I’m on a mission to get as many stamps in my National Parks passport as possible, so I was pretty excited to hear that I could get two stamps for walking the Anza Trail from Tumacácori to Tubac. AND a pin!
I parked at Tumacácori National Historical Park and took a free shuttle to Tubac Presidio State Park before walking back to Tumacácori (the shuttle doesn’t always run – check with the park for the schedule).
Don’t miss the history at Tubac, which is not only Arizona’s first State Park but also the military garrison where the Jesuit missionaries retreated after an attack by the O’odham in 1751.
Then set out on the four-mile trail between Tumacácori National Historical Park and Tubac Presidio State Park, which offers a flat, shady stroll along the Santa Cruz River. The trail traces the historic route of Juan Bautista de Anza who left Mexico in 1775 and – along with 300 colonists – traveled all the way to California, creating an overland route to what we now call San Francisco.
The Anza Trail from Tumacácori to Tubac is part of the 1,200-mile Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail, which stretches from Mexico to San Francisco, ending in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (and the site of a future National Parks passport stamp!)
The larger Anza Trail is the first international historic trail and, to keep adding to the historic credentials of the Anza Trail from Tumacácori to Tubac, it’s also the first four miles of the Anza Trail to be formally established in Arizona.
Walking the Anza Trail here is a pleasant (and easy!) way to remember the tangled history of the land where Jesuit and Franciscan missionaries both traded with and clashed with the O’odham and Apache. And where Juan Bautista and his 300 colonists stopped to plan for their historic journey west.
If walking from Tubac to Tumacácori, the one-way, four-mile trail ends at the remains of the church of the Mission San José de Tumacácori. It’s a fascinating way to end a walk through history.
If you’re lucky like I was on the day that I visited, there will be a shuttle to take you one-way and you may even get a taste of warm, homemade tortillas outside the mission at Tumacácori.
Anza Trail from Tumacácori to Tubac:
Location: 45 minutes south of Tucson. Start at the visitor center of either the Tumacácori National Historical Park (1895 E Frontage Road, Tumacacori) or the Tubac Presidio State Park (One Burruel Street, Tubac)
Length: Just over four miles from Tumacácori to Tubac
Time: Two hours one way
Fun Fact: If you walk four miles along the trail, you get a pin!
Not-So-Fun Fact: The shuttle between the park isn’t always running so you might need to turn around and walk back! Check before you go.
Stamps Earned: Tumacácori National Historical Park and Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail.
Bonus: A bonus visit to Tubac Presidio State Park and an “I Hike for Health” pin if you walk four miles.
Thinking of exploring Tubac Presidio State Park in Arizona? Save this for later!