New Mexico Sky Islands

NATURALIST JOURNEY

March 1, 2 & 3, 2019

The Sky Islands mountains of New Mexico are off the beaten track, and as such largely unexplored by the casual traveler. Join Naturalist & Wildlife Biologist Vincent Pinto for 2 or 3 full days of leisurely Nature walks into several remote and captivating Sky Island mountains and valleys in the bootheel of New Mexico.

We will travel along scenic backcountry routes en route to our numerous destinations with little civilization to distract us.

Over the course of your tour you will explore a wide range of native habitats, including: Riparian Forests, Chihuahuan Desert, Grasslands, Oak Woodland, and Chaparral.

The Sky Islands of New Mexico harbor a truly dazzling array of species that collectively constitute a world renowned biodiversity. Here the temperate and the tropical realms artfully meet, proffering a wide array of flora and fauna.

Within the U.S. our region hosts very unique Biodiversity:

  • Most Bird species
  • Most Sparrow species
  • Most Hummingbird species
  • Most Mammals
  • Most Reptiles
  • Most Snake species
  • Most Lizard species
  • Most Ants species
  • Most Bees species

As the bootheel of New Mexico encompasses a significant wildlife corridor between the Sky Islands and the Sierra Madre of Mexico, it is a significant zone of intermixing between temperate and tropical flora and fauna. Given the exact locations we’ll be visiting, we’ll significantly increase our admittedly remote chances of spotting a Jaguar or Ocelot – rare tropical cats in Arizona. We will in fact explore the very canyon where the first photograph of a live Jaguar was taken in 1996!

Among the target species we’ll be searching for is the endangered White-sided Jackrabbit – a peculiar beast given that it is found only in one valley in the entire U.S. and because it is a slow-breeding Rabbit! These unique Lagomorphs share their valley with Pronghorn, the second-fastest land mammal on Earth, as well as Peregrine Falcons – the world’s swiftest bird species and a broad spectrum of other native species. Within the past calendar year nearby areas hosted a Jaguar, Elk from the White Mountains, and at least 1 Mexican Gray Wolf, attesting to the extreme importance of the area’s rich wildlife habitats.

Each day we’ll delve into the fascinating geology of the ranges we’ll encounter, while searching for and enjoying it’s unique wildlife and native plants. We may well encounter species as diverse as Sandhill Crane, Scaled Quail, Montezuma Quail, Gila Monster, Chiricahua Leopard Frog, early spring Butterflies, as well as other characteristic fauna that inhabit the wide range of plant communities we’ll be exploring. As an added bonus, we may be witness to stunning Wildflower blooms, if winter rains have been providential.

In addition to our ongoing wildlife safari, Vincent will teach you the uses of a number of local native plants, hearkening to a time when this ethnobotanical knowledge was crucial to everyday life. He will also point out any wildlife tracks and signs, memorable land features, and significant historic sites. We will wander the wild near where Geronimo finally surrendered and Vincent will guide you through some of the ways and challenges of Apache life in the 1800’s.

Our naturalist saunters will be comprised of a series of short, easy, and slow-paced walks designed to maximize our chances of encountering wildlife. The total distance covered each day on foot will be 2 – 3 miles over terrain that varies from flat and easy to occasionally steep in short sections. Overall we rate the walks as moderate.

Weather in early March is normally cool-to-warm where we’ll be exploring. As the trip nears, we’ll keep you updated as to the latest forecasts. We’ll also send you a complete gear list once you’ve registered, insuring that you’ll be prepared for a wide range of meteorological conditions.

Those choosing the 3rd-day extension will enjoy a more in-depth exploration of the region with greater chances of spotting rare wildlife. Side trips to other mountain ranges and valleys will augment your tour give you a more comprehensive experience of New Mexican Sky Islands.

LODGING

Tour participants will be lodging and dining at the historic Gadsden Hotel in Douglas, AZ which will serve as our trip base.
Every participant is responsible for making their own reservations at the recently renovated Gadsden Hotel.  For details about the different types of rooms available and their rates please click: Gadsden Hotel . We encourage you to reserve your room as soon as possible either online or by calling (520) 364-4481.

TRANSPORTATION

Unless you choose to travel with Vincent in his Toyota 4-Runner for the 3-day option at an extra charge, every participant is responsible for their own transportation throughout the event. We thank you in advance for choosing to carpool with your friends to minimize the number of vehicles. All participants must provide the type/model/license plate of their vehicle and the names of the participants who will share the ride.

MEALS

The Gadsden Hotel has its own restaurant Casa Segovia that offers a full menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  In addition, in March breakfast and lunch to-go options will also be available for purchase at their new cafe. Participants are welcome to select their preferred option. The group will always enjoy lunch in the field. Therefore, you have a choice to either purchase breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the Gadsden Hotel, or you can choose to reserve a room with a small refrigerator to be able to store your perishables -if you choose to bring your own food during the trip. All meal choices are your responsibility on both March 1 and 2, as well as March 3, if you choose the 3rd-day extension.

RWWJ TUITION

2-DAY OPTION – March 1 & 2, 2019

The tuition for your 2-day Naturalist Journeys with an expert Ethnobotanist, Wildlife Biologist, Professional Birder, Naturalist, and Wilderness Survival Instructor is $250 per person with your own transportation and it is paid directly to RWWJ by check. Tuition Excludes: Lodging, All Meals, Park Entry fees, and Gas.

3-DAY OPTION – March 1, 2 & 3, 2019

The tuition for your 3-day Naturalist Journeys with an expert Ethnobotanist, Wildlife Biologist, Professional Birder, Naturalist, and Wilderness Survival Instructor is $330 per person without transportation or $430 with transportation in a Toyota 4-Runner, and it is paid directly to RWWJ by check. Tuition Excludes: Lodging, All Meals, Park Entry fees, and Gas.

RWWJ REGISTRATION

1. Please be advised that every Participant needs to complete a Waiver & Registration Form. To download please click: RWWJ REGISTRATION FORM  & RWWJ WAIVER FORM
Please include any pertinent medical issues and current medications, as well as valid Emergency Contact information on the Registration Forms.
2. Please send both RWWJ Registration Forms back to us along with your Tuition check to:

RAVENS-WAY WILD JOURNEYS LLC
P.O. Box 393
Patagonia, Arizona, 85624