|Tres Rios Wetlands|
Tres Rios is a constructed wetland complex for wastewater treatment at the confluence of the Salt, Gila, and Aqua Fria Rivers. Its waters and created habitat have made this a premier birding area, providing winter habitat for many species of waterfowl in close proximity to the metropolitan Phoeni...
South Mountain Park
|Description: South Mountain Park, at nearly 17,000 acres, is the nation’s largest municipal park. The rugged desert mountain terrain, with easy access from the City of Phoenix, provides scenic mountain vistas. The park also offers an environmental education center, guided programs, several picnic areas, extensive trail system, and horse rentals nearby. Spring wildflower displays can be spectacular following adequate winter rains. Attractions include night wildlife watching, and scorpion searches; the site also includes excellent views of the city lights.|
Wildlife to Watch: Red-tailed and Harris’s hawk, javelina, coyote, gray fox, white-throated woodrat, pocket mouse, and ringtail have all been recorded in this park. Common Sonoran Desert birds such as Costa’s hummingbird, cactus and rock wrens, black-tailed gnatcatcher, curve-billed thrasher, Gambel’s quail, greater roadrunner, and verdin are found here. The pavilion and picnic area near the environmental education center is one of the more reliable locations to observe resident Bendire’s thrasher in the greater Phoenix area. Birders may also find canyon wren, canyon towhee, rufous-crowned sparrow, and Scott’s oriole (best in early spring) along pull-outs near the end of the drive to the top of the mountain.
A diverse reptile and amphibian fauna inhabits this desert park. A unique orange-tailed common chuckwalla is one of the largest and easily observed of the park’s lizards. They favor boulder-strewn hillsides where they can be seen basking on warm spring mornings. Other reptiles include tiger whiptail, common side-blotched lizard, zebra-tailed lizard, gophersnake, coachwhip, western patch-nosed snake, speckled , black-tailed and western diamond-backed rattlesnakes.
Special Tips: Call 602.495.5811 for more information.
Other Activities: 18 different trails range in length from 1 to 14 miles. All have steep rugged and rocky sections. Check at the entrance for trail maps and accessibility.
Ownership: City of Phoenix
Size: 17,000 acres
Closest Town: Phoenix
Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing: