Stars fill the sky above Tumacácori Mission during a dark sky event in January 2020.

Tumacácori National Historical Park is planning a number of interpretive programs for the winter season, all designed to allow for small group sizes and outdoor physical distancing.  

Tours of the historic Calabazas and Guevavi missions will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the third Saturdays of January, February and March. 

Participants will caravan to the sites in their own vehicles, starting from the TNHP visitor center. High-clearance vehicles are required due to the rough and rocky terrain. The tour is not wheelchair accessible.

The cost is $15 per vehicle, and reservations are required at

Santa Cruz River walks are scheduled for 9:30 to 11 a.m. on the first Sundays of January, February and March. These ranger-guided nature-and-history walks depart from the park visitor center and involve a half-mile round-trip along the Anza Trail to the Santa Cruz River.

Bird walks are planned for the second Saturdays of January, February, March and April. They depart at 8:30 a.m. in January and February; 8 a.m. in March and April.

The walks last up to three hours or as long as the birds are active, though participants can remain with the guide as long as they like. The walking takes place on and off the trail in varied habitats. 

Also upcoming are several iterations of “Experience the Night,” a program that celebrates Tumacácori’s status as an International Dark Sky Park.

Visitors can enjoy the park’s mission grounds at night on Friday, Jan. 8 (starry sky); Saturday, Feb. 27 (full moon); and Friday, March 12 (starry sky). On these occasions, the park will remain open with rangers on site until 8:30 p.m. 

The park grounds and the historic mission church are open to the public daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Information, self-guided tours, restrooms and a water fountain are available, and park rangers are on hand for questions or assistance.  

The visitor center, museum and park store are currently open Saturday and Sunday: call to confirm visitor center status before your visit.   

For more information, call (520) 377-5060 or see

Load comments