Fri Sep 2, 2:00 PM - Mon Sep 5, 6:00 PM
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The Nature Conservancy Aravaipa Canyon Preserve

The Nature Conservancy Aravaipa Canyon Preserve, Klondyke, AZ 85643

Community: Tucson


Want to do something fun and meaningful this Labor Day weekend? Come join us Sept. 2-5 in Aravaipa Canyon Preserve!

Event Details

The Work

Sky Island Alliance has been helping The Nature Conservancy in Aravaipa Canyon for several years on a variety of projects to increase watershed health along this perennial riparian area. Recently we've teamed up with Gila Watershed Partnership to work on addressing the threat of invasive periwinkle (Vinca major) throughout the canyon. During this trip we will continue our work to eradicate periwinkle from the riparian understory of the creek banks. This will require fastidious removal of vegetative material and roots with tools provided by Sky Island Alliance. We'll be bending, cutting, digging, getting dirty, and getting wet. We will be working to clear vinca right along the banks of the creek, meaning that we will be wading in and out of the water throughout each day.

Covid Precautions

To keep our volunteers and staff safe, we’re taking these precautions:

If you have signs/symptoms of COVID, or if you or anyone in your household has had a recent exposure, please stay home.
Monitoring the case numbers and variant severity so that we can make good decisions about proper precautions. If you’d like to bring kids, please contact us first.
Choose how to get there: You can either meet us there, caravan with us from SIA’s office, or carpool in SIA vehicles. To get around the preserve, we’ll carpool with windows down and masks on.
Choose where to stay: Folks can camp or stay in the TNC guesthouse (limited beds available). Each household should bring their own food, camping gear, and cooking gear.
Wearing masks inside the bathroom and wiping down surfaces with sanitizer after each use.
Working outside, of course!
We will stay safely spaced out while working.
Keep a mask handy in your pocket at all times.
We’ll have a thermometer available in case anyone starts feeling off.
What to Expect

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) has donated the use of the Aravaipa Canyon Preserve guesthouse, nestled right along Aravaipa Creek. Beds are limited and there are no single-occupancy rooms. There are 3 single beds and 1 double bed on the screened in porch. There are a double and a single in each of the 2 bedrooms, and there are 2 singles in each of the 2 bunkhouse rooms.

Bring your own meals for the weekend — a minimum of 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, and 3 dinners, with snacks.

Potable water is available onsite.
Be prepared to unplug — there is no cellphone or internet service at Aravaipa Canyon.
Bring work clothes and appropriate close-toed shoes that you don't mind getting dirty and wet. You will also want sandals, water shoes, or rainboots for our work in the creek.
We have extra camping gear available to borrow. Please contact our staff listed below if you would like to use some of our equipment.
Please note that we are working at The Nature Conservancy Aravaipa Canyon Preserve, not in the BLM Aravaipa Wilderness Area. You may not enter the BLM wilderness area without a permit. Visitors to the wilderness area are carefully managed to protect the wildlife and other natural resources; unauthorized visitation puts SIA's relationships in jeopardy and isn't permitted. Don't worry, though — there is plenty of beautiful creek to explore at the TNC Aravaipa Canyon Preserve!


Aravaipa Canyon is located in the northern Galiuro Mountains and only a few miles from the Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness. The Preserve is only 50 miles northeast of Tucson, Arizona as the bird flies (approximately 3 to 3.5 hours drive from Tucson or Phoenix). "Not only does the ranch sit over the main aquifer that supplies Aravaipa Creek, it's also an important corridor for wildlife traveling from the Galiuro Mountains to the Santa Teresa Mountains,"  says the Preserve’s manager, Mark Haberstich. With over 10 miles of perennial water, Aravaipa Canyon is a rare riparian jewel in southern Arizona; it is an important tributary to the Lower San Pedro River. We always see a variety of wildlife in Aravaipa Canyon, you will want to have your binoculars! Learn more about the preserve.

Note: We will be working on the east side of the canyon at the headwaters of the perennial creek.

Getting There

During monsoon season, a high-clearance vehicle is strongly encouraged. There are 2-3 wet wash crossings (yes, there is perennial water!) before arriving at the guesthouse. That said, most cars can make it to the guesthouse if there hasn't been recent flooding.

Option 1

Meet at the SIA office at 3127 N Cherry Ave. to caravan or carpool to Aravaipa Canyon at 1:45 p.m. on Friday. We will head east on 1-10 toward Willcox (and a bathroom break) before heading off toward the northwest for the canyon. The last 40 miles or so are on a well-maintained dirt road.

Option 2

If you would like to meet us out there, just let us know when to expect you on Friday evening.

From Tucson: (155 miles) Take I-10 east to Willcox exit 340. Turn left onto Fort Grant Road and go north 30 miles to Bonita. Turn left onto Klondyke Road and go 32 miles to Klondyke. Preserve entrance is seven miles past Klondyke. The last 38 miles is a gravel road and subject to closure during wet weather.

From Phoenix: (190 miles) Take Highway 60 east to Globe, then U.S. 70 south to Fort Thomas. Travel eight miles past Fort Thomas and turn right onto Klondyke Road. Travel 28 miles to Klondyke. Preserve entrance is seven miles past Klondyke. The last 38 miles is a gravel road and subject to closure during wet weather.

Trip Logistics

Friday, 1:45 p.m. — Meet with SIA staff at our office to carpool to the TNC Guesthouse.
Friday, 5 p.m. — If you would like to meet SIA at the guesthouse, you may arrive after 5 p.m. on Friday. Follow our green SIA arrow sign for the correct turnoff.
Saturday, 7:30 a.m. — Be prepared to go over the day's work and head out. We will work throughout the day with a break for lunch.
Sunday, 7:30 a.m. — Be prepared to go over the day's work and head out. We will work throughout the day with a break for lunc

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