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The Southwestern Research Station is located at 5400 feet elevation in riparian habitat, surrounded by oak-juniper-pinyon pine woodlands. Within a short drive up or down the Chiricahua Mountains, which reach nearly 9800 feet elevation, five life-zones can be encountered; Lower Sonoran, Upper Sonoran, Transition, Canadian, and Hudsonian. Biogeographically, the Chiricahua Mountains are located at a crossroads between distinct desert and mountain biotas. At lower elevations, some species are derived from the Sonoran Desert to the west, whereas other species are elements of the Chihuahuan Desert to the east and south. At higher elevations, there is a mixing of plants and animals from the Rocky Mountains, to the north, and the Sierra Madre Occidental Mountains of Mexico. The uniqueness and diversity of the biota is well recognized by the bird-watchers who visit Cave Creek Canyon as one of the top birding localities in the United States.


Climate For infomation on local weather conditions click here

For historical climate summaries click here. 




From Hwy. 10, exit at Road Forks, New Mexico (Exit No. 5 and says Hwy. 80).  Take Hwy. 80 south approximately 30 miles to route 533 (if you reach Rodeo, New Mexico, you’ve gone too far and must backtrack 2 miles).  Turn right (west) on route 533 and go approximately 7 miles to Portal, Arizona.  You’ll know you’re in Portal when you see Portal Peak Lodge on your left.  Continue up the mountain, staying on pavement, another five miles.  You’ll see an in ground pool on your left, followed by an expanse of grass and a cluster of buildings.  Immediately after those buildings, you will turn left and cross over a wash.  Immediately after crossing the wash, make another left through the gates and onto our grounds.  Park in the main parking lot and walk back to the first two-story building on your right.  The office is downstairs. 




For an interactive Map click on this link.





I-10 to Portal

                           Arizona           New Mexico


                                 Arizona       New Mexico



Portal to Southwestern Research Station «


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