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 Thursdays and Saturdays from 9 am to 1 pm (except county holidays) and will be adding additional days and hours when possible.

Friends of Agua Caliente: To join or support FOAC, visit their website 

Agua Caliente Pond One

Features/Amenities

  • Drinking water
  • Picnic tables and grills
  • Restrooms
  • Paved and hard packed walking paths
  • Map of Reservable Sites  (click on Permits tab below to access form to reserve a site)

Brochures

Environmental Education and Interpretive Programs

Friends of Agua Caliente Park

   

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.
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

‘Slow Birding’ Agua Caliente Park
Enjoy the desert oasis of Agua Caliente Park to see raptors, flycatchers, warblers, and more. All ages welcome. Slowing the pace has many benefits – for both nature and nature-lovers. When we are still in nature, nature becomes active around us, undisturbed, encouraging more and deeper observation, understanding and appreciation of our natural world. The pace, distance, and terrain of this program make it appropriate for persons with limited mobility. $5 fee. Online registration required.
Wednesday, September 7, 7:00-9:00 a.m.
Wednesday, October 5, 7:30-9:30 a.m.

Bat Walk at Agua Caliente Park
Explore the nocturnal world of bats, beginning with an introduction to their diversity, biology, and conservation. The group will then set off on a casual stroll with a bat detector to determine which species are flying over our heads. $5 fee. Online registration required.
Thursday, September 8, 7:00-9:00 p.m.

Fledgling Birders: Birding 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, September 10, 8:00-9:30 a.m.

Dragons and Damsels of Agua Caliente Park
Agua Caliente Park is an excellent habitat for dragonflies and damselflies. Explore the ponds in search of damsels and dragons, learn how to identify them, and discover the secrets of their amazing lives. All ages encouraged. $5 fee. Children free with paid adult. Online registration required.
Tuesday, September 20, 7:30-9:30 a.m.

Birding Agua Caliente Park
Explore the ponds, mesquite bosque, and surrounding desert of Agua Caliente park in search of its rich bird life. We expect to see woodpeckers, flycatchers, warblers, vireos, and more. All ages welcome. $5 fee. Online registration required.
Wednesday, September 21, 7:00-8:30 a.m.
Wednesday, October 19, 7:30-9:00 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. Registration: http://pima-county-nrpr.eventbrite.com
Saturday, October 1, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Birding For EveryBODY: Agua Caliente Park
Join Marcia OBara for a leisurely birding experience designed for nature lovers with accessibility challenges; wheelchairs, walkers, or other assistive devices are welcome. The pace is slow, distance short, and terrain even. This month’s birding explores the emerging birding hotspot of Agua Caliente Park where we hope to see waterfowl, woodpeckers, sparrows, finches and more. Each registered participant is welcome to bring a support person. This program is offered in partnership with the Tucson Audubon Society. Free. Online registration opens Saturday, September 10; visit https://tucsonaudubon.org/go-birding/birding-field-trips/
Saturday, October 15, 7:00-8:30 a.m.

Mindful Nature Walk
Spending time outdoors can have healing and restorative power, relaxing both the mind and body. Slowing down to consciously engage our senses while out walking not only calms and grounds us, but also deepens our connection to the natural world. Join a Pima County naturalist for a peaceful morning stroll with time to stop and reflect. This walk will include elements of guided mindfulness meditation and learning about the natural world around us. $5 fee. Online registration required.
Monday, October 24, 8:00-9:30 a.m.

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 Two

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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