Faraway Ranch House Tours

Pink bed room with vanity, table, chair, and bed.
Emma and Neil's bedroom in the ranch house. Emma made the quilt on the bed.

NPS

Faraway Ranch Tours are available on Saturdays and Sundays. During the spring, tours are available on a more regular basis. Please call the park visitor center for more information (520) 824-3560, or email us.

Step inside the rooms where Swedish immigrants Neil and Emma Erickson raised their three children: Lillian, Ben, and Hildegard. By 1917, sisters Lillian and Hildegard decided to develop a guest ranch on the family homestead. They called it Faraway Ranch and ran it together for a few years. Later, Lillian and her husband Ed Riggs managed the ranch together, and discovered the "Wonderland of Rocks," which they promoted. Eventually these spectacular rock formations became Chiricahua National Monument in 1924.

The guest ranch continued to operate until the early 1970s, when Lillian had a heart attack and had to move into a nursing home. Ethel Erickson (Ben's wife) sold the ranch house, land, outbuildings, furnishings, photographs, and countless other items to the National Park Service in 1979. It took monument staff and curators from the Western Archeological and Conservation Center (WACC) almost a decade to catalog the contents and get buildings up to code. The first ranger-led tours were in 1988, 100 years after Emma and Neil moved to Bonita Canyon.

 

Last updated: September 28, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

12856 E Rhyolite Creek Rd
Willcox, AZ 85643

Phone:

(520) 824-3560

Contact Us