This canyon got its name from the fact that two brothers from Nova Scotia once owned a ranch here. Since the head of Scotia Canyon is one of the lowest places in the Huachuca Range, it has served as a traditional travelway for as long as humans, or other animals for that matter, have tried to get from one side of these mountains to the other. Scotia Canyon is also blessed with plentiful water (in ponds, not for drinking) which brought ranchers to the area and provided another reason for travelers to pass this way.
Much of the trail follows the course of Scotia Creek, which provides excellent birdwatching in a healthy and diverse riparian area. Elegant trogons are regularly seen here, as are a number of other interesting species of songbirds. If you have a sharp eye and proceed quietly, there is plenty of other watchable wildlife in the area as well, including coatimundi, javelina, and Coues white-tailed deer. Recently, the Scotia Canyon Trail was designated a segment of the Arizona Trail, which will eventually lead from the Mexican border to the Utah state line.
As part of the process of that designation the trail has been extended all the way to Parker Canyon Lake, adding more areas of interest to an already diverse trip. If you come here to travel one more segment of the Arizona Trail, or to enjoy the Scotia Canyon Trail for the wildlife watching and scenic surroundings it offers, you’ll find what you’re looking for.
Directions: Drive south 13 miles out of Sierra Vista on Arizona Highway 92 to the Coronado Memorial Road (FR 61). Turn right (south) and continue through the Coronado National Memorial to Montezuma Pass. From the pass, continue on FR 61 about 8.4 miles to FR 48. Continue northwest on FR 48 and drive 3.1 miles to FR 228. Turn north on FR 228 and drive 2.5 miles to FR 204. Turn right on FR 204 which ends at the trailhead. You can also access the Scotia Canyon Trail from the Lakeshore Trail #128 at Parker Canyon Lake.
Day Hiking: Scotia Canyon Trail is part of the Arizona Trail. Arizona Trail segment. Watchable wildlife, birds and more. Riparian area. Easy access.