iNat-athon in Southeast Arizona August 20-26, 2017

Set the calendars as the dates that we will be having an unofficial iNaturalist gathering are now set, what I'm calling an iNat-athon Join us for some or all of the days!

I hope to keep this journal entry free from most comments and only have important information and the itinerary. Please continue to post comments to the original post at

We will begin Sunday, August 20th and end Saturday, August 26th in Tucson. I'll soon post links to a few of the hotels that are near each other and close to the airport so that everyone can choose which hotel they wish to use.

I've started another journal where you can post if you are looking to share a ride or room with someone else who is coming on the adventure. Please post away what you need and hopefully someone will reply. You can work out the exact details offline if you wish.

I'm very excited about this outing and getting to meet so many people who I've corresponded with on iNaturalist over the past few years.


This is a rough itinerary. Due to weather and wildfires the routes and exact locations may change. But these are the days that we plan on being in each of the mountain ranges. We will have at least one night of blacklighting in each range and which night will depend on the weather.

Saturday 8/19
Arrive in Tucson. We will try to meet in the evening and make a run to a store to stock up on water, snacks and other needs.
I recommend getting a hotel room near the airport so that everyone is on the same side of town.
I'll be staying at the Quality Inn & Suites Airport North
5251 S. Julian Drive, Tucson, AZ, 85706, US

Sunday 8/20
For those interested, we will meet at Quality Inn & Suites Airport North
5251 S. Julian Drive, Tucson, AZ, 85706, US at 7am and then leave as a caravan.
Head to the Chiricahua Mountains, making stops along the way.
Hotels either in Portal, AZ or Wilcox, AZ
Multiple campgrounds in the Chiricahua Mountains
I'll be staying at the Portal Peak Lodge
2358 S Rock House Rd, Portal, AZ 85632

Monday 8/21
Chiricahua Mountains

Tuesday 8/22
Head to the Huachuca Mountains stopping along the way when we see something that catches out eye.
We will be helping out on a bioblitz at Coronado National Monument that is being coordinated in part by @skyislandalliance.
Hotels in Sierra Vista
Multiple campgrounds in Carr Canyon
1631 South Highway 92, Sierra Vista, AZ, 85635, US

Wednesday 8/23
Huachuca Mountains
We will being ending the day in Carr Canyon. The morning activities are still unplanned but may include visits to one or more of the hummingbird hotspots. We do not plan on going onto Fort Huachuca.

Thursday 8/24
Head to Madera Canyon. We'll make stops along the way, possibilities include Patagonia, Pena Lake
Hotels in Green Valley or Tucson (lower priced, further away)
Multiple campgrounds in Madera Canyon
For the rest of the trip I'll be staying at the Comfort Suites Airport Tucson
6935 S. Tucson Blvd., Tucson, AZ, 85756, US

Friday 8/25
Madera Canyon
We may visit one or more of the other nearby canyons for part of the day but will end the day with blacklights hung in Madera Canyon.

Saturday 8/26
Mt Lemmon
For those who can stay late, we'll spend the day and end it with blacklighting until too tired to go on.

Sunday 8/27
Head home.

What to bring

Cameras, Batteries and Memory cards
Any other way that want to record your observations for iNaturalist. There are lots of bats so bring along ultrasound recording equipment if you have it.

UV Light and way to charge it. I have one but the more we can have hanging the better with multiple people in a group. The AC and DC Night Collecting Lights at BioQuip are ideal for this as they can be plugged into a portable battery or a vehicle 12-volt DC system.
This is the battery that I use:

Flashlights and batteries
Always have a backup in case your main one stops working.

Be prepared for sunny hot/warm days, cool nights and rain at any time. We will do our best to avoid the rain and especially the cool nights.

Food and Drinks
The days in the Chiricahua Mountains will be the most difficult. There really isn't a place to buy food and drink there except at the Portal Lodge. We will be making a trip to the store the evening of the 19th so that those who desire can purchase supplies.
While in other locations there are plenty of stores and restaurants when not in the mountains.

Publicado el 21 de diciembre de 2016 a las 06:33 PM por finatic finatic


How are the roads in the areas we are visiting? Paved? Dirt? Rough? 4WD recommended?

(figured this was important enough to post here since many might be wondering)

Anotado por silversea_starsong hace cerca de 7 años

The roads are all of the above. One thing to keep in mind is that this is monsoon season, and dirt roads can be smooth one day and very bad the next. High clearance is recommended to be on the safe side but 4WD most likely won't be required on this trip.
The Chiricahuas are a mixture of paved and dirt.
Carr Canyon is dirt, usually a bit rough but passable with normal passenger car. It is a long steep climb to the top where where will be going.
Madera Canyon and Mt Lemmon are paved except for some of the side roads in Mt Lemmon.

Anotado por finatic hace cerca de 7 años

Unfortunately, I'm having to decide that I can't go on this trip. Too many things to do and not enough time or money. I'm sure it will be awesome and I hope you will include me on future invites.
Happy Trails,
Leah @grnleaf

Anotado por grnleaf hace cerca de 7 años

Leah @grnleaf, you'll be missed but hopefully one day we'll get to spend some time out in the field.

Anotado por finatic hace cerca de 7 años

I can't make it. can't get away from my business startup. Maybe next year!

Anotado por royaltyler hace casi 7 años

Watch for Malacothamnus while you are in Arizona. There is one only known from two places near Phoenix. There is a second one only known from a single collection in 1852 from "Santa Cruz Valley, Sonora, Mexico". This one could have potentially been anywhere between Tuscon, AZ and Santa Cruz, Mexico.

Anotado por keirmorse hace casi 7 años

@th0th and I will be there from Tuesday - Satuday - looking forward to seeing everybody

Anotado por loarie hace casi 7 años

Alright, 15 people have confirmed being at the iNat-athon in a few weeks. If you haven't received a message from me with the text group invitation then I don't have you on the confirmed list. It's not too late to make plans to attend.

Anotado por finatic hace casi 7 años

Fantastic news on the 2017 monsoon season! Generally speaking, the greater the monsoonal rains, the better our results are likely to be for the outing, especially for plants and bugs. The flip side is that above-average rainfall can also wash out roads that we may be relying on, so we need to be mindful of the potential need for flexibility with the schedule.

Record rainfall pace for Monsoon 2017

You can track the rainfall amounts in detail at Rainlog below, though there are few rain gauges at the higher elevations where we will be spending much time:

Anotado por jaykeller hace casi 7 años

I would like to join in on some of these outings. Most likely a Madera Canyon excursion. I will leading groups at Coronado National Historic Monument on August 22, for a Sky Island Alliance Bioblitz if anyone is interested in swinging by. Looking forward to meeting some of you!

Anotado por entomo-logic hace casi 7 años

@entomo-logic, we will be attending the Sky Island Alliance Bioblitz on the 22nd as part of our route.

Anotado por finatic hace casi 7 años

I'm going to bring a beating sheet and a net, should make the daytime more interesting. Although, with new birds, new plants, new everything, that might be hard to manage along with camera lenses :)

Anotado por silversea_starsong hace casi 7 años

I just made a post with details on the Arizona bush-mallows. Keep your eyes open for them wherever you are, especially if you are in recent burn areas. Also share with Arizona people that may frequent these areas. Thanks!

Anotado por keirmorse hace casi 7 años

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