Agua Caliente Park

mapRoy P. Drachman Agua Caliente Regional Park
12325 East Roger Road
Tucson, AZ 85749
AguaCalientePark@pima.gov
Parks and Amenities Interactive Map
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NRPR plans to reopen sections of Agua Caliente Park on February 28th

Ranch House Visitor Center and Art Gallery

May 1 – October 31, Tuesday – Saturday, 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
November 1 – April 30, Wednesday – Sunday, 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Closed all County holidays.

Ranch House Art Gallery Exhibit Schedule

March 21 – April 22: Watercolor Oasis: With the goal to inspire others to explore the raw beauty of nature, artist Teressa Jackson captures the charm and color of the desert experience through stylized realism.

April 25 – May 27: Wahl to Wall “Desert Journey”: Donna Wahl’s art exhibit features serene desert landscapes and dynamic sunsets, which are brought to life with acrylic or oil paint on canvas. Animal lovers will enjoy the quail, javalina, and other animals featured on her tile art as well.

Bench by Pond 2

Tucson Audubon Society Nature Shop

For hours and information visit website
The Tucson Audubon Society Nature Shop at Agua Caliente Park is currently closed during the Pond 1 Restoration Project.

Features/Amenities

  • Drinking water
  • Picnic tables and grills
  • Restrooms
  • Paved and hard packed walking paths   

Environmental Education and Interpretive Programs

Friends of Agua Caliente Park

   

Filling Pond OneWhat is happening to Pond 1 at Agua Caliente Park?

Beginning February 3, Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation and its contractor will begin filling Pond 1 at Agua Caliente Park as part of a months-long restoration project.

Refilling the pond will take up to eight weeks, said Karen Simms, Natural Resources division manager for NRPR. Workers will apply a second coat of polymer sealant to the water and additional landscaping and construction work will continue.

The park has been closed since mid-October 2019. Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation plans to reopen sections of the park to the public by February 28.

The work done thus far has consisted of grading and deepening the pond. The contractor also installed a polymer liner to reduce pond seepage and conserve water and constructed a wildlife island.

What about the spring?

The Agua Caliente spring continues to flow at the present time probably due to the large amount of winter precipitation this year. The spring flow is being diverted to Pond 2 or to native plant areas in the park. 

Informational posters

Trouble in Paradise Poster
Water Conservation
Concept Plan
Construction Staging Plan
What About the Wildlife

Agua Caliente ParkAbout Agua Caliente

Agua Caliente, literally meaning hot water, is a unique 101-acre park that features a perennial warm spring and pond that is home to an exceptionally rich mix of plants and animals. Agua Caliente Park has a long and interesting history with evidence of human habitation dating back about 5,500 years. In 1873, a ranch and health resort was developed to promote the curative properties of the warm springs. In 1984 local businessman Roy P. Drachman donated over $200,000 toward the purchase of Agua Caliente Ranch and Pima County named the park in honor of this contribution. Roy P. Drachman Agua Caliente Park opened to the public on January 19, 1985.

Improvements have added the modern conveniences without eliminating the historical aspects of the park. On July 9, 2009 Agua Caliente Ranch Rural Historic Landscape was placed in the National Register of Historic Places.

The flow rate from the spring has varied over time reportedly as high as 500 gallons per minute to an unmeasurable seep in recent years. The sources and pathways for the water that now infrequently comes out of the natural spring head are not fully understood. Rainfall and snow on the Santa Catalina Mountains, shallow and deep rock stresses and fractures as well as significant heat generated hundreds of feet below the surface, all contribute to the complex and changing system. In recent years the pond has been maintained with water pumped from a well located on the property.

Visit the renovated 1870s Ranch House Visitor Center and Art Gallery, tour the park on one of the many naturalist led walks, or picnic in the shade of mature palm trees and native mesquite trees. Browse through the many bird-related items for sale in Tucson Audubon Society’s Nature Shop. Stroll the network of accessible paved and gravel trails with interpretive signs that explain the geology and history of the warm spring and the natural and human history of the site.

Agua Caliente ParkKnow the Rules

  • No alcohol
  • Barbecues may only be fueled with charcoal or propane
  • No fishing, no wading or swimming, do not climb trees
  • No bicycles, scooters, or skateboards
  • Dogs on leash and clean up after your pet. No horses
  • No motorized vehicles, motorized toys, or drones
  • No pop-up shade canopies, jumping castles, piñatas, kites, confetti, and balloons or activities requiring staked nets or posts
  • No loud music or PA systems
  • No metal detecting and geocaching
  • Do not release or abandon pets or wildlife
  • No collecting firewood, plants, fish, wildlife, and any other natural or cultural resources
  • Do not feed ducks or other wildlife

Brochures/Documents

Group Use Permit

A Group Use Permit is required for all functions with 20 or more guests. The maximum group size is 40 guests. The Group Use Permit is free. A Group Use Permit does not guarantee parking or a specific location in the park. All sites are on a first come basis. All group activities must conclude before sunset.

Request a Group Use Permit
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Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation

3500 W. River Road
Tucson, AZ 85741

(520) 724-5000


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