Anza Trail: Tumacácori to Tubac

Juan Bautista de Anza, Captain of the Tubac Presidio, left Culiacan, Mexico in the summer of 1775 on a journey that would forever secure his role in the history of California. The Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail, authorized by Congress on August 15, 1990, recognizes the story of this journey.

In many places, the trail is only a line on the map, but sections of walking trail do exist in both Arizona and California. The route to the Presidio in San Francisco follows as closely as possible the historic route taken by Anza and the 300 immigrants in his charge during the winter of 1775-76. The expedition started in Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico. Plans are under way to include the 600 miles of the route that lie within Mexico to make it the first International Historic Trail in the world.

The first section of trail established in Arizona was the four mile stretch between Tumacácori National Historical Park and Tubac Presidio State Historic Park. It is a hiking and equestrian trail only.

New sections of trail are constantly being added, connecting communities along the way with their past. See and for current information on other available trail segments.

Free Hiker's Shuttles

Don't want to walk eight miles round-trip for your hike between Tubac and Tumacácori? The park will provide a free shuttle for hikers on the third Saturday of the month, October 2022 through March 2023. From 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon, a small bus will run continuously between the Tumacácori visitor center parking lot and the Anza Trail trailhead next to the Tubac Presidio State Historic Park. Dogs on leash are allowed in the van. Reservations are not necessary.
map of Anza Trail between Tubac and Tumacácori

General Information

The trail is great for hikers, horses, and pets (not inside the mission grounds).
Motorized vehicles, camping and fishing are not permitted.
Bicycles not permitted on the Anza trail within Tumacácori National Historical Park.

Tumacácori National Historical Park is a federal fee area. Please pay in the visitor center.

Land Ownership and Easements

Use of the trail outside of the National Park is provided as a courtesy by private owners. Users of the trail must respect the private property surrounding it.

Notice: Regarding the private property through which the trail runs beyond the borders of Tumacácori National Historical Park, users of the trail should be aware that under State Legislature Article I 33-1551, “An owner, lessee or occupant of premises does not:

  1. Owe any duty to a recreational user to keep the premises safe for such use;
  2. Extend any assurance to a recreational user through the act of giving permission to enter the premises, that the premises are safe for such entry or use, or;
  3. Incur liability for any injury to persons or property caused by any act of a recreational user.”

Health And Safety

Drink plenty of water. Weather is most often hot, and very dry. Bring at least one quart of drinking water per person.

Keep wildlife wild. Beware of rattlesnakes, mosquitoes, and prickly plants.

The flow in the Santa Cruz River between Rio Rico and Tubac consists almost completely of treated effluent released from the Nogales International Wastewater Treatment Facility.

  • Avoid contact with the river water.
  • Do not drink or wash with the water.
  • If you come into contact with river water, wash the affected area as soon as possible.

If you observe any illegal border-related activity, do not intervene. Note your location and leave the area immediately. Call 911 or report it to a ranger as quickly as possible.

detailed map of route from mission grounds to anza trail

If you're already in the mission grounds, follow the sidewalk toward the orchard to find the trail connector. If you're nearby and want to bring a pet, you'll find the appropraite trailhead at a parking lot just north of the visitor center.

There are many additional access points along the Anza Trail in Tubac, Tumacácori, Rio Rico, and Nogales. Check out the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail for more info on this fascinating route. You may also be interested in some of the wildlife, plants, and natural features along the way.

Remember to snap a photo if you'd like to earn your I Hike For Health pin along the Santa Cruz.

Last updated: August 12, 2022

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 8067
Tumacacori, AZ 85640


520 377-5060

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