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Securing Arizona's Water Future
Geography of the Cienega Creek Basin

Cienega Creek is a small, 606 square mile basin in the southwest portion of the planning area.  Geographic features and principal communities are shown on Figure 3.3-1.  The basin is characterized by a series of mid- to high-elevation mountain ranges, grasslands and woodlands.  Vegetation includes Plains and Great Basin and semi-desert grasslands, Chihuahuan desertscrub, madrean evergreen woodland and a small portion of Rocky Mountain and madrean montane conifer forest. (see Figure 3.0-9)  Riparian vegetation includes mixed broadleaf and strand on Red Rock Canyon and mixed broadleaf, mesquite and strand on Sonoita and Cienega Creeks.

Principal geographic features shown on Figure 3.3-1 are:

  • Cienega Creek, beginning in T21S, R17E and flowing north toward Interstate 10

  • Sonoita Creek flowing along Highway 82 in the southern portion of the basin

  • Redrock Canyon north of Patagonia

  • Gardner Canyon north of Sonoita

  • Empire Mountains in the northwest, Whetstone Mountains in the northeast and Patagonia Mountains on the western boundary

  • Santa Rita Mountain range along the southwestern boundary, which include Mt. Wrightson, the highest point in the basin at 9,453 feet

  • The lowest point at 3,200 feet where Cienega Creek exits the basin

Click to download Figure 3.3-1

Click for Figure 3.3-1 Cienega Creek Basin Geographic Features

 

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