After checking out the small USFS campground at Madera Canyon the day before, we exited Gilbert Ray and took the 45 minute drive south. There are only 11 sites at this inclined campground, with six relatively flat enough for the 27 foot LazyDaze. We nabbed site 10. This is a very nice Forest Service campground with water and asphalt sites. The camp host was originally from Mitchellville, Iowa!
As is usually the case, we took off for a hike. The canyon is on the northwest side of the Santa Rita Mountains and this is the view looking to the southwest from the western side of the canyon. The campground is on the eastern side, more to the left of the picture.
Here is a more zoomed in shot of the highest peak, Mount Wrightson. You can hike to the peak, but it is a 4400 foot climb and 8 miles from the campground. The trail to the top is just on the other side of the ridge line on the left. You can also get to the peak by going to the saddle in the center of the picture and coming around the back side of the peak.
This is looking back north to Tucson. You can see the entrance to the canyon in the lower right of the picture. A nice hazy day.
Carla poking along on this nice trail after a 400 foot climb.
Since we hiked up the canyon on the west side, we came down the middle of the canyon on the main road. Surprisingly, there are several private residences, a couple of nice bed and breakfast locations and a lodge in the upper sections of the canyon. This is an alluring gift shop.
Madera Canyon is a birder’s paradise. Carla shot this picture of a Colorado Blue Jay near the rig.
Just before total nightfall.