Nestled on the outskirts of Tucson, the Tanque Verde Ranch, is an ideal spot for exploring the surrounding mountains and desert. Each day is a new activity, with lots of fun in the desert sun. Our guides are not only hiking experts, but talented artists as well, so will offer sketching opportunities on several hikes. We'll start the week with a Cowgirl Cookout and spend some time improving our riding skills and strengthening our hiking legs on nearby trails. A trip to southern Arizona wouldn't be complete without an opportunity to also explore its culture and cuisine. So we will travel south one day to hike at Madera Canyon. With Tanque Verde Ranch as our base, there's a little something for everyone on this Sonoran Desert adventure! We provide a watercolor set and journal that fits in your day pack, along with expert art instruction and a supportive, creative hiking group. Maximum group size: 12
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This trip is for women in good physical condition who can hike for three to six hours a day in a desert environment. There will be hikes of over six miles on four of the days, plenty of sketching instruction, and also some time to relax at the ranch. You will have the option to participate in all of the hikes if you train for a level 3 rated trip by engaging in aerobic conditioning, such as walking vigorously up hills, jogging, cross-country skiing or stair stepping for 30 - 45 minutes at least 3 - 4 times a week. Rating: 1   4 5.
This is both a hiking trip and an opportunity to learn and practice basic art elements. Enjoy the mountains and improve your drawing and watercolor sketching techniques. There are a few opportunities to ride at the ranch and explore some of the other highlights and flavors of the desert southwest. We hike some of the areas highlights, including Saguaro National Park, Madera Canyon, Sabino Canyon and Mt. Lemmon to get a feel for the amazing diversity of this landscape. We'll also have a basic riding lesson and walk ride at the beginning and then have the option for a sunset ride later in the trip. There are also opportunities at the ranch to to go mountain biking, take a yoga lesson, or just relax and explore the many beautiful acres of desert on your own, especially if you want to arrive early or stay after the trip ends. There are so many options to make this a truly one-of-a-kind adventure!
There are five double-occupancy "salas" rooms available each with two queen beds, as well as a single occupancy "casitas" for a supplement. All of the rooms are located on the north side of the property in "Quail Hollow" with a nice grassy courtyard that invites you to relax and enjoy the sunset with your travel companions. The casitas are more spacious with their own sitting areas and are available for a supplement of $895, which can be as a single supplement. Both are described here.
Below is the proposed itinerary for the trip. As is true on any adventure travel trip, plans for any specific day may be modified due to weather considerations, unforeseen circumstances, new opportunities, and group interests.
I loved the variety of activities - hiking, sketching, mountain biking and horseback riding. The guides and group were amazing.
The trip leaders and trip participants
The art lessons were exactly what I was hoping for, the women on the trip were a hoot, the scenery on our hikes was gorgeous, and the Dude Ranch accommodations, meals, and horseback rides were superb. Claire and Brenda were terrific guides. It ALL was special.
The group of women was amazing and what truly made the trip. But the artistic bent was equally important and I loved having the opportunity to learn more about field sketching and using this artistic outlet in my travels.