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“San Pedro House: A Must for Birds, Nature, Trails” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area

San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area
Ranked #3 of 9 things to do in Hereford
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: One of the prime birdwatching areas in Arizona, where visitors can see up to 500 species of birds.
Saratoga Springs, New York, United States
Level Contributor
88 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“San Pedro House: A Must for Birds, Nature, Trails”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 May 2014

The San Pedro Riparian NCA is an amazing (but threatened) place. In early April, approaching it on any of the roads that cross it near Sierra Vista, you can see clearly why the river's water is so important: a narrow strip of bright green appears in the otherwise tawny landscape. You can view the river and surroundings from any of these crossings, but probably the best place to explore it is at the San Pedro House on Hwy 90.

The house is a 1930s ranch house now serving as a nice little visitor center and bookstore operated by the Friends of the San Pedro River. Outside are a few bird feeders and labeled plants. Get a trail map there. Several mostly-flat trails leave from the house, including a very short one to a huge old cottonwood that is worth seeing. But perhaps the best is a loop trail that leads to and through the riparian forest along the river and around a small pond. Lots of birds and turtles (possible rattlesnakes, too, so watch your step). In early April, you could encounter a vast number of tent caterpillars in the cottonwoods and coating the trail and other objects. But they don't last long, so the docents at the house told us. Take water, a snack - and your time! And if you see what look like turkey vultures overhead, check closely. One turned out to be a zone-tailed hawk!

See it soon because a humungous residential development is planned between the river and Sierra Vista that, unless modified, will surely impact the groundwater that keeps the river flowing.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
Thank Wally E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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99 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Surprise, Arizona
Level Contributor
172 reviews
72 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
“A lovely place to relax and bird watch”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 May 2014

We had stopped here several years ago, and when we spent two days in Sierra Vista we put this at the top of our list. We were not disappointed! It is a lovely area. The San Pedro House has interesting gifts and information, and the volunteers are very helpful. Sadly it was a very windy day... but we still saw some birds on the trail. It is a place we could return to again and again.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank ALT44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
minnesota
Level Contributor
277 reviews
97 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
“Beautiful area to explore”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 April 2014

About the only downside during our visit were the tent caterpillars that were eating all the leaves off the cottonwoods, otherwise, this is a special place to hike and explore. Great for birdwatching and they have a very nice visitors center with a great gift shop that has all the latest bird books and birding supplies. The people that volunteer in the center arte very friendly and knowledgeable about the area

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
Thank itraveleverywhere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ithaca, New York
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Hummingbirds!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 April 2014

We went to see hummingbird banding done and were actually offered the opportunity to take part! Sheri Williamson, author of 'A Field Guide to Hummingbirds of North America (Peterson Field Guides)', was there to talk to us and to take measurements of each bird. This was a fun learning experience and we very much enjoyed the docents. They were personable and very knowledgeable. They also have the second largest Cottonwood in Arizona (according to one of the docents). There are also a lot of interesting trails to walk.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
Thank Jeramy K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hereford, AZ
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“A wonderful river walk along the San Pedro River”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 April 2014

The San Pedro River is the only free flowing river n Arizona (no dams, other than what the beaver seem to construct. The river flows out of Mexico heading north to the Gila River. The Upper San Pedro watershed is a prime migratory pathway for many birds - and home to 80+ species of mammals. The BLM managed SPRNCA is a wonderful resource for naturalists and recreation. Of course the local cattlemen want access for pennies to get free grazing for their cattle - which would destroy much of the native habitat, and ruin the environment for all the rest of us. Sad. Not the reason the SPRNCA was created but old line ranching has a death grip on local and state politicians in love with an outmoded and dying economic interest. Enjoy the SPRNCA now before the cattlemen ruin it.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
Thank kschmitt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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