Tucson, AZ

Why are there trees here? “Don't you live in a desert?”

Community SaddleBrooke

Fortunately, the area where we live is not a dusty TV drama. Human transplants from the Northwest, Rocky Mountains, and other locations can thrive and enjoy life at locations in the Northern Tucson foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains. Wildlife and birds soar and thrive in the zones above the desert valleys.

Photo credit Oracle State Park

The first question that many visitors ask when visiting SaddleBrooke Arizona is “I thought Arizona was a desert.”

Yep kind of. Most people see pictures or TV that show the flatter desert and arid lands of the greater Phoenix Valley. Or they think of the big hole in the ground that is the Grand Canyon. Beautiful and rugged. But devoid of many trees. They are surprised by trees and abundant green and open spaces.

Rarely are they aware of the Sky Islands and Mountainous plateaus in Arizona. The transition areas from desert to mountains can provide a nice retirement location. There you can find cooler temperatures. The elevations just above the desert floor support a wide variety of trees, shrubs, birds, and wildlife. The rolling terrain captures views of the adjacent mountain range.

The USFS describes Sky Islands on their site. “Sky Islands are isolated mountain ranges in southeastern Arizona and northern Mexico, connecting two very different mountainous regions. Sky Islands are places where you can see incredible plant diversity in only a few miles.” “Some of the mountains rise more than 6,000 feet above the surrounding desert floor making the lowlands and high peaks drastically different. Plants and animals living in the mountains could never survive in the surrounding deserts. Thus by analogy, the mountains are “islands” surrounded by deserts that are “seas”.”

Trees and shrubs are abundant in these transition zones. These zones and the Sky Islands are good areas for hiking, bicycling, or birding. Arizona has world ranked birding areas. People from wide and far travel to see rare and varied species. Many of those national birding hotspots are around the Tucson area. South and North of Tucson in transition zones provide abundent trees and shrubs for birds and wildlife. The SaddleBrooke Community is located in the foothills of the mountains. It has huge Nature, Photography, and Hiking clubs. The transition zone location allows residents to enjoy the variety of terrain, vegetation, and wildlife.

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Saddlebrooke, AZ

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