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Get to Know the Vistoso Nature Preserve

The Vistoso Nature Preserve offers a rich variety of plants, mammals and birds as well as ancient petroglyphs along a six-mile path that will be available to all.

Imagine a place where wildlife and people co-exist among the natural beauty of the Sonoran desert. Deer, coyotes, bobcats, javelina, rabbits and an abundant variety of birds live among the desert’s trademark Giant Saguaro Cactus, the ubiquitous Prickly Pear, the striking Ocotillo, the Chollas, Hedgehogs, and Barrel Cacti.  

 

The history behind the Native Americans who lived and hunted on the property is rich with heritage.  Today you can view the Petroglyphs and walk near the area where the former Hohokam native village called Sleeping Snake. 

With stunning views of the Catalina and the Tortolita Mountains and a six-mile paved path winding through the property, visitors can enjoy the tranquility and connect with the natural world we tend to take for granted.

Six-Mile Concrete Path. A 6.2-mile, 8-foot wide path wanders through the entire property, safely away from traffic on a surface that is friendly to strollers, seniors and those with disabilities. There are mountain views and abundant desert life. Tunnels pass under roads providing a safe and unobstructed passage through the Nature Preserve. 

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Mountain Views. From the six-mile path visitors could view the Santa Catalina and Tortolita Mountains as well as multiple mountain ranges to the south.

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Wildlife. Those that travel the trail can view a variety of native mammals and reptiles that thrive in this natural deserve environment *

Mammals

  • Mule Deer

  • Bobcat

  • Coyote

  • Harris' Antelope Squirrel

  • Desert Cottontail Rabbit

  • Black-Tailed Jackrabbit

  • Javelina

  • Gray Fox​

 

Reptiles

  • Western Rattlesnake

  • Arizona Ground snake

  • Regal Horned Lizard

  • Gila Monster

  • Other lizards

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*  Click here for a complete list of all the wildlife that Gordon Parkhill has observed on the Vistoso golf property.

Ancient Petroglyphs. A section of the property contains a significant number of well- preserved Petroglyphs created by the Native Americans that once inhabited this land. 

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Desert Plants. We all know about the majestic Saguaro, mesquite, and palo verde, but there are so many more plants located in the Sonoran Desert that could be discovered simply by walking the trail.

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Birds. The property is visited by a very wide variety of birds. The following list has been observed by Gordon Parkhill from his back yard.

It's a pretty amazing list for such a small area. 

  • Northern Cardinal

  • Pyrrhuloxia

  • Greater Roadrunner

  • Gambel's Quail

  • Gila Woodpecker

  • Ladder-Backed Woodpecker

  • Black-Chinned Hummingbird

  • Cactus Wren, Great Horned Owl

  • Western Screech-Owl

  • American Kestrel

  • Cooper's Hawk

  • Harris Hawk

  • Vermilion Flycatcher

  • Curved-Billed Thrasher

  • Northern Mockingbird

  • Morning Dove

  • White-winged Dove

  • Common Raven

  • Chipping Sparrow

  • House Finch

  • White-Crowned Sparrow

  • Western Tanager

  • Albert's Towhee

  • Lesser Goldfinch

  • Hooded Oriole

  • Verdin

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Click here for photo gallery

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