January events at San Tan Mountain Regional Park

The San Tan Mountain Regional Park, 6533 W. Phillips Road, in Queen Creek, hosts events throughout the month. Entrance to the park is $6 a car. Events are included with the cost of admission. For more information, call the park office at 480-655-5554 or visit its website at http://www.maricopacountyparks.net/park-locator/san-tan-mountain-regional-park/.

JAN. 11-Wednesday
Home School-Meet the Ranger: 10-11 a.m. Meet inside the Visitor Center. Meet and greet San Tan’s new ranger, Nikki, during this drop-in information session. Attendees should bring their ideas on what topics they’d like to see for homeschool programs and the types of outdoor and hands-on activities that can best supplement their lesson plans.
San Tan Night Shredders: 6-8 p.m. Meet at the flag pole. Looking for an adventure where trail riding abilities will be challenged, then look no further than the Night Shredders. When you’re on a bike on the trail at night, every bump, dip and shadow gives an extra pop of adrenaline. Darkness heightens senses, sharpens skills and makes a person feel more alive. And isn’t that why people bike in the first place? The parks policy, “No Rider Left Behind,” means they ride together in a group for safety reasons. It is mandatory to wear a helmet and please bring plenty of water, an extra tube and tools to change a flat tire, and two sources of light; LED rechargeable lights with at least 650 lumen. Why? The desert gets very dark at night. Riders under 18 years of age must complete a parental consent form.
JAN. 12-THURSDAY
San Tan Hikers: 8:30-9:30 a.m. Meet inside the Visitor Center. Start the year out on the right foot and then the left. This easy/moderate 2.2-mile hike around Stargazer and Moonlight trails will get a hiker’s heart rate up while inspiring him or her with beautiful views. What to bring: Closed-toe shoes and water.
JAN. 14-SATURDAY
Mountain Biking 101 Beginner Ride: 9-10:30 a.m. Meet at the San Tan Trail sign at the main trailhead. Riding on mountain trails can seem intimidating. Local experts help novice bikers understand his or her bike’s features and learn the ins and outs of safe riding. This 5.5-mile ride is open to all ages and skill levels. Helmets are required. Bikers under age 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. What to bring: Water, helmet, extra tube and tools to change a flat tire.
Lights Out – Desert Animals at Night: 6-6:30 p.m. Learn what it’s like to be a nocturnal creature in the Sonoran Desert. What special features have animals developed to survive without the light of day? Meet in the Nature Center to find out and be in the know for the hike that follows (See “Evening Hike” listing at 6:30 p.m.).
Evening Hike: 6:30-8 p.m. Meet at the flag pole. Discover the beauty of the Sonoran Desert as your eyes adjust to the darkness. Along the way, guides will point out some of their favorite winter constellations and talk about the life that abounds in the desert at night. Join in this invigorating 2.2-mile stroll along Stargazer and Moonlight trails. What to bring: Closed-toe shoes and water. Flashlights are encouraged (See “Lights Out – Desert Animals at Night” at 6 p.m.).
JAN. 18-Wednesday
San Tan Night Shredders: 6-8 p.m. Meet at the Flag Pole at 7 p.m. Meet at the flag pole. Looking for an adventure where trail riding abilities will be challenged, then look no further than the Night Shredders. When you’re on a bike on the trail at night, every bump, dip and shadow gives an extra pop of adrenaline. Darkness heightens senses, sharpens skills and makes a person feel more alive. And isn’t that why people bike in the first place? The parks policy, “No Rider Left Behind,” means they ride together in a group for safety reasons. It is mandatory to wear a helmet and please bring plenty of water, an extra tube and tools to change a flat tire, and two sources of light; LED rechargeable lights with at least 650 lumen. Why? The desert gets very dark at night. Riders under 18 years of age must complete a parental consent form.
JAN. 21-SATURDAY
Mountain Biking 101 Beginner Ride: 9-10:30 a.m. Meet at the San Tan Trail sign at the main trailhead. Riding on mountain trails can seem intimidating. Local experts help novice bikers understand his or her bike’s features and learn the ins and outs of safe riding. This 5.5-mile ride is open to all ages and skill levels. Helmets are required. Bikers under age 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. What to bring: Water, helmet, extra tube and tools to change a flat tire.
Archery 101: 10-11:30 a.m. Meet at the south end of the overflow parking area. This class is for anyone who has ever wanted to try archery.  Participants will be introduced to the International Target Style Archery in a safe and fun environment. Participants must at least 8 years old. Reserve a spot by calling 480-655-5554. What to bring: Water, a hat and closed-toe shoes. Limited to 20 participants. Minors must be accompanied by an adult.
Archery 202: 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Meet at the south end of the overflow parking area. Archers can take their archery skills to the next level by fine tuning their technique through a variety of games and shooting exercises. Participants must have successfully completed a Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Archery 101 (offered at 10 a.m. Jan. 21) or Intro to Archery class and present their archer’s card to the instructor before the start of the class. To reserve a spot, call 480-655-5554. Participants must at least 8 years old. Minors must be accompanied by an adult. Limited to 10 participants. What to bring: Water, a hat and closed-toe shoes.
JAN. 22-SUNDAY
Sonoran Desert Basics: 9-10 a.m. Meet at the flag pole. Whether participants are new desert dwellers or a longtime residents they will enjoy this introduction to the Sonoran landscape. How do plants survive in a place that receives less than 10 inches of rain per year? This 2-mile ranger-led walk will explore nature’s efficient survival mechanisms. What to bring: Closed-toe shoes and water.
JAN. 25-WEDNESDAY
San Tan Night Shredders: 6-8 p.m. Meet at the Flag Pole at 7 p.m. Meet at the flag pole. Looking for an adventure where trail riding abilities will be challenged, then look no further than the Night Shredders. When you’re on a bike on the trail at night, every bump, dip and shadow gives an extra pop of adrenaline. Darkness heightens senses, sharpens skills and makes a person feel more alive. And isn’t that why people bike in the first place? The parks policy, “No Rider Left Behind,” means they ride together in a group for safety reasons. It is mandatory to wear a helmet and please bring plenty of water, an extra tube and tools to change a flat tire, and two sources of light; LED rechargeable lights with at least 650 lumen. Why? The desert gets very dark at night. Riders under 18 years of age must complete a parental consent form.
JAN. 26-THURSDAY
San Tan Hikers: 8:30-9:30 a.m. Meet inside the Visitor Center. Start the year out on the right foot and then the left. This easy/moderate 2.2-mile hike around Stargazer and Moonlight trails will get a hiker’s heart rate up while inspiring himor her with beautiful views. What to bring: Closed-toe shoes and water.
JAN. 28-SATURDAY
Trailwork Volunteer Day: 8 a.m.-noon. Meet in the picnic area near the Nature Center. Park staff members are looking for a few good volunteers who want to add a twist to their workouts. In order to provide for visitor safety and to protect natural/cultural resources, the park staff and trail volunteers provide a much-needed source of labor to repair and enhance existing trails. Trail maintenance projects include helping with pruning, erosion control, post installation and trail improvements. By the end of the day, each volunteer will know the basics of trail maintenance. Also, it is a good way to see the park. Volunteers will start at 8 a.m. and be on the trails for three to four hours. Dress appropriately for the weather. Bring water, a hat, gloves and any tools you might have. The park will provide tools for volunteers who do not have any. Suitable for ages 12 and older. RSVP by e-mailing Ranger Nikki at nikkibunnell@mail.maricopa.gov.
Mountain Biking 101 Beginner Ride: 9-10:30 a.m. Meet at the San Tan Trail sign at the main trailhead. Riding on mountain trails can seem intimidating. Local experts help novice bikers understand his or her bike’s features and learn the ins and outs of safe riding. This 5.5-mile ride is open to all ages and skill levels. Helmets are required. Bikers under age 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. What to bring: Water, helmet, extra tube and tools to change a flat tire.
Find the Ranger: 2-4 p.m. Ranger Nikki will be along Goldmine Trail between 2 and 4 pm. Can you find her? Be sure to say hello and share your desert knowledge. Those who do might win a prize. What to bring: Water, hat and closed-toe shoes.

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