Slideshow Portfolio: Southern Arizona Scenes

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Please review our portfolio of slideshow presentations featuring scenes from around Southern Arizona. To see a slideshow simply click on one that interests you.

Tucson Attractions: The Ones Few People Know About!


Locals are generally familiar with our major Tucson and Southern Arizona attractions, such as our fantastic Desert Museum & the beautiful gardens of Tohono Chul Park. You can find the ones we recommend under “Attractions” in the Main Menu. However, very few locals know about or have been to the … Continue reading

Slideshow: Things to Do and See in Southern Arizona

This slideshow will introduce you to some of the sights and scenes from Southern Arizona and stories about those places. Clicking on a slide that interests you will transport you to a story about a destination or adventure.

Map of the Counties In Southern Arizona thumbnail
Saguaro National Park Visitors Center thumbnail
El Presidio deTucson thumbnail
Introduction to Tombstone today thumbnail
Tombstone's Historic Bird Cage Theatre thumbnail
Tombstone, The Town Too Tough to Die thumbnail
Bandit Outfitters at Colossal Cave Mountain Park thumbnail
Sabino Canyon Waterfall thumbnail
Tohono Chul Cactus Bloom thumbnail
Summer Tanager in Ramsey Canyon thumbnail
Dr Jay's Walking Tour  thumbnail
Wildflowers in the Tucson Mountains thumbnail
Desert Museum Harris's Hawk thumbnail
Signal Hill Petroglyph thumbnail
The Artists Co-op in Arivaca thumbnail
Bisbee, AZ thumbnail
Broad-billed Hummingbird: Ramsey Canyon thumbnail
Ski Valley  Mt. Lemmon thumbnail
Titan II Missile Museum thumbnail
La Posta Quemada Ranch thumbnail
DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun thumbnail
Kitt Peak Observatories thumbnail
Horsehead Nebula thumbnail
Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures thumbnail
Mission San Xavier del Bac thumbnail
Mission Tumacacori thumbnail
Old Tucson Reenactment thumbnail
Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge thumbnail
Allen Street, Tombstone Arizona circa 1880 thumbnail
Arizona Historical Society thumbnail
The Road to Mt. Lemmon thumbnail
The Ghost Town of Ruby, Arizona thumbnail
Map of the Counties In Southern Arizona
Saguaro National Park Visitors Center
Presidio San Agustin deTucson
Introduction to Tombstone Today
Tombstone's Hstoric Bird Cage Theatre circa 1936.
Tombstone, The Town Too Tough to Die
Bandit Outfitters at Colossal Cave Mountain Park
Sabino Canyon Waterfall
Tohono Chul Cactus Bloom
Summer Tanager in Ramsey Canyon
Dr Jay's Walking Tour
Wildflowers in the Tucson Mountains
Desert Museum Harris's Hawk
Signal Hill Petroglyph
The Artists Co-op in Arivaca
Bisbee, Arizona
Broad-billed Hummingbird: Ramsey Canyon
Ski Valley Mt. Lemmon
Titan II Missile Museum
La Posta Quemada Ranch
DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun
Kitt Peak Observatories
Horsehead Nebula
Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures
Mission San Xavier del Bac
Mission Tumacacori
Old Tucson Reenactment
Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge
Allen Street, Tombstone Arizona circa 1880
Arizona Historical Society
The Road to Mt. Lemmon
The Ghost Town of Ruby, Arizona

Visitors Center: Saguaro National Park West on a rare rainy day.

Located a few miles past the Desert Museum, the Visitors Center is the place to go for useful and interesting information about our Sonoran Desert, maps to back roads and hiking trails, and many good books on related subjects.

A Spanish Soldado at El Presidio de Tucson

Our historic Spanish fort in the downtown Tucson historic district is open to the public and periodically features reenactments, including canon fire. To learn more, please see our video.

Introduction to Tombstone Today

You can have a lot of fun in Tombstone. If you visit its shops, historic saloons, and many attractions, you'll meet a lot of friendly people, many of whom look like they just stepped out of the 1880's and into the present. Enjoy!

Tombstone's Historic Bird Cage Theatre circa 1936.

The Bird Cage is living history. A raucous saloon & gambling hall in the 1880's, where ladies of negotiable affection plied their ancient trade among the more successful miners and gamblers. Please see our video and meet Bird Cage Billie. Then take the worthwhile $10 tour.

Tombstone, The Town Too Tough to Die.

Depression-era photographs of Tombstone reveal the hard times. "The Town Too Tough To Die" almost did. Today, it's tourism, not silver, that keeps our Wild West history alive. Be sure to view our several videos about Tombstone and its legendary characters, such as Virgil Earp and Tom McLaury. Then visit Tombstone's Historic District. Don't miss the Courthouse Museum on Toughnut Street or the Bird Cage Theater on Allen Street, or the office of the Tombstone Epitaph on 5th Street.

Bandit Outfitters at Colossal Cave Mountain Park

Another great day trip from Tucson. Here you can trail ride through magnificent scenery plus host special events, such as weddings, corporate gatherings, & family reunions with an Old West theme.

A Waterfall In Sabino Canyon

Hiking Sabino Canyon is one of Tucson's most delightful day trips. Take the tram (cash only), get off & on at the various stops along the way. Hike adjacent Bear Canyon to Seven Falls were you can cool off in the pools at the base of the falls. Picnics here are highly recommended. And yes, these are two of our four grandchildren: Morgan (left) and Jon.

Tohono Chul Park: a night-blooming cereus.

Tohono Chul Park, one of our favorite places in Tucson, is home to a wide variety of night-bloomers. You can learn a lot about this beautiful place by viewing our video.

Summer Tanager in Ramsey Canyon

Courtesy of Liz Sockness, Ramsey Canyon Visitor Center. Like Madera Canyon to the west, Ramsey Canyon is a birdwatcher's paradise.

Dr Jay's Walking Tour

We highly recommend Dr. Jay's Walking Tour of Tombstone. On the Tour, which lasts about an hour, you will learn why the facts surrounding this fabled Old West town are far more interesting than the legends.

Wildflowers in the Tucson Mountains

In the Spring, we get fields of wildflowers if the Rain God has been generous the previous Fall. Arivaca & Picacho Peak are particularly known for their carpets of color. This photograph was taken just up the street from our home in the foothills of the Tucson Mountains.

A Desert Museum Docent with Male Harris's Hawk.

At the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum many docents help visitors understand our weird plants and exotic critters. Don't miss the Free Flight Program when you visit. Their raptors and other birds fly just over your head. Be quick with your camera. On our Guide you will find several original Desert Museum videos.

Signal Hill Petroglyphs by John Ashley.

There are many petroglyphs located around our desert & mountains. Perhaps the easiest to find & admire are atop Signal Hill in the Saguaro National Park West.

Artists Co-op in Arivaca

Arivaca is a small village 20-some miles west of I-19 at Amado. Things not to miss when you visit: Buenas Aires National Wildlife Refuge, La Gitana Cantina, the Artists Co-Op, & Sweat Peas Cafe'.

Bisbee, Arizona

Bisbee was a highly productive copper mining town about a half hour south of Tombstone. Now it's home to old hippies, bikers, and artists. It's shops & galleries are definitely worth visiting. Stay overnight in one of the many historic B&B's, hotels, and inns. There are also many good places to dine. Our recommendations you will find in Main Menu > Reviews.

Broad-billed Hummingbird in Ramsey Canyon

Liz Sockness runs the bookstore at Ramsey Canyon Preserve. We have several of her nature photos in the Guide. Ramsey Canyon near Sierra Vista is a wild and beautiful place to hike. Not many places in the world like this left.

Ski Valley near the top of Mt. Lemmon

Sky Valley is the southern-most ski area in North America. If you go in seasons other than winter, take the chair lift to the rim. The ski trails are full of wildflowers. From the top you can see the whole valley far below.

Titan II Missile Museum

The Titan II is one of the best-kept secrets in Southern Arizona. Few local even know about it. Highly recommended! Please see our video, then go to their website to get current hours of guided tours. I have directed hundreds of people to this incredible place. Every one has thanked me and said, in effect, "I had no idea".

La Posta Quemada Ranch at Colossal Cave Mountain Park.

There are several parts to Colossal Cave Mountain Park. First, there is the cave and a worthwhile guided tour. Second, there is the ranch at the bottom of the mountain that has museums and other historical features. Third, at the ranch you will find Bandit Outfitters and the riding stables. A great place to take the kids and only about 25 miles east of Tucson. Also a fine place to picnic.

DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun

One of our finest art museums, the DeGrazia exhibits the original art of Ted DeGrazia in a totally unique facility he designed and built with the help of his Native American friends.

Kitt Peak Observatories

Kitt Peak is about an hour southwest of Tucson. Their night observation program allows visitors to see the heavens as never before. Please watch our Kitt Peak video for more information.

Horsehead Nebula (Cloud)

Southern Arizona is home to many fine observatories. Public stargazing programs are available at both Kitt Peak (see our video) and Sky Center atop Mt. Lemmon. Both programs are excellent.

Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures

The Museum of Miniatures is a state-of-the-art facility that houses many fine collections of miniatures with historical themes. The detailed craftsmanship of these miniatures and excellent presentation makes the Mini-Time Machine a worthy visit for children and adults.

Mission San Xavier del Bac a few miles south of Downtown Tucson.

Founded in 1692 by Jesuit missionary Eusebio Francisco Kino, Mission San Xavier is located a few minutes south of downtown Tucson on the Tohono O'odham reservation. For a visual of the extraordinary, and recently restored interior, see our video. Everyone who comes to Southern Arizona should visit San Xavier (San HAA-vee-air).

Tumacacori National Historical Park

Fifty minutes south of Tucson, the Mission Tumacacori was founded in 1691 by Jesuit Father Eusebio Francisco Kino. It was declared a National Monument by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1908.

Just another wild gunfight in the streets of Old Tucson. Oddly, the good guys always win.

Hundreds of movies, TV shows, and commercials have been shot at Old Tucson. Only a few miles from the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, old Tucson is a great place to bring the kids for a day in the life of the Old West. Adults will find this "Western" town both fun and educational as well.

Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge

Adjacent to the little town of Arivaca, BANWR is paradise for those who like to watch rare birds and other elusive critters.

Allen Street, Tombstone Arizona circa 1881. Photo courtesy GooseFlat Graphics.

The City of Tombstone was founded in 1879 by Ed Schieffelin, an extraordinarily successful miner. A year later, it had about a thousand residents. Six years later, Tombstone had become a major city with about 14,000 residents. Today, the population is about 1,600, most of whom are dedicated to keeping the Old West alive.

In one of our videos, Julia Arriola, curator of the Arizona Historical Society, talks about some of her excellent exhibits, including Geronimo's rifle and why Geronimo became the "worst Indian who ever lived".

Road To Mount Lemmon

Mr. Woodry's camouflage-yellow Corvette Z06 is parked beneath hoodoos on Catalina Highway, a delightfully narrow, winding road for a high-powered sports car. Finest car I've ever driven. Massively powerful, incredibly fast, but hold the road with amazing precision.

Dr. Clare Zhang (Oriental Medicine) with 10-year-old son Daniel.

Dr. Clare, and several others went with me to do an on-camera interview with Howard Frederick, one of the owners of Ruby. Between a morning tour of Arivaca and photographing the ruins of Ruby in the afternoon, it was a delightful day trip from Tucson.

Ghost Town Trail: A Day Trip From Tucson!

Pearce General Store

Shopping at a mall on Black Friday is not for us. Instead, we took our granddaughter, Jessie, and her fiance, Corey, who are visiting from California, to the wide-open spaces of Southeastern Arizona in search of ghost towns along Ghost Town Trail. We left Tucson at 9:30 AM and were … Continue reading

Rex Allen Days 2014: A Slideshow!

Rex Allen Days Rodeo Queen

Ms. Karen & I enjoyed the 63rd Annual Rex Allen Days at Willcox last Saturday (October 4, 2014). They had a lot of activities going on, but we only got to the parade in the morning, with Grand Marshall Guy Atchley, and the professional rodeo that afternoon. Unlike metropolitan Tucson, … Continue reading

Ms. Karen’s Magic Gardens: A Slideshow!

Fairie Duster

March 2014. When we moved to Tucson back at the turn of the century, we purchased a fine house but not much landscaping. Once moved in, Ms. Karen immediately began to rectify that problem. We now have 3 patios & 5 amazing gardens, including her world-class rose garden, and somewhat … Continue reading

Blue Agave Bed and Breakfast: Night Views!

7_Folks By Fire REV

On a very pleasant February evening, Father Bill, Neighbor Roy, Ms. Karen & I visited innkeepers Dana & Peter at Blue Agave Bed and Breakfast. Their splendid inn is located on a hilltop in the Tucson Mountains west of the City. You can find our review of Blue Agave in … Continue reading

Tucson Rodeo Parade 2014: A Slideshow!

Tucson Rodeo Parade

On a perfect February morning, we went to the 2014 Tucson Rodeo Parade. The parade celebrates the annual rodeo known as La Fiesta de Los Vaqueros. The parade was created back in 1925 and is said to be the largest non-motorized parade in America. I can believe it. The procession … Continue reading

Chaco Canyon: A Slideshow

Chaco Culture

During the 4 days that followed Christmas 2013, Ms. Karen & I set out to follow the great Coronado Expedition of 1540 from the San Pedro River Valley in Southeastern Arizona to the Zuni Pueblo just over the Arizona-New Mexico border where he and his followers expected to find the … Continue reading

4th Avenue Street Fair: A Slideshow.

Steer Head Art

The 4th Avenue Street Fair happens twice a year. Over two and a half days, three hundred thousand people descend on about a five block section of 4th Avenue in Downtown Tucson to shop, eat, and otherwise celebrate life. Neighbor Roy & I were among them on a sunny, 65-degree … Continue reading

Empire Ranch Fall Roundup 2013: A Slideshow.

32.Tombstone Ghost Rider 01

Every year in the fall for the past 13 years, the Empire Ranch Foundation has put on a grand celebration of ranching life in Southern Arizona. From the 1860’s to the 1960’s, the Empire Ranch was one of the largest and most successful cattle operations in the American Southwest. The … Continue reading

Tumacacori To Tubac: Anza Day 2013

Anza & Riders Entering Presidio 01

October 19, 2013 Every October, the dedicated Park Rangers at Mission Tumacacori National Historical Park and the volunteers & staff at El Presidio de Tubac, the first Arizona State Park, put on one fine reenactment of the Juan Batista de Anza Expedition: known today at Anza Day. In 1775, when … Continue reading

Helldorado Days: Tombstone 2013!


October 20, 2013. The Helldorado Days Parade has been an annual Tombstone event for 84 years. As many times as we’ve been to Tombstone, never have we seen the historic district so crowded. Thousands lined Allen Street to witness the events. We had a really good time. Learn more about … Continue reading

Colossal Cave Halloween Howl: ‘Twas A Dark & Scary Night!

Ghoul w skeleton

October 18, 2013 – Neighbor Roy & I arrived about 5PM. Our mission? To photograph the annual  Colossal Cave Halloween Howl. Halloween Howl will be held next weekend as well. The ghosts and ghouls look forward to having you there! Learn more about Colossal Cave Mountain Park here. Editor’s Note: I … Continue reading

How Gates Pass Got Its Name: A Slideshow

14 Gates Pass w Moon

Gates Pass was named for Thomas Gates, a local pioneer & successful gambler, rancher, saloonkeeper, & miner. Today, we might refer to old Tom as an “entrepreneur”. In 1883 he searched for & found a shorter route between his mine in the Avra Valley and Tucson. When the County refused … Continue reading

Parker Canyon Lake: A Day Trip From Tucson

Dock at Parker Canyon Lake

On a Sunday in late June (2013), we left Tucson and headed south to Parker Canyon Lake via the San Rafael Valley. The mountains surrounding the rolling grasslands of the San Rafael Valley are the headwaters of our Santa Cruz River. For a list of the Best Park and Gardens … Continue reading

Our Lady Of The Sierras

Our Lady w cross 01

There is much to do just a little south and east of Sierra Vista, such as hiking and bird watching along the San Pedro River; visiting ghost towns, such as Fairbank and Clovis sites, such as Murray Springs; and climbing the 600′ to this shrine dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

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Barrio Viejo: Tucson’s Old Neighborhood

Peach w Red Door

Barrio Viejo, the old neighborhood, mainly consists of Tucson’s 19th century homes and commercial buildings. In the 1960’s & ’70’s, much of the old neighborhood was bulldozed to make way for urban redevelopment, including the Tucson Convention Center. Today, most Tucsonans would be happy to bulldoze the Convention Center if it would bring back the heritage that was lost.

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Southern Arizona Gardens: April 2013.

Main Patio Front Garden

Southern Arizona gardens can be incredibly diverse as well as astoundingly beautiful.  Our home in the foothills of the Tucson Mountains has many gardens & patios. We can easily tell the seasons by which plants are in bloom. Here are some from early April 2013. Widgets … Continue reading

Aravaipa Canyon – West: A Day Trip From Tucson

Brandenberg Ranger Sign

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.

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Hohokam Ruins In Catalina State Park

Susan and Charlea at Romero Ranch Ruins

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.

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A Day In Santa Cruz County

Harshaw Township Sign

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.

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Tucson Rodeo: La Fiesta De Los Vaqueros 2013

Steer Wrestling action use

Since 1925, Southern Arizonans have enjoyed the annual La Fiesta de Vaqueros aka: the Tucson Rodeo. This is a very successful event and well attended. The competitors are professionals and put on a great show. The Rodeo is kid-friendly and highly recommended.

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A Day at the Races: A Slideshow About Rillito Park Racetrack

They're Off 01

Rillito Park Racetrack is not Santa Anita or Churchill Downs. For one thing it’s a lot smaller, which is a good thing if it’s the horses and the races that matter most. No one goes to Rillito to make a fashion statement. Rillito is a historic country racetack in the midst of a bustling urban environment.

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Around the Garden

Desert Primrose

I am never really sure what folks will be interested in. Some of the shots of critters and plants have received unexpected interest. I have planted, won and lost many battles with the soil and environment. Here is a sampling of the plants around my garden.

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Behind the Scenes at the Desert Museum


There is a relatively new set of in-depth tours at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum that will delight anyone who wants a closer look at the critters at the museum. If you have been visiting the Desert Museum for years, this is your opportunity to learn more about the inner workings of the Museum.

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Black Hills Back Country Byway

Old Safford Bridge built with convict labor over the Gila River on what is now the scenic Black Hills Back Country Byway.

Other than to explore the abandoned old downtown and a few scattered artifacts, there isn’t much to do in Clifton except take photographs and say you’ve been there. But there is a reason to go to Clifton. Clifton is the northern entrance to the Black Hills Back Country Byway, a … Continue reading

Passing Summer Storm

Sunset Aug 6 2012 2 Lightening

August 2012. Ms. Karen & I were in the pool when we heard the first clap of thunder. A few minutes later, another bang, this time much closer. Our southern sky was turning very dark very fast. We headed for cover hoping this time WE would get the rain rather than just a passing storm that drops its load of precious water on some other neighborhood.

A few minutes later, it was clear that this storm was moving northwest fast. We climbed our stairs to the viewing deck and watched it pass over our neighbors house just to our west. For the next four or five minutes, this is what we saw.

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Bisbee, Arizona: By Charlene Mitchell

Bisbee: Sometimes Just Weird.

Bisbee Enclave is a beautiful and useful website about dining, lodging, upcoming events, and things to see and do in historic Old Bisbee.
Bisbee Enclave is published by local musician Becky Reyes and local photographer Charlene Mitchell. You can view more of Charlene’s extraordinary photography at

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Ghost Town Slideshow – Gleeson, Pearce, Courtland, Cochise, AZ

Cochise Hotel

Ghost Town Trail: A road trip through Southeastern Arizona from Gleeson to Courtland to Pearce to Cochise.
These were all mining boomtowns in the early decades of the 20th century. While each had its own distinct character, they all succumbed to the same fate. When their mines played out, the inhabitants left for better pickings.

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Gleeson Ghost Town & Rattlesnake Oddities

Rattlesnake Crafts was located about 15 miles east of Tombstone on a well maintained dirt road.

Our April 2012 road trip took us first to the ghost town of Gleeson (yes, that’s how they spelled it). After a look around at some of the ruins, we headed west toward Tombstone on a dirt road for just a few miles until we saw the sign for Rattlesnake Crafts, one of Southern Arizona’s stranger places. John & Sandy Weber make and sell wallets, belts, and other items out of rattlesnake skins. They also have a significant collection of gems and Old West artifacts.

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Picacho Peak Civil War Re-enactment: A Slideshow

Union Cavalry Prepares To Charge

Tucson was the capitol of the Confederate Territory of Arizona between March 20, 1862, when the flag of the Confederate States of America was raised over Tucson and May 20, when the Union Calvary of the California Volunteers drove the last Confederate soldiers out of the City.

During that short period, 50 miles NW of Tucson, an engagement was fought between a Union cavalry patrol and a party of Confederate pickets from Tucson. Every year in March, dedicated men & women from all over come together at Picacho Peak State Park to reenact the western-most battle of the American Civil War: the Battle of Picacho Peak.

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Old Tucson: A Slideshow

Freight Depot Featured Photo

Old Tucson has served as a movie studio for over 300 Westerns, TV productions and commercials. Today, it’s an Old West theme park that is both entertaining and educational. In April 2012, I attended the Western Music Festival & Art Show there and took these photographs. Old Tucson is closed to the public during the hot summer months, but is open October – May.

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Scenic Southern Arizona Photography by John Ashley

Signal Hill Petroglyphs

Southern Arizona is one of the most beautiful places for photography on the planet earth. Photographer John Ashley has captured some of the beauty of the Sonoran Desert and nearby environs in this slideshow video, including the migration of the Sandhill Cranes just south of Willcox.

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