To Friends Of
         Cave Creek Canyon
                     DON'T MISS IT!

                  THE 7TH ANNUAL
9 AM - 1 PM


Many Local Experts & Exhibits

[*While supplies last]

Management  & Rejuvenation of
Cave Creek Canyon  Visitor Center
Enjoy the Garden designed and established by 
Friends of Cave Creek Canyon at the Visitor Information Center 
in the mouth of Cave Creek Canyon
Some of the Attending Experts:
  • Barb Miller & Al Bammann - Native Plants for SALE 
  • Tom Boulton with a Golden Eagle 


  • U.S. Forest Service 
  • Portal-Rodeo Hiking Club 
  • Arizona Wilderness Coalition
  • The Wizard of Portal will cast his spell!

  • Reptiles with the Chiricahua Desert Museum 
  • Smokey The Bear!

  • History of the Canyon
  • FREE BREAKFAST* & FREE LUNCH*Sun 1-2013 R Beno
  • Rick Beno from Arizona Sky Village & 2 solar telescopes - 
    you can see spots, granules, filaments, flares
  • The Malpai Borderlands Group
  • Birding Information with Maya Decker & Steve Wolfe and more
  • Kim Vacariu and Heritage Days
  • Shane & Friends with invertebrates           
  • The Chiricahua-Peloncillo Historical Society
  • FOCCC Educational Outreach                 
                    AND LOTS MORE!        

SATURDAY, MAY 25, 2018 

The Easter Trogon!

This Elegant Trogon Picture was taken
 by Tony Donaldson on Easter Day, 2019

Hike To Silver Peak
by Mike Jacobi

The Silver Peak Trail #280 is a favorite of locals and visitors alike. Starting a few blocks up the canyon from the Visitor Information Center, at a trailhead it shares with the Cave Creek Nature Trail, this steep trail climbs 3000 feet over the 4.5 miles it takes to reach the old fire lookout at the trail's apogee. Many who take this trail won't continue to the top and locals looking for exercise may only do the first mile, but those who accept the challenge of reaching the summit discover one of the most impressive views of the area. Standing on the foundation of a lookout that burned down during an October 1992 thunderstorm, you can gaze eastward towards Portal. Cave Creek Canyon lies to the southeast, the Southwestern Research Station to the south, the Trans-Mountain Road climbing to Onion Saddle off to the west, Paradise to the northwest and the interstate at San Simon to the north.

Portal and valley from Silver Peak

                 Indian paintbrush

               Stairs to summit                                  Shed near summit

Scarlet hedgehog cactus

View from Silver Peak - the Southwestern Research Station can be 
seen in the center below the cloud shadow.

Those who wish to climb the steep stairs to the old lookout and see the still-standing tool shed and outhouse should allow an entire day, leaving early in the morning when temperatures are cooler and allowing at least four hours to reach the summit. With many stops for rest and photographs, it took me 5.5 hours to make the top on May 3rd and more than two hours to make the descent. Take as much water as you can carry and don't forget the sunscreen and lip balm. I recommend trading in extra camera gear or other non-necessities for an extra liter of water or two. The trail has many narrow and slippery sections along steep slopes. A walking stick or trekking poles are highly recommended, and caution must be exercised at all times.

What's New At The VIC!

The Cave Creek Canyon
Visitor Information Center was
built in 1924.  [Picture is circa 1940]

In 2018, visitation at the Center was up 28% from 2017, with over 10,000 people came to the VIC.  Our many wonderful volunteers donated over 5000 hours  during 2018.  Our current hosts are Mike Jacobi, Steve and Laura Paulson [for their 4th season!] and Dawn and Rich Bailey.                                       
In March and April this year we had about 2000 visitors each month.
   We opened a store in January, 2018 inside the VIC, selling FOCCC shirts and hats, our Book, cards and maps.  It has been very successful.  All of the profits go to projects in Cave Creek Canyon  and to help the VIC.  Thank you for your support!       

       Bird Sighting Section                                   Map and Trail Section                  
Retail Section

Willow Tank 
After months of waiting Willow Tank has been upgraded.  The thousands of bull frogs have been eliminated and will hopefully no longer be a menace to birds and other wildlife.  The reeds and cattails have been removed.  The Tank was dredged deeper for the safety of the birds and to facilitate the removal of water for fire fighting purposes. 

[Pictures by Cecil Williams]

One of the biggest improvements is the large increase size of the island.  It is now much higher and larger than before, which will give far better protection to nesting birds.  

Bringing Kids & Nature Together
FOCCC Educational Outreach Program

Funded by the Arizona Community Foundation and continuing contributions to the Gerry Hernbrode Education Fund, our education outreach program continues to bring local experts together with students from our two pilot schools, Apache Elementary and San Simon.

For April, hummingbirds were the means to delve into our topic of bird migration. Jackie Lewis did an amazing job, giving a short introduction to bird migration, the reasons for migration, and migration paths. She also used a video of a Hummingbird Monitoring Network banding session to show students the process of banding from capture, through data collection, to release.

Both Cecil Williams and Maya Decker made sure that students were able to see and identify the four target hummingbird species for the class: Blue-throated, Broad-billed, Black-chinned and Broad-tailed. And, kids were also able to spend time practicing with their binoculars in siting and identifying (with a little help from Cecil and Maya) other birds that were present at the Cave Creek Ranch feeding stations.
Finally, kids participated in four hands-on activities to extend knowledge about hummingbird migration through discovery. At one station, kids matched everyday objects' weight with the weight of the four types of hummingbirds. At another, students made hummingbird nectar for use at Cave Creek Ranch. Making the nectar involved converting ratios of 4 parts water to one part sugar into a formulation using cups as a measurement.

To take home, kids were given coloring pages taken from silhouettes, provided by Narca Moore Craig, and a reading, modified from the award-winning Cave Creek Canyon book produced by FOCCC, to take home.  

For contributions to the Gerry Hernbrode Education Fund, send your donations made payable to Friends of Cave Creek Canyon, PO Box 16126, Portal, AZ  85632

Pat Owens

The Portal-Rodeo community is very sad to have lost a great lady and supporter. She was a close to many including me. She was also a huge supporter and great  volunteer to Friends of Cave Creek Canyon.   She was proud to have been the first paid member of FOCCC. She was the membership chair of FOCCC for 5 years and also spent many hours at the FOCCC table at  innumerable events. She was my proofreader and my friend. We will all miss her. [Mike Williams]
                                                                Pat on the right with her "adopted sister" Laura

She always had a smile for everyone!

In recognition of Pat's longtime support and love of Friends of Cave Creek Canyon, donations may be sent to FOCCC, PO Box 16126, Portal, AZ  85632.  All donations will be added to to the Educational Outreach Fund to bring kids and nature together.

Friends Of Cave Creek Canyon
Membership Renewals

We are replacing our membership software and your renewal notices may be delayed.  Do not worry - we will not cancel your FOCCC membership!

FOCCC 2019 Officers and Board

Reed Peters         President                                            Other Board Members  
Sheri Ashley        Vice President                           Bob Ashley     Wynne Brown  
Mike Williams      Vice President 
                       Alan Craig     Rene Donaldson
Rick Beno 
Rolf Koford         Kim Vacariu
Stevie Wayman    Secretary
Cecil Williams     Ron Kaczor
FOCCC Board of Directors meets on the first Wednesday morning each month  at the Chiricahua Desert Museum on Highway 80.  If you have interest in attending or putting something on the agenda, please contact President Reed Peters at 520-558-2334.  All members are welcome to attend.




Friends Of Cave Creek Canyon
PO Box 16126
Portal, Arizona 85632


Visit Our Website 


Thanks to our "Sustainer's Circle" members 
for their generous support:  
Tom Arny, Bob and Bettina Arrigoni, Susan Dalby & Eskild Peterson, Nancy and Thomas Denney, Mary George, Bill and Sally Hague, Paul Hirt and Linda Jakse, Don Hollister, Pi Irwin and Zsombor Zoltan, Ken Jenkins, Leuthold Family Foundation,  Barbara Lounsbery,  Patrick McNamara, John and Karin McQuillan, Barbara and Pete Miller, Patricia Parran, Tom Roseman and Paula Baldwin, Delia Scholes, Donald and Martha Squire and Bob and Sherry Zoellick.

Please support our Business Members  who  have given generously to Friends Of Cave Creek Canyon.  Without their assistance, we would be hard pressed to accomplish our goals. Click on their names to check out their websites.    
                 Cave Creek Ranch                           Chiricahua Desert Museum
             Naturalist Journeys, LLC                                   Orchid Davis   
                 Sky Island Rolfing                                           Wynne Brown 
                   Chiricahua Gallery                                      Daussin & Associates
               Casa Petra Vera                                    Ed Newbold Wildlife Artist
                     Quailway Cottage                                    Sky Island Lodge
            Ski Island Grill & Grocery                        The George Walker House                       Painted Pony Resort                             Portal Peak Store and Lodge
                  Gardenwerks                                            Ol' Morani Ranch
Business Memberships start at just $50.00!