Our San Pedro River Arizona location is an ideal naturalist hideaway – perfect for birding, hiking, environmental study, or relaxing!
Casa de San Pedro is located just 90 miles southeast of Tucson and 20 miles southeast of Sierra Vista in the San Pedro River Valley. At an elevation of 4230 feet, this area is one of the most comfortable regions of North America, featuring 350 days of shirt-sleeve weather per year. Summers are temperate, winters are comfortable! We have the premier year-round climate in the US.
For those interested in southeast Arizona birding, Casa de San Pedro is centrally located, permitting easy day trips to other birding “hot spots” such as Madera Canyon, Patagonia, Empire Cienega, Garden Canyon, Miller Canyon and Ramsey Canyon. Other attractions include Kartchner Caverns, Bisbee, Tombstone, Coronado National Memorial, Old Mexico, and the Chiricahua National Monument.
Arizona is a vast landscape of bold color, formations and piercing beauty. The southeastern corner is no exception. Isolated mountains called “Sky Islands” rise abruptly from the arid desert highlands, harbor a tremendous variety of plant and animal life and border the San Pedro Valley. The unique grassland of the valley is supported by the San Pedro River, which enters Arizona from Sonora, Mexico and flows north to join the Gila River.
The inn is adjacent to the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area and is situated on 10 acres bordering the San Pedro River. The broad grasslands in the valley and the cottonwood and willow trees along the river provide a constant supply of food, shelter and water for wildlife. This is a unique habitat attracting over 335 species of birds, 82 species of mammals, and 47 species of amphibians and reptiles. Over 100 species of resident and breeding birds and another 200+ species of migrant and wintering birds occur in this area, which represents roughly half of the regularly occurring species in North America. Notable birds include 36 species of raptors such as the Gray Hawk and Mississippi Kite. Other species are the Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, Green Kingfisher and Yellow-billed Cuckoo. Rounding out the list are 42 species of sparrows and their allies, such as Botteri’s Sparrow, Black-throated Sparrow and the Pyrrhuloxia.
The San Pedro River is considered one of the largest and most critical avian migratory corridors remaining in the western United States. The San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area provides habitat for over 100 species of breeding birds, and provides water food and shelter for another 250 species of migratory and wintering birds. In addition, the river supports on of the largest cottonwood-willow forest canopies remaining in Arizona and is on e of the last free-flowing rivers in the Southwest. The river valley also hosts over 80 species of mammals, on of the highest concentrations in the western hemisphere.
Exploring Arizona History
Scenic mountain and riparian hiking and cycling trails are plentiful. In addition to enjoying the natural wonders of Southeastern Arizona you will also want to learn about its remarkable history. Relive history through the remains of old West ghost and mining towns. Learn about former area inhabitants and historical events such as the 11,000 year old Clovis culture, Coronado’s search for the Seven Cities of Gold, the Apache Geronimo and the Gun Fight at the OK Corral. Past meets the present as well at Fort Huachuca in nearby Sierra Vista; founded in 1877 for the protection of local ranchers and miners, the Fort is the only active army post remaining in Arizona from the more than 70 that once existed.
The Sky Islands of Southeastern Arizona create some of the most diverse hiking in our state. Where else can you take a hike in a deep canyon hidden from the sun and journey to the 9,500 foot summit of Miller Peak, with a view of the Mexican interior as far as you can see. Then come home to the comfort and peace of our inn. Hiking trails in the Huachuca Mountains offer great vistas, diverse fauna and flora and great exercise. Arizona Hiking Trails in Sierra Vista.
If you prefer a less strenuous hike, you can walk in the shade of the cottonwood trees along the San Pedro River, which represents the most extensive healthy riparian ecosystem remaining in the desert Southwest. This area has been designated by the Nature Conservancy as one of the “Last Great Places”. It provides habitat to hundreds of different species of birds and animals. Two popular riparian hikes are described below.
Casa de San Pedro: Enter the San Pedro Riparian Area 100 feet from Casa’s courtyard gate. Trails give you access to mesquite grassland and stream-side habitats. A popular hike with our guests is the four hour round trip to Hereford bridge. If desired, we can pack a lunch for your party to add to your enjoyment of this leisurely adventure. Please allow 48 hours advance notice so that we can supply fresh ingredients for your lunch. Casa guests have raved about their encounters with a variety of birds, butterflies and wild flowers.
San Pedro House: On Highway 90 about 8 miles east of Sierra Vista, turn south just before the San Pedro River. The San Pedro House, is operated by the Friends of the San Pedro River. It is located in the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area and is the site where interpretive walks and other activities are coordinated. The San Pedro House also has exhibits, materials, a book store and a gift shop with nature gifts and other sundries. The gift shop and bookstore are open every day from 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., except Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Touring Western History
You may choose to visit Southeast Arizona’s many historical sites. This is where the old west still lives. Follow in the footsteps of Coronado, visit the remains of an ancient fort or pre-historic village, or visit one of the many mining camps or ghost towns. Check out Coronado National Monument, Fort Huachuca, the Courthouse in Tombstone, the Mining Museum and Mine Tour in Bisbee or any of the abandoned towns dotting the countryside to relive exciting historical moments from this region. The Buffalo Soldiers, Geronimo, Cochise and the gun fight at the OK Corral all happened here.
Let us introduce you to over twenty miles of GREAT trail biking and vistas from our back door along the San Pedro River, over the Hereford Bridge to the old Hereford Town site and Quarry. Bike further north along the East side of the San Pedro for several miles until you are ready to stop for a picnic on the river. Then reluctantly return to Casa with stories to tell about all the beautiful scenery and wildlife you observed.
If your idea of a great bike excursion is to travel about 40 miles over fairly easy terrain, ride from the inn to Bisbee. You’ll have plenty of time to explore the old mining town, enjoy lunch at one of Bisbee’s great restaurants and return to the inn in time for a hot shower and rest before dinner..
If you want a longer ride with more diverse elevations, take a trip to Tombstone. You’ll travel about 70 miles through some flat lands, canyons and mountains. If you need to stop along the way, you can pick from any number of historical or archaeological sites to enjoy a picnic or relax in the shade of the trees along the San Pedro.
If you’d like a challenging ride on an unimproved county road, take off through the Coronado National Memorial to Parker Canyon Lake. It’s more of a mountain biking trip and your destination is a great fishing lake about 25 miles from Casa de San Pedro.
Other Events & Activites
Southeast Arizona has several vital communities that offer good restaurants, art galleries, shopping, vinyards/wine tours, museums, and Old West History. During your visit to Casa de San Pedro you can partake in local fesivals, tours, art gatherings and shop till you drop. Bisbee, Sierra Vista, and Tombstone all offer nearby events and attractions. We will be happy to provide you with more informaiton when you arrive. Or you can relax at the Casa and enjoy our unique world class natrualist habitat while you rejuvinate your soul.