Tres Rios Wetlands

Located southwest of Phoenix, Tres Rios is a habitat restoration and water reclamation project resulting in an extensive riparian and wetland area near the confluences of the Gila, Salt, and Agua Fria Rivers that is a birder’s paradise. Originally the territory of the Hohokam, O’odham, Maricopa, and Apache, it was opened to the public in 2014. It comprises nearly 700 acres, and is administered by the City of Phoenix Water Department.

The 10 Essentials

ACTIVITIES:

  • bird-watching
  • equestrian
  • fishing
  • hiking
  • mountain biking
  • picnicking
  • trail running

HIGHLIGHTS:

More than 250 observed bird species!

Several miles of easy multi-use trails

Part of the 315-mile Maricopa Trail

Part of the 120-mile Sun Circle Trail

HABITAT:

Lower elevation Sonoran riparian.
Elevation ranges from ~750 – 970 feet.

AVAILABILITY:

Open year-round from sunrise to sunset.

AMENITIES:

Parking area
Porta potties
Interpretive panels

PERMITS / FEES:

A FREE permit is required to access the wetlands. It is valid for six (6) months from issuance. Request your permit here.

SPECIAL DESIGNATIONS:

Tres Rios is included in the Lower Salt and Gila Riparian Ecosystem Important Bird Area, and is one of the sites of the Audubon Society’s Annual Christmas Bird Count.

It’s also one of the 21 Arizona ‘Wildlife Viewing Areas‘ designated by Watchable Wildlife.  

ACCESSIBILITY:

Kid-friendly
Dog-friendly (must be leashed)
ADA: Many of the walking paths are accessible.
No public transit.

NEAREST SERVICES:

Phoenix is the closest full-service city.

HEADS-UP!

Although it’s primarily a riparian habitat, it is still the desert, so there may be rattlesnakes, scorpions, etc.
PLAN AHEAD! It may take up to five (5) days for your permit to be issued; they are only processed during regular business hours, Monday through Friday.
Because virtually all of the water has just been through the water treatment plant, it is NOT safe for drinking, and puts off a fairly strong chemical odor.

Flora & Fauna

Tres Rios is inarguably a hot spot for birders, but it also is home to a variety of flora and fauna associated with desert riparian areas. You may see:

  • Yuma clapper rail (ENDANGERED)
  • Black-crowned night heron
  • Gooding willow
  • Bald eagle
  • Muskrat
  • Gila woodpecker
  • Glossy pennywort
  • Western burrowing owl
  • Beaver
Phoenix
88°
Partly Cloudy
6:14am6:30pm MST
Feels like: 88°F
Wind: 5mph SW
Humidity: 36%
Pressure: 29.9"Hg
UV index: 0
SatSunMon
97/79°F
100/75°F
99/75°F

Explore Tres Rios

Maricopa Trail sign

Have you visited this site?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this site.

Sorry your experience wasn't better!

Is there incorrect info on this page?

Suggest an edit!


0
(0)

This website is an entirely solo and unpaid endeavor. If you find it valuable, please help keep it ad-free by becoming a Patron..

..or by making a one-time donation




 

Thank You!

more from arizona..

Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area

Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area

Spur Cross Ranch is the newest and only designated conservation area in the Maricopa County Parks and Recreation system. Despite its small size, the variety of habitat is host to a myriad wildlife, with expansive recreation opportunities that will make you forget this unit is only 2,154 acres!

Save Our Sonoran Preserve

Save Our Sonoran Preserve

See what Save Our Sonoran Preserve is doing to protect the Phoenix Sonoran Preserve from urban sprawl, and learn how you can help!

Cave Creek Regional Park

Cave Creek Regional Park

What it lacks in acreage (and the creek for which it is named), Cave Creek Regional Park north of Phoenix more than makes up in recreational opportunities, from guided horseback rides to archery lessons, hiking to stargazing (telescope included)!

Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area

Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area

Spur Cross Ranch is the newest and only designated conservation area in the Maricopa County Parks and Recreation system. Despite its small size, the variety of habitat is host to a myriad wildlife, with expansive recreation opportunities that will make you forget this unit is only 2,154 acres!

Save Our Sonoran Preserve

Save Our Sonoran Preserve

See what Save Our Sonoran Preserve is doing to protect the Phoenix Sonoran Preserve from urban sprawl, and learn how you can help!

Cave Creek Regional Park

Cave Creek Regional Park

What it lacks in acreage (and the creek for which it is named), Cave Creek Regional Park north of Phoenix more than makes up in recreational opportunities, from guided horseback rides to archery lessons, hiking to stargazing (telescope included)!

Lake Pleasant Regional Park

Lake Pleasant Regional Park

The only water-based park administered by Maricopa County is also its most popular – at Lake Pleasant Regional Park northwest of Phoenix, you can fish, water ski, even scuba dive in addition to hiking, camping, and stargazing in the park’s almost 25,000 acres!