A Hike the Monument event on Saturday offers a range of options at Ironwood Forest National Monument northwest of Tucson — from an easy, family oriented nature hike to a challenging trek up Waterman Peak.

The event, organized by the Friends of Ironwood Forest, begins with a 7:30 to 8 a.m. sign-in at the Marana Airport on Avra Valley Road 5 miles west of Interstate 10. After an 8 to 8:30 a.m. briefing, hikers will form car pools to travel to starting points.

Hiking options include:

  • Nature hike — an easy-paced hike of about 3 miles led by experts in the wonders of the Sonoran Desert.
  • Cocoraque Butte Archaeological District hike — Archaeology experts will lead the way to rock art sites and other objects of scientific interest.
  • Waterman Peak hike — This challenging ascent for experienced hikers involves steep, rocky terrain and sharp drop-offs.
  • Photography hikes — A professional freelance photographer will share information about nature and desert photography and night-sky photography.

To sign up for a hike, send an email to Jim@ironwoodforest.org or call and leave a message at 628-2092.

Specify which hike you would like to sign up for, the number of people you are bringing and whether you have a high-clearance vehicle and are willing to drive to the hike starting point. You will receive a confirmation email letting you know if you are on the hike roster or on a wait list.

Contact reporter Doug Kreutz at dkreutz@tucson.com or at 573-4192. On Twitter: @DouglasKreutz