Majestic Santa Rita Mountains Southeast Of Tucson
Santa Rita Mountains Are One Of The 5 Tucson Mountain Ranges
The Santa Rita Mountains are 40 miles southeast of Tucson. The Santa Rita Mountains are 26 miles long. The range runs from north to south/southeast. At their southern end they combine with the Patagonia Mountains.
The peak of the Santa Rita Mountain range is 9450 feet. Mount Wrightson is at the peak and is the highest point in the Tucson region.
Madera Canyon is located in the Santa Rita Mountains. Madera Canyon, one of the world’s great bird watching areas.
The Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory ( part of the Smithsonian Institution) can be found on nearby Mount Hopkins.
The Santa Rita Mountains are in the Coronado National Forest. They were the primary component of Santa Rita National Forest. Around 1908 the Santa Rita National Forest along was combined with other forest tracts to create the Coronado National Forest.
This Wilderness area has rough hillsides, massive canyons, and lofty ridgelines. Peaks are surrounded on nearly all sides with dry hills and gradual grasslands. Ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir dominate the upper elevations.
The stream-fed canyons support an amazing amount of plant and wildlife. Many montane Mexican plants are found that grow nowhere else north of the border.
At the foot of Madera Canyon along the edge of the Wilderness is a recreation area. It serves as a popular gateway for backpackers.
Much of this wilderness was affected by a wildfire during the summer of 2005. Updates on conditions can be obtained from the local Forest Service office.
A substantial copper deposit was located on the north flank of the Santa Rita range. This large copper deposit is near the old Helvetia mine. The new mining operation has been named the Rosemont mine. The Rosemont mine would be an open pit operation. It will be located about two miles to the west of Arizona State Route 83.
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