Sweetwater Wetlands

Sweetwater Wetlands

2751 West Sweetwater Drive Tucson, Arizona 85705

Official Website
Sweetwater Wetlands guide with map

Tips for Birding

The hours for Sweetwater  Wetlands are Tuesday to Sunday: Dawn to approximately 1 hour after dusk Monday: 8:30 AM to approximately 1 hour after dusk. Gates are locked 1 hour after dusk. Don’t get locked in!! It remains to be seen how “dawn” and "dusk" will be determined, but it’s good to see Tucson Water adapting to seasonal variation in daylight.

Mosquito control operations are scheduled at Sweetwater Wetlands from 6:30 to 8:30 am on Mondays March to November. The gate will open when operations are finished. Roger Road WRF was closed as of 1/10/2014 and reopened as Agua Nueva Park in late 2023. There is a separate eBird hotspot to use for Agua Nueva Park birding.

About this Location

The Sweetwater Wetlands is a water treatment facility, an urban wildlife habitat, and an outdoor classroom. As a water treatment facility, it is one of the most important facets of the City’s Reclaimed Water System. Treated water filters through sediments beneath recharged basins and replenishes the local aquifer. This reclaimed wastewater is recovered by extraction wells during periods of high water demand and distributed for reuse in Tucson’s golf courses, parks, schools, and other large turf irrigation areas.

As an urban wildlife habitat, the Sweetwater Wetlands is a tranquil park where visitors can view native wildlife in an urban setting. This water-rich streamside riparian zone supports a huge variety of wildlife including dragonflies, raccoons, hawks, bobcats, and dozens of other species that make the wetlands their full- or part-time home.

As an outdoor classroom, the Sweetwater Wetlands provides an environmental, educational experience in natural laboratory settings for teaching about ecology and water resource management. The wetlands help establish and enhance the wildlife population in harmony with Tucson’s urban environment.

Sweetwater Wetlands is open to the public seven days a week. Gates to the facility open approximately one hour before sunrise and close approximately one hour after sunset. A new parking area across the street from the old parking lot is open to the public. The additional parking spaces (for cars and school buses) should reduce the need for parking along Sweetwater Drive. Crosswalk markings have also been added.

A west entrance to the Sweetwater Wetlands is now open from the paved bicycle path along the east bank of the Santa Cruz River. Designed and built by Pima County through funding for its “Loop” bicycle trail system, it includes a bench, trash bin, and bicycle racks. Please remember that bicycle riding and dogs are not allowed on the Sweetwater Wetlands property.


  • Restrooms on site

  • Wheelchair accessible trail

  • Entrance fee

  • Roadside viewing

Content from Official Website, Tucson Audubon Society, and Mark Stevenson

Last updated March 24, 2024

Photo'd on 21 March 2024
Mark Stevenson