Outdoor Adventures and Flavors to Savor: Sierra Vista, Arizona

Outdoor Adventures and Flavors to Savor: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Javelina
Javelina

While snowstorms are ravaging the country, Sierra Vista, Arizona is enjoying mild winter weather and snow-topped peaks to remind us that winter is here. Despite valley temperatures hovering in the 60s, tire chains are still necessary.

Although “going south” is often associated with rising temperatures Sierra Vista, at 4,633ft, enjoys a pleasant climate all year. Visitors can still enjoy the outdoors in winter without having to bundle up. Spring begins in February, when mercury rises to the low 70s. Blazing summer heat is not common; June’s highs of 90 degrees are broken by seasonal rainstorms.

To sound like a local, the Huachucas are the southernmost range of the Sky Islands. They are fast-rising peaks that are surrounded by radically diverse low lands. This creates an ecosystem that is amongst the most diverse in the world. It has narrow valleys, steep canyons and soaring peaks that attract biodiversity that is not found anywhere else in the United States. Sierra Vista is known as the “Hummingbird Capital” of the United States because of its abundance of avian life. You can find up to 15 species hummingbirds here, one that isn’t found anywhere else north of Mexico, and more than 300 bird species throughout the year.

Sierra Vista is home to miles of single-track mountain trails and two-lane roads. The Huachucas rise to a height of 9,465 feet and have some steep trails for hikers who are fit, but there are plenty of gentler trails that can be enjoyed by both mountain bikers as well as hikers. The path that runs along the San Pedro River is one of the most scenic and peaceful routes. This 54-mile trail is flat with only 100 feet elevation change and has multiple access points along its riverbank.

Ramsey Canyon
Ramsey Canyon
Brown canyon ranch
Brown Canyon Ranch
coronado vista
Coronado Vista

Sierra Vista is large enough to offer the best amenities but small enough to be a charming getaway. International restaurants are tucked into plazas all over the city, giving it a reputation for its culinary diversity. There are many international flavors available, thanks to Fort Huachuca, which was founded nearby. It is believed that Fort Huachuca’s soldiers returned from war with a hunger for different flavors. For a delicious meal, you can drop by any of the eateries wearing jeans and hiking boots. Don’t let the kitschy (and sometimes unassuming) decor fool your expectations. When it comes to showcasing the best of their homeland, the chefs will not compromise. Reservations are not required unless you have a large group.

About 80 percent of Arizona’s wine grapes are grown in Southeast Arizona at more than two dozen vineyards. It is worth exploring nearby wine country and tasting the gold-medal-winning wines. The scenery along the way will amaze you, especially if it is sunset. There are blasts of orange, purple, and pink lighting up the sky. Keep your camera handy, as the light changes quickly.

SierraVistaAZ.com has more information and you can start planning your getaway. You can also download the interactive guide to your smart phone from your favorite app store. Just search”Sierra Vista Guide.”

*What is a Chupacabra, you ask? A mythological question mark, the Chupacabra is an urban legend that roams the Southwest and Latin America attacking livestock. You don’t have to worry about Chupacabra, they are as elusive and difficult to spot as Big foot.

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