How to Visit

How to Visit

Cave Creek Canyon is located in the Chiricahua Mountains of Southeastern Arizona. The mouth of the canyon is at the small community of Portal, AZ.

Consult the Coronado National Forest Visitor Guide

The Coronado National Forest (CNF) provides an on-line Visitor Guide.
The CNF features the area as a Hidden Gem on their website.
They also provide information about the Visitor Information Center.


From Tucson, take I-10 east to Exit 5 (Road Forks) in New Mexico. Take NM Route 80 South for 28 miles to the intersection with NM Route 533. The Chiricahua Desert Museum will be on the left and the Corner Swap and Shop will be on the right. Turn right at the sign for Portal and follow Portal Road for about 7 miles to the small community of Portal, AZ. Continue on Portal Road about 3/4 miles where the road makes a 90 degree bend to the left. Keep left and the USFS Visitor Information Center is less than 2 miles ahead.

From the East, take I-10 west to New Mexico Exit 5 (Road Forks), then take NM Route 80 south and follow the directions above.


Gasoline is not available in Portal or Rodeo. We recommend filling your gas tank in San Simon, AZ, Road Forks, NM or Lordsburg, NM, prior to arriving in the area. Fuel is also available in Animas, NM, on Route 9, twelve miles east of Route 80 mile marker 8, at Valley Fuel.

Cell Phone Service

Cell service is limited in the Portal area, especially in the canyon.  WiFi is available at the Portal Library, the Forest Service Visitor Information Center (during open hours) and at some local businesses.

Community Events

The local community in the Cave Creek Canyon area sponsors many activities and organizations, which are described on the Portal/Rodeo website.  Visitors are welcome to learn about the area and participate in activities that interest them.


Lodging in the area varies from a guest ranch with 11 cottages and apartments all with kitchens, a lodge with 16 motel style rooms, a number of small guest cottages and B&Bs, an RV park, and multiple developed campgrounds and dispersed campsites.


  • Portal Store and Cafe – check for days the café is open.
  • Sky Islands Grill and Grocery – Portal Road, between Hwy 80 and Stateline Road.  Check for days the Grill is open.
  • The Rodeo Grocery Store and Cafe is open for breakfast and lunch Monday – Saturday. Call for hours (575) 557-2295.
  • PW is located in Animas and serves pizza and sandwiches. Closed Sunday. Open 11-4 NM time.


The Portal Store, Sky Islands Grill and Grocery, and Rodeo Grocery have grocery items. In Animas, NM, (where gasoline and propane are also available) Valley Mercantile has grocery items. For major grocery shopping on your way to Cave Creek Canyon, Douglas, AZ, 50 miles south of Rodeo, has Walmart; Lordsburg, NM, and Deming, NM, (I-10 northeast of the Chiricahua mountains) both have grocery stores, as does Willcox, AZ (I-10 northwest of the Chiricahua mountains).

Daylight Saving Time

Arizona does not observe Daylight Saving Time. During DST months there is a one hour time difference between Portal and Rodeo.