Madera Canyon Offers Variety for Visitors
By Louise Gibbeson
Madera Canyon in the early 21st Century offers much to the visitor. A short trip up from the high desert finds you in a relaxing setting of a creek running through a variety of shade trees. Pleasant picnic areas invite you to linger awhile. There are a few overnight camping spots at Bog Springs Campground, with a campsite host to enhance your stay. These sites are available on a first come basis as no reservations are accepted.
Madera Canyon is internationally-known as one of the world’s premier birding hotspots. The Elegant Trogon is a nesting summer migrant, as is the Painted Redstart. Madera/Sky Island specialty birds include the Arizona Woodpecker, Mexican Spotted Owl, and the Northern Goshawk, among others. Occasional or rare summer visitors have included the Flame-colored Tanager and the Aztec Thrush. Rare and occasional hummingbirds include the Violet-Crowned, Blue Throated, Berylline and Magnificent hummingbirds. Many birders come to Madera Canyon from around the world to add to their life list of rare birds.
On any day of the week you will see bicyclists as well a runners challenging themselves with the trip to the top of Madera Canyon. Well known photographers as well as many amateurs can be seen taking pictures of the canyons flora, fauna and spectacular views. Many times painters in the areas will be capturing the beauty of the canyon on canvas.
Madera Canyon offers hiking trails that are among the finest in Arizona. They vary from the easy (Proctor Loop – Accessible Trail) to more difficult hikes on many trails in the canyon. Some meander along Madera Creek and others take you up the canyon walls and even up to the top of 6,453 foot Mt. Wrightson. The Friends of Madera Canyon have brochures available throughout the canyon on hiking trails and lists of birds that have been found in the canyon.
For those who wish to enjoy the outdoors with the comforts of home, accommodations are available at the Chuparosa Inn B & B (520-393-7370), Madera Kubo (520-625-2908) and the Santa Rita Lodge (520-625-8746).
The Friends of Madera Canyon will be celebrating their 25th Anniversary in 2012. They were formed to insure the canyon would be there for future generations. They follow their motto “Conservation through Education” with education programs for both our youth and adults. Whether you come to escape the summer heat or to enjoy a day out with family or friends, Madera Canyon will welcome you.