San Rafael Valley


Photo Spot Summary

Country: United States

Category: Landscape

State: Arizona

City: Patagonia

GPS Latitude: 31.455004

GPS Longitude: -110.651199


From Patagonia, Arizona, take McKeown Ave. east which turns into Harshaw Rd. When you come to a fork in the road, follow the signs to San Rafael Valley. After about 16 miles, you will reach San Rafael Valley. Please note that much of the valley is private property. Pay attention to signs and do not trespass.

Photo Spot Details

About 16 miles past the charming community of Patagonia, Arizona, is a remote area called San Rafael Valley.  The valley is dotted with farms and cattle ranches, but it still feels like isolated wilderness.  It is one of the quietest places my wife and I have ever been to, and if you enjoy getting away from the noise of city life, you’l really enjoy San Rafael Valley.  It’s also a great place to photograph wintering raptors in Arizona.  Every time we visit, though, my favorite shots don’t have any birds in them at all.  If you visit in the winter time, bring a telephoto.  But, have your standard zoom lens ready and stay until sunset.  At sunset, a tripod and a graduated neutral density filter will be useful.

Canon DSLR + EF-S18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS @ 18mm, ISO 100, 1/2, f/16.0
Canon DSLR + EF500mm f/4L IS USM @ 500mm, ISO 500, 1/1250, f/6.3
Canon DSLR + EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM @ 50mm, ISO 100, 1/400, f/16.0

Reader Interactions


  1. Annabelle
    June 22, 2015 at 2:06 am


  2. Scott Edwards
    June 21, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    That cover image is spectacular. Good luck!

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