Tucson Travel – Ramsey Canyon

Not being a birder, I was unaware of the Nature Conservancy’s Ramsey Canyon Preserve until I was talking to someone about places to go take the camera on a walk and they recommended it. It was a good recommendation.

The preserve is located just south of Sierra Vista and serves both as a private preserve and a trailhead for day-hiking the National Forest Hamburg trail. Access to the trail is through the visitor center, with a pass purchase ($6 for 1 week of daily access) followed by a brief description of the current conditions before being allowed to head out onto the trails.

Depending on interests the preserve could be an all-day affair or a quick walk, with room for expansion by following the trail until it meets other National Forest trails outside of the preserve boundaries. Regardless of ultimate destination, the trail basically follows a small streambed up into the mountains. Near the visitor center there are several hummingbird feeding stations to encourage some of the 14 species which pass through to stop and stay a while in a visible location, but beyond that the preserve is essentially left to itself with the variety of plant and animal life creating a series of microhabitats suited to the needs of a large variety of birds along the lower portion of the trail.

As the trail climbs the bird activity diminishes, which is made up for by a panoramic overview of the San Pedro valley and the neighboring canyon.

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