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Arizona

Ramsey Canyon Preserve




Open to the Public

Yes

Things To Do

Guided walks are offered March through October. View All

Plan Your Visit

The best months for birding at the preserve are April through September. View All

Get Directions

Ramsey Canyon Preserve will re-open on Sunday 4/20. The preserve has been closed since 4/16 because of the Brown Fire burning in the Huachuca Mountains. The preserve phone message at 520-378-2785 will be updated regularly to let visitors know the closure status. We’re sorry for the inconvenience. 


Ramsey Canyon, located in the Huachuca Mountains within the Upper San Pedro River Basin in southeastern Arizona, is renowned for its outstanding scenic beauty and the diversity of its plant and animal life. This diversity is the result of the interplay of geology, biogeography, topography, and climate.

Your support is vital to restoring this special place where 15 species of hummingbirds are known from the Huachucas as well as dozens of species whose geographical ranges lie mostly in Mexico.

Southeastern Arizona is an ecological crossroads, where the Sierra Madre of Mexico, the Rocky Mountains, and the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts all come together. The abrupt rise of mountains like the Huachucas from the surrounding arid grasslands creates “sky islands” that harbor tremendous habitat diversity and form stepping stones to the tropics. This combination of factors gives Ramsey Canyon Preserve its notable variety of plant and animal life, including such southwestern specialties as Apache and Chihuahua pines, ridge-nosed rattlesnake, lesser long-nosed bat, elegant trogon, and berylline and violet-crowned hummingbirds.

A spring-fed stream, northeast orientation, and high canyon walls provide Ramsey Canyon with a moist, cool environment unusual in the desert Southwest. Summer monsoons create an annual splash zone where all kinds of fun can be had! Water-loving plants such as sycamores, maples, and columbines line the banks of Ramsey Creek, often growing within a few feet of cacti, yucca, and agaves. Communities ranging from semi-desert grassland to pine-fir forest are found within the vicinity of Ramsey Canyon Preserve.

Ramsey Canyon and the Upper San Pedro River Basin are situated within the Apache Highlands ecoregion, which encompasses central and southeastern Arizona, southwest New Mexico, and the northern Sierra Occidental of Mexico. How much do you know about the Arizona rivers that connect us?

The preserve serves as a southeastern Arizona program office—a base for the Conservancy’s work with regional partners on large-scale projects such as fire management, stream restoration, and protection of rare species. Together, the Conservancy and these partners achieve much greater success than any one entity working independently. Multiple partners also ensure a broader perspective and more enduring conservation solutions. You can help restore Ramsey Canyon as a volunteer.

Preserve History
Conservancy preserves in Arizona share much of the colorful history of the state itself including indians and cowboys, the cavalry, prospectors and Eastern dudes even a Civil War skirmish. Where was that?

Location
27 E. Ramsey Canyon Road
Hereford, AZ 85615

Hours
Open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
Closed Tuesdays/Wednesdays
Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's

Fees
$6.00 per person. Conservancy members and Cochise County residents, $3.00 per person. Children under 16 - FREE. There is no admission charge the first Saturday of every month. Annual passes available, as well as two-fer that covers this preserve and Patagonia-Sonoita Creek ($10 general public). Group visits require prior arrangements. Please call (520) 378-2785.

Parking
Preserve parking is limited to 23 spaces. These spaces are available on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no parking along the road below the preserve.

Facilities
The preserve headquarters include visitor parking, a nature center with a bookstore and hummingbird viewing. Here, visitors may learn about the preserve and its wild residents, the Upper San Pedro River Program, and the Conservancy by viewing interpretive exhibits, shopping in the bookstore, or simply enjoying the beauty of the lower canyon.

Please note, in consideration of canyon wildlife, pets are prohibited in the preserve. See additional guidelines under the “Preserve Regulations” heading below.

Bookstore
The preserve bookstore has nature-themed merchandise including adult and children’s books, birdwatcing accessories, shirts and decorative items. Proceeds help cover operations costs and conservation work across southeastern Arizona.

Gear
Sturdy shoes, hat, sunscreen, binoculars and plenty of water.

Preserve Regulations
In consideration of the canyon's plants and animals, and staffing and space limitations, we ask all visitors and guests to observe the following regulations:
Please ask about policies governing photography before setting up equipment.  No buses, trailers, or large RV’s (over 20 feet) can be accommodated in the tight parking lot.

Smoking, pets, camping, fires, hunting, radios or tape players, collecting, feeding wildlife, motorized vehicles and bicycles are prohibited. Enjoy picnicking at the table near the entrance.

Questions?
Call (520) 378-2785 or e-mail Brooke Gebow at bgebow@tnc.org.
For Gift Shop inquiries, call (520) 378-2785 or e-mail Debbie Arbenz at darbenz@tnc.org.

Guided Hikes
Ramsey Canyon Preserve offers guided walks March through October on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturday mornings at 9 a.m. The walks wander up an easy, shady trail and cover the lively natural and cultural history of the canyon. Leaders focus on birds and share information about The Nature Conservancy work here and beyond. Tours last about 2 hours.

The best months for birding at the preserve are April through September. Spring weather is unpredictable, though usually cool and dry. Early summer is generally dry and  warm. In July and August, brief afternoon rainstorms can be a daily occurrence.  Fall days are cool and bright. Occasional snows from late November through late March bring a dramatic change in the scenery. On average, temperatures at the preserve are 10-15 degrees cooler than those in Tucson.

The diverse wildlife and habitats of Ramsey Canyon may be viewed from the Hamburg Trail. This open-ended route parallels Ramsey Creek through the preserve before climbing 500 feet in a half-mile series of steep switchbacks. These lead to a scenic overlook in the Coronado National Forest one mile from the preserve headquarters. From the overlook, the trail continues upstream and enters the Miller Peak Wilderness Area where it joins other trails.

Please note that pets are prohibited in the preserve. See additional guidelines under the “Preserve Regulations” heading.

Directions

Need help finding our preserves? Download directions (.pdf, 143 kb) to the six Arizona preserves open to the public.

Discussion

Have you been to this preserve? Are you thinking of visiting? See what others are saying about their experiences and add your comments below.

Add Your Comments

Time for you to join the discussion. Tell us about your experience at this preserve. What plants and animals did you see? When did you go? You can help others plan their visit when you share your thoughts. And thank you for visiting one of our nature preserves!

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