I can't imagine anyone who wouldn't be awe-stuck by this remarkable wild and alive museum. The drive itself from Tucson offers gorgeous vistas of the Sahuaro National Monument with a narrow two lane highway that winds down from Gates Pass. The desert museum itself offers views of all kinds of desert creatures: scorpions, snakes, amphibians, spiders, lizards as well as examine the many minerals that exist in the desert up-close-and-personal under a microscope. You think that is just a dull old rock? Take a closer look, and you can see spectacular bursts of shape and color that are not visible to the naked eye.
Walk thru an ancient cave and see stalagtites and stalagmites and an underground pond. Try to spot the salamander that lives there. Check out the petrified sloth dung that is thousands of years old. And all of this is before you get to the best part - the animals.
Most of the animals are in open enclosures - they are not behind bars, but in a large open area surrounded by a deep pit. There are the beautiful desert cats, coatimundi, desert big-horn sheep, beaver, otters, desert tortise, javelina, coyote and much more.
The walk-thru bird enclosures are really cool. There are two. In the first has a wide variety of birds in a screened in habitat that you stroll thru and just look to see how many of the large variety of birds you can see.
The second is just for hummingbirds. Again, you walk in and these tiny magical birds are buzzing all around you.
There is a separate area for hawks, eagles, buzzards and the owls and the more tropical birds of the southern desert.
The whole place is connected by a wide gravel path with easy to follow signs. Indigenious desert flora lines the pathways and you are provided with expansive views of the Sonoran Desert.
Even the grumpiest grump will be charmed by the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum. Children and nature lovers will be completely enchanted. I have visited this unique museum more times than I can count, and I know I will go again.
This is a must see.
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