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.
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!
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.
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.
We weren't staying there, we just came to watch the birds for awhile. So nice of them to allow non-guests this access. All they ask is that you leave a donation for bird food. You get to sit in the shade and watch a variety of birds fly in to eat. Relaxing and fun. The gift shop is great, too. Buy a souvenir! Madera Canyon is beautiful.
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.
Beautiful, affordable, and most importantly - the staff are wonderfully kind and accommodating! 10 thumbs up!
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.
It is so peaceful here and the creek runs right behind the cabins and casitas. It's a place to relax.
Amazingly peaceful weekend, cute cabin, beautiful hiking, bird watching, deer and wild turkey outside our cabin!! Cannot wait to go back!
Excellent lodge run by Steve who is a great guy. Abundant hummingbirds and a spectacular location.
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.
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!
Cannot rate cannot remove all stars but looks like a good place to stay.
Spent a couple of days in cabin 3. Wasn't any where near long enough! Beautiful, peaceful place...
This really is the an amazing place to visit and stay. Cabins are beautiful, surroundings are awesome! We will definitely be back next year - cabin #5 is mine! �
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!
Thank you, Steve and Judy, for a wonderful three-day stay at your lodge. You both worked SO hard to make our cabin inviting and comfortable, and helped keep our photo workshop running smoothly. You are certainly people persons, and supplied us with a plethora of local information. SRL will definitely be on my return trip list!
Great place for wildlife photography. Loved staying here and will be back soon. The hummingbirds are all over the place.