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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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Sprucing-Up the Proctor Native Plant/Pollinator Landscape at Proctor

Join us for National Public Lands Day

Saturday, September 28, 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Proctor Parking Area, Madera Canyon

Join FOMC naturalist Doug Moore for a volunteer morning of "sprucing up" the native plant/pollinator landscape around the Proctor Picnic Ramadas, primarily weeding, removing chicken wire fencing and checking the growth progress of pollinator-attracting plants.  Learn More →

Coronado National Forest Fee increases,
summer or fall 2019

To increase program sustainability, a fee proposal was shared extensively with the public in 2017-2018.  A majority of the public supported the proposal with comments, the proposal was adjusted further, then approved by the Recreation Resources Advisory Committee in December 2018. → New Fee Info (PDF)

Proctor Trail Accessibility Project

We need your → help.
We plan to support the Forest Service to the tune of $25,000 when they rebuild the Proctor trail to make it fully handicap accessible from the trailhead to Proctor Road. The money we have committed comes from our operations budget, and we need to replace it. Our campaign to support the Proctor Trail Accessibility project by raising $25,000 is now underway. Please consider helping by sending a check or → Click to Donate to the Proctor Trail Project.

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 →

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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, fox, Ring-tailed Cats, Raccoons, Bobcats, 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.