Explore the history, culture and scenic beauty of Southeastern Arizona and enjoy terrific Mexican food on our Salsa Trail tour. This tour combines sensational flavors with a unique experience hiking and birding the place where the food comes from.


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Mountain guide

Mitch Stevens

Taste your way through Southern Arizona with your guide, Mitch Stevens.


Duration

3 DAYS

Group size

6 - 12

Itinerary

Scattered throughout the small Southern Arizona communities of Safford, Wilcox and Clifton, there are dozens of great Mexican restaurants, a family-owned tortilla factory and a chile grower.

In addition to great food, Southwest Discoveries will show you the natural beauty and attractions tucked away along the Salsa Trail on this desert tour. We will discover the Gila Box Natural Conservation Area, a great birding and kayaking destination. Our springtime trips will feature a two-day kayaking excursion down the Gila River. The towering pines on Mt. Graham display some of the finest scenic terrain in Arizona and hot springs dot the area. In the fall, spectacular Aravaipa puts on a dazzling show of autumn color. At night, you will stay in distinctive accommodations. Come join us on this one-of-a-kind tour.


  • Day One

    Arizona’s Salsa Trail!

  • Day Two

    Aravaipa Canyon

  • Day Three

    One of the Best Arizona Food Tours


Moderate

Our springtime trips will feature a two-day kayaking excursion down the Gila River. The towering pines on Mt. Graham display some of the finest scenic terrain in Arizona and hot springs dot the area. In the fall, spectacular Aravaipa puts on a dazzling show of autumn color.


“I cannot imagine any adventure company better suited and more qualified than Southwest Discoveries to lead hiking and outfitting tours in the Southwest. They are the best. Their trips are intelligently planned and carried out and they meet or exceed all environmental standards. I cannot recommend anyone more highly than Southwest Discoveries.”

Keith BagwellSierra Club, Rincon Group Conservation Chair – Tucson Arizona, Grand Canyon Chapter Executive Committee Vice Chair

Day One

Arizona’s Salsa Trail!

Meet your tour guide in Tucson where your journey begins with a leisurely hike near the bottom of Mt. Lemmon in Tucson. On your hike, you will enjoy stunning scenery where the desert wildlife blends with the pines of the forest before. On our short ride along the Salsa trail, you will watch the landscape transition from the giant saguaro cacti of the Sonoran Desert to the sweeping grasslands and majestic sky island mountains near Willcox, Arizona.

Our first stop will be lunch at the sumptuous Isabel’s South of the Border and then wine tasting at Coronado Vineyards. Situated in the Coronado National Forest, the winery is surrounded by the gorgeous mountain scenery at Mt. Graham and the Dos Cabezas Mountains. While you’re there, you’ll have an opportunity to experience some of Arizona’s top wines in the tasting room and chow down on tasty tapas bites.

In the afternoon, we will tour the relatively unknown Gila Box Riparian National Conservation area, truly an oasis in the desert. Cliff dwellings, historic homesteads, Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep and over 200 species of birds make this year-round watery desert refuge truly remarkable. We have dinner at one of the delicious Mexican restaurants in Safford, Arizona and stay for the night at the Cottage Bed & Breakfast, in the historic Olney House which was built in 1890.

Day Two

Aravaipa Canyon

Get your cameras ready for the second day where we will offer one of our exclusive Nature Photography Workshops at Aravaipa Canyon. This is a canyoneering experience not to be missed. This one day exclusive Nature Photography Workshop will take place in one of the most beautiful and seldom photographed canyons in Arizona. Here you’ll learn how to capture images of multi-colored canyon walls, foliage, springs and the flowing stream with camera in hand. On this tour, you’re sure to capture pictures that will last you a lifetime. See Aravaipa Canyon – the Grand Canyon of the Sonoran Desert http://southwestdiscoveries.com/hiking-aravaipa-canyon/

In the evening, we’ll unwind and enjoy delicious Mexican cuisine at El Charro Restaurant, the oldest continuously owned and operated restaurant in the Gila Valley. The interior was remodeled to be more modern, yet the history and culture still shines through. El Charro has been serving delicious green chile since 1955. With the same cook for 27 years, consistent excellence is this restaurant’s hallmark. At El Charro, tradition is important. Chef Mary Lou Alva cooks the Mexican food dishes using Sonoran recipes and methods. Even though she is an efficient cook, she is an accurate cook too. She still measures ingredients to ensure consistency in the food. At night we will stay at the Muleshoe Ranch and take a dip in the natural hot springs.

Day Three

One of the Best Arizona Food Tours

On our final day on Arizona’s Salsa Trail, we will tour Mi Casa Tortilla Factory, where they make white flour, wheat and corn tortillas. We’ll sample these delicious concoctions, still hot out of the oven. Mic Casa makes some of the best tortillas around. They even make apple spice and blueberry flavored tortilla snacks.

After bird watching along Arizona’s storied San Pedro River, we will return to Tucson, culminating a memorable three days on one of the best Arizona Food Tours and stunning natural landscapes.

Don’t Miss the Trip of a Lifetime!

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