Saturday, January 23, 2010

Winter in Madera and Box Canyons

We headed out to Madera Canyon to see how much water the recent rains had deposited in the canyon stream and do a little bird watching. As we approached the canyon on Whitehouse Road we could see that the snow had come down quite low on the mountain sides which meant that we might not be allowed up the road. Fortunately the vistas are spectacular from the road into the canyon and the snow capped mountains really made for some beautiful views.

The Santa Rita Mountains are breath taking at any time of year but they really stand out with snow on them.
As I expected we could not get very far up the road into the canyon but fortunately I could still get some great shots from where we could go.
The return of water to the canyon is a good harbinger for spring flowers and birds. The last time we went bird watching there we saw fewer birds than you would expect due to a lack of seeds and water. Most birds had traveled to where there was more food available.
As you can imagine it was fairly cold with a wind blowing and the sun hidden by the clouds most of the time.
I have come to love the adventure that comes with exploring new places and revisiting special places like Madera Canyon which is considered the third best birding sight in the United States with over 256 species of birds identified here. Check out friends of Madera canyon here:

We decided to head down and try the Box Canyon road which travels about 15 miles through the Coronado National Forest.

Box Canyon was a new side trip for us and we could tell from the start that it was going to be exciting.
A beautiful waterfall encountered on the road. The road is winding and narrow and at times it travels along sheer drop offs but in general it was pretty good and we had no trouble navigating it all the way to Rt 83. There were many rock slides along the way.

I love Sycamore trees any time of year. So stately and the color of the bark is quite beautiful.
It was nice to be in the snow once again after 6 years. There were families all along this road enjoying the snow and making snow men, there was even some folks having a picnic.

My favorite picture of the trip.

This was on the way down Route 83 as we headed for home. The views along this route are magnificent.

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