HomeAdventuresDaytripsAlong the way to the MissionsA Day Trip Through History: The Santa Cruz River Valley

A Brief History Of The Santa Cruz River Valley
From Tucson South To The Mexican Border. 

Mission San Xavier ca: 1880

Here you will find the Spanish missions and presidios (forts) of the Pimeria Alta, Land of the Upper Pimas.

Today, Interstate 19 makes traveling this 70-mile section of Arizona history an easy day trip. Along the way are several very good restaurants, an extraordinary artist colony, enlightening museums, and ruins much older than our Southern Arizona ghost towns. Personally, I found these places far more interesting once I began to understand their history. For me, timelines help put major historical events in perspective. Perhaps this simple timeline will be helpful to you as well.
Click here for a MAP of the Santa Cruz River Valley


“Pima” is a general reference to various indigenous peoples who resided along Southern Arizona rivers. At the time the Spanish arrived, the …

  • Akimel O’odham live along the Gila & Salt Rivers near present-day Phoenix;
  • Sobaipuri O’odham live along the San Pedro River near present-day Sierra Vista and;
  • Sobaipuri O’odham & Tohono O’odham live along the Santa Cruz River near present-day Tucson, Tubac, & Tumacácori.
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