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Hiking South Mountain Park

Not everyone has been on a hike and very few have hiked with a park ranger. Dr. Biology hikes South Mountain Park with not one but two park rangers. Park Rangers Liz Smith and Justin Olson are our guides for the 2.5 mile trip up Holbert Trail. This episode provides hiking tips and a preview of what treasures await those who hike this park. This episode also has a companion story, A Walk in the Park, with images and activities.

Content Info | Transcript


MP3 download | 17MB

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Topic Time
Intro 00:00
Preparing before starting a hike. 01:01
What to look for when using a map. 01:16
What is a QR code and how to use it. 01:37
Petroglyphs - how to find them. 02:18
How old are the petroglyphs in the park? 02:58
Number of petroglyphs in South Mountain and do you still find new ones? 03:14
You can get a hike arranged with a park ranger. 03:49
Book about petroglyphs - Landscapes of the Spirits 04:04
What the trail markers tell you. 04:41
A few petroglyph rock art images. 05:04
CAMRA - Central Arizona Mountain Rescue Association 05:27
Park and hiking safety tips. 05:51
Why you should stay on the trail. 07:15
Are there a lot of snakes and Gila monsters? 07:46
Fun treasures in the park - Hohokam pottery. How to look for treasures. 08:53
How are petroglyphs made? 10:26
Can you take found treasures like Hohokam pottery with you? 11:01
Desert washes and the riparian affect. 11:32
Creosote bush and its role in the desert. 12:42
The Ironwood tree - unique to the Sonoran Desert. 13:40
Mistletoe - parasite and the Phainopepla bird. 14:18
The role of a nurse tree. 15:02
Advantage of staying on the trail. 15:47
South Mountain Park and the Urban City 16:31
Petroglyph tour - the chuckwalla (Sauromalus). 17:22
Who and what can use the mountain? [Yield to - Yield to] 18:34
What time of day is the best for hiking the mountain? 19:06
Graffiti - 1000 years destroyed in minutes. 20:04
Scat - not all poop is the same. 21:31
Animal tacks and when to find them. 23:02
The impact of flash floods on the mountains. [Saguaro cactus root system] 23:59
Spider trails - not what you think or want to see. 24:57
Leave no trace ethics - protecting the experience. [ear-bud safety tip] 25:50
Saguaro cactus - the age of - nurse tree role - history of drought. 27:08
Human impact and damage to plant and animal life. 28:20
Location and density of Saguaro Cactus on hill sides. 30:52
Lichens - the colorful rock coatings 31:34
Hours for the Park. 32:36
Tread lightly on the environment. 33:47
Sign-off 34:16

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Hiking South Mountain Park

Audio editor: CJ Kazilek

Petroglyph in South Mountain Park

One of the thousands of petroglyphs you can see in South Mountain Park - if you know when and where to look.

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Be part of Ask A Biologist

by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.

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Petroglyph in South Mountain Park

One of the thousands of petroglyphs you can see in South Mountain Park - if you know when and where to look.

Share to Google Classroom

Be part of Ask A Biologist

by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.