Santa Rita Lodge

By Kathy Montgomery | Photo by Steven Meckler

From the shaded back deck of my cabin at Santa Rita Lodge, I listen to the tap, tap, tapping of an Arizona woodpecker. Beyond the dense tangle of oaks and junipers, I can just make out the smooth, white bark of sycamores along Madera Creek. I drift off to sleep to the gentle shushing of the seasonal stream and awaken to birdsong and cicadas. The cabin is wood-paneled and comfortable, with a kitchenette and a front-porch swing. Check-in came with an excellent map of Madera Canyon and news of the latest bird sightings. I had just missed a rare plain-capped starthroat, a hummingbird that had been frequenting the gift shop’s porch feeder. But six other species of hummingbirds darted between the feeders at the viewing station, where birders — another species that has sought shelter here since the 1920s — gather for little more than a song.

Santa Rita Lodge is located at 1218 S. Madera Canyon Road in Madera Canyon. For more information, call 520-625-8746 or visit