Arizona Game and Fish Department
Purchased through a partnership of public and private funds in 1993 (primarily Arizona Heritage Fund monies), this 1,362-acre wildlife area reflects Arizona’s concerns for wildlife of all kinds. Recreational opportunities include wildlife viewing and photography, picnicking and hiking to historic and prehistoric cultural sites.
A small visitor center is also located at the site. Visitors are encouraged to look through the center first and then explore the grounds to enhance their wildlife viewing experience. Move about the property freely by hiking, biking or horseback riding on one of four trails leading to wetlands, meadows and old homesteads.
Several wildlife viewing points are located on trails, including one with a spotting scope for locating wildlife situated on the High Point Trail overlook.
While elk can be found here throughout the year, fall and winter are the best times to see them. Winter is also the best time to see bald eagle perched in trees around the reservoirs. Waterfowl are readily seen during the migration periods of fall and spring.
A variety of raptors, including osprey, American kestrel, hawks, golden eagle and peregrine falcon, can be spotted throughout the wildlife area.
In summer, rufous and broad-tailed hummingbirds concentrate here and are easily photographed. Lewis’ and acorn woodpeckers and mountain bluebird are easily found. The best birding location at Sipe is along Rudd Creek and in the orchard and tall trees around the visitor center.
Look for sora and cinnamon teal at the small pond next to the orchard. Other wildlife to look for are gray fox, striped skunk, badger, coyote, mule deer, Merriam’s turkey, pronghorn antelope, and a variety of ground squirrels, chipmunks and bats. There’s a high probability of seeing elk and antelope at sunrise and sunset.
Note that hunting in season is allowed in this area.
Habitat: Grassland, pinyon pine and juniper woodland
Seasons: All year, spring to fall is best.
Location: From the traffic light in Eagar, take State Highway 260 (the designation changes to U.S.Highway 180/191 at the rodeo grounds) east towards Alpine five miles. Look for turnoff signs at the top of the mesa at milepost 404.7. Follow the graded dirt road, suitable for passenger cars, five miles to the wildlife area.
Access: Sunrise to sunset. Visitor center hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. May to October. Parking is at designated sites only.
Near: Eagar or Springerville