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Cienega Valley (Arizona) facts for kids

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Cienega Valley
Prairie Near Empire Ranch House Cienega Valley Arizona 2014.jpeg
Prairie with the Santa Rita Mountains in the background.
Country United States
State Arizona
Communities Vail and Sonoita
Borders on
River Cienega Creek

Cienega Valley is a valley located southeast of Tucson, Arizona, in the transition zone between the Sonoran and Chihuahuan Deserts. It is bounded by the Rincon Mountains to the north, the Whetstone Mountains to the east, the Mustang Mountains to the southeast, the Canelo Hills to the south, and the Santa Rita-Empire Mountains complex to the west. Much of the area is now part of the Las Cienegas National Conservation Area, which preserves habitat for a variety of threatened plant and animal species in the valley and along Cienega Creek.

The town of Vail, Arizona, is located at the northwestern edge of the valley, next to the Colossal Cave Mountain Park. The small community of Sonoita is located in the southwestern part of the valley, a few miles south of the historic Empire Ranch, which is now used as the headquarters for the Las Cienegas National Conservation Area, as well as a local history museum. The ghost towns of Greaterville, Kentucky Camp, and Total Wreck are located at the western edge of the valley, in the foothills of the Santa Rita and Empire mountain ranges. The ghost town of Pantano is near the valley's northern edge, at the foot of the Rincon Mountains.

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