Tuesday, March 9, 2010

San Pedro Riparian Area, Tombstone, Arizona

Water in Arizona is something special and the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area is worth a visit.  The area is 56,000 acres and ranges for 40 miles.  It provides habitat for well over 350 birds.

It is a area also rich in human history from 11,000 years ago to the present day.  The Indians, Spanish, miners, and cattle operations followed.  The BLM has restored the town of Fairbank which was the closes train depot to the town of Tombstone.  Today Fairbank is not the busy town it was once was, but it is still popular with visitors.

But what caught our eye is the extensive trail system that is open to hikers and mountain bikes.  There are well of 50 miles of trail in the area. 

The downside is that the area is a day use site only.  It appears there is little BLM land available for boondocking in the area.  There are plenty of RV campgrounds in St. David and Tombstone. 

There is a border check point just north of Tombstone and when we went on our hike there were two Border Patrol vehicles at the trailhead.  There is a campground host in Fairbank.  You might want to contact the Sierra Vista Office of the BLM or the Border Patrol for information on how safe the area is at night.

Tombstone, Arizona is just a short drive away from the riparian area.  It is a charming, tourist town.  Worth the visit.  There is a fee for visiting the OK Corral and we did not have the time to stay for the shootout!  This town is best visited with friends and a few beers so you can get into character.  For us it was an ice cream cone.  Hardly, the stuff you need to get into character in a town like Tombstone. 

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