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Willcox Playa Wildlife Area

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Address: Kansas Settlement Rd, off Hwy 186, Willcox, AZ
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours

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Looking for sandhill cranes

Actually difficult to find the cranes. Walked and walked in the playa area. We were driving back to I10 when we suddenly heard the cries of the cranes flying overhead. We watched... read more

Reviewed 21 January 2016
Green Valley, Arizona
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17 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 17: English reviews
Level Contributor
6 reviews
Reviewed 1 week ago

Nice place to park. Little "woods" of mostly tamarisk between parking lot and playa. Saw migrating bird, Tyr. sp

Thank Betty H
Level Contributor
66 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 February 2017

but you must check with local tourism. we hit it at 11 am, and saw 1000's. but miss it by half hour - you see sleeping birds in field far away. i hit it perfect today and have a memory for life that was breath-taking! wowza.

1 Thank cincinSeattle
Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
29 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 February 2017 via mobile

We sat here during sunset and what a show! Thousands of Sandhill Cranes flew in and landed! It was beautiful! We got here at 4 pm. I can't wait to come back to see the Cranes next year!

Tempe, Arizona
Level Contributor
98 reviews
52 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 January 2017

I recently visited the Willcox area to see the wintering sandhill cranes. The Willcox Chamber of Commerce was hosting their annual Wings Over Willcox event during the time I was there. I went on a couple of their tours while there. One visited nearby feeding areas during the afternoon and the other was a early morning photography tour to the... More 

Thank Terry R
Tucson, Arizona
Level Contributor
193 reviews
67 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 May 2016

And that's exactly what the man at the visitors center told us when I asked for directions to this place. I even added that we had just arrived in Willcox and were planning a picnic out there. The giggle he tried to suppress should have been a good sign. Oh well. We found the beach, and the flies, and the... More 

1 Thank Laurence L
Level Contributor
138 reviews
44 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 March 2016

We read that the sand cranes usually remain in the area until late March and they may have been somewhere but we couldn't find them. We drove to all the spots recommended but no luck. It would be best to call the Chamber of Commerce in advance to obtain information. The signage isn't great but the locals were helpful. I... More 

Thank lantana50
Level Contributor
108 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 February 2016

This was so awesome!!!! We asked at the Wilcox Visitor's Center and they were able to tell us where they were sited earlier in the day. They gave us a variety of places to check. We saw (and heard) a number of them in a field (guess would be about 10,000 of them). We sat and watched for a while... More 

Thank frugal-one
Green Valley, Arizona
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 January 2016

Actually difficult to find the cranes. Walked and walked in the playa area. We were driving back to I10 when we suddenly heard the cries of the cranes flying overhead. We watched where they landed and followed. Can't get close, but that's for the protection of the birds. Their magnificence can't be described. Very cool. Locals seem to have no... More 

Thank Gardener1945
Tucson, Arizona
Level Contributor
586 reviews
253 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 383 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 January 2016

This annual festival in mid January brings many bird enthusiasts to Willcox. I signed up for the tour at sunset and we went first to Cochise Lake where there were some sandhill cranes in the distance. Then we went to the power plant area and we did see flying formations and landings in the shallow waters there. I am not... More 

1 Thank vagabondginger
Tucson, Arizona
Level Contributor
1 review
Reviewed 2 January 2016

The viewing area on the west side across from the power plant didn't have much to see, but we did see fields of cranes on the approach. On the east side was a path from the highway, but after quite a trek we were still a long distance from the Playa and gave up. I then saw from the map... More 

Thank JimBluenoser

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?