San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area

The San Pedro riparian area, containing about 40 miles of the upper San Pedro River, was designated by Congress as a National Conservation Area (NCA) on November 18, 1988. The primary purpose for the designation is to protect and enhance the desert riparian ecosystem, a rare remnant of what was once an extensive network of similar riparian systems throughout the Southwest.

Many recreational opportunities are available within the NCA. Three of the most popular sites are :

Murray Springs Clovis Site, a significant archaeological site that contains an undisturbed stratigraphic record of the past 40,000 years. Excavations were conducted by the University of Arizona from 1966 to 1971. People first arrived in this area 11,000 years ago. They belonged to what we now call the Clovis Culture and were the earliest known people to have inhabited North America. Named after the distinctive and beautifully crafted Clovis spear points they made, they were expert hunters of the large mammals of the last Ice Age. An interpretive trail leads visitors through the site. From Sierra Vista, take Arizona Route 90 east six miles to Moson Road. Turn left, and go about 1.2 miles to the signed turnoff to Murray Springs. Park your vehicle and proceed by foot down the access road to the trail leading to the Murray Springs Clovis Site. The access road leading to the Murray Springs trail is currently closed to vehicle traffic.

The Spanish Presidio Santa Cruz de Terrenate is the most intact remaining example of a once-extensive network of similar presidios. These fortresses marked the northern extension of New Spain into the New World. Only a stone foundation and a few remaining adobe wall remnants mark the location of an isolated and dangerous military station. From Fairbank on Arizona Route 82, drive approximately 2 miles west on Route 82, turn right on the Kellar Ranch Road and travel approximately 3 miles to the trailhead. Hike about 2 miles to the ruins and interpretive displays.

The San Pedro House, located 9 miles east of Sierra Vista on Arizona Route 90, is a popular trailhead for birdwatchers, hikers, and mountain bikers. The Friends of San Pedro operate a bookstore and information center.

For Kids

Agents of Discovery is a free, educational, mobile gaming app that gets families and youth active, engaged, while learning about the world around them. Sponsored by the Bureau of Land Management and the Friends of the San Pedro River. 

Graphic of a roadrunner wearing a shirt with a BLM logo saying hey kids see you at the river.

How to get started: 

  1. Download the free “Agents of Discovery” app from Google Play or the Apple App Store. 
  2. Missions are available for the San Pedro House, Fairbank Historic Townsite, and Murray Springs Clovis Site. 
  3. Once you are at the site, open the “Agents of Discovery” app, select “Missions”,  and then the Mission for that site. 
  4. You can also login to create an account where you can save your activity. 

Email questions to, or call 520-459-2555.   

Adventure is at Your Fingertips

Geographic Coordinates

31.37953, -110.10198


Located 9 miles east of Sierra Vista on state Route 90.


No information available.