South East Arizona

Nov 13th, 2001, 07:47 AM
  #1  
Thor
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South East Arizona

Going to Tucson over Christmas holidays, but want to spend a few days in the south eatern corner of the state. The reason for going there is because we are keen hikers and birders. Looking for a base of operations there, and am trying to decide between Bisbee, Douglas, and Sierra Vista. Any suggestions. Accomoodation can be moderate to inexpensive.
 
Nov 13th, 2001, 11:59 AM
  #2  
Merilee
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I loved Bisbee...it is so quaint and charming...you are surrounded by beautiful hills and mountains...the Copper Queen Hotel is right in the center of town and it dates back to the turn of the century...it has about 40 rooms, a pool, a saloon, and a restaurant...rooms are probably in the $75.00 to $100.00 range...there's a Southeastern Arizona Bird Observatory based in Bisbee, but you probably already know that...my kids loved the Bisbee Mining and Historical Museum...you can acutally go for a ride in a mine...I remember Douglas was closer to the Mexican border town of Aqua Prieta, which I didn't like at all...it may have changed by now, but about 8 or so years ago it looked rough...I also have a vaque memory of a McDonald's on the Douglas size of the border that was near some type of detention center...I also remember there were alot of manufacuring plants...they do have a historical hotel called the Gadsden...I'm not putting down Douglas...I'm not sure about Sierra Vista...Bisbee gets my vote.
 
Nov 13th, 2001, 01:29 PM
  #3  
E.
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Congratulations for discovering perhaps the best birding area in the western US! I lived in SV for two years and volunteered at the Nature Conservancy's Ramsey Canyon Preserve--you won't want to miss a guided walk there, or at the San Pedro House, and also make time for Garden Canyon on Ft. Huachuca, but I'm sure you know all that. As for accomodation, I agree that Bisbee is more charming, but Sierra Vista is more centrally located and more convenient to most of the good birding and hiking spots. Have you considered the Ramsey Canyon Inn, run by TNC and adjacent to the Preserve? Staying there gives you the privilege of entering the Preserve before and after normal hours, a big plus for break-of-dawn birding or owl walks or moonlit strolls. I've also seen several other hotels and B&B's in the area, and would be happy to offer an opinion if you're considering someplace specific. (The japanese reataurant in SV, Tanuki, is great--sounds strange, but it's true! And both the High Desert Inn and Cafe Roka in Bisbee offer great nouvelle cuisine.)Enjoy!
 
Nov 13th, 2001, 01:38 PM
  #4  
Sharon
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We've stayed at both the Copper Queen in Bisbee and The Ramsey Canyon Inn and they are both wonderful and reasonably priced. Great breakfast at Ramsey Canyon and incredible hummingbird viewing right from the breakfast table! Some nice hiking in Ramsey Canyon too. Amazing hiking in Chiricahua Park located right along the southeast corner. Be sure to see that area if you can.
 
Nov 13th, 2001, 03:30 PM
  #5  
Karen
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There are also some wonderful B&Bs in that area...Sonoita and surrounds...look them up on the internet....very picturesque and good hiking locales...
 
Nov 14th, 2001, 04:14 AM
  #6  
stee
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Lots of motels in Sierra Vista. I think it has slightly better access to roads. I would definately visit bisbee and take the queen mine tour.

I would also suggest going to Chiricaua nat'l monument. good luck in birding. If you want some walks, contact the American Volksport Assn. I know their clubs in southern AZ have several walks in the area.
 
Nov 15th, 2001, 12:13 PM
  #7  
E.
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Me again! Having lived in SV, I've seen the volksmarchers in action, and, no offense intended to Steve, they do boneheaded things like walk along Highway 92, or down Ft. Huachuca's main drag, both of which are far from scenic. I think the club there is just goofy. There are so many beautiful hiking trails instead: Brown Canyon, Coronado Peak and the Coronado National Forest, Miller Canyon up to Miller Peak (challenging, that one), the San Pedro river...why did I ever leave??
 
Nov 15th, 2001, 01:00 PM
  #8  
Thor
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Thanks folks for the excellent feedback and advice. We had a short excursion to this part of Arizona last winter, but didn't stay overnight. We would like to change that this year, and spend a couple of days. I have read the hiking in the Chiricahua National Monument is pretty specatacular, so I would like to try that. I did some birding in the San Pedro Valley last year, and saw a
Black Phoebe, and a Green Belted Kingfisher, both kind of rare, and somewhat unique to this area. I think we are leaning towards staying in Bisbee, mostly because we like historic inns. We have been looking at the Inn at Castle Rock, so any feedback there would be appreciated. I've heard a lot of people talk about the Ramsay Canyon, but the day we hiked up to the top, there was almost zero birding action; bad timing I guess. Anyway, thanks again for your suggestions.
 
Nov 16th, 2001, 02:54 PM
  #9  
E.
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Thor, I used to see black phoebes and green kingfishers regularly along the San Pedro..I really miss it. Ramsey Canyon, like all canyons, tends to be best near dawn and then again at dusk, the Elegant Trogon being the most popular "prey" for birders (hard to spot, though!) Ramsey is also great for hummers and their nests--we had a berylline nest there 3 years in a row, right beside the visitor's center. You'll love Chiricahua, it really is spectacular, but bring a lunch as it's quite remote and you'll want to spend the day. Have a great trip!
 
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