|Fish Creek Trail|
Fish Creek Trail drops into a narrow forested canyon from a high bench that overlooks both the Black River and Fish Creek drainages. Once on the floor of the canyon, the trail wanders downstream along Fish Creek past pools, riffles, and stepping-stone stream crossings to the point where this trib...
Hassayampa River Preserve
|Description: The Hassayampa River Preserve has been a nature lover's and birder’s paradise since it was purchased by The Nature Conservancy in 1986. Once part of the Frederick Brill Ranch, the Preserve is now listed on Arizona’s State Register of Historic Places. |
The preserve features desert cottonwood/willow riparian forest, desert fan palms, plus Sonoran Desert species such as saguaro, barrel and cholla cactus, mesquite, paloverde, and spring wildflowers. The Preserve provides habitat for more than 280 resident and migratory bird species.
Wildlife to Watch: The marshy pond habitat attracts an impressive array of water birds such as the great blue heron, green heron, and pied-billed grebe. Some of Arizona's rarest raptors perch atop the massive trees and dead snags along the river, like the zone-tailed hawk, common black-hawk, and the more common Harris’s and Cooper’s hawks. Lucky birders may sight a red-shouldered hawk or the elusive yellow-billed cuckoo. The large willows and cottonwoods around the pond provide important nesting habitat for the willow flycatcher and brief stop-over habitat for migrating warblers, vireos, tanagers, grosbeaks, and orioles. Several bird species that are characteristic of southeastern Arizona have recently expanded their summer range northward to include the Preserve, including gray hawk, tropical and thick-billed kingbirds, and northern beardless-tyrannulet.
Other birds include Gambel’s quail, red-tailed hawk, Gila and ladder-backed woodpeckers, black phoebe, verdin, cactus wren, curve-billed thrasher, phainopepla, Abert’s towhee, brown-crested flycatcher, Lucy’s and yellow warblers, and yellow-breasted chat. During the spring and summer, feeders and flowering plants in front of the visitor center regularly attract Anna’s, black-chinned, and Costa’s hummingbirds. You may also see mule deer, javelina, Clark’s spiny lizard, ornate tree lizard, Gilbert’s skink, ring-necked snake, or even a western diamond-backed rattlesnake.
Special Tips: Fee Site. During years with below normal precipitation, the Preserve occasionally closes during the summer months due to fire danger. The Visitors Center provides maps, trail guides, and loaner binoculars, as well as a student guide for children.
Other Activities: Five mostly level trails, each approximately 0.5 miles long.
Ownership: The Nature Conservancy
Size: 600 acres
Closest Town: Wickenburg
Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing: