Private Programs

By popular demand RAVENS-WAY WILD JOURNEYS offers private, custom-made Nature Adventures tailored to your individual interests, needs and preferences. We cater to individuals, couples, families, and groups, and thus focus on their specific goals, fitness level, age, past experience & training, and interests to best suit their overall field trip objectives.

Our 30 years of experience exploring, studying, researching, living, and teaching in the Sky Islands is reflected in our intimate knowledge of local wilderness areas and natural habitats, helping us to best meet your detailed objectives and preferences.

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Naturalist Saunters, Nature Treks, Birding Programs, Owl Prowls, Wilderness Survival Skills, and Ethnobotany Walks are just a few examples of our most popular requests. Once you share your parameters with us via email, we will choose the most suitable destination(s) and format(s) from all the amazing options available. Please include the number of participants and whether you are interested in a Half-Day, Full-Day, or Multi-Day expedition. We will respond with our suggestions and the tuition for your private Nature Adventure.  Given our often fully booked schedule, reservations should ideally be made far in advance if possible.  Last minute requests will also be considered as openings in our schedule allow. To view and download an Audubon article, please click:PDF

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If you’re not quite sure exactly how best to tailor your Nature Adventure with us, we can provide countless creative ideas that are sure to deliver an unforgettable wilderness experience! Please keep in mind that ALL of our programs, classes, and workshops can be custom-made to your exact wants and needs. For details about our Programs, please visit: NATURE ADVENTURES, BIRDING & WILDERNESS SURVIVAL SKILLS.

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Unlike many other tour companies, we truly provide personal attention to every detail of your custom-made Nature Adventure. You’ll get an in-depth itinerary, gear list, and directions once we’ve helped you to design a program that best suits you. Given that we are a small and family-owned business, passionate about raising awareness about our unique Sky Islands Biodiversity, we highly value your support, thus treating you like the valued client that you are to us.

NATURE TREKS

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Our Nature Treks are intended for those who enjoy a more lively pace when exploring the wilds. If you’re craving to explore a variety of wild areas – each unique in what it has to offer – then you’re definitely in the right place! Treks can be shorter or longer and range from moderate to difficult, depending upon your desired level of difficulty.  Raven’s Nest Nature Sanctuary is perfectly located near a wide range of recreational opportunities that are sure to enhance your Sky Islands experience. Starting at our Nature Sanctuary,  we can guide you on a moderate Trek, covering about 5 miles on our varied Nature Trails with very varied terrain.

Fortunately, Raven’s Nest Nature Sanctuary is surrounded by the spectacular 9000 wild acres at Sonoita Creek State Natural Area! Therefore after just a short walk we are able to roam and enjoy countless Treks that range from moderate to very difficult amidst a vast, secluded and remote wilderness. The lists of plants and animals there, though overlapping with those of our Nature Sanctuary, are amazingly different despite their close proximity, given the number of different habitats that can be found within this rich wonderland.

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 Adjoining the Natural Area, Patagonia Lake State Park presents incredible birding and wildlife viewing opportunities and lies a mere 5 minute drive away with multiple Trekking opportunities.

NATURE TREKS FURTHER AFIELD

Further afield, the Nature Trek options are vast and very rewarding. Though still within easy striking range there are many very different natural environments to explore, including:

  • The Nature Conservancy’s Sonoita Creek Preserve
  • The scenic San Rafael Grasslands
  • The Patagonia Mountains
  • The 800-mile Arizona Trail
  • Las Cienagas National Conservation Area
  • Kartchner Caverns State Park
  • San Pedro River National Riparian Conservation Area
  • Tumacacori National Historic Park
  • Coronado National Memorial
  • Pajarito Wilderness
  • & Parker Canyon Lake to name a few!

We can guide you or your private group to explore the countless rich natural and cultural history areas of our gorgeous Sky Islands.

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Our popular Nature Treks offer the possibility to cover longer distances, while learning about the unique biodiversity of the Sky Islands. We will work with you to carefully craft a trek that incorporates your interests and fitness level, seasonal biodiversity hot-spots, and the level of difficulty that best suits you. Trekking at a mostly moderate pace through a diverse set of habitats, you’ll soon discover fascinating native flora and fauna, spectacular vistas, and the peace and quiet inherent in the wilderness.

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 NATURALIST SAUNTERS

If you’re looking for a slow-paced exploration of wild areas, covering any number of fascinating topics, then our Naturalist Saunters are for you.  Designed to maximize opportunities for enjoying and savoring the many facets of Nature, our saunters allow you to slow down and use all of your senses while taking in the sublime beauty of Nature.  Although slower-paced than our Nature Treks, Naturalist Saunters can also be of any distance and terrain desired. To view and download an Audubon article on your tour leader’s, Vincent Pinto’s, experience please click:PDF

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Raven’s Nest Nature Sanctuary offers a great place to initiate any of your Private Program requests, given its miles of Nature Trails, Wildlife Ponds, Bird Blind, and natural history displays housed within the Sky Islands Discovery Center. Whether you are taking a day program, staying overnight in our Safari Eco-lodge, or with a group in Main Camp, investigating the species-rich habitats at Raven’s Nest is always a good place to start! Our Mesquite Woodlands, Grasslands, arroyos, and canyons provide a personal glimpse into the biodiversity of the Sky Islands or its ample natural resources for Wilderness Survival.

As a prelude to other experiences in Nature, consider taking a half or full-day saunter at Raven’s Nest Nature Sanctuary.  Our miles of Nature trails will provide a great introduction to the Sky Islands, including its diverse wildlife and native plants.

Vast Sonoita Creek State Natural Area is a short walk from Raven’s Nest and contiguous Patagonia Lake State Park a mere 5-minute drive.  Each provides local and highly varied Naturalist Saunter possibilities.

NATURALIST SAUNTERS FURTHER AFIELD

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Further afield, the Naturalist Saunter options are countless. Though still within easy striking range there are many very different natural environments to methodically explore, including:

  • The Nature Conservancy’s Sonoita Creek Preserve
  • The scenic San Rafael Grasslands
  • The Patagonia Mountains
  • The 800-mile Arizona Trail
  • Las Cienagas National Conservation Area
  • Kartchner Caverns State Park
  • San Pedro River National Riparian Conservation Area
  • Tumacacori National Historic Park
  • Coronado National Memorial
  • Pajarito Wilderness
  • Parker Canyon Lake
  • Ramsey Canyon Nature Preserve

We can be your expert guide to the natural and cultural history of the region as you explore the incomparable Sky Islands.

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The options for a private Sky Islands Naturalist Saunter with Vincent Pinto are diverse, fascinating, and educational. Our Naturalist Saunters are for those desiring to go beyond mere sightseeing and exercise during a walk in the wild. These slow-paced rambles are designed to accommodate most walking abilities and vary from short to long, depending upon your wants and needs. Imagine slowly meandering through a diverse set of habitats, searching for fascinating native flora and fauna – many species of which are unique to our Sky Islands region. You can choose to do a Half-day or Full-day Saunter, with terrain as easy or as difficult as you like. Either way, we’ll guide you at a measured pace intended to increase your chances of encountering and enjoying various Sky Islands species.

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During a relaxed walk you’re much more likely to spot a troop of White-nosed Coatis (tropical members of the Raccoon family), get a great photo of a spectacular Elegant Trogon, or see the sublime details of colorful butterflies and wildflowers. We can tailor a Naturalist Saunter to your exact interests, time restrictions, and areas of preferred focus.

 SKY ISLANDS BIRDING

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Though you are welcome to join our group events, most birdwatchers choose a custom-made Sky Islands Birding experience. If you’re an experienced birder, then we can base on your trip on your Target Species List as you desire.  Just let us know what you’re interested in seeing and we’ll be happy to accommodate you. To view and download an Audubon article detailing your guide’s, Vincent Pinto’s, experience, please click:PDF

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To visit our dedicated Sky Islands Birding section please click: BIRDING

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For beginner and intermediate birders we can work with you to determine which areas to explore, while seeking a diversity of incredible Sky Islands birds.  Accordingly, we we’ll concentrate our efforts in the best areas as well as lesser-known, yet diverse hot-spots in order to maximize the overall number of species you may encounter.

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Given our 30 years of field experience we’ll accomplish this in a fashion that maximizes intimate and memorable birding experiences – not just the overall number of species seen.  Also, if you have other interests beyond birds, then Bird Guide, Naturalist, and Wildlife Biologist Vincent Pinto will be happy to help you find, enjoy, and learn about the Mammals, Reptiles, Amphibians, Fish, Invertebrates, Native Plants, Ethnobotany, and Geology in any combination of subjects that you desire.  At the conclusion of your trip you’ll be given a complete list of the birds and other wildlife you’ve encountered.

OUR STRATEGIC SKY ISLANDS LOCATION

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Within easy striking range of Raven’s Nest Nature Sanctuary are an impressive array of other wild areas, including:

  • The Nature Conservancy’s Sonoita Creek Preserve
  • The scenic San Rafael Grasslands
  • The Patagonia Mountains
  • The 800-mile Arizona Trail
  • Las Cienagas National Conservation Area
  • Kartchner Caverns State Park
  • San Pedro River National Riparian Conservation Area
  • Ramsey Canyon Nature Preserve
  • Tumacacori National Historic Park
  • Coronado National Memorial
  • Madera Canyon
  • The Pajarito Wilderness
  • and Parker Canyon Lake to name a few!

RAVENS-WAY WILD JOURNEYS can be your guide to the natural and cultural history of the region, as you explore the gorgeous Sky Islands.  Be it a Nature Trek, Naturalist Saunter, Birding outing, Wildlife Safari, or Wilderness Survival program, we can custom-make a memorable experience in Nature for you or your group!

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Venturing even further and requiring at least a full day’s commitment are the incredible natural wonders of the Chiricahua Mountains. For further details on the upcoming Chiricahua Mountain Expedition, please click on UPCOMING EVENTS. Also, for details on our Chiricahua Mountain Nature Sanctuary, please click on RAVEN’S MOUNTAIN to visit our dedicated section.

Nearby to the Chiricahuas San Bernadino and Leslie Canyon National Wildlife Refuges protect rare Cienagas or marshes and their distinct flora and fauna. Fort Bowie National Historic Site in the north end of the Chiricahuas offers a unique window into the U.S. – Apache wars of the 1800’s. Whitewater Draw State Wildlife Area and Willcox Playa draw in tens of thousands of Sandhill Cranes and other waterfowl in Winter – a spectacle to behold!

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Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness offers another magnificent opportunity to discover the renowned Sky Islands biodiversity. Special permission is required to enter the Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness, therefore advance reservations are necessary to request and process all the necessary permits.

Numerous other renowned Natural and Historic sites lie within the Sky Islands Region and are well worth exploring. RAVENS-WAY WILD JOURNEYS will be happy to guide you to these areas, always endeavoring to enhance your stay in the Southwest with unique, private, and memorable experiences!

 

For guests craving a bit of modern culture or just a night out on the town, Tucson will offer many choices. Fine dining, cinema, and the arts await you in the “Old Pueblo”. Closer to Raven’s Nest, the quaint towns of Patagonia and Tubac offer their own culinary rewards, as well as some first-class shopping and local culture. In Tombstone and old Bisbee you’ll find fine food as well as plenty of antiques for you to peruse.