Located in the heart of Madera Canyon, in the beautiful Coronado National Forest,
we invite you to visit for world-renowned bird watching, a rejuvenating hike or a quiet get-away from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

Just a short 13 miles southeast of Green Valley, Arizona, at an elevation of 5,000 feet,
the Lodge is more than 10 degrees cooler than Tucson on any given day—a treasured getaway that attracts visitors year after year.

Join us and experience all that Madera Canyon has to offer.

ACTIVITIES

Birding and Wildlife

Madera Canyon is one of the most renowned birding destinations in the United States. The desert grasslands of the lower canyon blend into Arizona Sycamores, Freemont Cottonwoods, and Alligator Junipers around 4500’, and give way to maples, Box Elders, and several varieties of pine and oak at higher elevations. This, and the many active springs and seasonal creek, creates an avian Utopia!

Photography

With no shortage of scenic overlooks, wildlife, and, of course, birds, Madera Canyon is a popular destination for both amateur and professional photographers. The Santa Rita Lodge is an ideal location to capture treasured shots of native and migrating species of birds such as Broad Billed, Black-chinned, Magnificent, and Blue-throated hummingbirds, Black-headed Grosbeaks, Cassin’s Finches, Bronzed Cowbirds, and the spectacular Elegant Trogon. The Santa Rita Lodge Gift Shop maintains a current bird checklist and seasonal information.

Hiking

The Santa Rita Lodge is the gateway to Madera Canyon, nestled on the northwestern side of the Santa Rita Mountains. A part of the Coronado National Forest, the Santa Rita Mountains boast the highest peak in the entire Tucson region: Mount Wrightson at 9,456 ft. Madera Canyon hosts over 100 miles of hiking trails, not only leading to the top of Mount Wrightson, but to many other must-see routes in the canyon.

Mountain Biking and Road Biking

The northern access to Elephant Head mountain biking trail is located about 11.2 miles up Madera Canyon Road. Take a right on Proctor Road, and stay left whenever the road splits. Take Proctor Rd to its end and park. The trailhead is at the end of the Jeep road, FR 781. This trail boasts 6 miles and 4,000 ft of elevation gain. Rated an intermediate trail, it is excellent riding with plenty of variation to keep more advanced riders interested. Elephant Head can become overgrown easily, but the north trail is gaining popularity which has been keeping overgrowth under control. Made up of jeep trail and single-track, Elephant head mainly crosses open desert with little cover. Be sure to take in the vast views and the massive rock formation earning its name: Elephant Head.

  • 5 star review  Wonderful place to just sit and watch birds! We try to go up there every week

    thumb Jim Veatch
    11/26/2016

    5 star review  I visited here last year while birding Madera Canyon, and it's an absolutely wonderful spot. The people here were so nice, and the birds were AMAZING!

    thumb Justin Cale
    2/09/2016

    5 star review  It's beyond beautiful here and the cozy accommodations were perfect!!

    thumb Skyla Teel
    9/20/2014
  • 5 star review  We love Madera canyon and the lodge planning a two night stay soon

    thumb Charlyn Bantlin
    7/30/2015

    5 star review  Best place to view birds and great place to stay. Quiet nature and lovely views.

    thumb Art Wild
    11/26/2016

    5 star review  Oh my gosh we just had the most amazing stay at the lodge! We stayed 2 nights and the weather was perfect as well. We hiked both days and saw lots of wildlife. A Coati was by the gift shop the 1st day and we saw lots of deer and wild turkey. The bird sanctuary is just lovely! We will be going back again soon with other family members as a retreat! Thank you Steve Holt for having such a wonderful property for all to enjoy!

    thumb Nancy Brownell Bill Howe
    11/13/2017
  • 5 star review  THIS IS ONE PLACE EVERYONE THAT COMES TO TOWN SHOULD SEE. IT IS NATURE AT ITS BEST. THE CABINS ARE GREAT, AND THE BIRDS AND NATURAL ANIMALS IN THE AREA SO WONDERFUL. IT FEEDS YOUR SOUL.

    thumb Susan Brady
    2/03/2015

    5 star review  Excellent lodge run by Steve who is a great guy. Abundant hummingbirds and a spectacular location.

    thumb Fernando Trujillo
    6/08/2017

    5 star review  Not only a great place to view birds, also a great place to stay!!

    thumb Annie Mcginnis
    9/07/2017
  • 3 star review  It's really a shame you don't allow pets. Before it changed hands I would spend 4 days every other month. Just Dusty and I. Such a great place to think and bond. Began to feel like home and the previous owners family. I still miss it.

    thumb Deborah Boyett Buttram
    12/14/2015

    5 star review  It is so peaceful here and the creek runs right behind the cabins and casitas. It's a place to relax.

    thumb Melody Duke
    3/18/2015

    5 star review  Beautiful beyond words and amazing variety of birds and critters! The room is spotlessly clean and has everything we need. We feel right at home.

    thumb Nita Smith
    7/17/2016
  • 5 star review  Loved this place. A new favorite location on Arizona.

    thumb Joe Neely
    9/15/2016

    5 star review  I have been there two separate times. And we loved it, it is so relaxing, pretty and full of hiking spots ,,bird sanctuary. It is not fancy, but a little rustic , clean and has everything you need to stay there, I recommend the Santa Rita Lodge, everyone is very nice and helpful.

    thumb Dawn Savage
    8/03/2016

    5 star review  Loved it there and can't wait to go back! The nature area with bird feeders etc is awesome and you are right in the midst of a number of trails to explore Madera Canyon. Will actually be publishing a book this summer with all the beautiful birds I photographed there.

    thumb Deborah Carney
    6/15/2015

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