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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Lost Dutchman State Park guided hikes

Medicinal plants of the Sonoran Desert hike
Apache Junction

There’s always something fun going on at Lost Dutchman State Park, and the month of March is jam-packed with events, hikes and programs.  This week I participated in a guided hike called Medicinal plants of the Sonoran Desert.  Following parts of the park’s Treasure Loop, Prospector’s View and Jacob’s Crosscut trails, volunteer hike leaders stopped at various shrubs, trees and flowers explaining each plant’s medicinal and food value attributes.  For instance, did you know that parts of the creosote bush can be used to reduce symptoms of arthritis, asthma and certain bacterial and fungal infections?  Or, that mesquite tree beans make flavorful, nutritious flour and that a tea made from its leaves can sooth sunburn, rashes and sore throats?  Here’s a sample of what’s on deck in the coming weeks, check the park web site for details:
March 14: Getting to know the birds around you.
March 16: Star Talk with astronomer Bill Dellinges
March 21: Geology Hike
March 24: Reptiles & Amphibians program

LENGTH:  3.5 miles
RATING:  easy
ELEVATION: 2,000' – 2,500'
DOGS: must be on leash, pack out droppings
From Phoenix, go east on US60 to exit 196 for AZ88/Idaho Road.  Turn left and follow Idaho Road
2.3 miles to AZ88/Apache Trail.  Turn right and continue 4.9 miles to the park entrance on the right.
FEE: $7 daily fee per vehicle (includes guided hikes)
FACILITIES: restrooms, water, camping, picnic tables, visitor center

INFO:  480-982-4485

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