Patagonia - Sonoita Creek Preserve - In a verdant floodplain valley between the Patagonia and Santa Rita mountains of southeastern Arizona, within the watershed of Sonoita Creek, lies some of the richest of the remaining riparian (streamside) habitat in the region. One of few permanent streams, it provides for a wide array of diverse species from endangered fishes to butterflies and birds. Internationally-known destination for birders. Take a tour of the preserve on Saturdays at 9 AM. Meet at the Visitor Center for an easy 1-2 hour hike (no reservations needed).
Birding the Anza Trail at Tubac - The Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail follows the riparian corridor of the Santa Cruz River alongside Highway I-19. Anza followed the river on his expedition to California, where he founded San Francisco. In Tubac, a wonderful little historical town and current art colony, the trail is easily accessible and very well populated with a great variety of birds.
Left: Santa Cruz River Border
Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge
Visit a landscape of rippling grassland flanked by mountains, and riparian zones rich in bird life. Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge provides approximately 118,000 acres of habitat for threatened and endangered plants and animals. The semidesert grassland supports the reintroduction of masked bobwhite quail and pronhorns.
With lofty mountain peaks, forested slopes, seasonal streams, and an amazing variety of plants and wildlife, Madera Canyon has become a popular recreational destination. Madera's hiking trails are applauded throughout the Southwest, and vary from paved, handicap-accessible trails and gentle walking paths in the lower canyon, to steep, expert trails leading to the top of 9,453-foot Mt. Wrightson.