A Southern AZ Treasure: The Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge

Birding Equipment Backpacks
Backpacks available to check out at Caviglia-Arivaca Library

Do you enjoy hiking, biking, camping or just admiring the wonders of nature? The Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge is one of the best options for any adventurer. It covers 117,500-acres, and is located near the towns of Arivaca and Sasabe Arizona. The Buenos Aires National Wildlife (BANWR) was established in 1985 and it’s the habitat for many endangered animals and plants. BANWR is mostly known for its exotic birds but you will also see mule deer (sometimes sharing the road with us), different types of skunks and jackrabbits, coyotes and many more fascinating animals.

 Arivaca locals are fortunate to have two BANWR’S trails, the Cienega trail and the Arivaca creek trail. The Cienega trail is 1/8 mile away from the Caviglia-Arivaca Library. The trail consists of a 1.25 mile walk through a seasonally wet meadow, mesquite trees, and hackberry groves. The Arivaca Creek trail is about 10 minutes away from the library. It can be reached by driving through Arivaca and taking a right onto Sasabe Road. On the Arivaca Creek trail you will encounter the remains of the old ranch house which was featured in the book A Beautiful, Cruel Country, by Eva Antonia Wilbur-Cruce. Branching off from this trail there is also the Mustang trail, which consist of a 5 mile round trip climb up El Cerro mountain with a few steep sections at the top.

Here at the library we encourage people to give BANWR a visit, and not only to the trails I mentioned but also the whole refuge itself which includes a driving loop and Brown Canyon. For enthusiastic birdwatchers, we offer backpacks available to check out. If you don’t have the equipment to explore nature to the fullest, we’ve got you covered. The backpack includes binoculars, two bird books, and a water bottle. A huge thank you to the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge Friends and the Friends of the Arivaca Library for providing these backpacks. We also have a section in our library dedicated to the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge, where you’ll find more information about their mission and public and hunting regulations. 

For more information visit the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge website or call (520) 823-4251.