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

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

    thumb Soo Willie
    October 24, 2015

    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  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!

    thumb Justin Cale
    February 9, 2016

    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

    thumb Jan Johnson-Miller
    October 6, 2015

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

    thumb Joe Neely
    September 15, 2016
  • 5 star review  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.

    thumb Candace Porth
    May 6, 2017

    5 star review  This was the most pleasant place . I love it beautiful and the people there were awsome and very friendly.

    thumb Anissa Renee E
    October 30, 2016

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

    thumb Lorence Zacpal
    June 4, 2017
  • 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  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  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!

    thumb Karen Martin
    April 17, 2017
  • 5 star review  We love Madera canyon and the lodge planning a two night stay soon

    thumb Charlyn Bantlin
    July 30, 2015

    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  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.

    thumb Jennifer Sandoval
    October 22, 2017

Check Availability and Make a Reservation

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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)
Small refrigerator
Disposable plates and cups with paper towels
Pots, Pans, Dinnerware & Silverware
Microwave
2-burner hotplate
Coffee-maker
Toaster
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.