Snown for its fascinating outdoor offerings in Arizona’s high Sonoran Desert, The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain has introduced the ultimate in guest recreation — birdwatching walks and hikes. The signature new experience is said by first participants to provide soul-stirring #RCMemories, along with remarkable visuals of a living desert ecosystem.
Birding at The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain provides a relaxing yet visually stunning two-hour experience on the 850-acre resort’s Wild Burro Trail. The adventure begins with a casual half-mile walk, winding into the Wild Burro Canyon, where guests will notice different birds’ nests hidden in the canyon’s dramatic saguaro cacti, cholla cacti, and stark desert trees and bushes.
Along the way, participants stop at a striking ancient petroglyph rock formation, where they learn about the indigenous Hohokam people who populated this region hundreds of years ago. They then quietly settle just above the canyon floor, discovering a 360-degree view of the surrounding canyon. Once in place, they also take a few solitary minutes to create mindfulness, closing their eyes and listening closely to their uninterrupted surroundings.
Soaring in the skies above are hawks, falcons and vultures. In the lower-level skies are dove, finches, hummingbirds, cactus wrens and thrashers, while on the ground, speedy and nimble roadrunners and Gambel’s quail are delights to behold. These are in addition to the many migrating birds which also fly through the area on a daily basis.
This captivating birdwatching experience floods the mind and body with the sights and sounds of the living Sonoran desert, and guests often return from it changed in both mind and spirit. It is recommended for nearly all fitness and ability levels, and participants are provided with a backpack, bottled water, trail mix and most importantly, the use of birding binoculars. Cameras are a must for this one-of-a-kind adventure.
Guided birdwatching hikes at the Forbes Five Star, AAA Five Diamond Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain may be reserved by calling 520-572-3050. The experience is available year-round and is recommended as a “not to miss” activity for resort guests 10 years of age and older. Those wishing to take their birdwatching to the next level also can request a bespoke outdoor experience working with the Dove Mountain ranger team to build nesting boxes for birds living on and above the hiking trails near the luxury resort. The boxes become home to warblers, flycatchers and screech owls who build their nests inside the structures. This activity helps to nurture hole-nesting birds which may suffer from loss of habitat, especially in Arizona’s expanding urban centers. This custom-tailored activity must be pre-reserved two days in advance and is available at added cost to individuals and to groups seeking a memorable shared experience.