Sonoita Area Attractions
There is so much to do here!
Animal Sanctuary (400 feet). www.rrheartranch.com
Located in the scenic hills of Canelo, Whisper's Sanctuary provides a place of peace and healing for horses, burros and other animals. Operating as a nonprofit 501(c)3 the sanctuary is dedicated to offering alternative solutions to these animals who often are slaughtered for human consumption in Europe and Asia. Free guided tours are available upon request. Donations tax deductible & greatly appreciated.
Arizona Trail - (4 miles).
The dream of Flagstaff teacher and hiking enthusiast Dale Shewalter, is a nearly 800 mile non-motorized trail that traverses the State from Mexico to Utah. The Arizona Trail is intended to be a primitive, long distance trail that highlights the state's topographic, biologic, historic and cultural diversity. Primary users are hikers, equestrians, mountain bicyclists, cross-country skiers, snowshoers, joggers and pack stock users.
Black Oak Cemetery - (2 miles). http://www.geocities.com/vpchuck/
A well known pioneer cemetery that is still in use. Black Oak Cemetery is located in Canelo, (Canille) Arizona, Santa Cruz County, Arizona, on Highway 83. It is almost 14 miles from the junction of Highways 82 & 83, about 1/2 mile from mile marker 18.
Canelo Cowboy Church – (1 mile). http://www.canelocowboychurch.org/
Open Sundays 9am – Located in the historic one-room Canille schoolhouse built in 1912. Please join Pastor Steve Lindsey and some of the best live Christian blue grass music in the state. The third Sunday of each month is reserved for Rodeo Ranch Family Fun Days at the nearby Sonoita Fairgrounds starting at 8 AM.
Canelo Project - (2 miles). http://www.caneloproject.com/
The Canelo Project is a small non-profit organization founded in 1989. They are dedicated to the exploration and development of living systems, including growing food and building that creates friendship, beauty and simplicity. They are known primarily for work in straw bale and other natural building techniques
Catering - Sparky's Cantina & Harvest Moon Catering Company
Sparky's Cantina, our very own gourmet vegetarian, vegan, and allergy-free mobile food unit for on-site catering. We can bring the Cantina if you're expecting a crowd, or just bring the food for a smaller gathering. Our award winning food includes wrap sandwiches, salads, cheesecakes (conventional & vegan raw), cookies (conventional, gluten/allergy-free, and GF vegan raw), spiced and candied nuts, and horse/dog treats. All income from the Cantina is donated to Whisper's Sanctuary. 520-455-5424
Harvest Moon Catering Company - Offering outstanding ethnic foods such as Chicken Curry, Chicken Kabsa, Southwest Chicken, Chicken Tortellini Salad, Asian beef dishes, seafood, and soups. Try private catering, an affordable option to dining out, and no pots and pans to wash! Retailing at the Sierra Vista Co-Op market, and available for your next event. 520-455-9246
Coronado National Forest – (25 feet). www.fs.fed.us/r3/coronado/
The forest covers 1,780,000 acres of southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico. Elevations range from 3,000 feet to 10,720 feet in twelve widely scattered mountain ranges or "sky islands" that rise dramatically from the desert floor, supporting plant communities as biologically diverse as those encountered on a trip from Mexico to Canada. The mountains are the real treasures of Arizona. They rise like islands in the sea of desert. Their heights pierce the rain and clouds bringing an oasis to what would be other than a dry desert climate.
Cooking Classes - at the B & B!
Join us for a gluten and allergy-free get away, complete with a cooking class! We can also incorporate vegan and/or vegan raw foods. Dinner follows with all the delicious food we make during class, and you'll go home with great ideas and a list of recipes. Call for more info!
Elgin - Wine Country (8 miles). www.arizonawines.com/vineyards.html
The area has many microclimate zones boasting warm sunny days and cool nights, ideal conditions for growing grapes. Arizona’s wine grapes are primarily grown south east of Tucson in a grassy expanse speckled with oaks, eucalyptus and gum trees all supported by a wonderful rich red soil. Climate and soil studies have revealed this region is similar to Ribera Del Duero, Spain, Southeastern Australia, Southern France and is almost identical to that of Paso Robles, California. There are now 11 local wineries in the area open to the public with several more under development.
- Sonoita Vineyards - Open Daily 10:00-4:00 www.sonoitavineyards.com
- Village of Elgin - Open Daily 10:00-5:00 www.elginwines.com
- Dos Cabezas WineWorks - Open Fri - Sun 10:30-4:30 www.doscabezaswinery.com
- Canelo Hills (now Flying Leap) - Open Fri and Sat 11:00-4:00
- Rancho Rossa Vineyards - Open Fri - Sun 10:30-3:30 www.ranchorossa.com
- Callaghan Vineyards - Open Fri - Sun 11:00- 3:00 www.callaghanvineyards.com
- Kief-Joshua - Open Saturday and Sunday www.kj-vineyards.com
- Lightening Ridge - Open Fri - Sun 11:00-4:00 lightningridgecellars.com
- Hops and Vines - Open Fri - Sun 10:00-6:00 www.azhopsandvines.com
Fishing (11 miles). www.azgfd.gov/h_f/waters_parker_canyon_lake.shtml
PARKER CANYON — The Lake is stocked 3 seasons of the year except in the summer when it's too hot to transport them. A local restaurant can serve you fish any way you like in the warm seasons.
Fort Huachuca - (6 miles). http://www.huachuca.army.mil/
Many people stay at Whisper's Ranch B&B since we're close to the Fort. Whether attending a school TDY or visiting your son/daughter at Advanced Individual Training (AIT), we are an ideal location for a short or extended stay. Fort Huachuca is a product of the Indian Wars of the 1870s and 1880s. In February 1877, Colonel August B. Kautz, commander of the Department of Arizona, ordered that a camp be established in the Huachuca Mountains. This camp would offer protection to settlers and travel routes in southeastern Arizona while simultaneously blocking the traditional Apache escape routes through the San Pedro and Santa Cruz valleys to sanctuary in Mexico. A temporary camp was established at the post’s current location on March 3, 1877, by Captain Samuel Marmaduke Whitside with two companies of the 6th Cavalry. The site was selected because it had fresh running water, an abundance of trees, excellent observation in three directions, and protective high ground for security against Apache tactical methods. Camp Huachuca was re-designated a fort in 1882.
Ghost Towns - (10 miles). www.ghosttowns.com/states/az/azsantacruz.html
The deserts of Arizona hide many ghost towns. Southern Arizona, Santa Cruz and Cochise County have more than its fair share, thanks to the boom-and-bust silver trade of the late 19th and early 20th century. Some of the towns that flourished in those days -- Tombstone and Bisbee, for example -- still flourish today, due in no small part to the efforts of residents. Most others are in their own individual state of decay; some are relatively well preserved, some stand as a shell of what they once were, and still others have vanished without a trace.
Gift Shop - (on site).
Your source for Western, Southwestern, and horse-themed decor and gifts. We have hand-selected a variety of products to ensure great quality and great value. Whether you live in the West or just love the West and horses, we hope you enjoy this site. At Ranch Gifts, we don't just love horses... we are committed to helping them. We are assisting Whisper's Sanctuary, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit lifetime sanctuary for unwanted and retired horses by featuring fundraising items to benefit the Sanctuary. All profits from sales of Sanctuary merchandise are donated to the Sanctuary. Additionally, we donate to the Sanctuary 5% of the total amount of your other purchases, at no cost to you. Shop and help this very worthwhile charitable organization. To learn more about the Sanctuary, visit www.rrheartranch.com
Golf - (12 miles). http://www.mwrhuachuca.com/mtview.html
Mountain View Golf Course offers 18 scenic holes, a putting green, driving range and a par-3 practice hole. The Pro Shop offers a wide variety of equipment, accessories and clothing. Rental equipment such as clubs and carts are also available. Facilities and services include men’s and woman’s locker rooms, a clubhouse and lessons by the course professional. You can get a quick bite to eat at the 19th Hole Clubhouse. The course is open to the public. For more information call 533-7088.
Horseback Riding - (8 miles). www.horsebackexperience.com
Explore the region with exciting horseback riding in the heart of Arizona's wine country, San Rafael Valley, and Coronado National Forest.
Kartchner Caverns – (39 miles). www.pr.state.az.us/Parks/parkhtml/kartchner.html
Tour a living cave and experience Kartchner Caverns is a stunning limestone cavern system in Southeastern Arizona discovered in 1974 by two amateur cavers from Tucson. It is host to world-class cave formations considered to be the best of their kind in the world. If you're coming to the B & B after Kartchner, from HWY 82 please remember to turn left at HWY 83 (south). Otherwise you're on the road to Nogales!
Madera Canyon – (25 miles). http://www.friendsofmaderacanyon.org
More than 200 species of birds visit this internationally renowned canyon. Each year thousands of birders see them among the oak, juniper and sycamore along the stony creek which serves as a trailhead to Mt. Wrightson Wilderness.
Mountain Biking - (200 feet).
Not listed on any popular website, the old Nogales to Tombstone wagon trail serves as a trailhead for a nearby excellent bike trail that is more than 12 miles long and follows a beautiful ridge line over-looking the Lyle Canyon, Parker Canyon and San Rafael Valley.
Museums - (9 miles). http://huachucamuseum.com
The fascinating history of the U.S. Army in the Southwest, as well as the history of the Southwest itself, unfolds at the Fort Huachuca Historical Museum. Opened in 1960, the museum has grown rapidly and now houses one of the most representative collections in the state. The museum, in building 41401, is open to the public without charge. Civilian visitors are welcome. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. A leisurely walk through the museum has proven to be an enriching and stimulating experience for the thousands of guests who visit each month.
Nature Conservancy - Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve – (25 miles).
Best known for the 300 different types of bird species observed and is one of the few remaining sites in Arizona where the once-common forest type still exists. Joseph Wood Krutch, the distinguished American naturalist once noted that “no other area in Arizona is more deserving of preservation.”
Nature Conservancy - Ramsey Canyon – (24 miles).
Ramsey Canyon, located within the Upper San Pedro River Basin in southeastern Arizona, is renowned for its outstanding scenic beauty and the diversity of its plant and animal life. This diversity—including such highlights as the occurrence of up to 14 species of hummingbirds—is the result of a unique interplay of geology, biogeography, topography, and climate.
Nogales, Mexico – (48 miles).
Nogales is the main port of entry to Mexico. This border city owes it flourishing, historical development and current growth to international commerce. Nogales is named after a ranch that achieved world-wide fame during the colonial period and was located southeast of the present city of Nogales, Sonora. The city of Nogales arose spontaneously near the point at which the American transcontinental railroad connected the railroad of Sonora, a project completed in 1882.
Parker Canyon Lake – (11 miles). www.azgfd.gov/h_f/waters_parker_canyon_lake.shtml
This popular spot near the Huachuca Mountains offers bluegill, bass, perch, trout, and catfish. It is a year-round attraction that is a delight as part of the region’s “mountain oasis.” It is also a favorite place to hike, which according to Bob Wynne "is 5.3 miles... we suggest starting at the boat ramp and go counter-clock wise (north to start) around the lake -- we were at 5400ft with some but not many elevation changes. The trail has a few places to watch for footing but --- no big deal -- Beautiful looks!!!!"
Patagonia – (28 miles). www.patagoniaaz.com
Step Back...to a place steeped in the mining, ranching, and railroad history that built the West. Step back to a place where residents share stories at the post office and local businesses are still owned by local people.
Petroglyphs - (10 miles).
Ancient Indian art dating from approximately 1000-1400 AD. A single-lane mountain road takes you to the top of Garden Canyon on Ft. Huachuca, where a short walk and a climb up "board-walk" steps lead the visitor to a good view of some prehistoric rock paintings. Although a chain-link fence protects them, there are framed openings to allow unobstructed viewing and photography of the paintings.
Realtor - (16 miles). http://www.sonoitarealty.com/
Sonoita Realty has properties for sale in the Sonoita, Patagonia, and Elgin area. Our friendly and helpful real estate agents will be happy to assist you. Contact them for a COMPLETE GUIDE to all properties listed for sale in the Patagonia, Elgin and Sonoita or Request More Info to ask for details on any of the properties in the area or to get a free profile sheet on our community. 520-455-5321/866-805-8700
Restaurants - We recommend the following establishments.
- Café Sonoita - http://www.cafesonoita.com/ Open Thursday - Saturday, Dinner 5 - 8. Tuesday - Saturday Lunch 11 - 2:00 Reservations suggested 520-455-5278
- Steak Out
- Velvet Elvis - Patagonia
- Gathering Grounds - Patagonia
- Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center - raw vegan at it's best, buffet for lunch and dinner on weekends - Patagonia
Research Ranch – (3 miles). http://researchranch.audubon.org/
A cooperative partnership among the National Audubon Society, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, The Nature Conservancy, and The Research Ranch Foundation. The Research Ranch provides 3 key functions: ecosystem conservation, research, and regional education and outreach.
San Rafael Valley - (5 miles). http://azstateparks.com/parks/SARA/index.html
Sky islands are mountain archipelagos separated by basins of plains and semi-desert grasslands. The sky island mountains of this ecoregion contain a high mammal diversity, which includes nearly 100 species. It is the only mountain complex in the world that spans the temperate and subtropical latitudes. The result is an extremely rich biological community where Rocky Mountain flora and fauna meet that of Sierra Madre.
San Rafael Ranch Natural Area (9 miles). http://www.pr.state.az.us/Parks/parkhtml/sanrafael.html
New Arizona State Park under development. The rolling short-grass prairie of the San Rafael Valley is one of the last places left in the West where the eye can roam free across vistas of lush land. This new Arizona State Park will inspire your soul. There are no electric wires, electric lines or paved highways to bring you into the 20th century. Only a natural riparian landscape snaking along the Santa Cruz River focuses your attention away from the majestic far away views. On the lower portion of this 35-square-mile area sits the stately pre-territorial ranch house with its historic surround-house porches, barns and windmills.
Sonoita-Elgin – (14 miles). http://www.sonoitaelginchamber.org/
The grasslands are vast and dotted with vineyards, and cattle, Brahma bulls, pronghorn antelope, and horses complete the landscape. The communities are diverse, yet the binding ideals are an appreciation of the beautiful countryside and a deep respect for individuality. Film makers have chosen the area's old west atmosphere and beauty of the area for several films.
Swimming - (16 miles to pool; 32 miles to Patagonia Lake). www.pr.state.az.us/Parks/parkhtml/patagonia.html
Arizona, Swimming and Beach usually are words not used in the same sentence. Patagonia Lake State Park conveniences include picnic ramadas, a swimming beach, and a marina store with boat rentals. Because the lake attracts a multitude of water sports enthusiasts during summer months, water skiing, jet skis or towing a recreational device is prohibited on weekends and holidays from May 1 through September 31st. There is also an indoor heated pool that is 16 miles away in Sierra Vista called the Cove - bring your suit!
Tubac – (61 miles). www.tubacaz.com/
Tubac was established in 1752 as a Spanish presidio (fort). Working artists' studios now surround the grounds which once served as the home for a Spanish military garrison. Tubac remembers its origins at the Tubac Presidio State Historic Park located in the village's Old Town, and no visit to Tubac is complete without a stop at the State Park.
Tombstone – (54 miles). www.cityoftombstone.com/
"The Town too Tough to Die," Tombstone was perhaps the most renowned of Arizona's old mining camps. When Ed Schieffelin (SHEF•e•lin) came to Camp Huachuca (hwah•CHEW•kuh) with a party of soldiers and left the fort to prospect, his comrades told him that he'd find his tombstone rather than silver. Thus, in 1877 Schieffelin named his first claim the Tombstone, and rumors of rich strikes made a boomtown of the settlement that adopted this name. Days of lawlessness and violence, which nearly had then-President Chester A. Arthur declaring martial law in Tombstone and sending in military troops to restore order, climaxed with the infamous Earp-Clanton battle, fought near the rear entrance of the O.K. Corral, on October 26, 1881.
Water Skiing - (32 miles). http://publiclands.org/explore/site.php?id=578&PHPSESSID=2eb0a
At two and a half miles long and 250 surface acres, Patagonia Lake is popular for a variety of recreational activities, including water skiing, fishing, camping, picnicking, and hiking. Because the lake attracts a multitude of water lovers during summer months, water skiing and jet skiing are prohibited on weekends from May - September.