Protecting a special place in the Sonoran Desert.
As champions for Saddle Mountain and the Palo Verde Hills, we are currenlty attempting to procure permanent federal protection for our area. Any donations recieved will go towards our educational efforts, conservation, wildlife protection, and public lands protection advocacy. Please visit our website at FOSMAZ.org for more information... Thank You !!!
Saddle Mountain is a volcanic upthrust that contains unique archaeological sites, wildlife habitat, interpretive geology, and dramatic scenery. Recognized by travelers for thousands of years, Saddle Mountain is a distinctive landmark located on the fringe of metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona–50 miles west of downtown. The mountain towers 2,000 feet above the Harquahala Plain at an altitude of 3,037 feet above sea level.
This distinctive landform contains crucial desert bighorn sheep habitat that has been augmented by a water tank developed through the cooperative efforts of the Desert Bighorn Sheep Society, Arizona Game and Fish Department, and the BLM. Lush foliage creates a habitat valuable to a range of wildlife in the Palo Verde Hills, including the desert tortoise and approximately 162 other species. Threatened species within the area include Gila monster, kit fox, cooper hawk, and sharp-shinned hawk. Additionally, prairie falcons and golden eagles are found in the upper reaches of Saddle Mountain.
The volcanic upthrust of the mountain has created a highly visual and educational example of geologic forces. Cliffs, spires, and buttes tinted by andesite, rhyolite, and basalt result in magnificent scenery. Another result of Saddle Mountain’s complex volcanic history has been ‘basketfulls’ of colorful minerals scattered the northern skirt of the mountain. However, the once plentiful fire agate, chalcedony, and calcite “desert roses” have now become scarce. The mountain’s pyroclastic rocks, distilled by eons of differential erosion, account for the dramatic scenery and multicolored strata that we see today.