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.

  • 3 star review  Cannot rate cannot remove all stars but looks like a good place to stay.

    thumb Evelyn Bauer
    August 23, 2016

    5 star review  Nice and beautiful place, my kids loved it! Going back in the summer.

    thumb Katarina Llamas
    November 18, 2016

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

    thumb Annie Mcginnis
    September 7, 2017
  • 5 star review  My husband and I came up for our anniversary and loved it so much that we took the kids 20 and 22 up and they loved it, too ... We'll be back ... Cabin 5 was great!

    thumb Jeanette Wah-Duffy
    November 27, 2017

    5 star review  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! �

    thumb Emma J Watts
    November 20, 2016

    5 star review  Great place for wildlife photography. Loved staying here and will be back soon. The hummingbirds are all over the place.

    thumb Vin O'Hare
    April 20, 2016
  • 5 star review  It's beyond beautiful here and the cozy accommodations were perfect!!

    thumb Skyla Teel
    September 20, 2014

    5 star review  Spent a couple of days in cabin 3. Wasn't any where near long enough! Beautiful, peaceful place...

    thumb Soo Willie
    October 24, 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
    July 17, 2016
  • 5 star review  Excellent lodge run by Steve who is a great guy. Abundant hummingbirds and a spectacular location.

    thumb Fernando Trujillo
    June 8, 2017

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

    thumb Art Wild
    November 26, 2016

    5 star review  Amazingly peaceful weekend, cute cabin, beautiful hiking, bird watching, deer and wild turkey outside our cabin!! Cannot wait to go back!

    thumb Therese Thomas
    January 10, 2017
  • 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
    August 3, 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
    November 13, 2017

    5 star review  Loved this place. A new favorite location on Arizona.

    thumb Joe Neely
    September 15, 2016

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