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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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Nature of Madera Canyon by Doug Moore

Friends of Madera Canyon are pleased to announce a lecture on the Nature of Madera Canyon by Doug Moore.  Doug is the Naturalist working at the canyon and is a frequent and gripping presenter of all things Madera Canyon.  His amazing photography of the canyon and its inhabitants is as entertaining as his vast knowledge of the canyon, its history and its flora and fauna.  His talk will center on the natural history of Madera Canyon and the western Santa Rita mountains. He will explain the local geology, canyon formation, sky island climate and elevation dependent life zones.

Time: October 21, 7:00 PM
Location: Madera Clubhouse ballroom
2055 E Quail Crossing Blvd, Green Valley

Tickets are $10, available at the door the night of the lecture.
Contact Carole deRivera for more information: johcrl@cs.com

Proctor Trail Accessibility Project Completed!

Come on up and visit the New Proctor Accessible Trail.  After years of planning it’s finally happened!  The old broken asphalt has been removed and replaced with a wider concrete walkway, a new bridge, a beautiful stone knee wall and viewing area overlooking Madera Creek.  These changes will enable people of all ages and abilities to enjoy the natural beauty that is Madera Canyon.  Thanks to all the Friends that supported the upgrade and especially to the U.S. Forest Service for making it so.

Looking for a few Good Friends!

The annual election for the Board of Directors is coming up in December.  There will be some vacancies as existing members will be stepping aside due to term limits.  Help us continue to make the Friends of Madera Canyon the incredible organization it is by volunteering to be a Board or Committee member.  Contact Rusty Lombardo at jim_lombardo@yahoo.com

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.