Ramsey Canyon Preserve (formerly Mile Hi Ranch)

Ramsey Canyon Preserve (formerly Mile Hi Ranch)

Hereford, Arizona 85615

Ramsey Canyon Preserve (The Nature Conservancy) webpage

Tips for Birding

Ramsey Canyon Preserve is open; it is closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

The best months for birding at the preserve are April through September. Spring weather is unpredictable, though usually cool and dry. Early summer is generally dry and warm. In July and August, brief afternoon rainstorms can be a daily occurrence. Fall days are cool and bright. Occasional snows from late November through late March bring a dramatic change in the scenery. On average, temperatures at the preserve are 10-15 degrees cooler than those in Tucson.

About this Location

A spring-fed stream, northeast orientation, and high canyon walls provide Ramsey Canyon with a moist, cool environment unusual in the desert Southwest. Water-loving plants such as sycamores, maples, and columbines line the banks of Ramsey Creek, often growing within a few feet of cacti, yucca, and agaves. Communities ranging from semi-desert grassland to pine-fir forest are found within the vicinity of Ramsey Canyon Preserve.

Ramsey Canyon and the Upper San Pedro River Basin are situated within the Apache Highlands ecoregion, which encompasses central and southeastern Arizona, southwest New Mexico and the northern Sierra Occidental of Mexico.

The preserve serves as a southeastern Arizona program office—a base for The Nature Conservancy’s work with regional partners on large-scale projects such as fire management, stream restoration, and protection of rare species. Together, The Nature Conservancy and these partners achieve much greater success than any one entity working independently. Multiple partners also ensure a broader perspective and more enduring conservation solutions.

The preserve Visitor Center includes visitor parking, restrooms and hummingbird viewing. Here, visitors may learn about the preserve and its wild residents, the Upper San Pedro River Program, and The Nature Conservancy by viewing interpretive exhibits, or simply enjoying the beauty of the lower canyon.

Please note, in consideration of canyon wildlife, pets are prohibited in the preserve. However, service animals are permitted. 

About Ramsey Canyon

See all hotspots at Ramsey Canyon

Ramsey Canyon, located in the Huachuca Mountains within the Upper San Pedro River Basin in southeastern Arizona, is renowned for its outstanding scenic beauty and the diversity of its plant and animal life. This diversity is the result of the interplay of geology, biogeography, topography, and climate.

Southeastern Arizona is an ecological crossroads, where the Sierra Madre of Mexico, the Rocky Mountains, and the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts all come together. The abrupt rise of mountains like the Huachucas from the surrounding arid grasslands creates “sky islands” that harbor tremendous habitat diversity and form stepping stones to the tropics. This combination of factors gives Ramsey Canyon Preserve its notable variety of plant and animal life, including such southwestern specialties as Apache and Chihuahua pines, ridge-nosed rattlesnake, lesser long-nosed bat, elegant trogon, and berylline and violet-crowned hummingbirds.

Notable Trails

The diverse wildlife and habitats of Ramsey Canyon may be viewed from the Hamburg Trail. This open-ended route parallels Ramsey Creek through the preserve before climbing 500 feet in a half-mile series of steep switchbacks. These lead to a scenic overlook in the Coronado National Forest one mile from the preserve headquarters. From the overlook, the trail continues upstream and enters the Miller Peak Wilderness Area where it joins other trails.

Features

  • Restrooms on site

  • Entrance fee

  • Wheelchair accessible trail

  • Roadside viewing

Content from Ramsey Canyon Preserve (The Nature Conservancy) webpage and Southeastern Arizona Bird Observatory webpage