Tubac Presidio State Historic Park, AZ
Located 45 miles south of Tucson off Interstate 19 near the community of Tubac, Tubac Presidio is Arizona's first state park. In 1691, Jesuit priest Eusebio Francisco Kino established a mission farm and ranch at Tubac, the site of a small Piman village. Spanish colonists began settling the area in the 1730s raising cattle, sheep and goats along the Santa Cruz River.
Prompted by many grievances, Pima chief Luis of Saric led a bloody rebellion destroying the Spanish settlement of Tubac in 1751. After surrender of the Pimans, the Presidio San Ignacio de Tubac was established in 1752. Fifty soldiers were garrisoned here to discourage further rebellion, protect Spanish colonists, the mission, and explore the Southwest.
Juan Bautista de Anza, second commander of the presidio, led two overland expeditions to California from Tubac, resulting in the founding of San Francisco in 1776. (Part of this route is now a National Historic Trail.) Upon de Anza's return, the garrison was moved to Tucson until it returned in 1781 to protect against Apache raids.
After it became part of the U.S. with the Gadsden Purchase of 1853, Tubac was resettled by eastern entrepreneurs and landowners. Charles D. Poston formed the Sonora Exploring and Mining Company and used the Commandante's former quarters as his office. In 1859, Poston published Arizona's first newspaper. By 1860, Tubac was Arizona's largest town.
But the American Civil War drained the region of troops, leaving it open to Apache raids. Although resettled after the war, silver strikes near Tombstone and routing of the railroad to Tucson, left Tubac in the backwaters of Arizona development.
Rates & Fees
Ages 14 years and older $4.00
Ages 7 - 13 years $2.00
Seasons / Hours
Open year-round; closed Christmas Day
Open daily, 8 am to 5 pm MST.
- Restrooms (Handicapped Assistance Provided)
- Picnic area
- Several historic sites
- Unique underground archeology display
- Living history displays.
- Approximate elevation - 3,500 feet
Located in the heart of the Sonoran Desert about 50 miles due south of Tucson 20 miles north of Nogales, Arizona.
- Take Interstate 19 south from Tucson, 42 miles to the Tubac exit. The park is 23 miles north of Nogales.
- Nearest commercial air, Amtrak and Greyhound service is in Tucson, Arizona 42 miles north.
Warm, dry climate with summer monsoons in July and August. Summer temperatures often above 100 degrees; winters very moderate with lows in the 30s and highs in the 60s and 70s.
Remnants of the military fort founded by the Spanish in 1752 have been uncovered by University of Arizona archaeologists and preserved by Arizona State Parks. An underground display features portions of the original foundation, walls, and plaza floor of the Presidio (fort) de San Ignacio de Tubac.
Also featured are a picnic area, an 1885 schoolhouse, and a Visitor Center with historic exhibits tracing Tubac's precarious past from the days of Apache raids through its 1860 status as Arizona's largest frontier town.
The first leg of the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail runs between the Presidio, 4.5 miles and Tumacacori National Monument to the south. The trail, which crosses the Santa Cruz River a number of times, is a hiking and equestrian trail only.
There are resorts, hotels and motels in Tucson and Nogales with something for every taste and price range. For more information and a complete list. Click on city for Rates, availability and reservations online.
No camping at the park facility, but public and private campgrounds are located nearby.
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