Maria Francisca Ranch sits on 63 acres in a finger of private land surrounded by National Forrest approximately 27 miles southeast of Sonoita, Arizona. See map and directions.
South of the ranch lies the Canelo Hills and on the south side of the Canelo Hills lies the historic, beautiful, and unique San Rafael Valley, 223 square miles of rolling short grass rangeland. San Rafael Valley was the home of the San Rafael Cattle Company, one of Arizona's largest cattle ranches. The owners sold the land to the Nature Conservancy in 1998 which in turn sold the ranch headquarters along with 3700 adjacent acres to the Arizona State Parks Department. Those 3700 acres is now the San Rafael Ranch State Park.
To the East of Maria Francisca Ranch are the Huachuca Mountains which rises to its 9,466 peak. Miller's Peak is accessible by a hiking trail which passes through vegetation zones ranging from semi-desert mixed grass at the lower elevations to mixed oak, aspen and pine trees at the upper elevations.
The city of Sierra Vista with a population of approximately 46,000 is a 40 minute drive from the ranch through rolling, hilly grasslands and Ft. Huachuca. Sierra Vista has all amenities including a health center with emergency room services, which is currently (2014) being expanded to a full service hospital. Within an hour or so from the ranch are the history rich towns of Douglas and Bisbee. The San Pedro River flows within an hour drive from the ranch.
- TAKE Interstate 10 EAST OF TUCSON towards EL PASO
- EXIT HIGHWAY 83 - SONOITA/PATAGONIA (about 20 mi. East of Tucson)
- STAY on HIGHWAY 83 through the Sonoita junction (you will pass the rodeo grounds and curve left).
- FOLLOW HIGHWAY 83 for about 20 minutes to MILE MARKER #14 and TURN RIGHT on CANELO ROAD
- GO straight on this dirt road for about 3 miles until you see the tennis court. This is it. (Ignore the no trespassing sign at the Whitney Ranch.)
Note: You only have to make 2 turns: Highway 83 and Canelo Road