Klondyke, AZ
Sky Island Alliance
Aravaipa Canyon-June Riparian Restoration
From  Thu, June 22, 2017 at 1:30PM (Arizona)
To  Sun, June 25, 2017 at 6:00PM
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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 binocoulars! For more information about the Preserve: 

We will be working on the EAST SIDE of the canyon, at the headwaters of the perennial creek.


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.  

Option 1: 
Meet at the SIA office at 406 S 4th Ave to caravan/carpool to Aravaipa Canyon at 2:30 pm on Thursday. We have limited room for passengers in vehicles - please let us know ahead of time if you need a ride so we can ensure space for everyone (or if you'd like to drive your personal vehicle and have space for a passenger). 

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 have been there before and would like to meet us out there, just let us know when to expect you on Thursday 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.


  • Thursday 2:30 PM: Meet with SIA staff at our office for to carpool to the TNC Guesthouse.
  • Thursday 6:00 PM: If you would like to meet SIA at the guesthouse, you may arrive after 6:00 PM on Thursday. Follow our green SIA arrow sign for the correct turnoff.
  • Friday 8:00 AM: Be prepared to go over the day's work and head out. We will work throughout the day with a break for lunch.
  • Saturday 8:00 AM: At it again.
  • Sunday 8:00 AM: Get started on the day's work. We will finish up by early afternoon and then head back to Tucson.
  • Sunday 6:00 PM: We will be back to our Tucson office by 6:00 PM Sunday.


Sky Island Alliance has been helping TNC and the BLM in Aravaipa Canyon for several years on a variety of projects to increase watershed health along this perennial riparian area. During this trip we are continuing our work to remove the invasive plant vinca (or periwinkle) from the understory of the creek banks. This will require digging and fastidious removal of root material, with tools provided by Sky Island Alliance. We'll be bending, digging, and getting dirty. We will be working in areas that have been previously cleared and potentially in some new spots as well. This work is part of our longterm goal of eradicating vinca from the entire canyon!  We will also be checking on native plants that we installed in previously cleared areas to improve pollinator habitat.

We will break into teams and work all day Friday and Saturday, and Sunday morning, to dig out vinca and install native plants. We'll leave time in the afternoons for exploring the canyon - be sure to bring a camera and your binoculars! We will depart the canyon in the early afternoon on Sunday to return to Tucson by 6pm.


The Nature Conservancy (TNC) has donated the use of the Aravaipa Canyon Preserve guesthouse, nestled right along Aravaipa Creek.  TNC's Aravaipa Canyon Preserve guesthouse has 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, with showers and a full kitchen (with basic implements). There is also a screened sleeping porch, and a bunkhouse with two rooms with beds. You may choose to sleep on a bed (bring your own comfy bedding) or camp under the stars in your tent. Beds will be first-come/first serve, unless you let us know that you need to have priority. Nightly campfires are a big possibility. 

  • Bring your own meals for the weekend - a minimum of 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, and 3 dinners, with snacks. 
  • Potable water is available onsite, along with communal refrigerator space.
  • 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. You may want sandals for walking in the creek. 
  • Insect repellent is a good idea this time of year!

This is a family-friendly trip; let us know if you plan to bring any youngsters and any special concerns. A limited number of well-behaved dogs will be allowed - please let us know if you have a 4-legger that you'd like to bring along. 

For more information, please contact Bryon Lichtenhan at bryon@skyislandalliance.org.

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Confirmed Volunteers
William Bemis
Michael Gill
Michael Gill
Sloane Haywood
Sloane Haywood
Tim Howell
Kathleen Koopman
Rick Mick
Rick Mick
Abby Mogollon
Abby Mogollon
Abby Mogollon
Claire Ogesen
Scott Pittman
Mariana Rodriguez McGoffin
Mariana Rodriguez McGoffin
Danielle Russell
Madeline Ryder
Valerie Trucchia