San Pedro Riparian Conservation Area

Posted By on January 11, 2016

San Pedro Riparian Conservation Area

3.7 miles; sierra vista, az

Thanks to the tireless efforts of the hubs, we were finally, after having been snowed in for 4 days, able to get the car down the steep, icy, snowy driveway and down to the valley, where it was at least 5 degrees warmer and completely snow-free. We explored the San Pedro Riparian Conservation Area in Sierra Vista. I was so impressed… I saw road runners (meep, meep) but they were too fast for me to get a photo of, and lots of other birds, and tracks and all kinds of stuff.

Entrance

Entrance

The San Pedro River lies in a big valley between several mountain ranges, and isn’t far from Fort Huachuca, a huge army base. In fact, I believe part of the Conservation Area abuts Army land.

Mountains in the Distance

Mountains in the Distance

The spot was surprising close to where we are staying in Bisbee, but much lower in elevation (Bisbee being at about 5500 feet, and Sierra Vista about 4600 feet above sea level). As I mentioned, above, it’s complete snow free.

The San Pedro River

The San Pedro River

This is beautiful spot. The river is lined with massive cottonwood trees, and is considered a very important bird habitat.

Under State Route 90

Under State Route 90

The conservation area is bisected by state route 90, and one side of the loop trail runs underneath the road. The other side of the loop, however, makes you cross the road, and the speed limit is 65. Fortunately, there’s not a ton of traffic!

Tracks in the Wash

Tracks in the Wash

The northernmost portion of the loop trail runs along a dry, sandy wash. There were tons of prints. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and guess these are some sort of large cat. They don’t look like canid tracks. There were lots of those, too, though, as well as scat and even some freshly liberated entrails from some poor small animal.

This hike was a welcome change from the grueling climbs I’ve been doing—it was completely flat. Oh, except for the spot where the trail ends at the wash… there was a fairly steep embankment and I naturally slipped off and threw my right hand down to catch myself, thus jamming my shoulder pretty bad. I guess it wouldn’t be a normal hike without some sort of calamity…

You can find more information about the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area (and ain’t that a mouthful!) on their website.

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