RFI: Cave Creek Canyon, 1st week of December?

Hi all,

I have a chance, if I take a big detour on a drive between Phoenix and Santa Fe, to finally make it to Cave Creek Canyon the first week of December.

I’m wondering if anyone has info related to sightings of SW mammals this time of year.

Should I go, or wait for spring?    Or does it matter much at all?


Thanks for any info, I need to decide quickly whether to do this, and don’t have time for my usual research.

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  • Nathan Myhrvold

    I was there very briefly in October 2020, just one afternoon driving from Portal Az over the mountains and then through Chiricahua National Monument one afternoon. We saw black black bear and coati and deer, particularly in the national monument. Plus it is quite spectacular scenery.

  • vnsankar

    You could find reasons to visit Portal no matter the time of year, especially if you’re already in the general area – the scenery is spectacular and there will be some wildlife around (e.g. wild cats and canids are always a good possibility). Though by early Dec be prepared for (near)-freezing nights and much lower wildlife activity than say Apr-May or Aug-Sep. That’s not to discourage you, but if you’re expecting lots of bats, rodents, skunks, ringtails, bears, and other species more active on warmer nights perhaps another time of year would be best.

    Regardless of the time of year, I sure wish I were there.

  • Moses Swanson the XVI

    What does RFI mean?

  • charleswhood

    Moses, RFI is “request for information,” or was your note sarcastic? One thing that may be easier in Cave Creek Canyon in winter is Western Spotted Skunk. Sometimes in mid-winter they come to supplemental feed at Cave Creek Canyon Ranch (aka cat food); you could call the main office and speak to Reed, and see if they are being seen or not. Reminder to visitors to be careful of speed traps on the New Mexico side of the border. / Charles Hood

  • Moses Swanson the XVI

    I genuinely didn’t know what RFI meant. Thank you for informing me.

  • cfmsp

    Thanks for all the replies. These are very helpful.

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