Here are a few of our Hiking recommendations for Southern Arizona.
Another Sunday drive. This time Neighbor Roy, Ms. Karen, and I were off to Oracle State Park via Redington Pass east of Tucson. Access to Redington Pass is easy. Just go east on Tanque Verde. Eventually, the pavement ends and the worst road in Southern Arizona begins. Even the high-clearance 4-wheel drive vehicles [...]Continue reading
The month of April we featured The Friends of the Huachuca Mountains, who open the Carr House seasonally for your education and enjoyment. Watch the Video. Carr House opened April 27th, 2013 and will remain open until October, 2013. See the event calendar for their Sunday Afternoon Programs.
In early April 2013, I wanted to drive the back road to Ft. Huachuca from Sonoita to view the Garden Canyon petroglyphs.Continue reading
The I-19 corridor south of Tucson is hard to beat for a leisurely day enjoying art, culture, and history. There is so much to see and do between Tucson and the Mexican border that we recommend you start early. When we take guests on this, our Tucson Day Trip #1, we usually drive 50 minutes from Downtown Tucson to the furthest destination south, which is Mission Tumacácori, almost to the Mexican border. The rest of the day is a leisurely drive back toward Tucson with at least 5 worthwhile points of interest along the way. 1. Tumacácori National Historical Park is a picturesque reminder that Southern Arizona was, at one time, the far northern frontier of New Spain. This mission was founded by Father Kino in 1691. Take exit 29, then turn left under the Interstate. At the frontage road, turn left. You can’t miss it. Bring your camera. A … Continue reading
The drive from Tucson (elevation 2500 feet) to the top of Mt. Lemmon (elevation 9,200 feet) is a fine day trip, particularly in the warmer months.The 25-mile road to the top is windy and picturesque. There are numerous pullouts. The one at Windy Point offers a panoramic view of the Tucson Metro area. Ski Valley Near the top is Ski Valley, the southern most ski area in the continental United States. So, in the winter, take your skies & snow boards. But in the warmer months, take your hiking boots because there are many fine trails up there. Stop at the Palisade Visitor Center for trail maps and current conditions. Bring water & snacks or a picnic. In the warmer months, you can ride the ski lift to the upper ridge overlooking the Tucson metropolitan area. In the summer, the valley below the lift is carpeted with wildflowers. Alternative; you … Continue reading
The dozen or so wineries in the little communities of Sonoita & Elgin are about an hour southeast of Tucson via scenic Hwy. 83. The terrain here is very different from Tucson. No saguaros, but miles of rolling hills, tall grass & cattle herds. Empire Ranch More than a century before this was wine country, it was cattle country. The biggest ranch was the 1 million acre Empire Ranch. You can visit what remains of it on your way. Volunteers are working to restore the principle residence & out buildings. Inside the main house are simple exhibits with old photographs of the ranch and its ranchers. Definitely worth an hour’s detour. The Empire Ranch is located in the heart of the 42,000-acre La Cienegas National Conservation Area. Flowing through this preserve is Cienega Creek, a natural riparian zone that shows us what much of this region was like before the … Continue reading
We had seen so many beautiful images of Aravaipa Canyon like this one that we wanted to experience this wilderness preserve for ourselves. So, in early February 2013 I went on the BLM website and purchased permits: 4 to get us into the West Entrance on a Sunday in late February and 3 permits for the next Sunday at the East Entrance.
The permits are only $5 for each person. The BLM severely restricts the number of people who can use the Canyon at any one time. Something like 50 total. Also on a limited basis you can ride your horse through here, but you can’t bring your dog.
On a perfect Saturday in February, our friends from New York, Susan & Charlea, went with Ms. Karen, Molly Dog, & me to Catalina State Park in Oro Valley. After paying the $7 entry fee, we found a pleasant picnic area and fortified ourselves before hiking the archeological site on the ridge across the road.Continue reading
Santa Cruz County is still sparsely populated and remains an excellent destination for bird and wildlife photographers, hikers, ghost town hunters, kayakers, and other outdoor enthusiasts.Continue reading
Muleshoe Ranch, a preserve of the Nature Conservancy, is one of the five best conservation areas for bird watching in Southern Arizona. Over 200 species of birds either live here year-round or pause here along the streams on their seasonal migration.Continue reading
More than a hundred years ago, Kentucky Camp was the headquarters for the Santa Rita Water & Mining Company, which was formed to extract placer deposits from the Greaterville Mining District in the foothills of the Santa Rita Mountains 9 miles NW of Sonoita.Continue reading
Two & three-day getaway mini-vacations for Tucson locals around Southern Arizona. Tucsonans know that 7 months out of the year we live in paradise. We seldom have a desire to leave town between October and April. So these recommended getaways & staycations are geared toward the hot summer months, May through September.
Southern Arizona mini-vacations are only a bit complicated because you folks in Sierra Vista may want to spend a few days in Tucson to see a play or concert or enjoy our terrific museums. By contrast, you Tucsonans may want a weekend in and near Sierra Vista to hike Ramsey Canyon or explore the San Pedro River Valley.Continue reading
The area near Safford has several worthwhile things to see and do: Roper Lake State Park, Dankworth Ponds, and Discovery Park. Just to the west of Safford is 10,000 foot-high Mt. Graham. At the top are some of the most powerful telescopes on earth. The road to Mt. Graham is about as steep, narrow, and windy as you’re likely to find in the United States. There’s a nice picnic area about 8 miles up this road from Rt. 191 a few miles south of Safford.Continue reading
On the third and final day of our Southeastern Arizona adventure, we started early. Deborah Mendelsohn, our Simpson Hotel B&B innkeeper in Duncan, had prepared a delicious take-along breakfast for us the night before. Normally, we would have slept in and enjoyed breakfast with her and the other guests, but we had a lot of [...]Continue reading
The trail head is almost to Oro Valley off Oracle. This is a strenuous hike, but the view from the summit is worthwhile. Plan on 2 – 3 hours up and an hour down. From the summit on a clear day you can see all the way to Kitt Peak to the SW and Picacho Peak to the north. Wildlife, including coatimundi, can be seen if you’re quiet and patient. The last official sighting of big horn sheep was in 2005. Pusch Ridge was named George Pusch (1847–1921), who came to Arizona from Germany in the 1870s, established the Steam Pump Ranch on near the base of the ridge in what is now the town of Oro Valley. Steam Pump Ranch was one of the largest cattle ranches in the Territory of Arizona. Mr. Pusch also served as a state legislator and one of the delegates to the original Arizona Constitutional Convention in 1910. … Continue reading
The road from Amado to Arivaca winds through rolling, mesquite-covered hills. It’s obviously very popular with cyclists, motor and otherwise.
Just before we arrived in town, we came to the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge where, by appointment, we met and interviewed Richard Conway, a local geologist and Mary Scott, a seasoned birdwatcher and wildlife photographer.
There are several routes to the top of Mt. Wasson in the Tucson Mountains. This is a pictoral story of Sweetwater and Kings Canyon trails.Continue reading
A video presentation of the history surrounding La Posta Quemada Ranch at Colossal Cave Mountain Park.Continue reading
One of the best kept secrets is the fact that the USDA Forest Service has cabin rentals, two of which are located in the Cochise Stronghold, Shaw Cabin and Half Moon Ranch.Continue reading
It took me only about an hour & a half to get to Parker Canyon Lake from Tucson. My friends were pulling a small trailer and it took them about a half hour longer. The road is paved but narrow for about the last 10 miles.Continue reading
Below are quick references to many hiking trails in Southern Arizona by area.Continue reading
This event is organized by ‘The Tucson Hiking Meetup Group‘ which has 1,614 members and is based in Tucson, AZ. They have hosted 852 past events and have 16 other upcoming events scheduled. Event Description Come join us for our weekly hike and socializing afterward at Risky Business! This is a great hike for new members. We normally walk up the tram road and enjoy the evening views of the canyon. Most folks turn around after 2 miles, but some hardy folks go the entire 7.4 miles to the end of the tram road and back. Everyone walks at a different pace, and so normally we break up into smaller groups as we are walking. When we get to the 2 mile rock we usually regroup before returning to the visitor center. (see our Sabino Canyon video) … Continue reading
Mission tours leave from the Visitor Center garden and last approximately 45 minutes. Guided tours of two other missions normally closed to the public can be reserved.Continue reading