Tumacacori National Historical Park protects the ruins of three Spanish missions along the Santa Cruz river. Two of these missions are not open to the public, and can only be visited on a reserved tour. As a participant in this special tour, you will visit the ruined remains of the two closed missions and learn about the lives of the people who lived there.
The tour meets at the Tumacacori Visitor Center. Participants ride in a single fifteen-passenger van to Guevavi and Calabazas. At each site, a ranger or volunteer provides an interpretive walking tour. There is some walking on unpaved trails to reach the mission ruin at each site, including one section of uphill trail at Calabazas. These tours are not wheelchair accessible.
Once the tour has returned to Tumacacori, participants are invited to visit the Tumacacori Mission church and grounds, visitor center, and museum on their own, at no additional charge. A self guided tour booklet is available. Guided tours of Tumacacori are scheduled each day at 9:00am, and may also be availabale at 1:00pm inquire at the visitor center desk.
For nearly 60 years the ruins of Tumacácori stood as a welcome waypoint for travelers. Gold-seeking 49ers passed here on their way to California. Military troops (including then Lieutenant John J. Pershing) left soot from their campfires on the walls of the sacristy. Ranchers turned the cemetery, or campo santo, into a corral to keep their livestock safe overnight. The crumbling church would have been a welcome sanctuary for anyone passing through rugged terrain, scorching temperatures, or the downpour of a summer monsoon.
Tumacácori National Historical Park now offers families the opportunity to share this experience. Participants will share traditional meals, create memory books much like the journals of early travelers, sing cowboy songs around the campfire, and then retire for the evening to tell ghost stories in the candlelit church. At lights-out, these lucky families will curl up on their bedrolls to spend the night under the stars or sheltered by adobe walls built over 200 years ago. Unlike their historic predecessors, however, these campers will depart by 8:30 a.m. having left no evidence of their overnight stay.
Registration is first-come, first-served and space will be limited. A $20 charge applies to each adult participant ($10 for children under the age of 16) and includes entrance to the park, dinner, breakfast, and all activities. To learn more about this unique opportunity visit http://www.nps.gov/tuma/planyourvisit/family-sleepover.htm.
Prices: Adult: $20.00, Child: $10.00
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