"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.

  • Last visit to Arizona: May 2013
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (23)

Comments (20)

  • Dec 12, 2010 at 3:21 PM

    I was jogging and I did not brush up against it, according to the doctor, it was because of moisture in my body and temperature, which caused it to jump on me. (The name jumping Cholla definitely is the correct name for this cactus)

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo
    Jan 30, 2008 at 4:35 AM

    Too bad the Old Tucson Studios were closed. That would be fun to see. You did manage to take in a lot of the other museums. Would love to see the San Xavier Del Bac Mission. Love the Saguarro Cactus.

  • VeronicaG's Profile Photo
    Feb 22, 2007 at 1:42 PM

    Great tips on Arizona, Dave. We'll be traveling there in April, planninging to see the Grand Canyon, Sedona and Flagstaff. Regards from Texas...

  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo
    Jul 20, 2006 at 1:10 AM

    Great introduction to Arisona, David! Never knew such things. Thanks, god, we haven't a cholla cactus and +48 degrees Celcius (but we have -48!).

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Jul 17, 2006 at 2:28 PM

    OUtstanding work, Dave, with a little history, excellent photographs, and solid descriptions. Thanks for a grand tour of Arizona.

  • mary2u99's Profile Photo
    Apr 23, 2006 at 8:40 PM

    Great page Dave. you are right Bantam is not really Indonesia.. its begining to look more like Singapore. Bali is worth the visit despite all the scare about bombing.

  • globetrott's Profile Photo
    Jan 4, 2006 at 3:26 PM

    What an interesting page & great pics ! Thanks for sharing, Dave !

  • Faiza-Ifrah's Profile Photo
    Sep 22, 2005 at 6:05 PM

    i liked tips on children, wildlife, airplane museums, saguaro park, film studio - lots of attractions, except cholla cactus, sports - suns where the canadian steve nash plays :-) seems phoenix is a city we can easily settle in and adjust to heat :-)

  • keeweechic's Profile Photo
    Sep 12, 2005 at 5:15 AM

    I would love to see that M&M Museum sounds some fabulous exhibits. Tucson really has some interesting things to do. What a fabulous visit you had. Great page of info and pics.

  • deeper_blue's Profile Photo
    Sep 1, 2005 at 9:06 AM

    excellent page Dave, I should read your pages more often as they are very good.

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“"....For I must be traveling on now, 'cause there's too many places I've got to see...." (Lynyrd Skynyrd).”

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