"Arizona" Top 5 Page for this destination Arizona by traveldave
Arizona Travel Guide: 10,928 reviews and 30,053 photos
Southeast Arizona is dominated by the northern portion of the Sonoran Desert. This desert is characterized by such cactus species as the cholla, prickly pear, and saguaro. The flat desert is punctuated by the isolated volcanic peaks of the "Mexican Mountains" which are the northernmost peaks of the Sierra Madre Mountains of nearby Mexico. There are several ranges of the Sierra Madre Mountains in southern Arizona, including the Baboquivari, Pajarito, Santa Rita, Patagonia, Huachuca, and Chiricahua ranges.
These mountain peaks have been described as "sky islands" since they rise abruptly out of the desert and are separated from the others by many miles of flat terrain, just as islands rise from the sea. Each range has its own unique group of plants and animals. Since these "sky islands" are so close to the Mexican border, many Mexican birds are found at the northern limit of their ranges here, which makes this area a prime destination for North American birdwatchers.
In 2005 I spent a week visiting many of the mountain ranges and was able to see many of the Mexican bird species which are found nowhere else in the United States. In addition, I saw a few of the sights and attractions in and around Phoenix and Tucson, which are highlighted on this page.
I returned to Arizona in 2013. This time, however, I just passed through Phoenix and Tucson and spent most of my time in many of the "hot spots" on the birdwatching circuit. The only new place I visited on this most recent trip was Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge and I created a new tip for that site.
Located a little over an hour southwest of Tucson in the Altar Valley, Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge protects... more travel advice
Opened in 1967, the Pima Air and Space Museum is the third-largest aviation museum in the United States. The main... more travel advice
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