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part ofCoronado National Forest, US Forest Service
Status: Open year round.   Season Dates


Kentucky Camp Cabin and Headquarters is located in the Santa Rita Mountains near Sonoita, Arizona in the Coronado National Forest.

The handful of buildings at Kentucky Camp served as headquarters for the Santa Rita Water and Mining Company from 1902 to 1906. The facility also served as a cattle ranch in the 1960s.

The Forest Service acquired the land in 1989 and it has since become an ideal location for guests seeking a unique lodging experience, rich in mining and ranching history.

Natural Features:

Spanning four life zones and several ecosystems between desert and mountain peaks, the area surrounding the camp and cabin is considered a "sky island," supporting abundant and biologically diverse plant and animal communities.

Mountain peaks, high desert grasslands, and seasonal streams provide diverse habitat for wildlife abundant in the area. White-tailed and mule deer, rabbits, wild turkeys, and squirrels are commonly seen, while black bear, Coati, foxes, ring-tailed cats, bobcats and the more elusive mountain lion.


Hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding trails are popular in the area and vary from paved and gentle walking paths, to steep, strenuous trails leading to the top of 9,453-foot Mt. Wrightson and other nearby peaks. The Arizona Trail is routed through Kentucky Camp.

Roads extending from Kentucky Camp are available for off-highway vehicle travel; however, off-highway vehicles may not be ridden within the boundaries of Kentucky Camp.

Birders congregate in southeastern Arizona as it is touted as one of the country's revered birding areas. With fifteen species of hummingbirds, 36 species of wood warblers, and over 256 documented bird species, the area is a birder's paradise.


This facility consists of a cabin and headquarters building. The cabin can accommodate up to five people, and is equipped with two twin beds and a bunkbed, all with mattresses. A small loveseat in the living area turns into a single bed. The kitchen has basic amenities including a small refrigerator, microwave, hot plate, coffee pot, dishes, utensils, cookware, and a table and four chairs. The cabin has propane heat. Outside, there is a grill and picnic table for outdoor dining. A vault toilet, stall for solar showers, and an outdoor sink are located on site.

The cabin has electricity, but no running water. Guests must bring a sufficient supply for drinking, cleaning and washing. Additionally, guests must bring their own food, sleeping bags, linens, towels, dish soap, matches, a first aid kit, toilet paper and garbage bags.

The headquarters building is a day-use area only, and can accommodate up to 50 people. The building is available for meetings, retreats, weddings, and family reunions. Amenities in this building include tables and chairs, couches, rocking chairs, and a large wrap-around porch with four Adirondack chairs. A small kitchenette is equipped with a refrigerator, microwave, coffee pot, crockpot, dishes, utensils, and some cookware. Outside there is a charcoal grill and two picnic tables. This building also has electricity, but no heat or indoor plumbing.

Nearby Attractions:

Numerous attractions are available nearby in Madera Canyon. Attractions within a one-hour drive include the Mining Museum, Titan Missile Museum, Whipple Observatory, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, San Xavier Mission and Tumacacori National Historical Park.

Activities and Amenities

Within Facility
  • Accessible Vault Toilets
  • Bed(s) With Mattress
  • Birding
  • Bunkbed(s) With Mattresses
  • Cooking Pots
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Drinking Water (Hand Pump)
  • Event Area
  • Grills
  • Hiking
  • Historic Sites
  • Hunting
  • Microwave
  • Mountain Biking
  • Off Road Vehicle Trails
  • Parking Area
  • Picnic Area
  • Refrigerator
  • Showers
  • Table and Chairs
  • Wildlife Viewing
Know Before You Go
  • If reserving the cabin only, enter 5 or less when prompted for number of occupants
  • The headquarters building is not reservable on its own; if you would like to reserve the headquarters building, enter 6 or more people when prompted for the number of occupants, and your reservation will include the cabin and headquarters building
  • Camping is prohibited within the site boundary of Kentucky Camp, however there are dispersed camping areas outside the gates
  • Reservation dates subject to weather conditions
  • Cell phone coverage is usually available in the area, but may be unreliable in certain places
  • The access road leading into the cabin is passable by passenger car, but high clearance vehicles are recommended
  • Keep the building and grounds clean to deter squirrel, mice, rats, bears, and other wildlife from area
  • Clean the cabin; this includes washing dishes, sweeping and mopping floors, wiping down countertops, cleaning bathrooms and showers and packing out all trash
  • Pets are permitted in the cabin, but owners must clean-up after their pets
  • The cabin is a no-smoking facility
  • The house is located in a desert environment; please be aware that scorpions, snakes and other insects may be present at any time
  • This cabin does not honor Golden Passport Discounts
  • Off-highway vehicles are also only allowed on designated roads and trails
  • This facility is listed on the National Register of Historic Places
  • Learn more about Coronado National Forest.
  • Don't Move Firewood: Prevent the spread of tree-killing pests by obtaining firewood near your destination and burning it on-site. For more information visit dontmovefirewood.org.

Getting There:

GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
31.73333, -110.71667
31°44'0"N, 110°43'0"W

From Tucson, take I-10 east to Exit #281 (Highway 83 Sonoita/Patagonia). Travel south on Highway 83 for approximately 21 miles to the Gardner Canyon Road. Turn right on Gardner Canyon Road and continue a quarter-mile to Forest Service Road 163. Turn right on Forest Service Road 163 and continue approximately 5 miles to the junction of 163 and the entrance to Kentucky Camp. Stay to the left and continue to the parking lot and gate that marks the entrance to Kentucky Camp. There are signs to Kentucky Camp from Highway 83.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:

Forest Road 163
Sonoita  AZ  85637

Phone Number:

Information:  (520)281-2296
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