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Cave Creek Canyon–South Fork

Coronado National Forest
San Simon, Arizona 85632
South Fork Picnic Area webpage
Friends of Cave Creek Canyon webpage

Also, see Cave Creek Canyon

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Cochise County

Cave Creek Canyon–South Fork
Coordinates: 31.8688764, -109.1883919
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Birding in Arizona

About South Fork Picnic Area
South Fork Picnic Area is one of the most popular birdwatching areas in Cave Creek Canyon. The riparian habitat along this tributary of Cave Creek is especially well-known as an area for sighting elegant trogons –crimson-chested, green-backed birds with iridescent copper-colored tails. Trogons come this far north from their subtropical homelands to build nests and raise their young in hollow cavities of sycamore trees that grow in a few of southeastern Arizona‚Äôs desert canyons. Seeing one is considered one of the special treats of birdwatching. Though South Fork is known for its trogons, there are plenty of other interesting and rare creatures to encounter here. Over 300 species of birds have been sighted in the Chiricahua Mountains, including the magnificent hummingbird, blue-throated hummingbird and Montezuma quail. Other interesting types of wildlife frequently sighted here include Apache fox squirrels, coatimundis and Coues white-tailed deer. The scenery is quite impressive in this area, too. Good views of the cave-pocked cliffs that give Cave Creek its name are visible from the road leading to the picnic area and the trail that continues upstream. Picnic tables are located conveniently close to the creek under a canopy of Arizona sycamores and cypress. (No grills).

From Tucson, take I-10 east 139 miles to US-80 (you will cross the New Mexico border to get to this intersection). Turn right (south) and drive 28 miles, then turn right (west) on the road to Portal for 7 miles. From Douglas, take US 80 east approximately 50 miles to Rodeo, NM. Two miles past Rodeo, turn left (west) on Portal Road. From Portal drive west on Forest Road 42 approximately 3 miles to the South Fork turnoff, turn left (south) and continue 1.5 miles to the picnic area. All roads are paved and suitable for passenger vehicles.
From South Fork Picnic Area webpage

About Cave Creek Canyon
Nestled in the Chiricahua Mountains of Southeastern Arizona, 150 miles east of Tucson and 50 miles north of Douglas, is Cave Creek Canyon, a hidden gem with spectacular cliffs, flowing streams and an abundance of wildlife.

Endowed with magnificent scenery and unparalleled biodiversity, Cave Creek Canyon is truly a special place. Residents and visitors who want to help protect the area now have a chance to do so by joining, volunteering, or contributing to the Friends of Cave Creek Canyon.

As individuals and families, we work closely with Coronado National Forest to support its work and mission in Southeast Arizona. We seek to provide educational opportunities for area residents, visitors, school groups, scientific researchers and others who cherish the special qualities of our region.

Researchers and scientists claim that Cave Creek Canyon has the richest diversity of wildlife in the U.S. Birding is fine here year-round and especially rewarding in the summer. Many interesting birds from south of the border can be found here in the Chiricahua Mountains.
From Cave Creek Canyon webpage