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

    Charlyn Bantlin Avatar Charlyn Bantlin
    July 30, 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  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!

    Nancy Brownell Bill Howe Avatar Nancy Brownell Bill Howe
    November 13, 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  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  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

    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  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

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

    Lorence Zacpal Avatar Lorence Zacpal
    June 4, 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  Excellent lodge run by Steve who is a great guy. Abundant hummingbirds and a spectacular location.

    Fernando Trujillo Avatar Fernando Trujillo
    June 8, 2017

    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

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