Santa Rita Mountains Information
The official guidebook for the Arizona Trail warns, “Never underestimate the Santa Rita Mountains.” They can be both wildly pleasant, and brutally challenging, and sometimes at the same time. Surrounded by wild grassland deserts, the sky island of the Santa Ritas is home to a rich biodiversity that extends from low-lying cactus deserts to its north, to high alpine and ponderosa pine forests at its center. The Arizona Trail passes along the east side of the mountains, stretching from Patagonia, Arizona to the south, all the way to I-10 in the flattening foothills to the north. Its descent travels along Gardner Creek, a popular area for many forms of outdoor recreation.