Tumacácori National Historic Park
P.O. Box 67
Tumacácori, AZ 85640
Tumacácori National Historical Park (1908) preserves the ruins of three early Spanish colonial missions on 47 acres of southern Arizona. The oldest and best preserved of the three, San Jose de Tumacácori, was built on the site of a Pima Indian village and has been under administration of the National Park Service since 1916.
The area was originally visited by the Jesuit Father Eusebio Francisco Kino in 1691. The King of Spain expelled the Jesuits and replaced them with Franciscans in 1767, and construction was begun on the the massive adobe church about 1800. It was never finished.
Preservation of the adobe mission church and adjacent structures is an ongoing concern. In 1990, two units were added to the park, the mission ruins at Guevavi and Calabazas. The park now offers guided tours of Calabazas and Guevavi missions during the winter months on Wednesdays by reservation only. Call the park for reservations.
Rates & Fees
Entrance Fee: Fee for ages 16 and above.
Seasons / Hours
Open year round 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM daily. Closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
Hours: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
The Visitor Center is an historic building built in the late 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps.
A museum and bookstore are located at the Visitor Center. Exhibits include dioramas, the "santos" from the Franciscan mission and other information and objects related to the Kino missions, the Spanish colonialists, and the indigenous Native Americans. A 14-minute audio/visual presentation of Native American and Spanish culture is shown.
Programs & Events
At least two ranger-guided tours are given daily between January and April, at 11 am and 2 pm. Living history demonstrations depicting life during the time of the Franciscan missionaries are available by advanced request. Local residents demonstrating traditional crafts (tortilla-making, paper flower-making and basket weaving) are on the grounds daily during the winter months.
In January, February and March, on full moon evenings, the park offers a tour of the church and the river provided the night is clear. Contact the park for dates and details.
Each December the two-day Fiesta at Tumacácori is held on the grounds and includes traditional dancers, musical groups and crafts demonstrators. Tohono O'odham, Pima, Yaqui and Apache cultures are represented, as well as Mexican and Anglo-American. About 5,000 people attend this two day event held the first full weekend of December. There is no charge for this event.
A variety of restaurants are available in Tumacácori, Tubac, Green Valley, Rio Rico and Nogales. Local markets are available in Tumacácori, Carmen and Tubac, as well as national chain stores in Nogales, Rio Rico and Green Valley. Gasoline is readily available throughout the area.
All areas of the park are fully accessible.
Located in the heart of the Sonoran Desert about 50 miles due south of Tucson and 20 miles north of Nogales, Arizona.
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.
- Take Interstate 19 south from Tucson, 45 miles to the Tumacácori exit. The park is 20 miles north of Nogales.
- Nearest commercial air, Amtrak and Greyhound services are in Tucson, Arizona 45 miles north.
Things To Do
- Visitors appreciate this special place for the opportunity to tour the mission church, cemetery and outlying structures and grounds in a peaceful and quiet atmosphere reminiscent of the period in which they were established. Allow one to two hours for plenty of time to tour both the grounds and the museum.
- The Juan Bautista de Anza Historic Trail runs just north of the park, along the Santa Cruz River, between Tumacácori and the old presidio at Tubac.
- A traditional High Mass is conducted annually in the mission church with reservations required. Be prepared to stand for an hour - the service is celebrated just as it would have been when the mission was active. Period style clothing is encouraged.
None in park. There are resorts, hotels and motels in Tubac Tucson and Nogales with something for every taste and price range. For more information and a complete list. Click on city names above for rates, availability and online reservations.
Precautions, Rules, Regulations
It is the visitor's responsibility to know and obey park rules. Regulations are designed for visitors' protection and to protect natural resources.
Cities & Towns
Green Valley, Arizona: 17 miles north.
Benson, Arizona: 107 miles northeast.
Tombstone, 88 miles east.
Tucson, Arizona: 47 miles north.
Nogales, Arizona: 17 miles south.
Parks & Monuments
Saguaro National Park: 55 miles north.
Chiricahua National Monument: 179 miles noeast.
Coronado National Memorial: 85 miles east.
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument: 176 miles west.
Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park: 128 miles east.
Tubac Presidio Presidio State Historic Park: 5 miles north.
Kartchner Caverns State Park: 83 miles northeast.
Patagonia Lake State Park: 20 miles south.
Recreation & Wilderness Areas
Madera Recreation Area: 23 miles east.
Miller Peak Wilderness: 80 miles east.
San Pedro National Riparian Conservation Area: 87 miles east.
Pena Blanca Recreation Area: 25 miles south.
Sabino Canyon Recreation Area: 67 miles north.
Historic & Points of Interest
Juan Bautista de Anza Trail (between Tumacácori and Tubac)
Santa Cruz de Terrenate Presidio National Historic Site (Fairbank)
Pimeria Alta Historical Society Museum (Nogales)
Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum(Tucson)
Mission San Xavier del Bac (Tucson)
Mineral Museum (Tucson)
Tucson Botanical Gardens(Tucson)
Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block (Tucson)
Tohono Chul Park (Tucson)
Fort Lowell Museum (Tucson)
International Wildlife Museum (Tucson)
Sosa-Carillo-Fremont House (Tucson)
Share this page on Facebook:
DesertUSA Newsletter -- We send articles on hiking, camping and places to explore, as well as animals, wildflower reports, plant information and much more. Sign up below or read more about the DesertUSA newsletter here. (It's Free.)
The Desert Environment
The North American Deserts
Desert Geological Terms