Water Ranch


To be recognized as a premiere education and recreation resource in Arizona while:
¤ Preserving valuable natural resources;
¤ Supporting creation and conservation of scarce riparian areas;
¤ Protecting needed habitat for wildlife.

To promote awareness and appreciation of Arizona’s ecology and natural history, particularly desert and riparian environments, through:
¤ education and recreation programs for a diversity of visitors, and
¤ research and development of strategies to reserve and protect these unique environments

¤ Interpretative Excellence (Indirect Education)
To provide the best possible interpretative experience for all visitors seeking education and/or recreation leisure time.
¤ Education Excellence (Direct Education)
To provide the best possible facilities to accommodate education experiences for life long learning.
¤ Conservation Excellence (Research and Development)
To provide for an environment dedicated to conserving valuable natural resources.
Snow Geese
My Buddy
I have no clue what it is but there are hundreds of them gowing in trees.
Superstition Mountains in the back ground.
Canada Goose
Animal Foot prints
Dinosaur and Archaeological digs
Research opportunities involving plants, animals, and riparian ecology are available year round. People or groups seeking to do wetlands, riparian or wildlife research are encouraged to contact the
Institute at (480) 503-6744.

Research topics may include:
vegetation inventories
pharmaceutical residual studies
soil characterization and monitoring
water percolation impacts on soil chemistry
butterfly research
bat research
tourism trends
specific species research such as burrowing owls
threatened species relocation

The Gilbert Rotary Centennial Observatory is open for public viewings every Friday and Saturday evening from nightfall until 9 pm. No registration required, $3 donation suggested.
Special viewing times for groups can be arranged with prior notice, at $5 per person.
The 110-acre Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch is located at

2757 E. Guadalupe Road
east of Greenfield Road, next to the Southeast Regional Library in Gilbert, Arizona.

The Riparian Institute office is located in the Community Services Building at
90 E. Civic Center Drive in Gilbert.

90 E Civic Center Dr
Gilbert, Arizona 85296

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Black Canyon Trail

A world-class multi-user trail system under development in the Bradshaw Mountain foothills of central Arizona. Several miles of the original trail are currently shared by motorized and non-motorized users. The non-motorized trail is being separated from the motorized double-track trail, after which both the motorized and non-motorized trails will be managed as part of the overall trail system.

The non-motorized, single-track trail under construction is designed for use by equestrians, hikers and mountain bikers. It is approximately 78 miles long, stretching from the Carefree Highway (AZ Highway 74), northward along the base of the Bradshaw Mountains, beyond highway 69 near the town of Mayer to the Prescott National Forest.

There will be ten trailheads conveniently spaced to allow easy access. Several loop trails will provide short duration excursions for users with limited time. Trail users are constantly rewarded with breathtaking scenic vistas and glimpses of the varied historical activities that have echoed through these hills.

Joe and Jerry


Wrong Way John

Rod crossing the Agua Fria River

John, Rod and Darren.
My bibs were killing my nipples that day

Hedgehog Cactus
This is presently an undeveloped trailhead with limited parking. However there is ample parking within easy walking distance a short way up the side road. Trailhead signs are occasionally vandalized and removed, so it will be necessary to check your odometer and watch carefully for the side road to the right.

From Interstate 17: Take exit 236 (Table Mesa Rd), turn west then north on the frontage road, drive approximately 1.65 miles to the “Y” and bear left, drive approximately 1.38 miles and look for the side road on the right. Turn onto this road and the trailhead is immediately to the left.

GPS coordinates, using NAD27 datum:

N33º 59.076’ W112º 10.063’


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