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

    Charlyn Bantlin Avatar Charlyn Bantlin
    July 30, 2015

    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.

    Candace Porth Avatar Candace Porth
    May 6, 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  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.

    Alva Nawrocki Avatar Alva Nawrocki
    May 22, 2017

    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

    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  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.

    Jennifer Sandoval Avatar Jennifer Sandoval
    October 22, 2017

    3 star review  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.

    Deborah Boyett Buttram Avatar Deborah Boyett Buttram
    December 14, 2015

    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  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! �

    Emma J Watts Avatar Emma J Watts
    November 20, 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!

    Justin Cale Avatar Justin Cale
    February 9, 2016

    5 star review  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.

    Dawn Savage Avatar Dawn Savage
    August 3, 2016
  • 3 star review  Cannot rate cannot remove all stars but looks like a good place to stay.

    Evelyn Bauer Avatar Evelyn Bauer
    August 23, 2016

    5 star review  Great place for wildlife photography. Loved staying here and will be back soon. The hummingbirds are all over the place.

    Vin O'Hare Avatar Vin O'Hare
    April 20, 2016

    5 star review  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.

    Deborah Carney Avatar Deborah Carney
    June 15, 2015

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.