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
- Jan Johnson-Miller
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
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!
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.
- Alva Nawrocki
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.
Great place for wildlife photography. Loved staying here and will be back soon. The hummingbirds are all over the place.
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.
- Jim Veatch
Wonderful place to just sit and watch birds! We try to go up there every week
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.
Beautiful, affordable, and most importantly - the staff are wonderfully kind and accommodating! 10 thumbs up!
- Charlyn Bantlin
We love Madera canyon and the lodge planning a two night stay soon
Nice and beautiful place, my kids loved it! Going back in the summer.
Amazingly peaceful weekend, cute cabin, beautiful hiking, bird watching, deer and wild turkey outside our cabin!! Cannot wait to go back!
- Emma J Watts
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! �
Loved this place. A new favorite location on Arizona.
It is so peaceful here and the creek runs right behind the cabins and casitas. It's a place to relax.
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.