The San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area is along the San Pedro River. The area is managed by the Bureau of Land Management and has been designated as a Globally Important Bird Area in 1996 by the American Bird Conservancy. The San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area covers 56,000 acres. It is home to over 100 species of breeding birds. The area is also a habitat for over 250 migrant and wintering birds. One reason for the abundance of birds is the thin strip of 100-year old Fremont Cottonwoods that grow within the conservation area.
The area includes lush riparian plant life and wildlife. Many claim it is one of the premier birding areas in the nation. Grey Hawks, Bell’s Vireo, Yellow-breasted Chat and Yellow-billed Cuckoo nest in the conservation area. During the spring, visitors might see Vermilion Flycatchers and Green Kingfishers. Abert’s Towhees and Gambel’s Quail can sometimes be spotted in the wintertime.
You will also discover several mining towns such as Charleston and Millville. The history of the area goes back further to prehistoric times. Murray Springs at Clovis Site has remains of a prehistoric culture living in the area and ruins of a Spanish presidio.
There is no admission charge to enter the conservation area. The Friends of the San Pedro River operate San Pedro House. A bookstore is also at this spot.
If you would like more information, you may call 520-458-6940 or 520-458-3559.
There are several access points to the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area. The primary access point can be met by taking Highway 90 east out of Sierra Vista and/or Fort Huachuca for approximately 8 miles. Then you will come across a sign for the San Pedro House, where you will find visitor information.
When starting out from the town of Bisbee, head northwest on State Highway 80. When you get to a fork in the highway, take State Highway 90 west. Be on the look out for a sign along State Highway directing you to the San Pedro House.
Coming from the town of Tombstone, take State Highway 80 south out of town. Follow State Highway 80, down to where State Highway 90 meets State Highway 80. Take State Highway 90 west, until you come to the signs for San Pedro House.
The simplest way to get to the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area from Benson is to take Interstate 10 east for a very short time, until you come to the State Highway 90 exit. Take State Highway 90 south down to Fort Huachuca. Continue through Fort Huachuca and Sierra Vista and follow State Highway 90 on to San Pedro House. You will see signs for the visitor center along State Highway 90.