Tucson Sites on the Anza Trail

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A List of Parks, Historic Sites and Attractions Along the Greater Tucson, Arizona Portion of the Juan Bautista De Anza National Historic Trail 

The Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail is a 1,200 mile auto and recreation trail that commemorates the route followed by the 1775–1776 expedition led by Juan Bautista de Anza who led 240 men, women, and children on an epic journey from Sonora, Mexico to establish the first non-Native settlement – the Presidio of San Francisco, a military post.  Today, the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail connects history, culture, and outdoor recreation from Nogales, Arizona across southern Arizona and California, to the San Francisco Bay Area. The Arizona portion of the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail takes you on an auto tour that leads you through the dramatic and diverse terrain of the Sonoran desert, with historic and scenic stops along the way. It’s about a 400 mile one-way trip from Tumacácori, in Santa Cruz County, west from Tucson to the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area. For more details visit www.NPS.gov.juba.

8 Parks & Historic Sites within 1 Hour from Tucson, Arizona:

Tumacacori National Historical Park:
This historic site is home to one of the chain of missions founded by Father Eusebio Francisco Kino in 1691. You can explore the mission and the mission grounds, wander through the historic gardens and orchard, enjoy the bird life, the museum, and special annual events and ranger programs. 1891 East Frontage Road, Tumacacori, Arizona, 85640. Tel: (520) 377-5060 or visit www.NPS.gov/tuma.


Tubac Presidio Arizona State Historic Park:
Arizona’s first state park. Featuring the ruins of Presidio San Ignacio de Tubac, the Presidio Museum, and an underground archaeological exhibit. The onsite 1885 furnished schoolhouse, Otero Hall and Rojas House are all on the National Register of Historic Places. Host to special events and programs. One Burruel Street, Tubac, AZ 85646-1296. Tel: (520) 398-2252 or visit www.TubacPP.com.


Madera Canyon:
This popular birding, hiking and wildlife viewing spot, is a sky island and part of the Coronado National Forest. There are campsites, picnic areas, hiking trails, handicap-accessible trails, and walking paths. Madera Canyon is accessed from Interstate I-19 about 30 miles south of Tucson and 30 miles north of Nogales, AZ.
Visit www.FriendsofMaderaCanyon.org.


Mission San Xavier del Bac:
Known as “The White Dove of the Desert”, this National Historic Landmark was founded as a Catholic mission by Father Eusebio Kino in 1692, and is the oldest intact European structure in Arizona. Visit the mission church, museum and gift shop. Located on the Tohono O’odham San Xavier Indian Reservation. 1950 W San Xavier Rd, Tucson, AZ 85746. Tel: (520) 294-2624 or visit www.SanXavierMission.org.


Saguaro National Park:
The western Tucson Mountain District of the park is part of the Anza Trail and is home to the Signal Hill Trail that leads to petroglyphs of the ancient Hohokam people. Enjoy hikes, picnics and bicycling in this Sonoran desert park, known for protecting the native and iconic saguaro cactus. 2700 N. Kinney Road, Tucson, Arizona 85743. Tel: (520) 733-5100 or visit www.NPS.gov/sagu. 


Ironwood Forest National Monument:
Home to a variety of native Sonoran desert flora and fauna, this 129,000-acre natural area features camping, hiking, horseback riding, biking, wildlife and bird watching, sightseeing, spring wildflower viewing, fossil and geologic sightseeing, historic and archaeological sites. Located west of Tucson, off Interstate 10 in Marana.
Visit www.IronwoodForest.org.


Picacho Peak Arizona State Park:
Home to the prominent 1,500-foot peak, this park boasts hiking trails and spring wildflowers, campgrounds and picnic sites, and is known for its unique geological and historical significance. One of the first recordings of Picacho Peak, was in the 1700s by the Anza Expedition as it passed through the area.
Exit 219 off Interstate 10, Picacho, Arizona 85241. Tel: (520) 466, 3183 or visit http://azstateparks.com/Parks/PIPE/.


Casa Grande Ruins National Monument:
One of the largest prehistoric structures ever built in North America, its purpose remains a mystery. Casa Grande Ruins is a historic site that features the fascinating and mysterious ruins of an ancient Sonoran Desert People’s farming community and ‘Great House’ that had an extensive system of irrigation canals. 1100 W. Ruins Drive, Coolidge, Arizona 85128. Tel: (520) 723-3172 or visit www.NPS.gov/cagr.


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