Madera Canyon is a recommended side trip when you are in the I-19 corridor visiting the Missions, the Titan Missile Museum, or Tubac Village. The elevation ranges from 5,000-5,500 feet. The area is a birdwatcher’s paradise with over 250 species identified.
This is part of the Coronado National Forest. It’s about 25 miles south of Tucson and 11 miles east of Green Valley. There are campgrounds and picnic areas and the extensive Santa Rita Mountain trail system is easily accessed from here.
At the lower end of the Canyon is a handicap-accessible nature trail. At the top are much more difficult hiking trails leading to 9,453-foot Mt. Wrightson.
There is no restaurant in Madera Canyon, so at least bring a picnic lunch and some snacks. Of the several picnic areas in the Canyon, the one at the end of the paved road seemed to us to be the most appealing, particularly in the warmer months.
As one of the premier birding areas in the United States, you can, with time & patience, see fifteen species of hummingbirds, Elegant Trogon, Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, Black-capped Gnatcatcher, Flame-colored Tanager, 36 species of wood warblers. In all, over 256 species of bird species have been documented. Read More