Madera Canyon Picnic Area


Benches along the trail

Madera Canyon lies on the northwest face of the Santa Rita Mountains. Its higher elevation grants relief to desert dwellers during the hot months and allows access to snow during the winter. A world-renowned location for bird watching, Madera Canyon is a major resting place for migrating species, while the extensive trail system of the Santa Rita Mountains is easily accessed from the Canyon’s campground and picnic areas. Madera Canyon has a long and colorful history. The Friends of Madera Canyon, a cooperating volunteer group, helps the Forest Service maintain recreation sites and provides brochures and education programs. If you are interested in joining the group, please write: Friends of Madera Canyon, PO Box 1203, Green Valley, AZ 85622.

At a Glance

Reservations: No
Area Amenities: Interpretive Site,Accessible,Fee charged for some activities,Picnic tables,Toilets,Drinking water,Parking
Fees A Coronado National Forest or Interagency (America the Beautiful) pass must be displayed.  Day use passes can be purchased at the site for $8.  Learn more about passes and permits.
Restrictions: Weapons may not be discharged within the boundaries. All pets must be on a leash.
Closest Towns: 25 miles south of Tucson and 11 miles east of Green Valley.
Water: Drinking water is available
Restroom: Yes
Operated By: Nogales Ranger District
Information Center: Nogales Ranger District 520-281-2296

General Information


Turn east off of I-19 at the Continental Exit 63. Follow the signs to Whitehouse Canyon Road and on to the Forest boundary, about 11 miles.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



Show detail SHOW


Interpretive Site Yes
Picnic tables Yes
Fee charged for some activities Yes
Parking Yes
Toilets Yes
Accessible Yes
Drinking water Yes
Areas & Activities


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  Elevation : 
5,000 feet - 5,500 feet