|Bonita Creek - Gila Box Riparian National Conservation Area|
One of only two Riparian National Conservation Areas (RNCA) in the country, Gila Box RNCA is a unique desert oasis with four perennial waterways: the Gila and San Francisco Rivers and Bonita and Eagle Creeks. The area consists of patchy mesquite woodlands, mature cottonwood trees, and buff-colore...
Cluff Ranch Wildlife Area
|Description: Cluff Ranch Wildlife Area lies in southeastern Arizona on the north aspect of the Pinaleno Mountains, at about 3,000 feet in elevation. The landscape varies from low-lying desert hills extending from the mountain slope to generally flat desert plains below. There is a pond with wetlands, and Ash and Shingle Mill Creeks flow through the property. The well-developed riparian woodland habitat is typical of the high-quality vegetative communities once found along the upper Gila River.
Wildlife to Watch: Birds include mourning and white-winged doves, Gambel’s quail, greater roadrunner, and a variety of migratory and summering birds, such as phainopepla, vermilion flycatcher, summer tanager, Lucy’s warbler, hooded oriole, and blue grosbeak. Several species of birds of prey, such as Cooper’s, red-tailed, and gray (recently nesting) hawks, and great horned, elf, and western screech-owls all breed here. A healthy population of white-tailed deer and limited numbers of mule deer also use the area, and you may see javelina, coyote, and bobcat. The rocky slopes and mesquite bottoms are home to a diverse reptile and amphibian fauna. Visitors may see Clark’s spiny and ornate tree lizards on the cottonwoods and mesquites, spot a canyon spotted whiptail moving on a brushy slope, or encounter a round-tailed horned lizard on the sandy flats. Snakes of the area include common kingsnake, Sonoran whipsnake, checkered gartersnake, western diamond-backed and Mojave rattlesnakes.
Other Activities: A ½ mile trail begins at the parking lot and includes interpretive signage.
Ownership: Arizona Game & Fish Department
Size: 800 acres
Closest Town: Pima
Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing: