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Mogollon Highlands Naturalist Field Camp at Granite Basin

September 9 @ 11:00 am - September 11 @ 12:00 pm


Mogollon Highlands Naturalist Field Camp

At Granite Basin Recreation Area and Wilderness

September 9-11, 2024

The Monsoon has come to the Mogollon Highlands. Scarlet Gilia flowers open beneath the scattered canopy of pines and oaks. Thunder rumbles through the afternoon. The smells of wet decomposed granite and pine needles mix in the humid post-rain sun. Finally, the long days of summer shorten noticeably.

Pack your bags and join Professor David Gilligan in the heart of the Mogollon Highlands for quality time with fellow naturalists. We will spend our mornings birding, our afternoons botanizing, and our evenings telling stories by starlight. Each day will include structured sessions on highlands geology and ecology, hikes to field sites, and ample time for break-out sessions focused on plant and animal identification and the practice of natural history. We will explore Granite Basin as well as the adjacent Granite Mountain Wilderness Area.

Hiking will include both moderate and intermediate options. We will camp in the recreation area’s Yavapai campground, which has water, picnic tables, established tent campsites, and vault toilets. Camping is primarily tent camping with shared picnic tables for our group. There are three parking spots available for people with camper-vehicles. Options are available for either driving your own vehicle directly to the campsite or carpooling from the Natural History Institute in downtown Prescott.

The field camp is a meet-up concept rather than a guided trip. You can expect professionally facilitated natural history programming throughout each day and a casual, relaxed, communal environment in the evenings at camp. All parts of the program are designed for maximum participation: our goal by day is to practice natural history together and by evening to tell stories about it. Daily natural history sessions are well-suited to all naturalist ability levels, from beginner to advanced. You will be provided with a thorough packing list, including ideas for food and meals for the duration of the trip. You will need your own tent, sleeping gear, and cooking equipment.


September 9th:

  • 12-1pm Afternoon arrival and welcome circle; set up camp
  • 2-5pm Natural history sessions: granitic geology and landforms
  • 5-7pm Unstructured and dinner time
  • 7-9pm Community time: natural history stories

September 10th:

  • 8-9:30am Natural history sessions: birding
  • 10am-12pm Botany sessions
  • 1-5pm Day hike
  • 5-7pm Unstructured and dinner time
  • 7-9pm Community time: the night sky

September 11th:

  • 8-10am Natural history sessions: birding at Granite Basin Lake
  • 10-11:30am Break camp; trip highlights closing circle

WHERE: Granite Basin Recreation Area and Wilderness

WHEN: September 9-11 (2 nights, 3 days)

GROUP SIZE: 12 participants

AGES: Adults and youth 16 or older

COST: $147

David Gilligan is a professional naturalist, explorer, professor, and writer. He has developed and taught natural history field programs for Prescott College, The Sierra Institute, and Sterling College, and is the author of numerous books and articles, including The Secret Sierra, In the Years of the Mountains, Nature, Culture, Consciousness and The High Country of the Mind. His academic specialties include vegetation ecology, botany and geology in mountain and desert environments, and nature philosophy. He has trained hundreds of people in expeditionary backpacking, mountaineering, canoeing, and sea kayaking skills necessary for natural history exploration of wild places. David has lived and worked in Arizona, California, and Northern New England, and traveled to mountain environments all over the world.

Cancellation Policy:

  1. Participants who cancel more than 30 days before the Program (on or before August 9, 2024) will receive a full refund, minus a 10% administrative fee of the trip cost.
  2. For cancellations with less than 30 days left before the 1st day of the Program (after August 9, 2024), no refund will be issued.
  3. Any refund under this Agreement will be paid within 14 business days of NHI’s receipt of the refund request.
  4. No refund for the Program will be available solely because of dissatisfaction with the presentation or contents of the Program. I understand and agree that no credit or refund for the Program shall be available if I cancel on the arrival day, if I do not show up, or if I leave the Program early for any reason.
  5. All notices of cancellation and refund requests shall be made by contacting NHI via email info@naturalhistoryinstitute.org or by submitting notice in person or by mail to: NHI, 126 N. Marina Street, Prescott, AZ, 86301.

Register Here


September 9 @ 11:00 am
September 11 @ 12:00 pm
Event Category:


Natural History Institute


Granite Basin Recreation Area
Granite Basin Rd
Prescott, 86303 United States
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