Birding Hotspots Where to Go Birding

Mount Lemmon–Molino Basin

Coronado National Forest
Mount Lemmon, Arizona 85619
Molino Basin Campground webpage

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Pima County

Mt. Lemmon–Molino Basin
Coordinates: 32.337101, -110.6921005
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Birding in Arizona

About Molino Basin Campground
While most other campgrounds in the Catalina District are closed in winter and open in summer, Molino Campground and Picnic Area has a season that is just the opposite. Because it is located lower on the slopes of the Santa Catalina Mountains, Molino is open during the late fall, winter, and early spring. Located at 4,370 feet in elevation, this campground lies within the desert grassland and open oak woodland ecosystems.

The weather here is pleasantly mild then, and any of those seasons is a good time to visit. Campsites are located in savannah — desert grassland dotted with oaks. Along the banks of Molino Creek, which flows only during and immediately after rain or snowmelt, species such as cottonwood, Arizona live oak, and mesquite provide a scenic setting for the campsites they shelter. Views are dominated by nearby rugged, rocky hills. Roads in the campground are paved.

Take the Catalina Highway off Tanque Verde Road in Tucson. Drive 4.2 miles to the Forest boundary and continue 5.7 miles to the campground. All campsites are adjacent to paved roads and are accessible by two-wheel drive low-clearance vehicles, such as the family sedan.
From Molino Basin Campground webpage

Tips for birding Mount Lemmon
Take Catalina Highway northeast from Tanque Verde Road. For desert and mountain species, stop at picnic and campgrounds (Molina Basin, Bear Canyon, Rose Canyon Lake and others) as you drive the narrow, winding road to high elevations.
From Tucson Audubon Society