“An easy stroll through the giant cottonwoods that provide a great habitat for many birds.”
— Matt Freeman
This trail is within the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge was established in 1985 to protect the Masked Bobwhite Quail, listed as an endangered species. Since the refuge was established, prong horned elk have been reintroduced, with reestablishment of habitat for several native species. There is an abundance of plants and critters to see in this refuge.
The trailhead has excellent signs that introduce visitors to the refuge and an abundance of brochures. This particular trailhead is on the east side of the refuge.
Begin your run by taking the trail to the right, heading gently down the riparian drainage. Run through the immense cottonwood trees, smaller mesquite trees, and other brush growing in the wash. I’m not much of a bird person, but this place has many colorful birds. For once, I took field glasses and was delighted by the up close views of their radiant, colorful plumage.
Cross the riparian drainage, and eventually you'll reach the junction with the Mustang Trail
. For some views of the area and a good cardio workout, head up the trail; otherwise, continue on the Arivaca Creek Trail to enjoy the shade and abundance of wildlife in this unique riparian zone. Follow the well-established trail, with numerous trail markers, to make your way back to the trailhead.
Flora & Fauna
Lots and lots of critters in this area... after all, it's a wildlife refuge. The information signs at the trailhead provide excellent educational exhibits, and, of course, the refuge headquarters have knowledgeable staff.