Rancho Santa Cruz  LLC
An Historic B&B
Tumacácori, Arizona 85640
1709 E Frontage Rd
I-19 to Exit 29
South on Frontage Rd


Rancho Santa Cruz has been restored to its glory days of the 30s, 40s, and 50s, offering you an opportunity to experience the Old West lifestyle and a piece of history that is almost lost in time.

The Ranch features modernized guest rooms, a pool and barbeque area, and trails for birdwatching. Every morning we make for you a custom home-cooked, ranch-style breakfast.

Rancho Santa Cruz is a great place to have your event. Our courtyards feature lush lawn and elegant lighting.

Our room and event rates are quite reasonable. Please call 520.955.3718 or email mail@ranchosantacruz.us to make arrangements. We prefer a minimum stay of two nights, except for events. Reservations require a 30% non-refundable deposit. Check-out time is 12pm. Check-in time is 3pm (earlier if possible).

We will love to have you as our guest!

Guest Room


Air conditioning
Blackout curtains
Mini fridges
Hair dryers
Clothes racks


Swimming Pool
Barbecue area with gas grill and fire pit
Self service Cantina Bar with bagged ice
Lounge with board games
Gallery showcasing local artists (viewing by appointment)
Walking trails and access to the Anza Trail


Rancho Santa Cruz is in a unique geography in Southern Arizona. It's located in a fertile green valley fed by the Santa Cruz River, which runs year round. The Ranch is at almost 4000 feet elevation, and its climate is substantially cooler and wetter than Tucson or Phoenix.

The Ranch is surrounded by a forest of huge cottonwood trees and is a place of peace and quiet, where you can relax in nature, away from the hubbub and speed of our modern society.

Even though Rancho Santa Cruz is a rural working ranch, it is surprisingly close to many destination attractions.

It is only a few miles to the famous artist community of Tubac, with its many shops, galleries, and restaurants. We are minutes away from one of the oldest Spanish missions in the US, and it is a short drive from here to Pena Blanca Lake or Patagonia Lake.

There are many world class golf courses in the area. And, in little over an hour, you can experience the Wild West in Tombstone, Bisbee, or Old Tucson.

We are easy to find. We are less than an hour's drive south of Tucson on Interstate 19. Drive to Exit 29, then go south on the East Frontage Road for one mile to 1709 East Frontage, which is on the left.

Hope to see you soon!


Wisdom's Cafe, just 2 miles north, has great Mexican Cuisine.
La Bocanita is a nice seafood restaurant in Rio Rico.
Enjoy a beer at Abe's Old Tumacacori Bar.
Garrett’s IGA Supermarket is 6 miles south.


Over 160 bird species have been observed at the Ranch. Visit our page on eBird.
Local birding guides Felipe Guerrero and Richard Fray are very knowledgeable.


To see an aerial video of the Ranch, please click here.
Please visit the article about the Ranch in Arizona Highways magazine ().
We found a 1946 video of Rancho Santa Cruz.
Our mailing address is "1910 E Frontage Rd #8086, Tumacacori, AZ 85640".


Back at the Ranch


The history of the Rancho Santa Cruz region dates back centuries, beginning with the cultures of the Hohokam, Sobaipuri, Apache, and Yaqui, who built their communities along the Santa Cruz River, whose waters flowed year round and provided ideal sites for agriculture and ranching.

In 1539, the Spanish explorer and Franciscan monk, Fray Marcos de Niza, was the first European to visit the area. Nearly a century and a half later, in the late 1600s, the Spanish King sent the Jesuit priest Padre Eusebio Francisco Kino to the region to establish missions and map the territory for Spain. For two decades this extraordinary man traveled through Southern Arizona spreading the Catholic faith and teaching local people how to farm. He helped establish Tumacácori Mission.

In 1752, after an uprising by the Pima Indians, the Spanish Crown established New Spain's northernmost outpost and Europe's first settlement in Arizona at what is now Tubac. Shortly thereafter, soldier and explorer Juan Bautista de Anza, along with 240 settlers, traveled through Presidio de Tubac on his journey from Mexico City to found the city of San Francisco (in 1775 and 1776). During his tenure at Tubac (1760-1776), Anza built the chapel of Santa Gertrudis, the foundations of which lie beneath today's St. Ann's Church. The Anza trail runs the length of Rancho Santa Cruz.

By 1853, the Gadsden Purchase formed the southeastern corner of Arizona, making it part of the United States. Santa Cruz County, created in 1899 by Arizona's 20th Territorial Assembly, is named after the Santa Cruz River, which was named in the late 1600s by Father Kino. Santa Cruz means "holy cross" in Spanish. The vast Spanish land grants, known as Baca Float No. 3, were fought over in the courts by ancestors, settlers, and speculators.

Beginning in the 1920s, wealthy "dudes" from Back East began to buy the Float and turn it into ranches for the rich. The first was Talbot T. "Tol" Pendleton, a former All-American football player from Princeton who, after graduation and World War I, went to Texas to make his fortune in the oil business. While in Texas he must have decided that the symbol of Western aristocracy was a showcase ranch, not an oil derrick. Taking advantage of plunging land prices, Pendleton and his partner, F.M. Dougherty, bought almost all of Baca Float No. 3, built the first ranch headquarters, and called it Rancho Santa Cruz.

Many wealthy Easterners started dude ranches, which flourished in Arizona from the 1920s to the 50s. Doris Oesting (later Doris Oesting Hannah) bought Rancho Santa Cruz and 100 acres. Sarah Bailey, who played with Pendleton's daughter Anne when she was a young girl, remembered the rambling structure. "Tol had built the house with a big kitchen including a summer dining room and a winter dining room. His daughter had her own area, and there was a grand living room, a pool, and the entire compound was enclosed by adobe walls."

In 1936, Mrs. Rockwell Kent rented the compound and remodeled the dining room. To build a new fireplace, she used bricks from Colonel C.P. Sykes' hotel in Calabasas, which had been bulldozed so cotton could be planted on the old town site. Kent and Oesting did much to improve Rancho Santa Cruz.

In the 50s and 60s, the ranch became a "hangout" for many people in the movie business. Especially well known guests included John Wayne and Stewart Granger.

As the guest ranch declined, the restaurant remained for many years and became a place for locals to enjoy a good meal. Many locals remember coming to Rancho Santa Cruz for parties and weddings and to use the swimming pool, which was the first in the county.

Finally, the drains got plugged with grease and the restaurant closed. The property was run down and empty until Hayes Kirby bought the property in 2000. He built a new garage and started a few improvements. He tragically died in a car accident in Colorado. The property was in probate for over a decade before Susan and Peter bought it in March of 2016.

We are proud to say that all the work and renovations have been done solely by our five family members. We look forward to getting to know all our new neighbors.

A modern sunset