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 National Historical Park to Tubac. AND a pin! Southern Arizona, here I come!
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).
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The four-mile trail between Tumacácori National Historical Park and Tubac Presidio State Park 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.
Start at the visitor center of either the Tumacácori National Historical Park (1895 E Frontage Road, Tumacacori, AZ) or the Tubac Presidio State Park (One Burruel Street, Tubac)
It is just over four miles from Tumacácori to Tubac.
Two hours one way.
Easy and flat! Bring water, though, it gets hot out there.
If you walk four miles along the trail, you get a pin!
The shuttle between the park isn’t always running so you might need to turn around and walk back! Check before you go.
Tumacácori National Historical Park and Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail.
A bonus visit to Tubac Presidio State Park and an “I Hike for Health” pin if you walk four miles.
Now you’re ready to go! But please remember to have your essential hiking survival kit in your backpack before this hike and every hike.