The Huachuca Mountains above Sierra Vista southeast of Tucson offer a true escape from summer heat. Carr Peak, at 9,250 feet atop the Miller Peak Wilderness Area, was cloaked in snow on Memorial Day weekend, above, and run-off supplemented spring-fed Ramsey Creek in Ramsey Canyon which allows columbine to flourish, right.
Temperatures in the Ramsey Canyon Preserve, managed by the Nature Conservancy, are typically 10 to 15 degrees cooler than those of Tucson, the Conservancy reports.
Ramsey Canyon hosts a rich variety of plants and wildlife, and is a favorite of bird watchers within the Upper San Pedro River ecosystem. From an expanded, 23-space parking lot, hikers can stop at the Ramsey Canyon bookstore, pay a $5 entry fee, then begin the gradual walk through the preserve and onto the Coronado National Forest, where steeper trails branch in many directions. Deer and wild turkeys are among the highlights.