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Tres Rios Wetlands, AZ

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Guide 13 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Phoenix SW
3 of 5 by 3
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Difficulty 1 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Lasso-Loop 14 miles
Trailhead Elevation 967 feet
Interest Perennial Waterfall & Perennial Creek
Backpack No
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
59  2017-12-28
MT - Guadalupe to Trilby
2  2017-10-26 gummo
2  2017-10-25 gummo
4  2017-07-19 gummo
4  2017-05-10 gummo
70  2017-02-17 New2hyk
4  2017-01-08 gummo
6  2016-04-19 LindaAnn
Page 1,  2,  3
Author outdoor_lover
author avatar Guides 5
Routes 8
Photos 11,077
Trips 507 map ( 6,066 miles )
Age 56 Female Gender
Location Scottsdale, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Mar, Nov, Feb, Jan → 5 AM
Seasons   ALL
Sun  6:16am - 6:27pm
1 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Culture Nearby
Wings over Wastewater
by outdoor_lover

Overview: More Birding Opportunities abound in this little known Riparian Area along the Salt and Gila Rivers. This multi-functional facility located within the Greater Phoenix area, hosts a variety of Birds year round and provides a Scenic, Park like setting, with views of the Sierra Estrellas and South Mountain.

Warning: Entry is by Permit Only.

History: In 2000, the Army Corps of Engineers, in cooperation with the Maricopa County Flood Control District and the City of Phoenix, embarked on the Tres Rios Ecosystem Restoration and Flood Control Project. The Project encompasses 7 miles and approximately 1500 Acres along the Salt and Gila River Systems. Using Highly Treated Effluent Water from the City of Phoenix's 91st Avenue Wastewater Treatment Plant, the Project involves a Flood Control Levee, Emergent Wetlands, and an Effluent Pump Station, as well as Riparian and Open Water Features, including large Ponds and Waterways. The Project is home to several types of Research, including Water Quality, Vegetation Sustainability, Mosquito Control, Non-lethal Beaver Control and Management, and Wildlife Diversity.

Hike: The Hike/Birding Route follows a Main Road into the Wetlands and then the Road splits for a while. Take the Left Road first and then you eventually have to meet up with the Main road again at a large Waterway just below the Dam. Walk up to the Dam and cross going West as far as you want to go, enjoying the Pond Areas to your right. The Road will eventually take you all the way to Avondale Boulevard, following the Salt River and it's eventual merge with the Gila River. You can make this Trip as short or as long as you want, and even do a Shuttle if you're so inclined, leaving a Vehicle at the other end, where Avondale Boulevard turns and becomes Indian Springs Road at the Phoenix International Raceway.

For more information on this Wetland, visit

Water Sources: No Drinking Water Sources

Camping: Not permitted.

Check out the Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your birding observation to support this local community.

2013-06-08 outdoor_lover
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Most recent Triplog Reviews
    Tres Rios Wetlands
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    I should probably doing something more productive today than typing a triplog, like cleaning the home, grocery shopping, or updating my facebook status. But I reviewed my photos and wanted to document how my year was going. I don't know how long I walked today, but I did see a lot of birds. I wasn't expecting to see snakes here, but I ended up seeing 3, including one by my car at the end of the trip. I also didn't know that checkered gartersnakes were at Tres Rios.

    I saw a lot of redwings. I might go back to photograph them later this month. I saw a few yellow-heads, lots of herons and egrets, and a few ducks. I wanted to go to Sweetwater Preserve today, but I didn't feel like driving too far. I might go tomorrow.

    Here's my 2016 so far with the snake counts. I thought I saw around 40, but it's over 50. Not bad. I definitely need more sidewinder pics though. Chicks dig sidewinders. It's true.

    - Gophersnakes: 12
    - Sidewinders: 11
    - Dbacks: 13
    - Coachwhips:7
    - Night Snakes: 5
    - Spotted Leafnosed: 2
    - Lyresnakes: 1
    - Checkered garters: 2
    - Patchnosed: 1
    Tres Rios Wetlands
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    More Birding/Photography Trips II
    February was a busy Month.... :sweat: Got a couple of good Tidbits of News though and I got to see both come to Fruition this Month...I'll Post the Details with my March Trips...But as a Hint for one of them, a couple of Fellow HAZer's ended up getting their Backsides Published... :D
    February Trips:
    Desert Botanical Gardens X 2
    Kiwanis Park
    Papago Park X 4
    Eldorado Park
    Fountain Hills Park (I dumped my Mom and Sister at my Niece's Baby Shower and went Birding instead... :lol: )
    Salt River
    Tres Rios (Walked all the Way to the End of the Road at 91st and Back. I could see PIR only about 1 Mile away)
    Tres Rios Wetlands
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    More Birding/Photography Trips
    For the Month of January...Lots of Trips, some with Friends.
    4 Trips to Papago
    1 Trip to Gilbert Riparian Preserve
    1 Trip to Tres Rios

    Got a few Miles in at two of the Locations, but when it's about Birding, it's always really slow... :sweat: A couple of the Papago Trips were just at the last Minute for Potential Sunsets... :) The Town of Gilbert is really screwing with the Riparian this Year, the Ponds are terrible with very little Water in the ones that you can really view...Lots of Water in the ones you can't and where you can, the Birds are 1/4 Mile away... ;) Very Slow Birding all around the usual Places this Year except at Tres Rios...It seems to be the Best this Year, followed by the Salt River....
    Tres Rios Wetlands
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Birding/Photography Trips II
    Compilation of Trips from the end of September through October...
    3 Trips to Papago Park
    1 Trip to Gilbert
    1 Trip to Tres Rios

    Should be about the last of the Dragonflies as it's starting to get too Cold...Winter Birds are starting to arrive and there will be even more soon...
    Tres Rios Wetlands
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Change of Pace today...Decided to meet some other Birders in an area I just found out about 2 weeks ago. Got my Permit in the Mail a couple of days ago and met about 6 other people at the Parking Lot/Entrance at 5:00 A.M. this morning...

    These guys are pros I'll tell ya... Mega Lenses on Mega Tripods and me with my little Point and Shoot... :sweat: But since they knew what they were doing, I got some great shots on some Birds I would have never seen or known about otherwise... :D

    This is a nice little area!!! Who knew??? Lying in between South Mountain and the Sierra Estrella Ranges, it's a little Oasis out in the middle of nowhere!!! : app : And the Birds!!! I can't wait until this is actually "in season", as this is the "slow" season for the area...Wow!!!

    Spent a couple of hours here and then a couple of the guys had a line on some Burrowing Owls, so a few of us took off and followed them over there...Ok, seriously, had no idea there were so many Burrowing Owls out there, wow!!!! We saw at least 7 in less than 30 minutes in different areas...What a Treat!!! :y: They are such cute little Raptors, I just love them...
    Finished up about 9:30 with plenty of pictures... :sweat:

    I posted 30 simply to not only show you the Birds, but also the area, since I've submitted a Description for this...And the Owls just stole the Photo Show at the end!!! :lol:

    It was a good, relaxing, fun day!!! :)

    Permit $$
    Special Use

    Permit required to park and enter. Contact Heather Finden at 602-495-7477 or The permits are free of charge, valid for three (3) months and can be e-mailed with advance notice. Order by phone and the permit should arrive by mail in about 8-10 days.

    Map Drive
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To birding observation
    From I-10, exit on 91st Avenue and proceed South. Continue South, from the Broadway Road Intersection, for approximately 1 Mile. You will see the City of Phoenix Wastewater Facility on your left. Continue almost past the entire facility and you will see a small dirt road turnoff to your right with a small Parking Lot and gate. Park Here. You will also be given a Map of the Parking with your Permit.
    page created by outdoor_lover on Jun 08 2013 5:45 pm
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