Recently my partner and I discovered a place in the wilderness of Arizona, north of Tucson. Since travel was within 2 hours from our home, we decided to check out the area and stay at Aravaipa Farms, Orchard & Inn for 3 nights. Here is the website: https://www.aravaipafarms.com
We stayed in a casita, purchased all 3 meals per day, and brought our own wine since at the time of our visit they did not have a liquor license. They are the friendliest people with fantastic cooks creating meals to meet our gluten-free, vegetarian and dietary needs. Since Covid was still the reality in Arizona, meals were delivered to us at our casita to be eaten there or as we did take our lunches on the hiking trails!
They have a farm with a burro, goats, miniature horses and chickens. They have an orchard with 900 trees: oranges, peaches, apricots and more. I loved bird-watching in the orchard, plus they have many bird houses hanging around the property. There are casitas of various sizes. We walked around their orchard and on some of the trails rights from their property. To arrive to their place, it is necessary to drive some final 4 miles on a dirt road, down a steep dirt driveway and across a creek, that had about 6 inches of water in it when we arrived, but all doable with a Honda Element.
Our favorite adventurous hike was the Brandenberg Mountain Ridge Trail. A short distance down the road from Aravaipa Farms, Orchard & Inn was the start of this trail. We hiked 2.5 miles to a lunch spot overlooking, in the distance, the place we were staying and with the orchard being easiest to notice along with great views. The mountain towered behind us at lunch, but on our way up we walked through a wash, steep incline and then an old jeep road on the ridge with so many options to stop for lunch and also make it our turn-around point.
Another trail we enjoyed when we decided to hike beyond the creek trail was to head up Exploration Trail. This was a fascinating combination of hiking in washes and then to the top of the hill by following rock cairns (rock piles) and making our own way to the ridge to look to the other side. This trail is being created as I write.
At night, it is silent or you may hear an owl hooting! One night the wind whipped through the area for the entire night! Earlier that night we had been out walking and star-gazing, although chairs are available in a couple of locations if you wished to sit back and gaze up! We slept well each night after each day of fresh air, fun hiking and delicious food.
Be sure to visit Aravaipa Farms, Orchard and Inn at https://www.aravaipafarms.com if you enjoy solitude, silence and an opportunity to hike, bird watch, star gaze or simply relax!
Please know: to hike in the Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness you need a permit since the number of visitors per day is restricted. Permits are required in advance from recreation.gov for the West Entrance.
If you are in the area, or staying at the inn, there are other trails to hike with no permit needed! We will return to Aravaipa Farms, Orchard and Inn and to hike Aravaipa Canyon Wildness when we are also ready to have wet feet since there are so many creek crossings there.