In the 1930’s through the 1950’s, Tucson boasted more than a hundred guest ranches (aka Dude Ranches). Only a handful remain, two of which we recommend highly: Tanque Verde Guest Ranch and White Stallion Guest Ranch.
Tanque Verde (green tank or green pool) is located on the far east side of Tucson at the end of Speedway in the foothills of the Rincon Mountains. It sits next to Saguaro National Park East.
White Stallion is on the west slope of the Tucson Mountains and is adjacent to Saguaro National Park West. Both can legitimately boast of having the most beautiful desert scenery.
Tanque Verde Guest Ranch
This is the real deal. Tanque Verde was originally a cattle ranch, and with 60,000 acres, still is. Don Emilio Carrillo from Sonora Mexico brought his family to Tucson in 1856 and started the ranch in 1868, hoping to have protection from Apaches provided by the soldiers at nearby Fort Lowell.
As it turned out, Apaches were the least of Don Emilio’s problems. In May, 1904, bandidos came to the ranch and demanded his money. They hung him by his neck over the beam in the present-day card room. Amazingly, Don Emilio survived, but died 4 years later from complications related to this ordeal. For many year afterward, Don Emilio’s son, Rafael, worked the ranch until he sold it to Jim Converse in the mid-1920’s.Read More