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Madera Canyon is nestled in the northern slopes of the Santa Rita Mountain range,
east of Green Valley and south of Tucson, Arizona

About the Canyon

Madera Canyon is a north-facing valley in the Santa Rita Mountains with riparian woodland along an intermittent stream, bordered by mesquite, juniper-oak woodlands, and pine forests.

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Cultural History

Native Peoples lived in the Santa Rita Mountains for thousands of years, known from artifacts of O’odham tribes. The oldest structure in the Canyon is believed to have been built by a sheepherder around 1880.

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Birding & Hiking

Home to over 250 bird species, including 15 hummingbird species, visitors from all over the world arrive in search of specialties; Elegant Trogon, Elf Owl, Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, and Painted Redstart.

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Contact Us

Friends of Madera Canyon
P.O. Box 1203,
Green Valley, Arizona 85622

Visitor Resources, Bird Checklist & Reports

A Madera Canyon Bird Checklist, Hiking information and map PDFs, and Madera Quarterly Bird Reports can be downloaded here  → Resources.

Printed Bird Checklist and Trail Maps are available at the Proctor Visitor Information Station and at all Parking / Picnic Area Trail Heads throughout the canyon.

Become a Friend of Madera Canyon
Becoming a Friend of Madera Canyon offers access to interesting, fulfilling volunteer opportunities, but your best reward is knowing your support helps to preserve this special piece of our Nation's wilderness habitat.
Join or Renew on our secure site →

Interested in Madera Canyon News?
Please consider joining our mailing list to receive our free newsletter. Your address is never sold or shared, and every note includes an easy link to unsubscribe.

News from the US Forest Service (USFS)

The USFS wants to share that the USFS Madera Canyon Recreation Guide is now available online in English and Spanish.

You can navigate to them (and the other guides that have been developed) on the website by selecting Visit Us > Maps & Publications and then scrolling down to "Recreation Guides."


The USFS also created a new landing page for Madera Canyon on the Forest's website. You can find it here.

You can navigate to it on the website by selecting Visit Us > Destinations > Madera Canyon

Members of the Friends of Madera Canyon are invited to attend any or all Board of Directors monthly meetings. Read Canyon Chatter for more news about FoMC activities, programs and educational articles.

→ Canyon Chatter, February 2024 (PDF)

Interested in becoming an FoMC Docent Volunteer working with kids in Madera Canyon?

FoMC docents volunteer to mentor local 4th grade students on Nature Walk field trips on the Proctor Nature Loop Trail in Madera Canyon.

The walks are held on Thursday mornings during 4-6 weeks from late March- early May, & again, from mid Oct.- late Nov.

Training is required & provided.

Volunteers must join & be current members of the Friends of Madera Canyon.

For more information contact the FoMC Volunteer Coordinator at: FOMC.Education@gmail.com

Hudbay Copper World Complex

Learn more about the

Massive Proposed Copper Mine and Sulfuric Acid Plant
Straddling Both Side Of The Santa Rita Mountains
Affecting Green Valley/Sahuarita

See RosemontMineTruth.com

or ScenicSantaRitas.Org

Proctor Trail Accessibility &  Memory Wall Contributions

The Proctor Accessible Trail, with a wider concrete walkway, new bridge, a beautiful stone knee wall and viewing area overlooking Madera Creek, insures access to all visitors to Madera Canyon, thanks to FoMC Friends and the U.S. Forest Service.

The Memory and Honor Wall at the trail entrance makes tribute to Volunteers and Supporters of this extraordinary place, the Santa Ritas and Madera Canyon. To arrange a tribute to your loved-one and to help support the FOMC and the Canyon, please contact FoMC Info@friendsofmaderacanyon.org.

Learn more about making a contribution via the Memory & Honor Wall →

Restoration at Madera Canyon, 2021-22

Restoration at Madera Canyon

Restoration at Madera Canyon is a 9-minute video documenting the recent and largest restoration project undertaken in Madera Canyon by the FoMC and Forest Service.

View the video, learn more about
→ Restoration at Madera Canyon

Restoration at Madera Canyon, 2021-22

Coati, by Doug Moore

Madera Canyon, by Doug Moore

Elegant Trogon, by Doug Moore

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 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.

The third best birding destination in the United States is Southeastern Arizona, with Madera Canyon at its heart. With fifteen species of hummingbirds, Elegant Trogon, Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, Black-capped Gnatcatcher, Flame-colored Tanager, 36 species of wood warblers, and over 256 species of birds documented, it is a "required" site for all serious birders.

White-tailed and Mule Deer, Wild Turkeys, rabbits and squirrels are regularly observed. Other animals such as Black Bear, Coati, Gray Fox, Ringtail, Raccoon, Bobcat, and Mountain Lion are more shy and only occasionally seen. Sixteen species of bats have been recorded in the Canyon. It is unusual to spend any time in Madera Canyon without seeing signs of wildlife.

Madera Canyon and Madera Creek traverse four life zones and many habitats between the desert floor and the mountaintops, making the Santa Rita Mountains in which Madera Canyon resides, a world-famous sky island known for its unique and abundant flora and fauna - from Prickly-Pear cactus in the lower Canyon to Douglas Fir and Quaking Aspen on Mt. Wrightson.