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

    thumb Charlyn Bantlin
    7/30/2015

    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
    2/09/2016

    5 star review  It's beyond beautiful here and the cozy accommodations were perfect!!

    thumb Skyla Teel
    9/20/2014
  • 5 star review  Love the rustic cabins and clean rooms. This is the birdwatching mecca for migrating birds from Mexico.

    thumb Lorence Zacpal
    6/04/2017

    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!

    thumb Jeanette Wah-Duffy
    11/27/2017

    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
    7/17/2016
  • 5 star review  It is so peaceful here and the creek runs right behind the cabins and casitas. It's a place to relax.

    thumb Melody Duke
    3/18/2015

    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
    10/30/2016

    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.

    thumb Dawn Savage
    8/03/2016
  • 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
    10/06/2015

    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.

    thumb Susan Brady
    2/03/2015

    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
    4/17/2017
  • 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
    10/22/2017

    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
    11/20/2016

    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.

    thumb Alva Nawrocki
    5/22/2017

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