De Anza Trail--Elephant Head Rd.

About this Location

The newest 5.2-mile section of the Anza Trail has opened in the Canoa Ranch area, just south of Green Valley. The trailhead is located on Elephant Head Road right near the river.

Take the Amado/Arivaca exit off I-19 and follow the east frontage road north to Elephant Head road. Take a right. If you cross the river, you’ve gone too far.

There is ample parking including spaces for vehicles pulling horse trailers.

The trail is a packed surface for foot and bicycle traffic. Equestrians can use the river wash so as not to damage the trail.

About Juan Bautista De Anza National Historic Trail

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“¡Vayan Subiendo!” “Everyone mount up!” A familiar call from Spanish Lt. Colonel Juan Bautista de Anza. In 1775-76, Anza led more than 240 men, women, and children on an overland journey across the frontier of New Spain to settle Alta California. Follow 1200 miles in the footsteps of this intrepid, multiethnic expedition, and explore the rich cultural history of communities from Nogales, Arizona, to San Francisco.

The 1,200-mile Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail commemorates, protects, marks, and interprets the route traveled by Anza and the colonists during the years 1775 and 1776 from Sonora, Mexico (New Spain), to settle Alta California and establish a mission and presidio at today’s San Francisco, California. The Anza Trail was designated a National Historic Trail by Congress in 1990 through an amendment to the National Trails System Act.

About Santa Cruz River

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The Santa Cruz River is about 184 miles long. It begins in the high grasslands of the San Rafael Valley east of Patagonia. At first, it runs south into Sonora Mexico for several miles before it changes its mind and heads north back into Arizona where it passes the early Spanish missions of Tumacacori and San Xavier del Bac, and the old Spanish Presidio de Tucson about 70 miles north of the International Border.

Notable Trails

This unpaved parking area makes up the southernmost trailhead at the Raul M. Grijalva Canoa Ranch Conservation Park. The trailhead is right on the Anza Trail and has parking for 11 vehicles with 2 of them accessible on a paved pad. There are also 4 horse rig spaces. A ramada is next to the trailhead, but no services. The trailhead is on the north side of Elephant Head Road 0.4 miles east of Interstate 19. Open dawn to dusk. Dogs are permitted on leash.

Content from Official Website, Santa Cruz River Official Website, Elephant Head/Anza Trailhead - Pima County, Santa Cruz County - Anza Historic Trail, De Anza Trail website, and Southeastern Arizona Bird Observatory webpage