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Arivaca Creek

Location East portion of Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge in southern Arizona
State(s) Arizona
Counties Pima County
Type Nature Trail
Length 1.25 Miles / 2.01 Km Loop Trail? Yes
Allowed Uses Dogs - On leash
Pedestrian - Walking/Hiking/Running
Wildlife Observation
Agency U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Entry Fee? No Parking Fee? No




The trail meanders along the seasonally wet Arivaca Creek streamcourse, under giant cottonwoods and through lush vegetation which attracts songbirds, woodpeckers, owls, and coatis (racoon relatives). A short side trail leads from the stream bed to the 1870s-era adobe ranch house of Eva Wilbur-Cruce, who wrote about growing up here in "A Beautiful Cruel Country." A quarter-mile downstream from the trailhead, Mustang Trail branches off and provides a chance for a vigorous 5-mile round-trip hike to Mustang Saddle and then via switchbacks to the top of El Cerro, a small mountain. Mustang Trail has no shade and is best experienced in the cooler winter months. Along Arivaca Creek Trail in spring and summer, brilliant vermillion flycatchers flit among branches along the creek. The summer air is alive with calls from summer tanagers, yellow-breasted chat, cardinals and phainopeplas.
Arivaca Creek Trail is signicant ecologically because it preserves riparian (streamside) habitat. Arizona has lost more than 90% of its riparian habitat due to human-caused activities such as channelization, livestock grazing, development, and water table pumping. The shade, moisture, lush greenery and abundant insects attract a wide variety of bird life. In turn this makes Arivaca Creek Trail a destination for bird watchers. The trail along Arivaca Creek takes visitors through rare and valuable desert southwest wetland and riparian habitats, homes for listed endangered species, species of concern, (Continued...)


Visitor Information

Date Opens: 1/1 - Date Closes: 12/31

Time Opens: Sunrise - Time Closes: Sunset



Two miles west of the small community of Arivaca, Arizona, along the Arivaca-Sasabe Road at milepost 10.5


Additional Information

Width: 48 inches.

Primary Surface: Soil

Secondary Surface: Soil

Average Grade: 0%

Elevation Low Point: 3600

Elevation High Point: 3700

Year Designated: 2005

Date Last Updated: 09/19/2012


Contact Information

Bonnie Swarbrick

Trail Management:
Sally Gall
P.O. Box 109
Sasabe , AZ 85633 -0109
(520) 823-4251


Related Webpages and Documents

Title Type Link
Buenos Aires NWR Website View/Download



Do you see a problem with this trail data? Contact either the trail manager (listed above) or email


NOTE: The information on this web site and/or in this database is provided for the convenience of the public, trail managers, organizations, elected officials, etc. Neither the National Park Service, the USDA Forest Service, nor American Trails can guarantee that the information is accurate. Trail users are urged to inquire locally about weather, trail conditions, trail characteristics, fees, and regulations! The information on this web site and/or in this database should not be interpreted as representing the opinions or policies of the U.S. Government, and any mention of trade names, commercial products, or businesses does not constitute their endorsement by the U.S. Government.




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