Things to do in Sierra Vista, AZ
Things to do in Sierra Vista, Arizona
Welcome to Sierra Vista, Arizona, a hidden gem nestled in the state’s southeastern corner, offering a rich tapestry of historical, cultural, and natural attractions. This guide will take you on a journey through some of the most captivating and unique destinations in and around Sierra Vista. From the historical grandeur of the Coronado National Memorial to the cinematic delights of Cinemark Sierra Vista 10, each location offers its own unique story and experience.
Whether you’re a history buff, a nature enthusiast, or just looking for a new adventure, Sierra Vista has something to offer everyone. Let’s explore the wonders of this beautiful region and uncover the best things to do in Sierra Vista, Arizona.
Coronado National Memorial
The Coronado National Memorial, situated in a pristine natural setting on the Mexico–United States border, commemorates the monumental 1540 expedition led by conquistador Francisco Vásquez de Coronado into the Southwest. Located on the southeast flank of the Huachuca Mountains south of Sierra Vista, Arizona, the memorial encompasses a historically significant overlook at Montezuma Pass, where the Coronado expedition entered modern Arizona.
Bordered by the Coronado National Forest to the north and west, the memorial serves as a testament to the ties binding the United States and Mexico. Originally designated as Coronado International Memorial in 1941 to foster goodwill and cooperation between the two nations, it was envisioned as a counterpart to a Mexican memorial, similar to the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park between the United States and Canada.
Although the Mexican memorial was never realized, Congress re-designated it as a national memorial in 1952, establishing it on November 5. The site, listed on the National Register of Historic Places since October 15, 1966, stands as a symbol of cultural understanding, emphasizing the shared history and common interests of the United States and Mexico.
Fort Huachuca Museum
The Fort Huachuca Museum is a vital custodian of history, dedicated to collecting, preserving, and showcasing artifacts that narrate its unique narrative and the broader history of military endeavors in the Southwest.
Since its inauguration in 1960, the museum has curated a diverse collection of several thousand objects and documents, with many displayed in captivating exhibits recounting the Fort’s rich 135-year history. Located in two buildings on the Fort’s historic Old Post, the museum is freely accessible.
Fort Huachuca’s storied legacy in national defense began in 1877, serving as an outpost to secure the San Pedro and Santa Cruz Valleys from Apache raiders. Throughout its extensive history, the Fort has been home to various military units, including Horse Soldiers, Foot Soldiers, “Buffalo Soldiers,” and World War II Infantrymen.
Evolving with the times, Fort Huachuca is presently a vital hub for technical development and Soldier training, hosting significant entities such as the Army Electronic Proving Ground, U.S. Army Network Enterprise Command, U.S. Army Intelligence Center and School, and the world’s largest unmanned aerial systems training center.
The Old Post’s adobe buildings, a well-preserved example of a 19th-century military cantonment area in the Southwest, earned National Historic Landmark status during the Fort’s centennial year in 1977.
Brown Canyon Ranch
Brown Canyon Ranch, formerly the Barchas Ranch, stands as a historic gem nestled in the foothills of the Huachuca Mountains near Sierra Vista, Arizona. Initially settled in 1880 by John Thomas Brown, the land witnessed a succession of owners before falling into the hands of James and Tom Haverty, who, between 1905 and 1907, constructed the iconic Brown Canyon Ranch House—a modest three-room adobe home.
Homesteaded in 1912 by James Haverty and his wife Lessie, the ranch exchanged hands through various owners, including the Carmichaels, Rambo family, and eventually the Barchas family, who maintained livestock operations until 1997.
Deeded to the United States Forest Service in 1998, the ranch is now undergoing preservation and restoration efforts, showcasing not only the historic ranch house but also a one-room adobe storeroom, a wooden corral, an outhouse, stone ruins of a barn, and man-made ponds serving as a preserve for the endangered Chiricahua leopard frog.
Open to hikers and picnickers for day use at no cost, the ranch offers a journey through time, featuring the Brown Canyon Cemetery, the ruins of an old house, and the remnants of the Pomono Mine along its trail.
Cinemark Sierra Vista 10
A cinematic journey at Cinemark Sierra Vista 10, located in the heart of Sierra Vista, AZ. Our theater is a haven for movie enthusiasts, offering a diverse selection of the latest releases and timeless classics.
Immerse yourself in film and entertainment with state-of-the-art facilities to enhance your viewing experience. Whether you’re a solo moviegoer, enjoying a night out with friends, or treating the family to a film, Cinemark Sierra Vista 10 provides the perfect setting for an unforgettable time at the movies.
Remember to savor the irresistible aroma of freshly popped popcorn and treat yourself to your favorite candies, adding an extra layer of delight to your cinematic adventure.
Murray Springs Clovis Site
Murray Springs, nestled in southern Arizona near the San Pedro River, is a remarkable archaeological site that once functioned as a Clovis hunting camp approximately 11,000 years before the present.
Unearthed by archaeologists C. Vance Haynes and Peter Mehringer of the University of Arizona in 1966, the site showcases a unique concentration of large megafauna processing and extensive tool making. Noteworthy discoveries during excavations from 1967 to 1971 include five buried animal kills and processing locations, a Clovis camp, and significant artifacts such as hearths, bone tools, projectile points, lithic tools, and debitage.
The variety of remains found at Murray Springs, ranging from mammoths and bison to horses and camels, paints a vivid picture of the prehistoric Clovis culture. The site, located in the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area and administered by the Bureau of Land Management, offers an interpretive trail and parking area, inviting visitors to explore and appreciate this significant archaeological landmark.
Designated a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. Government in 2012, Murray Springs is a testament to the rich Clovis culture in the San Pedro River Valley.
Things to do in Sierra Vista, AZ
Sierra Vista, Arizona, is a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be discovered. Whether you are drawn to the historical tales of the Coronado National Memorial, the enduring legacy of Fort Huachuca Museum, the rustic charm of Brown Canyon Ranch, the allure of cinematic stories at Cinemark Sierra Vista 10, or the ancient whispers of the Murray Springs Clovis Site, Sierra Vista offers a diverse array of attractions.
Each site tells a unique story, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in a blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. If you still need to explore Sierra Vista, you’re missing out on some of Arizona’s most remarkable and enriching experiences. So, pack your bags, set your itinerary, and prepare to be captivated by the wonders of Sierra Vista.