|Sycamore Canyon - Goodding Research Natural Area|
Five miles south of Ruby Road, rugged Sycamore Canyon leads to the Mexican border. The canyon features steep slopes, rugged cliffs, and pinnacles that tower over 200 feet above the canyon floor. The canyon is lined in part by Arizona sycamore trees; oak woodlands in the northern end gradually giv...
Tumacacori National Historic Park
|Description: The Spanish colonial missions of San Jose de Tumacacori and Los Santos Angeles de Guevavi, established in 1691, are the oldest missions in Arizona. This national historical park encompasses the ruins of these and the mission of San Cayetano de Calabazas in the upper Santa Cruz River Valley of southern Arizona.
Tumacacori National Historical Park is uniquely situated 3,260 feet above sea level in the Sonoran Desert, on the banks of the flowing Santa Cruz River. Annual rainfall measures 15 to 20 inches, with summer rains coming in heavy thundershowers during the July-August monsoon season. Winter rains generally come slowly and steadily and penetrate deeply into the soil. Temperatures in the summer are warm to hot and mild in the winter. These are optimum growing conditions for a variety of desert plants - grasses, trees, and shrubs, and succulent plants. This plant life provides food, water, lodging and shade for birds that are permanent residents and for those which stop briefly on their migratory flight.
Visits to the Guevavi and Calabazas missions are available only by reservation during monthly tours guided by the park staff. All visitor services and park operations are based out of the Tumacácori unit.
Wildlife to Watch: Many bird species are seen at the park due to its proximity to the Santa Cruz River, a short quarter-mile hike from the park center. Nine species of hummingbirds have been seen here, including sightings of violet-crowned and broad-billed hummingbirds. Common resident species observed include curve-billed thrasher, vermilion flycatcher, Abert’s towhee, and Gila woodpecker, while spring and summer months bring a wide variety of warblers, summer tanager, blue grosbeak, and lazuli, indigo, and varied buntings. Many reptile and amphibian species are found on the park’s grounds including Clark’s spiny lizard, checkered gartersnake, and ring-necked snake.
Special Tips: A variety of interpretive programs are offered, including 40 – 60 minute ranger-guided tours in the winter. Living history programs and interpretive nature walks are also available.
Other Activities: The Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail, a long distance National Historic Trail, will run from Nogales to San Francisco, California, following as closely as possible the historic route taken by Anza and 240 immigrants in the winter of 1775-76.
The first section of this trail to be opened to the public in Arizona lies between Tumacácori National Historical Park and Tubac Presidio State Historic Park. From this point, the length of the trail is 4.5 miles. If the hiker does not wish to cross the river, it is approximately 1.25 miles from either trailhead to the first river crossing.
Ownership: National Park Service
Size: 360 acres
Closest Town: Nogales
Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing: