Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

Rancho de la Osa
Offered exclusively to Museum members! Membership information can be found in FEE section below.

Day 1   Friday, December 1
Meet at the museum at 10 am to load into vans. An hour and a half later, we land at the Buenos Aires Wildlife Refuge where we will learn about the history of the refuge and the endangered Masked Bobwhite breeding program, look for pronghorn, and bird at some of the water holes and over the grasslands. At the end of the day, we settle in at Rancho de la Osa where we will spend two nights. Following dinner, we enjoy a Cowboy Poetry reading. (D)

Day 2   Saturday, December 2
Saturday morning we hang out at the ranch partaking in activities of your choice. There are paths for walking and exploring the surroundings, as well as optional activities such as horseback riding, e-biking, UTV tours to a ghost town and archery. The optional activities are limited to several people at a time, are always guided, and are offered at an additional charge. For example, the e-bikes and horses are $40/hr/person. After lunch, we visit the General Store in the border town of Sasabe, maybe hitting happy hour! We will get back to our ranch in time for a late afternoon walk or relaxation before our next wonderful meal. Following dinner, we are treated to a talk on the many roles that the ranch has played in Mexican-American border history. (B, L, D)

Day 3   Sunday, December 3
Sunday morning we head to the ruins of the Wilber Ranch to learn about the Spanish Barb horse lineage, a once very common animal. This location along the Aricava Creek is also a good birding spot. Those that feel up to it can hike to an old mining camp and poke around. The rest of the group can go to the town of Arivaca for lunch and continue birding along the Arivaca creek. We will also have a talk on the geology of the area at some point in the tour, whenever it best fits. At the end of the day, we return to the Desert Museum. (B, L)

Sonya Norman has been with the Museum for 35 years. Originally, in the Geology Department, then developing children’s programs and conducting teacher training in the Education Department, she is now the Public Programs Coordinator. She has a B.S. in Geosciences from the University of Arizona, is a native of Tucson, loves the outdoors and promoting sustainability initiatives in her neighborhood, and is very involved in the local effort to control invasive buffelgrass.

Transportation by vans, two nights’ accommodations at Rancho de la Osa, 6 wonderful meals as denoted by B, L or D. No alcohol is included with meals, but there is a bar.

We will meet and leave cars at the Museum.

Tour is limited to 15 guests.

This special travel opportunity is offered exclusively to Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum members. If you currently are not a member, but would like to join us, you may do so by following this link. The trip price is $930. The single supplement fee is an additional $233.

The listed trip price is for double occupancy. If you are not paying the single supplement and have no roommate, we will attempt to find you a match. However if one cannot be found, then you may have to pay the single supplement.

We strongly recommend that participants be vaccinated against Covid-19. You will be asked to refrain from attending if you are exhibiting symptoms consistent with Covid and have not yet tested, or if you are testing positive for Covid. If you develop symptoms during a trip, you will be asked to let the staff lead know, and to isolate as much as possible and wear a mask. After 5 days and no fever, you may resume group activities. We will also adhere to the most up-to-date Covid-19 protocols of any tribal lands, foreign countries or institutions we are visiting, and these may change over time.

All cancellations must be in writing or email.  Our policy is as follows:  
Cancellations made 45 days prior to departure will result in refunded payments, less a $100 per person handling fee. Cancellations made 44-31 days prior to departure will result in a 50% refund of payment. Cancellations made 30 days or less prior to departure are non-refundable.

We reserve the right to change tour components, substitute hotels or alter the itinerary, and to make any other changes deemed necessary to carry out and maintain the quality and safety of the tour in good faith to the participants. In the case of civil unrest, acts of God, situations known as force majeure, we may cancel or postpone a trip.

Please contact Sonya Norman, Public Programs Coordinator, at 520-883-3030 or at to discuss anything related to the itinerary. For questions about payment please contact the Reservations Coordinator, at 520-883-3025 or at .