Lynn O'Rourke Hayes

Lynn O'Rourke Hayes

It was legendary golf course designer, Jay Moorish’s first visit to this stunning Sonoran Desert environment. Visualizing the project that would someday emerge amidst the Santa Catalina and Tortolita Mountains in northwest Tucson, he was in awe of the extraordinary beauty and rich texture of the expansive landscape. Despite an already impressive collection of championship courses lining his portfolio, he was quick to consider himself a mere “custodian” of a near perfect, natural setting.

As it turned out, Moorish’s reverence for the landscape would result in a Sonoran Desert treasure, esteemed by residents, players and most recently, some of the most well respected names in the game of golf.

Stone Canyon Golf

Masters of the Game

The result of this “Master of the Desert’s” meticulous and thoughtful effort is a 7300-yard gem that has since collected numerous top-drawer awards and accolades. Admirers note the conservation-minded use of a mere 78 acres of turf, which ultimately rewards accurate and thoughtful shot making. Undulating greens, various grass heights and slopes paired with vast bunkers, add to the sporting nature of each round.

Yet, perhaps most importantly, the challenging yet playable course, has garnered the deep appreciation of a stalwart membership that relishes the giant saguaros, native trees, flowering plants, and historic petroglyphs that remain interspersed and serve as the backdrop for the impressive track.

“The ownership team of Phil Mickelson and Steve Loy has embraced the timeless beauty of Stone Canyon, and has delivered on their commitments to the membership,” explained Director of Club Operations, Mike Russell. “Their professional approach, deep knowledge of the game and dedication to providing an outstanding private club experience is unparalled.”

Family Resort Living - Stone Canyon

The Gathering Place

To wit, members celebrated the opening of a stunning, 25,000 square foot clubhouse that now serves as the central gathering place for Stone Canyon members, their family and guests.

Crafted through the design leadership of Phx Architecture’s Erik Peterson AIA and Ron Skoog AIA, in partnership with Wespac Construction Inc. and Pati Vester of Vester Studio Design, the clubhouse is a desert gem in its own right.

Indoor and outdoor dining spaces take advantage of the enviable climate and vistas. Lounge areas and fire pit seating offer 270-degree views of craggy rock formations and the sun-drenched cactus and boulder-studded landscape.

The use of reclaimed wood from an old cotton mill, hand-painted Italian tiles, original art and hand-forged chandeliers combine to provide a luxurious yet casual environment in which members enjoy sipping a beverage or relaxed dining after a day on the course.

The two-level clubhouse also includes the golf pro-shop and locker rooms, as well as club service and storage,

Health and fitness is also an important aspect of the Club’s offerings, including a full range of classes and programs designed to enhance the lifestyle of members. From tennis, swimming, yoga and Pilates to professional assistance in developing and attaining personal fitness goals, the standards are set high.

“Our members often comment on the sense of community and welcoming atmosphere that exists within the club,” explained Kelly Mainevielle, Director of Membership. “The new clubhouse allows us to offer themed dinners, wine tastings, cigars under the stars, and other special events in an extraordinary environment. You’ll also find groups of members enjoying lively book club discussions or engrossed in card games. You can tell strong friendships have been forged here.”

Near Perfection

While Jay Moorish was an early “custodian” of the nearly perfect setting, those who have contributed since, share his reverential view.

“The area’s natural beauty, an impeccable golf course, and a stunning new clubhouse, combine for an extraordinary private club experience, “ offered Mike Russell. “But none of us take a single day here for granted. We are fully aware that this may well be as good as it gets."

The Stone Canyon Club Membership

Stone Canyon members are not required to live inside the gates of The Stone Canyon Club. Membership is non-equity.

Golf Membership

Golf members appreciate full access to all club facilities, including the Top 100 Ranked Golf Course and the luxurious health and fitness facility.  Golf members also may utilize the clubhouse, dining facilities, locker rooms, and participate in all club functions and activities.  Golf Members have reciprocal privileges at The Rim Golf Club and Chaparral Pines in Payson, AZ.

Sports Members

As a sports member, you will enjoy all of the same benefits of Club membership with the exception of full golf access. Sports members may play the golf course when accompanied by a golf member and will receive a discounted guest fee.

For more information: 520.219.1500 or

“Travel has a way of stretching the mind. The stretch comes not from travel's immediate rewards, the inevitable myriad new sights, smells and sounds, but with experiencing firsthand how others do differently what we believed to be the right and only way."

- Ralph Crawshaw

(US sociologist, 1864 - 1929)

How will your family stretch in the year ahead? Santa on the river

A festive new tradition has charted its course on the Colorado River: Black Canyon River Adventures’ annual Rafting with Santa experience returns Christmas Eve, Sunday, Dec. 24. The 12-mile journey along the mighty Colorado River makes an extraordinary way for families to enjoy the excitement of the holiday season in a raft piloted by jolly old St. Nick or his helpers. 

Warm up to the wonders of winter adventure.  Here are five, high energy family travel ideas to consider:

​1. ​Juneau, AK.

Visit this world-class winter destination and trade long lines and crowded restaurants for endless views and pristine solitude.
Pop on your skis and put things in perspective as you glide across Mendenhall Glacier Lake. With a massive glacier as your backdrop, your whole family will enjoy speeding across the flat terrain while taking in some of the most majestic scenery imaginable. Check out the groomed Nordic trails at Eaglecrest, a community-owned ski resort on Douglas Island just minutes from Juneau.

The most adventuresome families will find challenging terrain and untouched routes along with insider knowledge through experienced heli-skiing operators in the area.

Contact: ;

Ski Yellowstone National Park

​2. ​Yellowstone National Park​.​

Discover the magic of our first National Park cloaked in her winter finery. New snowfall serves as the perfect backdrop for a Nordic adventure to a steaming backcountry geyser, a snowshoe around Old Faithful or wildlife viewing in the Lamar Valley. Venture to and from your overnight at the Snow Lodge via snow coach, stopping enroute to observe animals on the move, icy waterfall formations and the evening alpenglow on the mountains. Guided adventure and snowmobile tours are available.

Contact: ;

​3. ​Winter Park, CO.

Explore more than 60 miles of groomed trails on skate skis when you visit this family favorite in the Colorado Rockies. In addition to making the most of free skiing lessons offered by the Nordic Center at the YMCA of the Rockies’ Snow Mountain Ranch, expect good times ice skating, playing broomball, tubing, sledding, and creating arts and crafts. Get cozy for story time, with hot chocolate and s’mores by the fire. Contact: ;

​4. ​McCall, ID.

Bring your favorite furry friends for a day of outdoor fun in this forested mountain town located two hours north of Boise. Dogs are welcome on Nordic trails in several locations throughout McCall, where views of Payette Lake are paired with fresh air and contagious enthusiasm for adventure. At Jug Mountain Ranch, discover the Lyle Nelson Nordic & Snowshoe Trail system, designed by the local Olympian. Skate ski tracks for all abilities send explorers through open meadows and pine scented forests. Fido will enjoy romping through the snow as you and the family navigate trails at the Tamarack Resort, where lessons and guided tours are also available.

 Contact: ; www.jugmountainranch.c om;

Maine huts

​5. ​Kingfield, ME.

Explore more than 80 miles of trails via cross-country skis or on snowshoes in the backcountry of western Maine. Enjoy your off-the-grid adventure by day and then relax in a comfortable hut over night where a warm bed and tasty meals await. Considered “boutique hostels”, the huts, run by a non-profit organization, feature state of the art green energy systems that generate and store their own power. Make tracks from hut-to-hut on your own or with a guide. Contact:  

A great read for kids to go with your winter adventures!


Looking for a great holiday gift for the history lover in your family? 

Consider Sally Mott Freeman's best-selling Jersey Brothers: A Missing Naval Officer in the Pacific and his Family's Quest to Bring Him Home.

Sally Mott Freeman's Jersey Brothers is the extraordinary, real-life adventure of three brothers at the center of the most dramatic turning points of World War II and their mad race to change history—and save one of their own.

Compelling and brilliantly written, you'll want to snag one for yourself while ordering for friends and family!

Order here: 

Paperback The Jersey Brothers: A Missing Naval Officer in the Pacific and His Family's Quest to Bring Him Home Book

Wrap those travel dreams and savor the gift of experience, knowledge and memories that last a lifetime.

Here are five ideas to consider:  

Tahiti fire dancers - Windstar

Island Lovers.

Let the trade winds sweep your cares away when you explore the islands of French Polynesia aboard a four-masted sailing yacht. A great getaway to experience with your teens, adult children or extended family, Windstar sailing ships deliver explorers to an island paradise where blue lagoons and pristine coral reefs provide epic snorkeling, scuba diving and Jet Ski options. Kayak and paddleboard off the back of the ship’s sports deck. Learn about local cultures during hiking, kayaking and museum-centric shore excursions. Later, relax on a small island (motu) where you can sip coconut drinks, listen to the nimble sounds of a ukulele drifting in the distance and cool off in the sapphire-colored sea.


Ski Steamboat

Snow Lovers.

For those who relish the white stuff, the gift of travel to Colorado Ski Country will be a high altitude hit. At more than 21 resorts throughout the state, kids under various ages are offered the opportunity to ski free. For example, kids under five always ski free at Arapahoe, Aspen Snowmass and Loveland. Steamboat's Kids Ski Free and Grandkids Ski Free programs enable children 12 and younger to ski free the same number of days as their parent/grandparent with the purchase of a 5-or-more day adult lift ticket. Other resorts offer lift ticket deals as well as lodging, lesson and gear discounts.


Colorado Dude Ranch

Horse Lovers.

Choose a ranch vacation and you’ll have the opportunity to learn horsemanship in an authentic and scenic setting. Opt to ride in open meadows, on mountain trails or in the sun-drenched, desert southwest. Will your family members choose to participate in a real cattle drive? Are you up for a horse pack trip into the backcountry? Will your youngsters be eager to learn the skills required for team penning and other arena games? Or will you be happy to relax during daily trail rides and around the campfire come nightfall. The options are yours at working dude ranches and guest ranches across the country.


 big league tours

Baseball Lovers.

Are you a fan of Fenway? Have you been to Yankee Stadium or Miller Park? If the mere thought makes you smile, a Big League Tour might be a perfect fit for your family. Word is you’ll hang out with MLB players, get on to the field, inside the dugouts and catch a batting practice in the venues that continue to infuse allegiance to the game. Tours and vacation packages make it possible to hear the crack of the bat in your favorite cities or an entire region. Pair a tour with a trip to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, in Cooperstown, NY. to learn more about the history and cultural significance of the game through memorabilia and interactive exhibits.


 kids in the national park

Nature Lovers.

Celebrate our freedom and the beauty of our land with a visit to one or more of our 392 national parks. With so many historical and natural wonders to discover, consider heading to the National Park Service’s web pages, specifically designed to help regular and first time visitors plan a meaningful trip. There you research park activities as well as camping, back country, lodging and educational options. Across America, each day there are special events, institute and field schools as well as volunteer opportunities. Check for fee free days and Junior Ranger programs for the kids.





Winter months provide the opportunity to enjoy festivals and gatherings that celebrate all things icy and cold.

Here are five places where you can chill out with carvers, climbers and history makers: 

Ouray, CO

This southwestern Colorado mountain town, known for its picturesque jagged peaks, is home to one of the country’s premiere ice festivals. Competitors of all levels, climbing companies and spectators gather for the event and the opportunity to demo the latest ice tools, apparel and gear. Family members can access dozens of interactive and educational climbing clinics through out the festival. For many, the highlight is watching the world’s best ice and mixed climbing experts battle for the top prize.

Whitefish, MT.

The Annual Whitefish Winter Carnival kicks off with the coronation of a king and queen, followed by a Penguin Plunge (a hole is cut into Whitefish Lake and participants take a dip to raise funds for charity). Visitors are welcomed by mountain men, penguins and Viking divas, otherwise known as the costume-clad volunteers who share stories and point the curious toward the old-fashioned Main Street parade, an ice sculpting contest, a kid’s carnival, a pie social and a pancake breakfast. You can also expect a torch-light ski parade, ski-joring, cross-country ski races, and a figure skating demonstration. The festivities are open to the public and most are free. 


Washington Crossing Reenactment, Bucks County, PA.

George Washington’s daring 1776 Christmas Day crossing of the Delaware River and defeat of the opposing troops in Trenton is considered an important turn of events in the Revolutionary War. This historic scene is reenacted twice during December, as thousands gather on the banks of the Delaware River to garner a glimpse of the past. Witness participants, clad in Continental military dress, listen to “George Washington’s” inspiring speech, before he leads them across the icy river in replica Durham boats.


Stowe, VT -

The Annual Stowe Winter Carnival offers a seasonal wonderland of family fun. Expect kooky sporting events, ice carving competitions, ski movies, Kids Carnival Kaos and Snowgolf and Snowvolleyball tournaments. Tour the Northern Vermont town, while watching professional ice carvers manifest clever Ice creations throughout the village. The Vail Resorts Epic Pass now offers unlimited, unrestricted access to Stowe Mountain Resort.

Contact: ;  

Aspen, Co

With a nod to the town’s Nordic heritage, local Aspenites began celebrating the popular winter festival, Wintersköl in 1951. Surrounded by the peaks of the Elk Mountains, visitors celebrate the “toast to snow” with four days  of festivities including a quirky canine fashion show, torchlight ski parades, a soup cook-off as well as broomball and fat biking competitions. Make time for downhill and cross-country skiing as well as shopping, dining and spa time.


It’s that time of year when we review recent adventures and plan for the year ahead.

Here are five ideas to inspire your family’s travels:   

Global Explorers program Galapagos

Travel for adventure.

Stoke your family’s passion for new experiences with Lindblad Expeditions and partner, National Geographic, through their recently launched Global Explorer’s program. Designed to inspire the next generation of global stewards, kids will hike up volcanoes; snorkel with sea lions; walk among giant tortoises, all while learning how to read maps, populate a field notebook, and build storytelling and observation skills.  Celebrating 50 years of exploration, Lindblad launched the program in the Galapagos Islands and will expand to Alaska in 2018.


FS  Jackson Hole

Travel to relax.

Check in to a luxury resort where the mesmerizing view, impeccable service and options for family fun will be enough to lower your blood pressure. At the Four Seasons in Jackson Hole, WY, slumber at the gateway to world-class skiing, hiking, fly-fishing and two of the most breathtaking National Parks in our portfolio of national treasures. Take advantage of the heated pool, top-notch spa and fine dining. Grown ups can plan a day touring local art galleries while youngsters are engaged by the smart kids program.


The whole family

Travel with the whole family.

With busy careers and geographic spread, it can be challenging for the generations to spend time together. Group vacations can offer a workable solution. Cruises, all-inclusive resorts and resort rentals provide easy to predict pricing as well as built-in activities for every age group. Tour companies like Thomson Family Adventures specialize in crafting compelling itineraries that appeal to multiple generations, including departures for parents and adult children. Book spacious condos with resort rental site Vacatia and you’ll have the option to make payments and split the bill with family members using Flexpay.

Contact:; www.FamilyAdventures; 

Travel to learn.

A family trip is one of the best educational tools available. From guided tours in faraway places, to your own take on a local museum, you are sure to return home with new insights. Visit The National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Smithsonian’s newest and only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. The centerpiece exhibit, which explores the complex story of slavery and freedom, may provide a pathway for discussing current events. Gain new insight into our national tragedy during a heart-wrenching tour of New York’s 911 Museum. Learn about animal behaviors at a nearby zoo or animal park. In short, discovery adds to the magic of travel.


 travel smart - use apps

Travel smart.

Use the bounty of easy access apps to make the most of your travel time and resources. Organize your details with Tripit. Make Gasbuddy your reliable, road trip pal. If your well-crafted plans go awry, know that HotelTonight can help track down a last-minute place to stay. And turn to GateGuru for airport security and restaurant intel should your family be faced with delayed flights or a long layover. Search Oh, Ranger! Parkfinder, by destination and activities to find great places to play in our parks and public lands. Then share your experience with friends and family via Postagram, which will deliver a photo and message via snail mail.


 The brisk air, falling leaves and bright colors of Autumn inspire families to harvest new travel plans.

Here are five ideas to consider:  

Pick Your Own Apples.

Whether you fancy Granny Smiths, Fuji or Golden Delicious, the whole family will enjoy a day in a pick your own fruit orchard. Gather your crop, then return home to make your own apple juice, pie, or cobbler. Stay close to the hearth or visit the state that harvests more than half of the country’s apples. In Washington’s Yakima Valley, the Johnson family has been sharing their bounty for more than 100 years. Stop by their popular bake shop for fresh pies and quiche. Contact:;; 

bird watchingFollow The Flock.

Head south to Southern Arizona, considered one of the best spots for birding in the country. Declare the historic and family-friendly Tubac Golf Resort & Spa your basecamp and let the exploration begin. When not checking off hummingbird and elegant trogon sightings on your list, enjoy a round of golf, a stroll through the local art community or time at the spa. Hike from the resort, situated on the 500-acre Otero Ranch in the Santa Cruz River Valley and appreciate views of the Tumacacori and Santa Rita peaks in the distance. Contact:;

 michigan football

 College Game Day, Ann Arbor, MI.  

It’s all about the maize and blue in a community where the University of Michigan Wolverines capture the town’s attention every fall. Those lucky enough to snag tickets to the “Big House”, as the100, 000-plus seat stadium is called, will revel in the sweet small of barbecue as fans fire up their grills prior to the game. While in Ann Arbor, check out the local farmers market, enjoy breakfast at Zingerman’s, a local fan favorite and visit the Botanical Garden. Stay at the cleverly renovated and centrally located Graduate Hotel, where you’ll appreciate the classic collegiate inspiration and the nods to local history and tradition. Contact:;  

Discover Farm Fresh.

Fall is an ideal time to celebrate our nation’s bounty by visiting farmer’s markets, joining in a barn dance or visiting a county fair. Take a farm tour and learn how our food moves from plow to porch. Visit a community garden and become inspired to join in or plan for your own. For a more immersive experience, spend the night or a weekend on a family farm. Leave the electronics and everyday expectations behind and get ready to pitch in for the morning chores. At farms across the country, kids can collect eggs, pet pigs, corral critters tend to a garden brimming with fresh produce or hang out in the shade of fruit trees. Contact:  

Take a Scenic Drive, Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park, CO.

During a 48-mile, two to three hour drive via Trail Ridge Road, observe wildlife, crystalline lakes, and jagged peaks. With proximity to the Continental Divide, it’s an ideal time to explain to the kids how the “roof of the continent” spills moisture to the east and the west. This expansive, peak-filled National Park is also well known for its elk population. The Fall rut or mating season is an interesting time to witness animal behaviors as they bugle and battle for supremacy. Look for between 600 and 800 elk grazing at lower elevations during the Fall and Winter months. Be on the lookout for bighorn sheep and the occasional moose browsing the willow thickets. Contact:;


Satisfy your cultural curiosities while experiencing Avalon Waterways' Active Discovery itineraries offered on Europe's Danube and Rhine Rivers.

Avalon Waterways

Cruise as a clan and choose from activities that include paddling a canoe on the river, bike tours, exploring an ice cave, meeting with monks at the monastery and learning how to milk a cow and mow grass with a scythe. You’ll engage with locals, play golf or view the winding waterway after a guided hike to a hilltop. It will be an action packed family gathering aboard a Suite Ship.

After a day of exploring, convene for creative cuisine made from ingredients procured from small farms and local producers. It's part of the Colorado company's effort to offer healthful dining experiences at every turn. 

Among the many benefits of your active river adventure: you’ll only have to unpack once.


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