EYES ON THE SKIES.
FEET ON THE GROUND.
ENJOY IT ALL HERE.
Discover Sierra Vista’s sky islands — ground like no
other. Extraordinary skies showing daily. Start your
adventure at VisitSierraVista.com or call 800-288-3861.
Welcome to Sierra Vista, Arizona!
Long known among nature lovers for its year-round bird watching, Sierra Vista is also the
hub for travelers exploring a rich cross-section of history, culture, culinary keynotes, and outdoor
At the base of the 9,400-foot Huachuca Mountains, Sierra Vista enjoys bright sunny days
and star-studded nights. Sierra Vista’s 4,600-foot elevation means the average daytime
temperature is about 74 degrees. This makes it a cool respite from summer’s hot climates and a delightful escape from winter’s chill.
Food and Wine
In the heart of Arizona’s premier wine regions, Sierra Vista is ideally situated near Sonoita and
Patagonia to the west and Willcox to the east. Rich soil, high elevation, cool nights, and warm days are a vintner’s dream. Enjoy Arizona’s award-winning wines
at two dozen tasting rooms, and find out why Arizona wines are gold medal winners, acclaimed in the Wall Street Journal, and served in the White House.
Have a hankering spicy kimchee, Old World German breads, pizza baked in a wood-fired oven, or down-home American eats? You’ll find it in Sierra Vista’s foodie scene with
dozens of locally owned
restaurants serving American and international fare. Chefs from around the globe have brought their culinary heritage and set up shop in Sierra Vista.
Sierra Vista is known as The Hummingbird Capital of the United States. Sierra Vista’s sky islands, high canyons, and riparian areas are reminiscent of the ancient tropics, and are welcome habitats for the 250 species of migrating and nesting birds. Each year, the Southeast Arizona Bird Observatory (SABO) captures, weighs, bands, and releases hummingbirds at observation points, including the San Pedro House. Part of an on
going study, data collected has yeilded invaluable data about the migratory patterns and life spans of these tiny travelers. The public is invited to view banding sessions at no charge (donations gratefully accepted).
More than 150 bird species, including 15 varieties of humm-ingbirds, visit nearby Ramsey Canyon, world renowned for its unique climate and bird habitat. Our feathered friends share the canyons with butterflies, too. More than 140 species have been identified in the Sierra Vista area, drawing photographers and enthusiasts from around the
Birds, butterflies, and abundant plant and animal life can be found in the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area; Environmental Operations Park; Miller, Ash and Carr canyons; as well as in Garden Canyon on Fort Huachuca.
History and Prehistory
Long before Arizona was a state or even a Spanish outpost it was a hunting ground for early nomadic Clovis people. Their fossilized remains as well as mammoth and other game have been found nearby, dating Sierra Vista’s first tourists to around 9,000 B.C.
As the eras melted into history, Arizona’s jungle environment gave way to today’s warm, dry climate. Sierra Vista’s sky islands, high canyons, and riparian areas are reminiscent of the ancient tropics.
Still an active military installat-ion, Fort Huachuca was establis-hed in 1877 to defend American
settlers and protect Mexico from Apache raids. Those who mustered there in the early years
quelled Apache raids, tracked and captured Geronimo, and tangled with the likes of Billy the
Kid and Pancho Villa. A thriving community sprang up outside the Fort’s gate to serve the soldiers, miners, and ranchers, paving the way for today’s Sierra Vista.
The Fort was also home to Buffalo Soldiers, who earned their nickname during the
Indian Wars. A statue erected in the Buffalo Soldier Legacy Plaza and dedicated in 1977 immortalizes the role African Americans played in history.
As the Mexican revolution heated up in the early 1900's and battles spilled into Arizona, the U.S. Army transferred the entire 4th Cavalry unit to Fort Huachuca. Today, horseback mounted B-Troop volunteers preserve this unit’s history with drills, presentations and
reenactments in historically accurate uniforms.
Visit the museums on Fort Huachuca*, a must for history buffs and espionage enthusiasts.
Historic buildings, exhibits and dioramas bring the past to life. Experience prehistoric settle-ment, Spanish conquistadors, Indian life, and frontier fort hardships. Learn how military surveillance and reconnaissance evolved, from the Revolutionary
War spy tactics to modern satellite technology. See an Enigma machine, a 10-foot section of the Berlin Wall (complete with graffiti), Cold War spy gear, and more.
You can travel further back in time through Garden Canyon and you can see more than 50
pictographs. Some, dating as far back as 1300 A.D., were painted by Clovis people, and others
painted by the Apache date back to the 1700's.
If you’d like to visit Fort Huachuca, please remember the Fort is an active military
installation and specific entrance requirements are enforced. U.S. Citizens without a valid Department of Defense credential will be subject to a background check before receiving a photo ID pass, valid for up to 30 days. Allow 30 minutes to complete the entrance requirements. Current vehicle registration and proof of
vehicle insurance may be requested. International visitors must arrange for an approved military escort in advance (PIO@SierraVistaAZ.gov). The Fort may be closed without
Personal use photography of wildlife and historic buildings is permitted. Commercial photography and videography is not permitted. Please direct questions concerning permissible photography to DPTMS
Antiterrorism Office (520-533-6995) or the Fort Huachuca Public Affairs Office (520-533-1850).
Learn more about Sierra Vista
For information on events, attractions, dining, and lodging, contact the Sierra Vista Visitor
Center and get your trip started with the help of Sierra Vista’s travel planners.
Sierra Vista Visitor Center
3020 E. Tacoma Street
Sierra Vista, Arizona