Not Bothered by Heat in Sierra Vista

Not Bothered by Heat in Sierra Vista

The pleasure of the sun bouncing off your skin and the scent of leaves being dried by heat had been one of the many reasons why selected persons loved the outdoors. Vast lands of clear prairies, the swirls of dust afloat because of wind gusts circling, the moisture of the environment which heightens adrenaline rush to trek roads unknown and the mere connection of oneself to the glorious, bright day that nature is offering — all of these are joys of travelling to a spot where the sun never seemed to set.

And when we say outdoors, this includes hiking, forest skimming and all of the other activities that involved sweat and movement. When the persona in you would want to go to places which will offer the aforementioned characteristics, then Sierra Vista in Arizona is something that you might want to prioritize. Now let’s take a plunge into United States of America’s Hummingbird Capital.

Location

Sierra Vista is a city in Cochise County, Arizona, United States. As of the 2010 census the population of the city was 43,888.The city is part of the Sierra Vista-Douglas Micropolitan Area, with a 2010 population of 131,346. Fort Huachuca, a U.S. Army post, is located in the northwest part of the city.

Sierra Vista, which is Spanish for “Mountain Range View”, is located 75 miles (121 km) southeast of Tucson and serves as the main commercial, cultural, and recreational hub of Cochise County.

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Sierra Vista is located in southwestern Cochise County and it is bordered on the northwest by the much smaller town of Huachuca City.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 152.5 square miles (395.1 km2), of which 152.3 square miles (394.4 km2) is land and 0.27 square miles (0.7 km2) is water. It is located 4,623 feet (1,409 m) above sea level. Sierra Vista is flanked on the southwest side by the Huachuca Mountains, with Miller Peak rising to 9,466 feet (2,885 m) and Carr Peak to 9,236 feet (2,815 m), both south of the city limits. The city is accessible via Arizona State Routes 90 and 92. The San Pedro River flows just east of the city limits.

Climate

In the Koppen climate classification system, Sierra Vista falls within the typical cold semi-arid climate (BSk) of mid-altitude Arizona. Fall and spring, like most other parts of Arizona, are very dry. Winters are cool to cold with frosts which can occasionally be hard freezes; frost can be expected to stop in mid- to late April.

Spring, like fall, spends about half of itself within the frost season. Summer starts off dry, but progressively gets wetter as the monsoon season approaches. The city has a fairly stable climate with very little humidity. However, the North American Monsoon can bring torrential rains during the months of July and August and will produce almost half the yearly rainfall in just those two months alone.

The highest recorded temperature of the city is at 42 degree-Celsius (1989) and negative 16 degree-Celsius last 2011. During the whole year, August had been recorded as the month with the maximum average rainfall.

Transportation

Commercial air service is available from Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix or Tucson International Airport. Most major airlines fly into these two airports.

The Sierra Vista Municipal Airport services general aviation needs for Sierra Vista and the southeastern section of Arizona, as well as northern Sonora, Mexico.

Amtrak provides service to Benson, 30 miles from Sierra Vista.

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Sierra Vista is supported by a public mass transit system called Vista Transit. There are two highways (SR 90 and SR 92) connecting Sierra Vista with neighboring communities. The city is also served by the Sierra Vista Municipal Airport (FHU) which is jointly operated by the U.S. Army as Libby Army Airfield. Currently there are no commercial flights arriving to or departing from FHU.

If travelling by car, major highways that are connected to the city are State Route 90 and State Route 92.

What to See

San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area

About 95% of Arizona’s riparian habitat has become victim to overgrazing, logging and development, so what little riverfront ecosystem remains is incredibly important to the state’s ecological health. Some 350 bird species (many endangered), more than 80 mammal species and more than 40 species of reptiles and amphibians have been recorded along the 40-mile stretch of the San Pedro River within the conservation area. It’s a vital riparian ecosystem. Unfortunately, it’s also become a corridor for drug smuggling from Mexico, so suspicious activity should be reported.

The visitor center, in the 1930s San Pedro House, is 6 miles east of Sierra Vista on Fry Blvd. From here you can access several hiking trails.

Ramsey Canyon Preserve

A sycamore- and yucca-weaved dome some 5500ft in the sky marks where the Huachuca Mountains meet the Rockies, the Sierra Madres and the Sonoran Desert. This beautiful Nature Conservancy-owned preserve is one of the best hummingbird bagging spots in the USA. Up to 15 species of the little birds flit over the igneous outcrops and a wiry carpeting of trees throughout the year, with especially heavy sightings from April to September.

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At lower altitudes an incredible diversity of wildlife stalks through the river canyon that geographically defines this area. You can spot coatis, cougars and javelinas, but perhaps the most famous resident is the critically endangered Ramsey Canyon leopard frog, found nowhere else in the world.

Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park

Tombstone’s history isn’t limited to the shoot-out at the OK Corral, and exhibits at this informative museum spotlight various aspects of the town’s colorful past. On the first floor, check out town founder Ed Shiefflin’s .44 caliber Henry and the local doctor’s old-timey bullet-removal kit.

Upstairs, you can read about some of the town’s most interesting former residents. Seven men were hanged in the courthouse courtyard, and today a couple of nooses dangle ominously from the recreated gallows.

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Rose Tree Museum

In April the world’s largest rosebush – planted in 1886 – puts on an intoxicating show in the courtyard of this museum, a beautifully restored Victorian home still owned by the Macia family. The inside is brimming with family and town memorabilia, including a 1960 photograph showing the matriarch with Robert Geronimo, son of the Apache chief.

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Bisbee Museum of the Bizarre

This fantastical museum displays the death mask of John Dillinger, Bigfoot’s footprint, a two-headed squirrel, a mummified cat, a Fiji mermaid and two shrunken heads – the sort of kitschy crap that makes you proud to be an American, dammit. It’s in the back of the Sweet Midnight store.

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See More:

Sierra Vista – Arizona Office of Tourism
http://www.visitarizona.com/places-to-visit/tucson-southern-arizona/sierra-vista

Sierra Vista, Arizona Travel & Vacation Guide
http://www.go-arizona.com/Sierra-Vista/

Paul Intalan

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