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Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve

Mule deer at Sonoita Creek Preserve

(520) 394-2400
Owned and operated by The Nature Conservancy
Sonoita Creek flows through the valley between the Patagonia and Santa Rita mountains south of the towns of Sonoita and Patagonia. This marshy woodland creates an ideal environment for many birds and aquatic species. There are cleared hiking trails in the preserve. Several are relatively short loops near the visitor center with trail markers identifying interesting points. The longer Platts Upland trail is 3.2 miles.

140-year-old Fremont cottonwood treeMule deer are often sighted, and one of the biggest cottonwoods you'll ever find is a feature on the easy family hike (trail marker #6). This huge tree is about 140 years old and its trunk must be at least 16 feet in circumference. Some twenty species of raptors have been spotted with six species confirmed as breeding at the preserve in summer. The Gray Hawk is a tropical species that doesn't come farther north than southern Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Three or four pairs of Gray Hawks breed at this preserve during the summer.

Patagonia is on Highway 82 south of Sonoita. In Patagonia, go west on 4th Avenue a couple of blocks to Pennsylvania Avenue, cross the creek and drive southwest about a mile on the dirt road to the preserve. PSCP is open Wednesday through Sunday and closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Hours are: April-September 6:30 am-4 pm; October-March 7:30 am-4 pm. Charge is $5 per person and no pets are allowed beyond the parking lot. The preserve is also closed on Thanksgiving, the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day.