It’s official.  Sierra Vista, Arizona is the Hummingbird Capital of Arizona. And it also lays claim as the Hummingbird Capital of the United States since this area hosts the most hummingbird varieties that visit the U.S.—and welcomes one found nowhere else north of Mexico. Sierra Vista is truly an Instaworthy destination for birders or tweeple looking for scroll-halting vistas. 

And the list of bird species doesn’t end with 15 species of hummers!  The high, cool canyons and lush riparian areas create a migratory superhighway that more than 350 bird species pass through or take up year ‘round residency around this southeastern Arizona community.  

Those canyons ripple across the Huachuca Mountains that bracket Sierra Vista to the west and have earned international fame among birders for… well, birding. Miller Canyon, with trails leading to Miller Peak, the highest southernmost peak in the U.S. at 9,465 feet, offers fantastic birding spots. Another top spot just minutes from Sierra Vista is the Ash Canyon Bird Sanctuary, where nearly 200 different species have been spotted, including some of the Southwest’s most sought-after and rarely seen avian species.

Sky Island Tour 2016Photo courtesy of Visit Sierra Vista

And an exposé about birding in Southeast Arizona won’t be complete without mentioning Ramsey Canyon Preserve.  A Nature Conservancy preserve, Ramsey Canyon is world-famous among birders, and with good reason.  Several life-listers have been spotted here, like the Elegant trogon, Blue-throated and White-eared hummingbirds, and Painted redstart, to namedrop a few. While walking along the stream in Ramsey Canyon, Coues deer will pose for photos and a Gould’s turkey or two might show up for a cameo.

Birding might not be for everyone, and Sierra Vista offers plenty more outdoor adventure.  It’s an extraordinary hiking destination and is the first gateway community for the Arizona National Scenic Trail, an 800-mile cross-state hike that ends in Utah.

Not ready for a months-long trek?  Plan for a weekend discovering mountain trails.  A great introduction to the Sky Islands is Sierra Vista’s annual Sky Islands Summit Challenge. Slated for May 28, this one-day event means you can get up-close and personal with Miller Peak, Carr Peak (9,236 feet), and Pat Scott Peak (8,517 feet).  You can do one, two, or all three for a trifecta. Now in its fifth year, the Summit Challenge will test the mettle of just 250 hikers—so if you want to challenge the Huachucas, don’t dilly-dally with registering!

A certified Bicycle Friendly Community, Sierra Vista is also a terrific cycling destination. Whether you opt for mountain, gravel, or road bikes, Sierra Vista has you covered. Sierra Vista is a rider’s paradise, with 30+ miles of paved multi-use paths and 23+ miles of bike lanes—and that’s just in town! Mountain trails are accessible minutes from your doorstep and give world-class mountain biking and gravel experiences.

Discover more about Sierra Vista’s extraordinary skies and the birds that fill them, mountain adventures waiting to be discovered, plus cozy places to stay, tasty things to eat, and amazing places to explore at VisitSierraVista.com.