Agua Caliente’s Desert Oasis. Pic from

After six years in Tucson, I figured I’d already explored every natural area worth the name. It’s nice to be proven wrong.

A great post over at nails it. Less than 30 minutes from Reflections Twenty yet a world away, Agua Caliente is such an unexpected treat you can hardly believe it’s real. Palm trees and exotic-looking ponds framed by mountains. Ducks and other waterfowl quacking and swimming. The landscape feels ancient, and indeed the area has been frequented by locals at leisure for some 5000 years. Come stay with us and discover a real life desert oasis!

As a native New Englander enjoying our Tucson Foothills vacation condo, I always found myself wishing at times for my own little oasis right in Tucson. I found it!


Some call it “Tucson’s best-kept secret.” Pima County manages this park, which was once part of a ranch and later a mineral-hot-springs retreat. At this natural habitat, the public can enjoy acres of large trees, shaded picnic areas, several ponds, and beautiful views of the mountains, as well as an art gallery and nature shop in the restored main ranch house. Open 7 a.m.-sunset, the Roy P. Drachman Agua Caliente (“hot water”) Regional Park is on the far northeast side of town at 12325 E. Roger Rd.

For more info, visit the Pima County NRPR site.