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U.S. Forest Service

Patagonia Mountains

Patagonia Mountains banner scene. Photo by Charlie McDonald.

Blue star (Amsonia grandiflora). The large-flowered blue star (Amsonia grandiflora) is extremely rare, which seems unusual because its habitat is fairly common. Photo by Kibuyu at

Pima pineapple cactus. The Pima pineapple cactus (Coryphantha robustispina ssp. robustispina) is an endangered species. The populations in the Patagonia Mountains are at the very edge of the plant’s range, but are important because relatively few of these cacti grow on public lands.Photo by Tricia Roller in Arizona Rare Plant Field Guide, 2001.

Patagonia Mountains Scenic Drive road map. Patagonia Mountains Scenic Drive road map (PDF version).

High Point: Mount Washington, 7,221 feet

Elevation Change from Base: 3,221 feet

Vegetation at Highest Elevations: limited oak-pine forests on north-facing slopes; evergreen oak woodlands and scrub grasslands on south-facing slopes.

The Patagonia Mountains are a small range only about 15 miles long, but they lie close to the Canelo Hills to the northeast creating a large area of highlands connected to the Huachuca Mountains still further to the east.

Special Places:

Patagonia Mountains Scenic Drive (see PDF map): The Patagonia Mountains had numerous mineral deposits that produced silver ore in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Several mining towns sprang up around the mine sites and an extensive road network developed to reach the towns. These old roads have been incorporated into the Forest Service road system and make a good way to explore this mountain range. Forest Roads 49 and 61 loop through the mountains passing the remains of several old mining boom towns.

Special Plants:

  • Amsonia grandiflora
  • Astragalus hypoxylus
  • Coryphantha robustispina
  • Coursetia glabella
  • Lotus alamosanus
  • Macroptilium supinum
  • Metastelma mexicanum
  • Muhlenbergia elongata
  • Pectis imberbis
  • Stevia lemmonii
  • Tragia laciniata