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Bud Gode Interpretive Nature trail

A cornerstone of the Friends of Madera Canyon’s directive of “conservation through education,” the Bud Gode Interpretive Nature Trail (BGINT) is a self-guided tour of site-specific interpretive exhibits in the five public recreation sites and trailheads in the canyon. Vibrant interpretive panels within each exhibit illustrate and explain many aspects of Madera Canyon and the Sky Island region. With 29 exhibit panels in total and additional trailside signage, topics such as sky islands, climate, geography, plants, animals, life zones and plant communities, geology and formation, Native American presence, recent history, fire ecology and many others are reviewed.

Located near the major canyon trailheads, BGINT exhibits enable visitors desiring to learn more about Madera Canyon to “whet their appetite” before exploring canyon trails. Detailed, large-scale topographical trail maps have been installed at each canyon trailhead. BGINT exhibits include accessible benches for easy viewing of the interpretive panels, wildlife, and canyon scenery .Also, a BGINT brochure in Spanish is available at the Interpretive Ramada at the Proctor Parking Area. The BGINT helps ensure that the natural history of Madera Canyon is accessible to all canyon visitors.

The Bud Gode Interpretive Nature Trail is named for former Friends volunteer, Board President, and Education Director, Orrin “Bud” Gode. When not volunteering for the Friends, Bud was exploring the canyon - often four or five days a week! He was an inspirational leader and promoted citizen science through volunteerism. A classical naturalist, Bud guided the Education Program by personal example, constantly investigating the nature of Madera Canyon and sharing his observations with others. To honor Bud after he passed away in 2005, the Gode family coordinated with the Friends of Madera Canyon and donated $250,000 to build the Bud Gode Interpretive Nature Trail. $50,000 in additional funding was provided by the Arizona Office of Tourism. The trail was officially opened and dedicated with the Gode family cutting the ribbon on October 12, 2007.

Bud Gode Interpretive Nature Trail Exhibit Locations & Features
: For a map of these locations, click here.

  • Proctor Parking Area & Trailhead - Interpretive ramada with trailhead panel;     geologic timeline at trailhead; Madera Canyon wildlife tiles at the Proctor Education Ramada; trailside plant identification signs, bat houses and interpretive signage along the Lower Accessible Nature Loop Trail.
  • White House Picnic Area & Trailhead - Trailhead exhibit; bat houses and interpretive signs along the Upper Accessible Nature Loop Trail.
  • Madera Picnic Area - Interpretive panel on the east-side; wildlife-viewing platform and exhibit on the west-side.
  • Amphitheater Parking & Trailheads- Birding platform with exhibit; canopy-level bridge for wildlife-viewing with trailhead panel; the Amphitheater across Madera Creek for wildlife-viewing and presentations; trailside plant identification signs, bat houses, and interpretive signage along the Nature Trail.
  • Mt. Wrightson Picnic Area & Trailheads- Interpretive ramada with native plants; additional interpretive panels on restrooms near trailheads.


Bud Gode - past president and inspiration for volunteers and the interpretive nature trail in his honor and memory


Panels in the new ramada at Proctor


Panels at the Mt. Wrightson parking area