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 at Santa Rita Lodge.

Just a short 13 miles southeast of Green Valley, Arizona, at an elevation of 5,000 feet,
Santa Rita 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  I love going up the mountain to see all the wildlife at Santa Rita Lodge!! My daughter and I enjoy hummingbirds and there are plenty to see here!! <3 Jan Miller

    Jan Johnson-Miller Avatar Jan Johnson-Miller
    October 6, 2015

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

    Jim Veatch Avatar Jim Veatch
    November 26, 2016

    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.

    Nita Smith Avatar Nita Smith
    July 17, 2016
  • 5 star review  Santa Rita Lodge is like home away from home. Oh how I miss it. Seeing the video of the stream flowing is awesome. Love to you all ....know that you are in my thoughts often and the Memories are still Magical. Hoping you're all doing great. Peace, Redbird aka Terry Hunter.

    Terry Hunter Avatar Terry Hunter
    March 5, 2017

    5 star review  My family just spent the night there last night for my birthday. We had a wonderful time in the cabin and everything we needed was right there at our fingertips. It was a great getaway and not far at all from our home in Tucson. The surrounding scenery is beautiful and we saw plenty of wildlife and took some great photos. Thank you for a pleasant experience!

    Rhonda Mullins Martin Avatar Rhonda Mullins Martin
    November 14, 2015

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

    Therese Thomas Avatar Therese Thomas
    January 10, 2017
  • 5 star review  This was the most pleasant place . I love it beautiful and the people there were awsome and very friendly.

    Anissa Renee E Avatar Anissa Renee E
    October 30, 2016

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

    Soo Willie Avatar Soo Willie
    October 24, 2015

    5 star review  We love Madera canyon and the lodge planning a two night stay soon

    Charlyn Bantlin Avatar Charlyn Bantlin
    July 30, 2015
  • 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!

    Nancy Brownell Bill Howe Avatar Nancy Brownell Bill Howe
    November 13, 2017

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

    Fernando Trujillo Avatar Fernando Trujillo
    June 8, 2017

    5 star review  Love the rustic cabins and clean rooms. This is the birdwatching mecca for migrating birds from Mexico.

    Lorence Zacpal Avatar Lorence Zacpal
    June 4, 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!

    Jeanette Wah-Duffy Avatar Jeanette Wah-Duffy
    November 27, 2017

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

    Art Wild Avatar Art Wild
    November 26, 2016

    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.

    Susan Brady Avatar Susan Brady
    February 3, 2015

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