We will be doing the Sandhill cranes viewing in the morning and evening when
they roost in the Willcox area. They are big and very spectacular birds. The flock
size can be 10 to 1,000. Yes, the 1,000 is not a miss type. They may be doing
some of their mating dance, but that mostly occurs after they have left Willcox.
During the day we will be hiking in the Tucson and Willcox area. There are other
birds in the area, but will plan around the Sandhills. The cranes may be up to
5 feet tall with wingspans of 7 feet.
About 40,000 cranes winter in the Willcox area.
The first day (Friday) is the drive to Willcox. We will stop at the Pima Air Museum
in Tucson for a small hike on the way to Willcox. That evening we will go to one
of their flocking areas and see if they are there. Due to the size of the museum,
we will only do a small part of it.
Get to Willcox in the afternoon and check out the cranes There are also other
birds in the area.
Second day (Saturday) We view the Sandhill’s in the morning before
breakfast. We have to be there a little after the sun rises. Bring coat, gloves
because it will be cold. The cranes will be less than 100 feet from us, so you
need an ok lens on your camera. We then return to the hotel for breakfast.
The cranes leave for their feeding areas after the sun gets up (about 7:30
AM) and the feeding areas are random. After breakfast do a 4 mile hike at
Ft Bowie. Then go to Bisbee for an afternoon hike, with maybe a stop in
Douglas. Return to Willcox before dark to view the cranes.
Third day (Sunday) Do final viewing of the cranes and return to Phoenix,
For lunch, we will eat at whatever place is close to us at that time. All dinners
will be in Willcox.
• Water: 1 liter when hiking, have more in car to refill for next
• Boots, warm shoes. Ft Bowie only has rocks if we do the
• Long pants
• Hiking stick
Cost: Motel, gas, and food.
The club also allows voluntary contributions of $5/non-member.
Best Time of Year: January through early February.
Normal daytime is in the low 60s. Night’s low 30s.
Hotel / Motel Accommodations: I am in the Days Inn. Please check the listing
below for accommodations in the Willcox area. In your email to me, please
state which hotel you plan to stay in and if you want a roommate. I will assume
that you have booked the hotel and can add the roommate later.
SureStay Plus Best Western
Holiday Inn Express
Super 8 Motel
Triangle T Guest Ranch
Willcox Normal daytime is low 60s. Normal nighttime is low 30s.
Meet: 8:00 AM on Friday morning in the parking lot near Einstein Brothers Bagel
Shop on the SE corner of 48th Street and Ray Road, just west of I-10. For those
of you leaving at different times, please let me know when you are leaving, so I
will know when to expect you. No cars may be left at Einstein Brothers.
From Phoenix, take Interstate-10 east to Tucson.
Get off on the south side at Valencia Rd.
Pima Space Museum, 6000 E Valencia Rd, Tucson, Az 85756.
It is just north of the freeway.
Get off at the Willcox exit (#340, 2nd exit) and go to your hotel.
It is about 240 miles from Phoenix to Wilcox.
We will meet at McDonald’s about 1 hour before sunset.
If you would like to go, please email me.
Also, if you would prefer to hike some locations, please include them.