Catalina State Park: Sky Island Gem

Neighboring the Coronado National Forest, Catalina State Park is located at the foot of the Santa Catalina Mountains and offers a variety of hiking trails available for on-foot travelers, bicyclists, and horse riders alike. One of southern Arizona’s numerous Sky Islands, the Santa Catalina Mountains dominate Tucson’s northern skyline. These Sky Islands are small mountain […]

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Mountain Island in a Desert Sea: Exploring Southern Arizona Sky Islands

Arizona truly is a land of extremes. Temperatures vary from place to place and even day to night. Few geographic formations in the world illustrate this stark climactic contrast—and its importance to biodiversity—better than Sky Islands. Visitors to Southern Arizona are often struck by these vast mountain ranges rising suddenly out of the desert and […]

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Madera Canyon in the Santa Rita Mountains

A world-renowned location for bird watching, Madera Canyon is a major resting place for migrating species, while the extensive trail system of the Santa Rita Mountains is easily accessed from the Canyon’s campground and picnic areas. In the northwest face of the Santa Rita Mountains, one of southeast Arizona’s forested Sky Islands, the cool refuge […]

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13 Icons That Describe Arizona

Try and describe Arizona—its history, geography, and cultures—and a few iconic names and places likely come to mind. At some point, you’ll get around to explaining how people living in Arizona’s deserts survive the scorch of summer. But you probably won’t be able to hide your bliss about what keeps you and other snowbirds returning […]

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Birding IS Big Business

Birdwatching is among America’s most popular recreational activities…and growing. Why Birding? Ask the 47+ million birdwatchers in America why they love birds, and you’ll likely get a range of replies as diverse as the birds themselves. With colors and songs that can stop you in your tracks (just about anywhere), equally colorful and evocative names, and […]

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Dramatic Discoveries as Great Basin National Park Celebrates Anniversary

Established in 1986, Great Basin National Park continues to be home to America’s most interesting animals and plant species. According to the National Park Service (NPS) the “sky island” geography of the Great Basin region is responsible for trapping species because the mountain ranges act like an island. The expansive area of Great Basin National […]

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