Huachuca Canyon is closed to all personnel until further notice. The canyon is closed for safety reasons because of increased bear activity in the area. The gate at the mouth of the canyon is currently locked to prevent vehicle access, but this closure also applies to hikers, bikers and runners. The canyon is being monitored by our environmental personnel and will be reopened when they determine the bears have moved on and no longer pose a risk to recreational users of the canyon.

Photo provided by Fort Huachuca Public Affairs Office

Bears are messing up birding opportunities in Huachuca Canyon near Sierra Vista.

Fort Huachuca closed the entrance gate to the canyon Tuesday because of bear activity after a bear damaged a car last week, said spokeswoman Tanja Linton.

Hundreds of birders have been flocking to the canyon recently to see a very rare bird, the Slate-throated Redstart, said Gordon Lewis, a board member for the Southwest Wings birding festival.

The festival kicks off today in Sierra Vista and birding guides are rerouting planned field trips into other canyons because of the closure, Lewis said.

The canyon will be closed until the fort’s environmental division decides the bears have moved on, Linton said.