With an annual average high of 74 degrees and a low of 49 degrees, Sierra Vista, AZ offers pleasant weather year round, perfect for the outdoor enthusiast. Sierra Vista is located just 75 miles from Tucson and 190 miles from Phoenix so residents have plenty of big city opportunities at their fingertips.
Things to Do
The Sierra Vista area has a rich mining history which means a plethora of ghost towns are scattered throughout the region. Dos Cabezas was formerly an active supply center for surrounding mines and cattle ranches and crumbling adobes and the 1885 Wells Fargo Stage still stand. Fairbank is a ghost town located along the San Pedro River in the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area. Once the closest depot stop to Tombstone, multiple buildings are still standing and the newly refurbished schoolhouse is now home to a museum.
Our Lady of the Sierras Shrine is located just outside of town and is 75 foot Celtic cross with a quiet and peaceful chapel built for reflecting high in the Huachuca Mountains. A priceless view of the valley makes the drive worth it and enhances the quiet, secluded retreat feeling.
Once the sun sets and the skies darken to an inky indigo, several observatories just outside of Sierra Vista lights are open to the public. Local astronomy buffs enthusiastically educate visitors on the planets and stars that are only visible through the high powered telescopes.
Sierra Vista is known as the “Hummingbird Capital of the United States” because of its mild climate, proximity to Mexico, and diverse habitats. The hummingbirds usually flock to Sierra Vista in mid April and stay until September. While the tiny jewel colored birds are crowd favorites, this season is known for attracting hundreds of species of birds, ranging from exotic tropical birds to colorful songbirds. Heavy thunderstorms in July and August create what is known as a “second spring” and the explosion of flowers and plant life attracts thousands of migrating birds.
Kartchner Caverns State Park is a “live” cave and home to various unique cave formations like giant stalagmites, massive stalactites, and continually growing calcite formations. Kartchner Cavern has one of the world’s longest soda straw stalactites (at a whopping 21 feet, 3 inches) and the world’s most extensive formation of brushite moonmilk. Tours are one and a half hours in length and are detailed in the history of the cave’s formation and discovery. A theater offers informational videos for those more curious about the caverns and hiking trails and a hummingbird garden provide above-ground entertainment for those who are more curious about the area.