Southern Arizona is famous for its clear, starry, dark nights, perfectly suited for the observation and study of the heavens. Tumacácori National Historical Park invites visitors to explore the night sky as did those who came before us, including the O’odham who lived in the village of Tumacácori, astronomers like Father Kino who established the mission, and settlers and cowboys who camped under the stars after the mission was abandoned.
The park’s designation as an International Dark Sky Park protects that experience for current and future generations. Such designations are made competitively on the basis of a nomination to the International Dark Sky Association and judged according to merits such as night sky quality and efforts to promote the benefits of natural nighttime darkness.
Two more opportunities to experience the park after dark will be offered this season:
- Wednesday, February 2, 2022, 6:00 – 8:30 p.m.: Starry Night with telescope viewing provided by Tucson Amateur Astronomical Association
The park and mission grounds will reopen from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. for the Starry Night event. Visitors should bring a flashlight (with a red filter, if possible), and dress for the weather. View the sky through telescopes, photograph the sky with your camera, or explore the mission grounds by candlelight.
- Wednesday, March 16, 2022, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.: Full Moon Evening Hike with a Ranger
Hike about two miles on the Anza Trail. Meet at the Anza Trailhead across from the Tumacácori Post Office, just north of the Tumacácori visitor center parking lot at 6:00 p.m. Bring your flashlight, but don’t plan to use it; the moon will be your night-light. Wear hiking shoes and carry water. Please, no dogs on this hike.
Entrance to the park costs $10 per adult, free for federal pass holders and children under 16. For more information, call 520-377-5060 or visit www.nps.gov/tuma.
About the National Park Service – More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 423 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.