Just a few miles outside of Sierra Vista is the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area, an area known for its wildlife, especially birds. While we are not dedicated “birders” and we didn’t see many spectacular birds that day, we enjoyed the hike from the San Pedro House to the San Pedro River and back. It is an area where four eco-regions converge–the north end of the Sierra Madre mountains and the south end of the Rockies, the east edge of the Sonoran Desert and the west edge of the Chihuahuan Desert.
We took the shorter hike, less than 2 miles, but there were several available. Such a quiet, peaceful area! You could hear the river splashing over rocks and insects and birds ruffling the grasses and weeds for most of the hike.
We talked with one couple who are from Sierra Vista as we headed on the homeward loop. They were discussing the weeds alongside the trail which to us were very familiar, Russian thistles! They were a little more colorful than the ones that tumble across the road in a Kansas windstorm, but very much the same otherwise.
One of the things we enjoy so much about this area of the country is the variety of cacti we see. This one was actually much prettier than the picture shows. We see cactus honey, mesquite honey and various other varieties in the gift shops and specialty stores. It’s amazing the color variations of the end products.
For my friends and readers who are reptile averse, this might not be a good hike. One of the signs we saw as we started on the trail reminded us to carry water, wear a hat and appropriate shoes and watch for snakes. We did watch, but we haven’t seen any on our other hikes and didn’t see any at San Pedro House, either, for which I was thankful. I prefer my snakes behind glass unless I know FOR SURE they aren’t poisonous.