As the city of Tucson grew, Madera Canyon, formerly Whitehouse Canyon, became an escape from the summer heat in the valley. By the 1900s, summer cottages and year-round residents called the canyon home. Today, Madera Canyon continues to be a unique natural resource for birders, hikers, picnickers, artists, photographers, researchers and nature lovers alike.
In 1922, Mr. C.R. Dusenberry built the Santa Rita Trails Resort, now known as the Santa Rita Lodge. The resort provided pack horse trips that included lunch at Mt. Baldy (9,453 ft.), one roll of film for your camera (developed and mailed back to you), and a chicken dinner on the return trip – all for just $5.00! The original lodge burned down, but was rebuilt in 1929 and became a year-round resort with cottages, cabins, a dining room, a general store, a gas station, and post office from 1929 to 1942. Because White House Canyon was considered too long for a postal address back then, Mr. Dusenberry changed the name to Madera Canyon.
The Holt family purchased the Santa Rita Lodge in 2006. Since that time, the casitas and cabins have been refurbished and a new Gift Shop and Visitor’s Office was built in 2012. The “old” gift shop was one of the original cabins from the 1920’s, now renovated as Deluxe Cabin #5.
Our Gift Shop features a book about the history of the canyon written by the Friends of Madera Canyon, the Canyon’s Philanthropic Group. Proceeds benefit preservation efforts in the canyon.
Check Reviews From Our Customer
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!
November 14, 2015
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!
February 9, 2016
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.
July 17, 2016
This was the most pleasant place . I love it beautiful and the people there were awsome and very friendly.
October 30, 2016
Clean, beautiful, weekend getaway. Great hiking trails with plenty of animals. The bird viewing area is so well thought out and keeps you enthralled. Thank you, Steve.
October 22, 2017
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!
November 13, 2017
Not only a great place to view birds, also a great place to stay!!
September 7, 2017
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!
November 27, 2017
Nice and beautiful place, my kids loved it! Going back in the summer.
November 18, 2016
Amazingly peaceful weekend, cute cabin, beautiful hiking, bird watching, deer and wild turkey outside our cabin!! Cannot wait to go back!
January 10, 2017
Beautiful, affordable, and most importantly - the staff are wonderfully kind and accommodating! 10 thumbs up!
October 26, 2014
Excellent lodge run by Steve who is a great guy. Abundant hummingbirds and a spectacular location.
June 8, 2017
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!
April 17, 2017
Great place for wildlife photography. Loved staying here and will be back soon. The hummingbirds are all over the place.
April 20, 2016
We stayed at the lodge for several nights and really enjoyed it all. It is so nice and quiet for a relaxing getaway. The bird watching was wonderful and the staff were the best.
May 22, 2017
Check In: 2:00 PM Check Out: 11:00 AM
Lodge guests are welcome to enjoy the grounds, decks and private picnic areas.
All Cabins and Casitas Include:
Small Charcoal Grill (except for when fire restrictions are in effect)
Disposable plates and cups with paper towels
Pots, Pans, Dinnerware & Silverware
Free Wireless Internet Service
Television with DVD player
Linens and Towels
Air-Conditioning, heating and a fan
Our Deluxe Cabins #5, #11, and #18 have full-sized kitchens and a separate bedroom.
We invite you visit our gift shop and browse our selection of souvenirs, books, t-shirts, hats, and hummingbird feeders. We offer cool refreshments and snacks as well.
Please note that there is not a restaurant in the canyon. Please plan to bring your own food or visit the nearest town (Green Valley, 12 miles away) for grocery and restaurant options.