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Trekking Rattlers Hiking and Birding Club

Make your feet your friend, J.M. Barrie

trekking_rattlers_insectSince 2013, Tucson Audubon has been partnering with the Sierra Club’s Inspiring Connections Outdoors to offer the students at Billy Lane Lauffer Middle School an opportunity to get outdoors and explore! The outings occur once a month and any Lauffer Middle School student and their family members can attend.

Since the program’s inception, hudreds of students have soaked up fall colors atop Mt. Lemmon and in Ramsey Canyon, played in the snow-melt pools of Sabino Canyon’s Seven Falls, hiked to the top of Wasson Peak, explored Cienega Creek, Catalina State Park, and Aravaipa Canyon and explored many other amazing places. They’ve also had the amazing experience of attending the Mt. Lemmon Sky School and spending a night at the University of Arizona’s faciities, stargazing and learning about the plants and wildlife that characterize the different life zones atop the mountain. Finally, they’ve also participated in a service learning project by working with Tucson Audubon staff to help restore habitat at Atturbury Wash.

Along the way,  they’ve learned how to use binoculars and spot common southern Arizona birds.

Every hike requires several adult volunteers. We we are currently looking for volunteers for the 2016-2017 season who are capable of hiking up to 6 miles and are passionate about inspiring and educating children in the natural world! This season’s logistics have been graciously funded by the Edmund R. Caldwell Scholarship Fund; transportation continues to be funded by generous Arizona tax payers like you through the Tax Credit Donation process, detailed below.


Trekking Rattlers 2016-2017 Schedule
  • September 24 Birds, Bikes, and Boxes-Intro to the Trekking Rattlers: We’ll meet at Lauffer Middle School and explore how to use a GPS, build nest boxes for birds, and explore the birds of Littletown Park. We’ll also play some awesome getting-to-know-you games!
  • October 22 Saguaro National Park. Family Picnic and Hike: Enjoy an evening cookout, blacklighting for critters, stargazing, and hiking in the park with your family!
  • November 19 Mt. Lemmon! Come breathe the cool mountain air and see the color of autumn leaves on the Aspen and Marshall Gulch Trail. (3.8 miles)
  • December 10 Tucson Mountains: Climb a Peak! Wasson Peak is our most challenging hike. Join us as we climb a mountain and can see Mexico from the top!
  • January 13-15 Weekend in Willcox! Join the Sulphur Springs Valley Young Birders as we explore birds and nature in the Willcox area. Requires parent for two night hotel stay. Expenses paid by family.
  • January 16 Volunteer Service! A Day in Saguaro National Park: Choose between pulling invasive buffelgrass, collecting data on saguaros, or monitoring carnivore cameras in the wilderness.
  • February 11 Overnight Family Camp at Saguaro National Park! Learn basic camping skills, hike by moonlight, and roast marshmallows over the campfire!
  • March 4 Horseback Riding and Colossal Cave! The Rattlers will ride into Saguaro Natl Park on horseback! We’ll also tour Colossal Cave and hike in Cienega Creek.
  • April 7-9 Chiracahua Weekend Nature Camp: We’ll travel to Portal, Arizona, and stay at Cave Creek Ranch. Here we’ll learn about the natural history or southeastern AZ as we hike, bird, explore, and have fun!
  • May 13 International Migratory Bird Day: We’ll head to Sierra Vista to explore special activities along the San Pedro River, a hotspot for migrating birds and cool water!


trekking_rattlers_woodsThe program is entirely funded with tax credit donations, so please consider donating your tax credits to the Trekking Rattlers Club at Billy Lauffer Middle School.

Also, this program could not function without our dedicated volunteer, Deborah Vath, and her Lauffer Middle School partners Christine Taylor and Jackie Nichols.

Consider supporting their efforts and sharing your love of birds, nature, and hiking by volunteering with the Trekking Rattlers!

Contact for details.


33-IMG_4831_resizedPoem: by Eva Orozco

Nice and fresh
Loving It
Never enough!



“Silence even for just a second brings calm and peace to the world. Just letting it all go just for that moment brings center and wonder to all. Let the wind carry your thoughts away, leaving your mind and entering the whispers of the trees, bouncing off the mountains and into your mind once again”.

–Julia Molina, 8th grade Lauffer student, Mt. Lemmon outing



The wind in my hair

Noises of animals everywhere

While the birds sing and chirp,

I lay in the dirt,

Listening to things all around me.

I figure out while I listen to the wind and animals:

I am here thinking about Today!

What a beautiful day!

By: Annette Pinuelas


Tucson Audubon Society
300 E University Blvd. #120 Tucson, AZ 85705

Mason Center
3835 W Hardy Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85742

Paton Center for Hummingbirds
477 Pennsylvania Ave.
Patagonia, AZ 85624
520 415-6447