A little cooler and oh so beautiful
Sierra Vista is a small little town located at the base of the Huachuca Mountains. The temperatures here tend to be 8 to 10 degrees cooler than in Tucson which is 70 miles west of Sierra Vista. Hiking, camping, bird watching and horseback riding are among the many things you can do in the area.
Parker Canyon Lake. This...
Parker Canyon Lake. This place is not easy to find, but well worth the winding, hilly drive. Many of the roads leading up here are dirt. Is is a great place to go relax and fishing or hiking
This lake is located in hill country. There are several recreational activities for those willing to drive the dirt roads that lead to it. I recommend not washing your car before going, because it will be filthy by the time you get there, as the roads can be very dusty.
If you want to go fishing, Parker Canyon Lake offers both warm and cold water species, including stocked Rainbow Trout and resident Bass, Sunfish and Catfish. There is a fishing pier and a paved boat ramp at the lake, as well as a lakeside paved area and a graveled path along the shoreline. There is also a small convenience store at the lakeshore where you can get some basic items such as meat, milk, eggs, bread, and of course, beer. You can also buy a fishing license or rent a boat.
The trails around the lake have plenty to see for nature lovers. There are many species of birds to check out. Whitetail deer can frequently be seen among the oaks and grasses that surround the lake and in the two campgrounds near its shore.
Coatimundi, javalina and roadrunners, can be seen as well. Roadrunners are birds that actually can fly, but they are often faster on foot than in the air. They are really cool to watch. Careful of the wild pigs or javalina, as well as Coatimundi, as they can be dangerous. Also watch out for rattlesnakes out sunbathing. The rattlesnake gets a bad rap, as they don't want anything to do with humans, and will do everything they can to avoid us. The majority of bites occur when people tamper with these creatures or accidently step on them. Be Safe!
Location 25 miles southeast of Sonoita in the scenic Canelo Hills.
Access: From Tucson, travel east on Interstate 10 to State Route 83 (exit 281) and turn south 50 miles through Sonoita to Parker Canyon Lake.
It's open all year
boating and fishing (8 hp limit)
Fishing Pier, paved boat ramp and courtesy dock
Handicap access to most facilities
Parking for vehicles, motor homes and boat trailers
Boats are limited to no more than one 8 hp motor.
Small concession-operated store is open on weekends during winter months and week long throughout the summer.
Ramsey Canyon is nestled between Hereford and Sierra Vista in Southeast Arizona. It has a very diverse ecosystem because four different ecological areas converge here. The Sonoran and Chihuahuan Deserts; the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Madre all converge here. This combined with the elevation difference between the desert floor and the mountains allows you to see an incredible diversity of wildlife and plantlife in a small area. The preserve is open 8 AM to 5 PM February through October, and 9 AM to 4 PM November through January. It is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's days. Entrance fees are $5.00 per person. Conservancy members and Cochise County residents, $3.00 per person. Children under 16 are Free. There is no admission charge the first Saturday of every month.
Ramsey Canyon: Stop 14 Bear Pole
If you take a close look at this pole, you will see distinct marks made by a black bear's claws. If you see a black bear on your hike, do not approach him/her. They are stronger than you and have very sharp claws.
I first came to Sierra Vista when my dad was stationed at Fort Huachuca, which is what brings most visitors. After spending some time with nothing but earth and sky I sometimes find myself getting claustrophobic around too many trees. :)
Of course, I've got to have some Arizona sunset photos. Here's one with a mesquite from last February...although it never really looks any more "full" than it does here.
"Favorite Travel Partner"
Taylor is my former roomate's little girl. We travelled the Sierra Vista area before I headed to Pennsylvania. I hope to get some of our Ramsey Canyon photos up soon.
Ramsey Canyon is known for birds and butterflies. They get the second highest butterfly visits in the world, second to a place in Mexico.
"Dodgy photo as promised"
This is a salute to the first VT-er who e-mailed me - Grantboone - and his dodgy photos.
If the photo looks blurry than you've had too much to drink! This, by the way, was taken at Famous Sam's on Fry Blvd in Sierra Vista. If you want to find anything, it's on Fry.