Fort Huachuca was established in 1877 to help protect the settlers coming into Tombstone and other areas in Southeast Arizona (photo 1). Photo 2 shows a statement made by Captain John Bourke in 1872, when Fort Huachuca was Camp Huachuca and was not established as a permanent base. This statement reflects my own thoughts about Arizona too. Native Americans liked Alchesay sometimes worked for the US Army. Alchesay was promoted to the rank of First Sergeant and ran the scouts (photo 3). Photo 4 shows a dress uniform for a First Sergeant. Many famous people have been stationed at Fort Huachuca, like George Armstrong Custer and "Blackjack" Pershing (photo 5). The Fort Huachuca Museum is open from 9 AM to 4 PM Monday through Friday, and 1 PM to 4 PM, Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free, but donations are welcome.
There are a few panoramas in the museum too. The first photo shows a recreation of a cavalry office. Back when Fort Huachuca was first established; just as it is today, family is very important. Photos 2 and 3 show family life on the fort in bygone days. Hours are 9 AM to 4 PM, Monday through Friday, and 1 PM to 4 PM, Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free but donations are appreciated.
Fort Huachuca was established in 1877. There is a lot of history associated with the fort and it had a strong influence on towns and ranches in the area like the town of Tombstone. Fort Huachuca is also in a very scenic area.
The Henry F. Hauser Museum is located in the Ethel Berger Center on Tacoma Street. The museum has a small, and to me incomplete, but interesting grouping of displays about early life in Sierra Vista and the surrounding area. It also has a display about Mr. Hauser who was a retired general and one of the most important mayors in the history of Sierra Vista. Information about the Native Americans who inhabited the area before Sierra Vista was settled is curiously absent. Maybe it was space limitations. Admission is free.
Reef Townsite campground is a high mountain campground area and is located on a site that was once occupied by the old mining town of Reef. Reef was a remote outpost that got its name from the nearby Carr Reef, a tall band of quartzite-bearing cliffs that form the Huachuca Mountains dramatic eastern front. Mining activity along the Reef began during the last few years of the nineteenth century and proceeded in fits and starts all the way into the 1950’s. The property occupied by the mines and the town was returned to public ownership in 1970 when the last mine was closed and the owner sold the property to the government. In 1988, the Forest Service constructed a campground on the townsite. A number of picnic tables and tent pads were placed within the visible outlines of old cabin foundations.
Many relics of Reef’s mining history, including the remains of the town’s old water system and miscellaneous features, are still visible in and around the campground. Evidence of old mining digs and foundations for an ore mill provide points of interest along a three-quarter-mile interpretive trail which begins and ends at the northeastern end of the campground. In addition to the historic information, the views along that trail are well worth a visit.
The Carr House is located at the start of the Carr Canyon area. The home was once the home of the Todd family who has lived in the area from around 1890 until later into the 1940s. Their home was once the post office for the small mining town of Reef which is (was) located up in the Carr canyon.
The Coronado National Park and Memorial is a wonderful place to spend the day or even a weekend of camping and hiking. Here you can follow the foot steps of Coronado while he was looking for the seven cities of gold.
Take the drive all the way to the top of the pass after taking the scenic 5 mile drive up to the peak. At the peak you will find a wonderful view of Mexico and the Arizona desert.
Ramsey Canyon is known for birds and butterflies. They get the second highest butterfly visits in the world, second to a place in Mexico. They have a great display in the information center with snakes (caged for the safety of my mother's heart). In the last couple years they've revamped the information center and it looks great.
There are peacocks and turkeys roaming the parking lot. They have occasional mountain lion sightings, as well, but the last one I heard about was many years ago.
This is a great place to experience the seasons for those people "stuck" in the area who miss autumn and spring.
OK, it's cheating to say a must-do activity is to go to a different town - but you have to do it. Bisbee is an eclectic, eccentric town that I love. It's so good (and close to SV) I'll give it its own page.
I was let down by this cave but for the enthusiasts I'll offer my impression. For ticket fees and an additional parking fee (I think tickets run between 10$ - 15$ and parking is 10$ per car) you may take a 15 minute tour of the cave where you will REPEATEDLY be warned not to touch anything, including the hand rail. That's not a joke. Touching the cave kills it but the handrail apparently has feelings, too.
Do NOT bring with you: sunglasses, baby bags, water bottles, purses, or anything else that may fall over the rail. A couple was turned away on the last tour of the day because of their baby bag. Also, I missed the movie about the caverns which is may be why I thought the trip was overated.
The light/music show at the end was great, but, all in all, not worth the $40+ my friend and I spent to go.
There is nothing in the world like an Arizona sunset. I fell in love with the city of Sierra Vista just a little over one hour's drive to the Mexican border. While this isn't a bustling tourist city (thats probably why I liked it so much) and you might not necessarily find an abundance of exciting things to do here, it is a great place to spend the day and night on your way to seeing other sites, with a more relaxed pace.
Fort Huachuca Army Base and Intelligence Museum and a Mining Museum seem to be the only 'attractions' here but there is a bustling amount in the area. And the views can not be duplicated!
Coming from the shops in the main, Wal-Mart plaza (I snagged Arizona souvenir t-shirts for just $3 and $4 each), you're greeted by the larger than life mountains and home to some of the most amazing sunsets. Sierra Vista is also a bird-watchers paradise.
The Huachuca Mountains, near Sierra Vista, offer a variety of activities, from beautiful picnic areas, to hiking and camping.
There are also numerous completely abandoned mining caves for spelunking, though do so entirely at your own risk. No tours, entry fees, or safety ropes here!
I wandered through several caves as a kid, encountering bats, bugs, darkness, waist deep water, old mining carts, and a variety of stalactites/stalagmites. What fun!
you must go to Tombstone. It's right out of the old west. See the OK Corral and Big Nosed Kate's Saloon. They even have the real boot hill.
It will give you a glimpse of history and you can take a stagecoach tour of the town
The trail also leads past the ruins of some of the homes and business from the early history of Carr Canyon.
There is a nature trail in Carr Canyon that is anywhere from .5 miles to 2.5 miles long depending on what route you take. There is a nice waterfall along the trail (if we have had rain recently).