De Anza Trail--Tumacacori

About this Location

Mission San José de Tumacácori is located on highway I-19 about 18 miles north of Nogales, and was first listed in 1691 as an outlying visita (a mission station without a resident priest) by the famous Jesuit missionary Father Eusebio Francisco Kino.  Construction of the present mission church was begun around 1802. The visitor center is a National Historic Landmark and includes a museum. . A trail connects Tumacácori and Tubac along the Santa Cruz river through beautiful riparian habitat containing cottonwoods and mesquite. Look for several large ramadas enclosing interpretive panels about Anza’s expeditions and the natural history of the area.

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

There is a 4.5-mile trail between Tumacácori and Tubac (off of I-19) managed by the Anza Trail Coalition of Arizona and open to the public. The trail also extends north from Tubac for about a mile. It is about 1.25 miles from either trailhead to the first river crossing.

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