Surviving the Desert

For more information about sun protection, hydration, and good practices when visiting a desert environment, consult the Weather page.

Remember that we share this environment with all kinds of wildlife including insects, spiders, snakes, scorpions, and larger mammals. Stay safe and help keep wildlife wild by observing but not interacting with park wildlife. If you spot a venomous creature or an animal acting strangely, tell a park staff member.


Visiting a Border Area

The three units of Tumacácori National Historical Park all lie within 20 miles of the United States / Mexico border. At the Tumacácori Mission unit, a section of the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail lies within park boundaries and extends north to Tubac Presidio State Historic Park, providing visitors with a variety of recreational opportunities including hiking, horseback riding, and wildlife watching. Visitors should be aware that drug smuggling and illegal immigration occur in this area due to the proximity to the international border.

A few simple steps can help visitors have a safe and enjoyable experience along the Anza Trail:

  • Do not hike alone.
  • Stay on the official trail.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and remember that cell phones may not be a reliable method of communication in some areas of the park.

It is possible that you could encounter individuals or groups who have entered the US illegally walking through the park. People in distress may ask for food, water, or other assistance. It is recommended that you do not make contact. Make note of your location. Call 911 or report it to a ranger as quickly as possible.

If you see any activity which appears to be illegal, suspicious, or out of place, do not intervene. Note your location and leave the area immediately. Call 911 or report it to a ranger as quickly as possible.


Firearms Regulations

As of February 22, 2010, federal law allowed people who can legally possess firearms under applicable federal, state, and local laws, to legally possess firearms in national parks.

However, Federal law prohibits firearms in government buildings. These include:

  • The Visitor Center through which most visitors to the park must pass to access other areas and facilities of the park. The public entrance door to the visitor center is clearly marked with a sign indicating that firearms are prohibited.
  • The Museum
  • The historic church

The mission grounds, Fiesta grounds, and Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail are not considered federal buildings. While those areas are governed by the new federal law allowing the possession of firearms in accordance with Arizona State law, hunting or any other use of such firearms is illegal.

It is the responsibility of visitors to understand and comply with all applicable state, local, and federal firearms laws before entering this park. As a starting point, visit the Arizona Attorney General's website.

Last updated: November 12, 2014

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 8067
Tumacacori, AZ 85640


520 377-5060

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