Coronado National Forest, Tucson
By Kelly Vaughn Kramer
Tucked away inside Madera Canyon, Bog Springs Campground is paradise found. Agaves, junipers and big boulders decorate this small oasis, and an intricate network of hiking and biking trails begins here. Deer dart in and out of the surrounding forest, and you might even spot a turkey or four crossing the road — a group of Abbey Road-inspired gobblers.
Turkeys aren’t the only birds you’ll see in Madera Canyon. Known worldwide for its migratory bird species, the canyon is home to the elusive elegant trogon. With red bellies and metallic green heads, the males are a sight to see. Pack your camera just in case.
Campground amenities include sites with stone foundations and the standard picnic tables, fire pits and grills. Johns are just across from the Dutch John Spring trailhead. Insert your own joke here. While the amenities are nice, the scenery is the real draw of Bog Springs Campground — just ask the deer, turkeys and trogons.
Campfire Tale: One of the most popular bicycle trails in the Madera Canyon area is Elephant Head Trail. It originates from Madera Canyon Recreation Area and ends at the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory’s visitors center, some 13 miles away.
PHOTO: Sycamores and other trees and shrubs provide shelter for a variety of birds at Bog Springs Campground. | Randy Prentice
Elevation: 5,060 feet
Directions: From Tucson, travel south on Interstate 19 for 24 miles to the Continental Road exit and turn left. Follow Continental Road and signs for Madera Canyon for 13 miles to the campground.
Information: Santa Catalina Ranger District, Coronado National Forest, 520-749-8700 or www.fs.usda.gov/coronado
Fee: $10 per night
Amenities: Toilets, Pets, Water