San Simon, Arizona 85632Barfoot Park Official Website
The adventure starts with the drive, not with the arrival, as birding along the access roads can be very productive. Especially keep an eye out for Montezuma Quail in the Pine-Oak woodlands.
The high-elevation areas are now a fire-altered landscape, and time will tell how the mountain birds respond, but look for Mexican Chickadee, Yellow-eyed Junco, Red-faced Warbler, Olive Warbler, Red Crossbill, and Band-tailed Pigeon.
This hotspot is at the junction of the roads that continue on to Barfoot Park and Rustler Park respectively. Walking the trail just below the road can be very productive for high elevation birds such as Olive and Red-faced Warblers with an advantage of looking down at the trees.
See all hotspots at Barfoot Park
Rustler Park and Barfoot Park are high-elevation sites in the Chiricahua Mountains, accessible seasonally by graded dirt roads. Note that in this area "park" means "meadow;" the areas could be called Rustler Meadow and Barfoot Meadow.
The Rustler Park area is accessible from Portal (via Portal Road) and from Chiricahua National Monument via Pinery Canyon Road. Both roads are steep and winding, not suitable for longer vehicles or trailers, but generally okay for sedans after the snow melts and the roads have been graded. Inquire locally about road conditions.
Driving uphill on either road, continue to Onion Saddle at the crest of the mountain range. Don't, however, be in a hurry. Drive slowly and listen for birds singing in the trees. Birding along the roads can be profitable, and especially keep an eye out for Montezuma Quail in the Pine-Oak woodlands.
Barfoot Park is located north of Rustler Park.
From Onion Saddle, drive south 1.6 miles to a fork in the road. Turn right and drive about 0.6 miles to the top of a steep hill. Most drivers will stop here, but others continue down the steep hill. The road ends (another 0.4 miles) at the bottom edge of Barfoot Meadow. Barfoot Meadow is watered by Barfoot Spring.
Snow tends to linger on these north-facing slopes, so Barfoot Road can be snowed in or wet and muddy long after other roads are dry.
Content from Birding Around Rustler Park and Birding Around Rustler Park and Barfoot Park webpages
Last updated July 15, 2023