Tucson Road Trips are our recommendations for the most interesting scenic back roads, ghost towns, destinations, and attractions suitable for a 2-3 day mini-vacation from Tucson.
With three days, these are fairly leisurely round trip drives with lots of interesting stops along the way. Some involve driving on unpaved roads, but except after a recent hard rain, most are passable in a standard sedan, and none require four-wheel drive.
These 2-3 day getaways are especially interesting if you plan ahead and arrange to visit places that have special events during your journey, such as historical re-enactments, guided tours, concerts, and annual festivals. Check our Events Calendar for upcoming events all over Southern Arizona.
All of our recommended road trips, except Aravaipa Canyon, have decent dining & lodging somewhere along the way. Aravaipa Canyon is a Nature Conservancy Preserve. With a BLM permit, you can hike and camp in the 10-mile long canyon wilderness. On any given day, only 50 people are permitted. You can take your horse. You can't take your dog.
For me, the most interesting backroads are those that traverse scenic countryside, of course. But more so, I look for many points of interest, usually historic sites, along the way. I hate long, monotonous drives. I appreciate local, esoteric histories. This means that I tend to meander, stop and chat with … Continue reading
Having posted a video of the fall colors in the Huachucas, Jim and I decided to take a drive. After being mostly homebound for several months, our plan to circle the Huachucas seemed daunting. We decided to head to Carr House in Carr Canyon and assess the 6+ hour trip … 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
Days One/Recap This is a continuation of my post about our April 2012 three-day tour of Southeast Arizona. On day-one, we visited the ghost towns of Pearce, Courtland, and Gleason east of Tombstone with a short side trip to Rattlesnake Crafts & Rocks. Then we continued south to the Slaughter Ranch east of Douglas, then […]Continue reading
This is a continuation of my post about our April 2012 tour of Southeast Arizona. On day-one, we visited the ghost towns of Pearce, Courtland, and Gleeson east of Tombstone with a short side trip to Rattlesnake Crafts & Rocks. Then we continued south to the Slaughter Ranch east of Douglas, then north, ending the first day at Portal Peak Lodge in Portal, AZ. Here we eat in the cafe, slept in a small room, and most importantly, acquired a 25¢ map that showed the back road over the mountain.
Above is the route Ms. Karen & I took on a three-day weekend to Southeastern Arizona. This is a wonderful place for children and adults. Tons of hiking, picnicking, camping, fishing, bird and critter watching. And lots of Native American and Pioneer history.Continue reading
Many folks in Tucson don’t consider a day trip or overnight road trip to Patagonia and Patagonia Lake State Park because they think it’s too far.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
Our perfect 3-Day Road Trip started in Tucson and headed east to (A) Willcox. From there we continued on I-10 over the AZ-New Mexico border to NM Hwy 80. Then south to Rodeo, NM where we visited the Chiricahua Desert Museum. Leaving Rodeo, we continued south on 80 to (B) … Continue reading
While exploring the Aravaipa Canyon from the east entrance last February, we came across a cabin with the words “Guest House” painted on the sign. Welcoming words, indeed. After arriving back home we did some research and found that the Nature Conservancy rents it out. We vowed to return, stay in the cabin a couple of nights, and share the experience with friends.Continue reading