Cave Creek Ranch Arizona

Hi all,

I am currently in Cave Creek Ranch in Portal, AZ for the next few days. We haven’t seen a great number of mammals, and would love to see skunks, ringtails, rodents, and coatis. Any tips on where/what time of day we might see them? Not sure if this is the right time of year.

Thanks so much



  • Rob Foster

    We were there in late April a few years back (mainly birding) and had a bobcat walk across the veranda of our cottage in late aft. We did see grey fox at night on the road in from Portal. Not sure if that helps much at this time of year.

  • judy

    Local guides can be found on this link: I would ask at lodge and then also call the folks listed on link for insights, recent sightings and hints.

    After taking their input into consideration, if it were me I would be in my car just before dawn to about 8am and then an hour before dusk until an hour or 2 after dark and drive ~10 mph or slower from roa to search. Spotlighting with flashlight may help. Ringtail most likely by rocky areas, but they are tough to find…have to be very lucky.

    Wonderful place. A bit jealous. Enjoy and Good Luck!

  • kelly fleming

    Some of the mammals you are searching for are nocturnal. Often Javalina can be seen at dusk and dawn. If it is hot they feed in the early hours and bed down during the heat of midday.
    Four species of skunk are present in AZ and are active at night. A pair visit our place almost every early evening just after dark. In higher elevations we see Hooded Skunks foraging during the day.
    Judy’s suggestion (above) should produce some sightings as this is when most of the mammals you list are active. Bobcat can be seen during the day
    What could be better than searching for mammals in that beautiful landscape?

  • Jon Hall

    The Yellow-nosed Cotton Rats should be around the bird feeders at dusk and after dark in Cave Creek. Coatis are diurnal but skunks and Ringtails will be nocturnal. As others have said your best bet is to walk and drive – with a spotlight – as much as possible from late afternoon through early morning and talk to the manager of the lodge to get the latest intel on where stuff is at the moment.

  • Judy

    Per A stay at Sunny Flat Campground produced a Ringtail in March of last year.

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