The Cascabel Conservation Association is located in southeastern Arizona, on the eastern perimeter of the Sonoran Desert. It is in a remote area, about 30 miles east of Tucson (75 road miles) and 10 miles from paved roads in any direction. Situated between the Galiuro and Winchester Mountains to the east and the Catalina and Rincon Mountains to the west, CCA land occupies 600 acres in the uplands of a major watershed (Hot Springs) of the central San Pedro River.
Although the land is in the Sonoran Desert, it is also proximate to the Chihuahuan Desert grasslands, as well as the Basin and Range “sky islands” of SE Arizona and SW New Mexico that connect the semi-tropical mountains of the Sierra Madres with the temperate zones of the Rocky Mountains. As a result, there is a great diversity of plant and animal life in this region. Evidence of this was the naming of the San Pedro River, Arizona’s last remaining undammed river, as one of The Nature Conservancy’s “Last Great Places,” and as one of the premier birding areas in the continental United States.
The Hermitage support center is located in lower Hot Springs Canyon, beside a streambed which is normally dry (known locally as a wash). Occasionally, during rainy periods, water flows in the wash near the support center. Further upstream, water flows year round through the Muleshoe Preserve, one of The Nature Conservancy’s largest U.S. holding.