A Tucson Arizona Bed and Breakfast

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Archive for August, 2011

Sabino Canyon

August 31st, 2011 by Betty Ross

A 15- 20 minute drive from Desert Dove Bed & Breakfast will take you to Sabino Canyon where you will experience the beauty of one of the most unique Southwestern desert canyons on a tram ride. Sabino Canyon is a natural desert oasis located in Tucson’s Coronado National Forest and is home to spectacular desert landscapes and abundant wildlife.

This extremely popular recreation area for locals and many visitors who come to stay at Desert Dove Bed & Breakfast, this area provides their first close encounter with the Sonoran Desert and the fascinating variety of plants and animals that make it their home. The self-guided Desert Nature Trail at the Sabino Canyon Visitor Center provides an excellent way to get to know the plants that have adapted to living in this demanding environment.

Sabino Canyon tours offers a narrated, educational 45-minute, 3.8 mile tour into the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains. The trams have nine stops along the tour with several restroom facilities and picnic grounds located near Sabino Creek. The tram turns around at Stop #9 and heads back down to the Visitor’s Center, at which point riders may remain on board and hike back down. Trams arrive on average every 30 minutes. During the winter and summer rainy seasons, pools of water form in rocky outcroppings that wind up among hillsides resplendent with palo verde trees, cholla and prickly pear cactus and graceful groves of ocotillo.

A variety of trails are available along the way for hiking that range from easy to challenging. The main road, one of two routes on which Sabino Canyon Tours operates its Sabino Canyon tram route, is mostly flat and paved. It can be easily navigated by visitors of all ages. The main road ascends from 2,800 to 3,300 feet and crosses Sabino Creek over 9 stone bridges. It is a favorite route for both hikers and bicyclists.

During the months of April, May, June, September, October and November, Sabino Canyon Tours offers evening rides three nights per month. For more information or to make your reservations, please call (520) 749-2327

Tram rides:
Adults $8.00, Children 3-12 $4.00
Day Pass $5, Week Pass $10, Annual Pass $20

Sabino Canyon has 89 picnic sites scattered throughout area Barrier-free accessible sites are available at Cactus picnic area and Bear Canyon overlook Cactus Ramada group picnic sites are available by reservation only. Toilet with barrier-free access is located at the Sabino Canyon Visitor Center. Vending machines (water and sodas) are located near the Sabino Canyon Visitor Center.


Kartchner Caverns State Park

August 31st, 2011 by Betty Ross

Kartchner Caverns State Park

A day trip from Desert Dove Bed & Breakfast, easy access to I -10. A 1 hour drive will take you to Kartchner Caverns.

A well kept secret since its discovery in 1974, Kartchner Caverns, 12 miles south of Benson, Arizona, was announced to the world in 1988. Still virtually pristine, this massive limestone cave has 13,000 feet of passages and two rooms as long as football fields. Finally opened as a state park November 12, 1999, this underground wilderness will remain protected while offering visitors a rare tour through multi-colored cave formations. The temperature inside the caverns averages 68°F year round, with the humidity at 99%.

Kartchner Caverns State Park is open seven days a week from 7:30 am until 6:00 pm MST. Cave tours are scheduled every 20 minutes starting at 8:40 am to 4:40 pm each day. The park is closed on Christmas Day, and no tours will be taken after noon on Christmas Eve Day.

Cavern Tours

Rotunda/Throne Tour: October – July
Ages 0-6 : FREE
Ages 7-13: $9.95
Ages 14+: $18.95

Rotunda/Throne Tour: August – September
Ages 0-6: FREE
Ages 7-13: $8.95
Ages 14+: $16.95

Big Room Tour
Ages 0-6: N/A*
Ages 7-13: $12.95
Ages 14+: $22.95

The Rotunda and Throne tour Length: 1/2 mile Time: 1 1/2 hours.

* Children 6 and under are not allowed on this tour.

Depending on your tour time, you may have time to enjoy the nearby Tombstone. “The town too tough to die”.


Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

August 31st, 2011 by Betty Ross

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

A 1 hour drive from Desert Dove Bed & Breakfast will take you to the Desert Museum. A favorite Tucson attraction for many of our guests here at Desert Dove Bed & Breakfast. Learn all about desert vegetation and wild life. The Desert Museum is a world-renowned zoo, natural history museum and botanical garden, all in one place!

The Harris‘ Hawk … Come experience the thrill of free flying birds of prey at the Raptor Free Flight. Raptor Free Flight is a dynamic bird of prey flight demonstration that occurs in the open desert showcasing natural behaviors of native birds. Unlike other bird flight shows, the Raptor Free Flight focuses the attention on the birds and how they behavior in nature.


General Admission (ages 18-64) $19.50
Seniors (ages 65+) $17.50
Youth (ages 13-17) $15.50
Children (ages 4-12) $6.00
Children (ages 3 and under) FREE
Hours of Operation
Open every day of the year!

  • October – February 8:30 am – 5:00 pm (no entry after 4:15 pm)
  • March – May 7:30 am – 5:00 pm (no entry after 4:15 pm)
  • June – August
    • Mon-Fri: 7:30 am – 3:00 pm (no entry after 2:15 pm)
    • Sat: 7:30 am – 10:00 pm (no entry after 9:15 pm)(Summer Saturday Evenings)
    • Sun: 7:30 am – 5:00 pm (no entry after 4:15 pm)
  • September 7:30 am – 5:00 pm (no entry after 4:15 pm)


Galleries and Dining

The Ironwood Gallery is open daily from 10 am to 4 pm. Please call 520-883-2702 or 520-883-3024 to check gallery hours for the day you plan to visit. The Ironwood Gallery may occasionally be closed for special events.

The Ironwood Terraces, a self serve grill, offers a complete menu including children’s items and is open everyday. Special menus are available for tour groups, school groups, and special events.

The Ocotillo Café offers fine dining, and is open seasonally for lunch in winter and for dinner on Summer Saturday Evenings. Lunch: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Dec to April. Opening and closing dates will vary. Please call 520-883-2702 for information. Dinner: Saturdays, June – August. Chefs utilize the freshest ingredients available to create our Arizona-Sonora regional cuisine. Please call for reservations 520-883-5705.

Phoebes Coffee Bar and the Cottonwood snack shop offer hot and cold drinks, pastries, sandwiches, ice cream and other snacks.

Picnics – There is a small picnic area near the Museum entrance.


Located at: 2021 North Kinney Road, Tucson, AZ 85743


Visiting Saguaro National Park

August 31st, 2011 by Betty Ross

Sagauro Desert

We are within walking distance of Saguaro National Park East! A walking path from Desert Dove Bed & Breakfast will take you directly to the Park. You may wish an early morning walk to the park before you enjoy a scrumptious homemade breakfast. There is a 1/4-mile paved Desert Ecology Trail, located along Cactus Forest Drive. Short hikes will introduce you to the plant and animal life of the Sonoran Desert. Many other trails along the scenic 8 mile drive are suitable for short hikes into the pristine desert environment. There are some 128 miles of trails wind through the desert and mountain country of Saguaro East. Saguaro East, also called Rincon Mountain District, encompasses an aging saguaro forest at the foot of the majestic Rincon Mountains, as well as an exceptional variety of other desert plants. The Park has a picnic area for your usage. We have trail maps available and you may, also, stop by the visitor center for all the information about the Park. The park is open daily. Daily Programs A Home in the Desert – 15-minute orientation program shown daily on the hour and half-hour in the auditorium. Learn about the resources that Saguaro National Park protects. Sentinel of the Desert – a 53 minute video shown daily at 1:00 p.m. in the auditorium. Saguaro East Programs – Rincon Mountain District Visitor Center (Saguaro East). Schedules are subject to change. Check at the Visitor’s Center for current schedules, or call (520) 733-5153. 3693 South Old Spanish Trail, Tucson.


Day scenic trip to Mt. Lemmon

August 29th, 2011 by Betty Ross

Mount Lemmon near Tucson Arizona

A scenic trip to Mt Lemmon from Desert Dove will take about a 1 hour drive. The scenic road will take you through several different ranges. Several turn outs with beautiful views.

The hiking trails of the Coronado National Forest sky islands offer near unmatched variety. Elevation determines not only the air temperature, with lowlands warmer than highlands, but also the types of plants and animals encountered. The warm climate and desert plants for which Arizona is known occur only at lower elevations, while pine, fir, and spruce cover the highest mountain tops, with grasslands and oak woodlands between.

Hikers can explore the desert lowlands during the winter, then come back in summer to wander through cool high-elevation Ponderosa pine forest during the summer months. Fabulous mountain views.

A ski resort in open when snow has fallen. Few people think of snow and skiing when they think of Tucson, cactus, desert, and diamondbacks more readily come to mind. The Santa Catalina Ranger District, however, is home to the southernmost ski area in the United States, which is perched near the 9,157-foot summit of Mt. Lemmon.
The chair lift is in operation all year round, taking visitors to a high overlook from which they can enjoy views of the Santa Catalinas, the city of Tucson, the San Pedro Valley, the Reef of Rocks, and the distant mountains near Globe and Phoenix. These scenic views, combined with the many trails and overlooks in the area.

Iron Door Restaurant
10300 E Ski Run Rd. (520) 576-1321

Sawmill Run Restaurant (520) 576- 9147

12976 North Sabino Canyon Parkway, Summerhaven

The summit is 9,157 feet (2,791 m) above sea level, and receives approximately 180-200 inches (4,600 mm) of snow annually.

Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter is a new public program initiative by the University of Arizona to make the world of astronomy and other sciences more accessible to Southern Arizona and its visitors by moving science off campus with hands-on-programs high atop Mt. Lemmon.

The following fees apply to all Coronado National Forest fee areas:

$5 per vehicle per day
$10 per vehicle per week
$20 per vehicle per year (valid for one year from date of purchase)

A Catalina Mountain Pass is good at any fee area on the Coronado National Forest. Purchase a Day Pass at Sabino Canyon in the morning, and use it later that afternoon to visit Mt. Lemmon. An Annual Pass can be used at Sabino Canyon, Mt. Lemmon, Madera Canyon in the Santa Rita Mountains, or at South Fork in the Chiricahua Mountains. Conversely, passes purchased at Madera Canyon or South Fork can also be used at any other Coronado National Forest fee area. More information on the Passes and Fees or call 520-388-3800.