Green Valley Villa
Madera Canyon

Madera Canyon, the third best birding destination in the United States! The canyon boasts 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.Birding in Madera Canyon


There are more than just birds in the canyon. Regularly observed are White-tailed and Mule Deer, rabbits, Wild Turkeys, and squirrels. Other animals like Black Bear, Coati, foxes, Ring-tailed Cats, Raccoons, Bobcats, and Mountain Lion are more shy and only occasionally seen.
Madera Canyon Slopes
Enjoy mountain peaks, forested slopes, seasonal streams, and an amazing variety of plants and wildlife.

The hiking trails 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.

Because Madera Canyon and Madera Creek traverse four life zones and many habitats between the desert floor and the mountaintops, the Santa Rita Mountains in which Madera Canyon resides, has become 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.

See more adventures!
Paradise for bird lovers!

Please consider joining the Friends of Madera Canyon. It will provide you access to many interesting and fulfilling volunteer opportunities, but your best reward will be knowing that you have helped preserve a special piece of our Nation's wilderness habitat.  Learn more.


Directions to the canyon:
(15 mi, 26 min drive)

Take exit 63 off of I-19 (Continental Road and Madera Canyon). Turn east on Continental Road, continue straight ahead through a traffic signal, cross the Santa Cruz River, and turn right at the next four-way stop. You are now on Whitehouse Canyon Road. Cross the railroad tracks and continue up the hill to the southeast. Slow down for the Continental School, cross the cattle guard and you are now in the Santa Rita Experimental Range operated by the University of Arizona for research on grasses, grazing, and range fire. If you are a birder, there are many species that can be found along this road as you drive up through the grassland bajada towards the canyon.

After about six miles turn right on the paved Madera Canyon Road. If you continue straight ahead on the gravel road, you can access the headquarters of the Experimental Range or continue through Box Canyon to state route 83. Heading south on Madera Canyon Road you will cross three one-lane bridges then climb towards Madera Canyon between Mt. Wrightson on your left and Mt. Hopkins on the right.