See the “Yosemite of Arizona.” Portal, which fittingly means “doorway” in Spanish, offers passage to beautiful cave creek canyon, a crowd-free naturalists’ paradise.

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Locals call Portal “the great barrier reef” of the desert. It’s quietly pulsing with life.

The largest mountain range in Southern Arizona, the Chiricahuas were formed some 27 million years ago by volcanic activity and rise to nearly 10,000 feet. The violence produced a strikingly beautiful area, capped by Cave Creek Canyon, Portal’s secreted jewel nestled in a corner of the Coronado National Forest.

A stream – a rarity in the Southwest – nurtures mature vegetation including sycamore, cottonwood, oak, juniper, cypress, and pine trees. You won’t believe you’re in a desert. Wildlife is abundant in this “sky island”: bear, coatimundi, javelina, deer, and jaguar are among the mammals making a home here.

And then there are the birds of Portal. Half the species of North American birds – yes, half! – can be seen in Cave Creek Canyon. You might encounter the elegant trogon, a dozen different hummingbirds, Montezuma quail, golden eagles, and a variety of owls. The lush setting and the wildlife spotting make for excellent photographic opportunities.

Check into a creekside cabin for excellent views of the canyon’s lichen-covered rhyolite cliffs and rock formations.

Visit City Site

Just The Facts

For Visitor information

Pearce-Sunsites Chamber of Commerce | 169 N. Frontage Rd. | AZ www.pearcesunsiteschamber.org

County It all started How High? Head Count
Cochise 1895 4,760ft Unknown

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Epic Fall Road Trip: Cave Creek Canyon

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‘Yosemite of Arizona’ beckons birders, scientists, and hikers in search of gorgeous biodiversity.

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