Oak Tree Canyon Trailhead Now Open!
On Friday, December 16 the Arizona Trail Association celebrated the grand opening of the Oak Tree Canyon Trailhead on the Coronado National Forest near the town of Sonoita. After having been closed for nearly 20 years due to natural and cultural resource impacts from off-highway vehicles, we were delighted to have been granted permission to construct a trailhead at this scenic location. In addition to earthwork and steel fence construction, the trailhead also includes two steel gates and an interpretive kiosk that celebrates the Santa Rita Mountains as a cultural landscape that was developed in collaboration with the Tohono O’odham Nation.
Oak Tree Canyon is located just west of Hwy 83 between mile posts 44 and 43, north of Gardner Canyon and the town of Sonoita. The trailhead provides ideal access to the oak woodlands of the Santa Rita Mountains — just follow FR 4072 for one mile to the AZT. The trailhead is large enough to accommodate up to 40 passenger cars plus 8 trucks and horse trailers.
The Grand Opening Celebration was attended by nearly 75 people, including Arizona Trail staff and trail stewards; Coronado National Forest employees; representatives from the Tohono O’odham Nation; youth and teachers from the ATA’s Seeds of Stewardship program; volunteers; and trail enthusiasts from far and near (hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians were there) — all of whom were delighted to see access restored to this important area.
Funding from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona in honor of Dr. Lattie Coor helped make this project possible. We hope you visit this location soon and enjoy all the blessings that Ce:wi Duag (Santa Rita Mountains) have to offer.