos using my point and shoot method and did not practice my camera skills.
PS: they also have a wonderful hummingbird aviary with cute little nests. Food was amazing in their café. Also have a small aquarium and 2 nice gift shops.
Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
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Daytrip to Tucson to spend the day at the Museum. George's first time to Tucson. Kids loved the animal tracker guide books and digging for fossils.

Could not believe that the mountain lion was pressed right up against the glass staring at everyone and pacing back and forth. We watched her for a long time!

Got there at 10am and we weren't finished even at 5pm when we had to leave. There was a night event going on that started at 5pm.
Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
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Daytrip to Tucson to visit the Desert Museum. Amazing weather - perfect amount of wind. We brought our jogging stroller and Caroline enjoyed most of the animals. She saw the black bear and made a growl sound. She saw the mexican wolves and shouted "dog dog" - I guess she's pretty close there. Mountain lions were greeted with "cat cat" and a violent attempt to exit the stroller. The big horned sheep were met with furrowed eyebrows and silence. She made the "sssss" sound when we got to the display with snakes and gila monsters through plexiglass. The bird exhibit had some easy to spot ducks and Caroline laughed as they splashed around and she correctly shouted "duck duck duck".

Her favorite new word is "ouch" and there were plenty of those around!!! Any and all cacti are called ouch appropriately. Even aloe and some yucca she will call "ouch". We fought the crowds for lunch and let her roam around for a while dangerously climbing on rock surfaces with her wobbly 16 month-old gait. Last stop was the hummingbird exhibit (3 nests!) and she did see a few of them and exclaiming "busy bee" - that's her word for all flying or crawling small things with wings.

Permit $$
Special Use

Museum entry fees can be found on the website. Children 3 and under are free. Service pets are allowed. Free strollers (no cover on them) are available. All the trails are accessible for those using wheelchairs although some areas are hilly and unpaved.
Hours vary by season - see website.

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To walk/tour
2021 N. Kinney Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85743
page created by Crzy4AZ on Mar 09 2014 9:50 am
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