Tubac Presidio State Historic Park lies within the Old Town of Tubac, 48 miles south of Tucson. This park was created around the ruins of the 1752 Presidio San Ignacio de Tubac and its various buildings as a way to protect them for future generations.
This historic park, Arizona’s first state park, is also commemorated as the state’s oldest fort and the oldest European community. Museum exhibits highlight Tubac’s history from archaeological times through Spanish colonization, Mexican occupation and westward expansion.
The excavated presidio, a 1885 schoolhouse and eight different gardens are featured within this small park.
Explore the grounds, gardens and various buildings inside the park and then head out on the trails to discover more. Bring lunch or snacks and enjoy the quiet shaded picnic area with tables and grills on the south side of the park.
And don’t forget to check out the gift shop, located within the Visitor Center, and browse through their selection of books, guides, cookbooks, apparel and souvenirs.
Here are some of the activities that you can do during your visit to Tubac Presidio State Historic Park:
Museum & Exhibits at Tubac Presidio State Historic Park
This Arizona state park’s visitor center features exhibits, visitor information and a gift shop.
The center, decorated in a Spanish/Mexican style, contains a model and drawings of the Presidio, a model of the Captain’s house (located on the grounds), historic maps, a video presentation of the village of Tubac, hands-on displays and much more.
The Tubac Presidio Museum contains exhibits and artifacts on mining, ranching, early Native Americans, Spanish missions, the Arizona Territorial Period and other historical information.
Other interesting exhibits to explore here are the 1885 Territorial Schoolhouse, the Rojas House and Otero Hall. Each of these buildings showcases a piece of Arizona history. And outside, along the patio and sidewalks, more exhibits showcase how people lived and worked during Spanish Colonial times.
Gardens at Tubac Presidio State Historic Park
The gardens at Tubac Presidio State Historic Park are an incredible sight! There are 8 gardens and each one is unique and beautiful. These gardens feature herbs, vegetables, flowers and more.
Check out each of these gardens during your visit: Heritage Garden, Heirloom Garden, Perennial Garden, Ethnobotanical Garden, Cacti & Succulent Garden, Kino’s Herb Garden, Shaw D Kinsley Rose Garden and the Children’s Garden.
Trails at Tubac Presidio State Historic Park
Tubac Presidio State Historic Park contains a trailhead and a 4.5 mile section of the Anza Trail that connects to Tumacacori National Historical Park. This portion of the trail crosses the Santa Cruz River twice (during the rainy season the trail may become impassable due to flooding) and is a straight trail, not a loop.
The full trail system is 1,200 miles long and is the route that was taken by the expedition of 1775-76 that led from Nogales, AZ to the settlement at San Francisco Bay, CA. Horses are allowed on this trail but not motorized vehicles.
Wildlife Viewing at Tubac Presidio State Historic Park
Birds, small mammals and some reptiles are commonly seen at Tubac Presidio State Historic Park. During your visit to the park you may notice cardinals, woodpeckers, hawks, warblers and many other bird species. And while hiking, along the Anza Trail, you may also see deer, rabbits, javelina and coyotes.
The Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge, an hour west, provides a safe habitat for threatened and endangered plants and animals on 118,000 acres. This is an ideal spot to see many different species of native and migrating wildlife.
Become a Junior Ranger at Tubac Presidio State Historic Park
Junior Ranger Pledge: ‘As an Arizona State Parks Junior Ranger, I pledge to help the park rangers protect and preserve habitat, wildlife, and help keep the park clean and safe for visitors and wildlife.’
Encourage younger generations to do their part and help preserve the beauty of the parks for future visitors. If your child is between the ages of 6-12 they can become a Junior Ranger at Tubac Presidio State Historic Park.
All they need to do is download and complete the Junior Ranger Activity Sheet and then request a Junior Ranger booklet at the park’s visitor center once you’ve arrived at the park. Complete each of the activities during your stay.
When all of the activities have been completed report back to a Park Ranger who will swear your Junior Ranger in and award them with a Junior Ranger Button. Kids can become a Junior Ranger at most Arizona State Parks and earn each park’s unique Junior Ranger Button. Check out the For Kids section on each park’s website.
Pets at Tubac Presidio State Historic Park
Pets are allowed on the grounds but not inside any facility buildings at Tubac Presidio State Historic Park. Pets must be attended to at all times and kept on a leash no longer than six-feet. Please clean up after your pet.
Lodging Near Tubac Presidio State Historic Park
Tubac Presidio State Historic Park is a day use area and doesn’t have overnight accommodations. The park is conveniently located near Old Town Tubac and there are many choices for places to stay overnight nearby. If you would like to camp or stay in your RV Patagonia Lake State park is only 30 miles south.
Nearby Patagonia Lake State Park has modern campsites (with electric hookups, picnic tables, fire rings/grills and space to park 2 vehicles) as well as primitive campsites that are accessible only by boat.
These secluded sites have picnic tables, fire rings and access to portable toilets.
Patagonia Lake State Park also has 7 lakeside camping cabins. Each cabin has a queen sized bed, 2 sets of bunk beds, a table and chairs, mini fridge, heat/AC and electricity plus a picnic table, fire ring and BBQ grill. And bathhouses are conveniently located nearby.
Attractions Near Tubac Presidio State Historic Park
Patagonia Lake State Park – 400 Patagonia Lake Rd, Nogales
Camp, swim, boat, fish, explore trails and more at this nearby state park, only 30 miles south.
Sonoita Creek State Natural Area
Hiking and equestrian trails 30 miles south, near Patagonia Lake State Park.
Juan Bautista de Anza National Trail
A section of this historic 1,200 mile trail passes through Tubac Presidio State Historic Park and connects to Tumacacori Mission.
Park Hours & Fees
Visitor Center & Park Grounds Hours:
Open Wednesday–Sunday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Park Entrance Fees:
– Adult (14+): $7.00
– Youth (7–13): $2.00
– Child (0–6): FREE
*There is no fee to enter the Visitor Center*
Tubac Presidio State Historic Park
1 Burruel St
Tubac, AZ 85646
Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Tubac Presidio State Historic Park:
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