Southern Arizona Sights



San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area

San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area Review

The San Pedro River, partially rerouted underground by an 1887 earthquake, may not look like much, but it sustains an impressive array of flora and fauna. To maintain this fragile creek-side ecosystem, 56,000 acres along the river were designated a protected riparian area in 1988. More than 350 species of birds come here, as well as 82 mammal species and 45 reptiles and amphibians. Forty thousand years ago this was the domain of woolly mammoths and mastodons: many of the huge skeletons in Washington's Smithsonian Institute and New York's Museum of Natural History came from the massive fossil pits in the area. As evidenced by a number of small, unexcavated ruins, the migratory Indian tribes who passed through thousands of years later also found this valley hospitable, in part because of its many useful plants. Information, guided tours, books, and gifts are available from the volunteer staff at San Pedro House, a visitor center operated by Friends of the San Pedro River (

    Contact Information

  • Address: San Pedro House, 9800 AZ 90, Sierra Vista, AZ 85615 | Map It
  • Phone: 520/508–4445; 520/439–6400 Sierra Vista BLM Office
  • Cost: Free
  • Hours: Visitor center daily 9:30–4:30, conservation area daily sunrise–sunset
  • Website:
  • Location: Sierra Vista
Updated: 02-25-2013

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