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Arizona - Day Off (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
Hello all,

I have been granted an unexpected day off next Wednesday and thinking I would like to venture out of the Phoenix Area for some bird photography.
I was thinking about SE Arizona, but my reading suggests that Fall migration is over. Anyone have any suggestions for areas to visit within 3 hours of Phoenix?

Thank you.


Well-known member
I have been granted an unexpected day off next Wednesday..... Anyone have any suggestions for areas to visit within 3 hours of Phoenix?

When visiting Phoenix, my home base is on the west side of the valley; Peoria.

My favorite go-to spot for hiking and birding is White Tank Mountain Regional Park, 11 miles or so from Peoria.

Here's some info:

White Tank Mountain Regional Park Map – pdf

AllTrails – Best Trails in White Tank Mountain Regional Park
AllTrails – Driving Map and Trail Map

Glendale Recharge Ponds, in the west valley, is good for a quick morning birding. The place looks like it's fenced in, close to foot traffic, but it's not; you can gain access in at the north end of the ponds. It doesn't look like much, can be good for an hour or two depending on the time of year.

Here's some info:

Glendale Recharge Ponds – Birderfrommaricopa
Glendale Recharge Ponds – ebirdhotspots.com

Still on the west side of the valley......Hassayampa River Preserve is always fun. Never know what you'll find. It's a bit north, up 60 (45 minutes or so from Peoria) on the way to Wickenberg. If you go into Wickenberg, Anita's Cocina has really good Chile Rellenos.

Here's some info:

Hassayampa River Preserve – Driving Map
Hassayampa River Preserve – Trail Map
Hassayampa – ebirdhotspots.com

If I'm looking to bird for half a day, I drive to the east side of the valley to the Riparian Preserve at Gilbert Water Ranch.

Here's some info:

Riparian Preserve – Short write up on the city page.

Riparian Preserve – Trail Map

Riparian Preserve – ebirdhotspots

Those were my go-to spots for the valley.

If you're a Twitcher and you wanna chase what's hot, check this site for the local sightings – Arizona and New Mexico Bird News by Date

Hope this helps....Good Birding.....enjoy your day..!!


SanAngelo's suggestions are good. The Riparian preserve has the best photo ops as it has convenient access as well as lots of ducks, shorebirds and a few raptors. I know Phx well. If you want to get out of Phx, the Santa Cruz flats is very close (1 hr from south Phx) and remote. It is an agricultural area with desert birds as well as a few raptors.

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