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“Naturalist Paradise”

AMNH Southwestern Research Station
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AMNH Southwestern Research Station
New Mexico
Level Contributor
100 reviews
77 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“Naturalist Paradise”
Reviewed 18 May 2014

Background: we came here for birding, hiking, natural history, etc.

Notable positives: spacious, functional rooms (we stayed in #9); convenient food service (3 basic meals a day provided and included with your daily rate); grounds are fantastic with many bird species, deer and other animals on the many acres on the property; having common meals allows you to meet some really great folks; great access to the South Fork of Cave Creek.

Notable negatives: nothing in particular but you must check in by 5 PM so don't tarry (we made it by 10 minutes); slow Wi-Fi (have to sit out on porch to get connected); no cell reception (but can connect east of Portal AZ)

Wonderful experiences: opening blinds in our room to see 4 Arizona white tail deer munching on the grass outside the window; watching a Say's Phoebe flycatcher feed a growing brood of chicks in a nest adjacent to our room; having dinner in a beautiful meadow under a huge tree next to a rustic swimming pool and enjoying acorn woodpeckers hustling about in the trees

Other: No TV (hooray)

Room Tip: Units consist of groupings of 3 rooms. The groups on the edges have more windows.
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
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6 Thank Trogons
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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6 reviews from our community

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English first
Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
22 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 November 2013

Consider the Southwestern Research Station summer camp for adults, nature-loving adults in particular. This is NOT the place to come if you're looking for the lap of luxury, but the cabins are clean and comfortable, the food (served camp style) is very good to excellent, and the people you'll meet and the experiences you'll get to have are mind-blowing. When we stayed there, we met graduate students from all over the country and abroad, people who helped curate at museums like the Smithsonian, professional tour guides .... all totally willing to teach, to share, and even to let you help with their projects. The birding was amazing ... but so was working with the lepidopterists on moth collection, something I'd never even thought of doing before. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
3 Thank Mctick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
31 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 June 2011

The best part of course is the birding, and this was the best overall birding spot in the area when we stayed here the second week of April. It was also great fun for us to meet other birders and naturalists and to share their enthusiasms. The setting is beautiful, and the food was very good to great. Here's the thing though--the lodging is really, really basic. Each cabin consists of around half a dozen beds and that's about it. It was cold at night while we were there, and while each cabin does have a heater and lots of heavy blankets, they're not insulated, and I had to huddle right up next to the heater to feel close to comfortable. I know it's usually hot there when most people would go, but if the temp drops at all, it gets cold quickly. A warm, reasonably comfortable common area, to talk with our new acquaintances, would have been very welcome, and there's just no place to go. The dining hall is for dining only and shuts down when the last diner leaves (meals are at set time only), and the cabins are just not very inviting, so there's little opportunity for conviviality when the weather doesn't allow you to stay outside. Birders, hikers and bikers are a tough lot (and I know this place is designed for researchers, not tourists), so this probably won't seem important to most, but I would say that if comfort matters to you, it's at least better to go when the weather is warm.

Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank C0l0traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tucson, AZ
Level Contributor
38 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 October 2010

We've stayed at the Southwest Research Station for several years now during a bicycle trip. It's incredibly gorgeous. There's so much to see in the area that we've yet to see. It's a favorite for birders, cyclists (road and mountain), and hikers. Staying at the station is central to it all. They serve wonderful meals. It's very peaceful.

Helpful?
1 Thank Tucson_AZCyclegal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
tucson
Level Contributor
15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 September 2009

Some of us Tucson Pathfinders recently spent 6 days and 5 nights (Sunday-Friday) at the non-profit American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) Southwestern Research Station (SWRS) in beautiful Cave Creek Canyon near Portal, Arizona for a Chiracahua Mountains birding and nature educational tour. SWRS operates from March through October. The facility offers 15 comfy cabins to the public (and academic researchers [AR]) that contain from one bed (queen size) to multiple beds (twin size) and a private bathroom with shower. In the future after a new AR dormitory building is completed, the cabins will contain mini-refrigerators and microwaves. During May through July, the AR get priority on this lodging, but non-AR visitors can reserve unclaimed cabins up to 1 week in advance. Outside of this time period, non-AR can reserve the cabins up to 1 year in advance. Lodging fees in the cabins range from $75-95 per person per night and include three OUTSTANDING home-style buffet meals prepared by resident on-site cooks and served in an amply windowed dining hall. SWRS conducts public nature programs and tours throughout the year that are led by expert naturalists. See the SWRS Web site (http://research.amnh.org/swrs/index.htm) for more info. The SWRS 95 acres (at 5400 feet elevation) provide numerous nature trails, bird feeding stations, a spring-fed swimming pool, a man-made wetlands habitat with viewing platform, a gift shop, a classroom building, laboratories, a library and specimen collection room, a computer room with Internet access, meeting rooms, a hummingbird feeder area with benches, and a Chiracahua leopard frog restoration habitat. For birding, nature education, or simply a thoroughly enjoyable getaway, the SWRS is a true jewel in a magnificent Arizona environment of Nature that cannot be beat.

Helpful?
10 Thank buckstephens
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about AMNH Southwestern Research Station

Property: AMNH Southwestern Research Station
Address: 2003 W. Cave Creek Road, Portal, AZ 85632
Region: United States > Arizona > Portal
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 7 Speciality Lodging in Portal
Number of rooms: 11
Also Known As:
AMNH Southwestern Research Station Portal, Arizona

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