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Agua Caliente Park

mapRoy P. Drachman Agua Caliente Regional Park
12325 East Roger Road
Tucson, AZ 85749
Open: 7 am - Sunset

AguaCalientePark@pima.gov
Parks and Amenities Interactive Map
Get driving directions


Ranch House Visitor Center and Art Gallery

The ranch house is staffed by volunteers. Currently, we do our best to be open Fridays and Saturdays from 10 am to 2 pm (except county holidays) and will be adding additional days and hours when possible.

October 1 through November 30, the gallery is showing the 2020 Living River of Words: Youth Poetry and Art exhibit.

Agua Caliente Pond One

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

   

Sign up for a program by clicking the register now button. You can also purchase an Annual Tours and Outdoor Activities Pass to get free or reduced cost for tours and programs. How to set up an account in Active Net.

Programs

Please Note:
For all Environmental Education activities, un-vaccinated individuals are asked to wear a mask. For all indoor activities, face masks are mandatory for everyone, regardless of vaccination status. Group size strictly limited to maintain optimal experience; registration required.

Birding Agua Caliente Park
Bird Agua Caliente Park, a jewel of a park, and explore the ponds, mesquite bosque, and Sonoran desert in search of its rich bird life. November is the month that wintering waterfowl show up in numbers, so there are a lot of possibilities. All ages welcome. As with all nature-related activities, our voices can have a large impact on what we see, so side conversations are discouraged. $5 fee. Online registration required.
Tuesdays, November 9 and 23, 8:30-10:00 a.m.
Tuesdays, December 14 and 28, 8:30-10:00 a.m.

Fledgling Birders: A Program for all Ages and Abilities
Are you new to birding? Need help getting started? Birding is a great way to get outside to explore nature, learn more about wildlife and wildlife behavior, hone your observation skills, reduce stress, and connect with others. Join naturalist Jeff Babson for a casual birding experience to familiarize yourself with birding basics. Loaner binoculars available. All ages encouraged: $5 fee. Children free with paid adult. Online registration required.
Saturday, November 20, 8:00-10:00 a.m.
Monday, December 27, 8:00-10:00 a.m.

Stargazing Agua Caliente Park
Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association volunteers provide an introduction to the night sky and set up telescopes for celestial viewing. Feel free to bring your lawn chair. All ages welcome. Weather permitting. Free. Online registration required.
Saturday, November 27, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Register at: https://november_stargazing_acp.eventbrite.com
Saturday, December 11, 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Register at: https://december_stargazing_acp.eventbrite.com

Full Moon Wander
Join a Pima County naturalist to walk the gentle trails of Agua Caliente Park as the full moon rises. Nature reveals another side in the night hours; there is always something to discover! Dress for the weather, wear comfortable walking shoes, and bring water and a flashlight. All ages welcome. $5 fee. Children free with paid adult. Online registration required.
Sunday, December 19, 5:30-7:00 p.m.

Agua Caliente Pond One IslandAbout 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. 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 (Allowed: drone with license, drone insurance, or permit)
  • 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

Pond TwoBrochures

Permits

Special Event Permits
Pima County Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation is currently evaluating Special Event Permit requests on a case by case basis.


Research and scientific studies must have prior permission from Pima County Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation. A Right-of-Entry permit is required. For more information call (520) 724-5000.

Commercial and Professional Photography and Filming Special Use Permits are required for commercial photographers to use Pima County Parks for photo shoot backdrops. Per Pima County Park Rule 1.020, all commercial activity on a county park must have the prior written permission of Pima County Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation. For more information please go to the Commercial Filming Permits link.

Commercial Use Activities
Per Pima County Rule 1.020. It shall be unlawful to use County parks or recreation areas for commercial purpose, public meetings or assemblies, erection of signs, fences, barriers or structures, to distribute advertising materials, or sell and goods or services without first obtaining a written permit from Pima County Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation Department.
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Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation

3500 W. River Road
Tucson, AZ 85741

(520) 724-5000


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