While most of Arizona is known for the hot desert landscape there are places where in just a few miles, or feet in elevation, that changes completely. One of those areas is Ramsey Canyon near Sierra Vista, less than 10 miles from the Mexican border in the Huachuca Mountains.
Because of a spring feed stream, high canyon walls and an orientation facing northeast, the canyon has numerous sycamore and maple trees – very un-Arizona like.
The creek bank has even more wetlands vegetation.
The Ramsey family had settled in the canyon around 1900 and over the years built a couple of cabins.
As you hike through the preserve and climb up just a few feet above the stream you quickly go back to more typical Arizona landscape.
While in some spots the desert like landscape is integrated with the wetlands.
The canyon is home to lots of wildlife.
The trip back down the canyon to the visitor center returned us to the colorful foliage. Ramsey Canyon is a great destination for a different look at Arizona.
With the acquisition of a high clearance vehicle it was time to hit one of the ‘off pavement’ routes I have been looking forward to, Montezuma Canyon Road through Coronado Pass.
This route took us past Parker Canyon Lake and up to the pass, with an extensive view of the San Pedro River valley and the multi billion dollar boondoggle fence. This route was 24 miles of dirt and gravel road up over the mountain pass, resulting in the dustiest car I have ever had (which of course I forgot to take a photo of before washing)
One of the more interesting features is the riparian desert features of the San Pedro River. Retaining water year round (a bit), you are instantly in a wooded area with huge trees, literally next to the dry grasslands.
The day ended with a beautiful ‘Blood Moon’ lunar eclipse.