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  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!

    Rhonda Mullins Martin Avatar Rhonda Mullins Martin
    November 14, 2015

    5 star review  Beautiful, affordable, and most importantly - the staff are wonderfully kind and accommodating! 10 thumbs up!

    Jessica Retleb Avatar Jessica Retleb
    October 26, 2014

    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
  • 5 star review  Amazingly peaceful weekend, cute cabin, beautiful hiking, bird watching, deer and wild turkey outside our cabin!! Cannot wait to go back!

    Therese Thomas Avatar Therese Thomas
    January 10, 2017

    5 star review  Not only a great place to view birds, also a great place to stay!!

    Annie Mcginnis Avatar Annie Mcginnis
    September 7, 2017

    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

    Jan Johnson-Miller Avatar Jan Johnson-Miller
    October 6, 2015
  • 5 star review  Loved this place. A new favorite location on Arizona.

    Joe Neely Avatar Joe Neely
    September 15, 2016

    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  Wonderful place to just sit and watch birds! We try to go up there every week

    Jim Veatch Avatar Jim Veatch
    November 26, 2016
  • 5 star review  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.

    Terry Hunter Avatar Terry Hunter
    March 5, 2017

    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

    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  It is so peaceful here and the creek runs right behind the cabins and casitas. It's a place to relax.

    Melody Duke Avatar Melody Duke
    March 18, 2015

    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  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

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