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
It's really a shame you don't allow pets. Before it changed hands I would spend 4 days every other month. Just Dusty and I. Such a great place to think and bond. Began to feel like home and the previous owners family. I still miss it.
December 14, 2015
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.
August 3, 2016
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
Love the rustic cabins and clean rooms. This is the birdwatching mecca for migrating birds from Mexico.
June 4, 2017
Spent a couple of days in cabin 3. Wasn't any where near long enough! Beautiful, peaceful place...
October 24, 2015
Nice and beautiful place, my kids loved it! Going back in the summer.
November 18, 2016
This was the most pleasant place . I love it beautiful and the people there were awsome and very friendly.
October 30, 2016
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
Loved it there and can't wait to go back! The nature area with bird feeders etc is awesome and you are right in the midst of a number of trails to explore Madera Canyon. Will actually be publishing a book this summer with all the beautiful birds I photographed there.
June 15, 2015
Beautiful, affordable, and most importantly - the staff are wonderfully kind and accommodating! 10 thumbs up!
October 26, 2014
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
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.
February 3, 2015
Best place to view birds and great place to stay. Quiet nature and lovely views.
November 26, 2016
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
It is so peaceful here and the creek runs right behind the cabins and casitas. It's a place to relax.
March 18, 2015
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.