During the fall months, cold temperature sets on the Midwest, but balmy weather finally begins to settle on the Sonora Desert, allowing for warm-to-hot 80 degree days, but cooling nights. Fall colors move across lower elevation canyons where you can find several flora to give up their leaves and several winter animals begin to emerge. It’s truly the season of change.

This transition is also a good time to fulfill your goals, dreams and refocus on the important people in your life – your friends and family. Tanque Verde Ranch invites you to reconnect with nature, yourself and those closest to you by experiencing one of our three fall packages specifically designed for the girls getaway, dudes-only, or couples escape.


Our Desert Divas Package, or otherwise known as the “girls getaway adventure,” is offered October 1 through December 18 starting at $575 per night. It includes deluxe lodging with 3 hearty meals daily, 2 hour private ride just for the Divas, all horseback trail riding, lessons and activities, BBQ cookouts, breakfast rides and much more! Cowgirl up and create a new girls getaway tradition!


With just the men in mind, Tanque Verde Ranch invites all men to try something new – our True Grit Package. True Grit is available to book October 1 through December 18 starting at at $575 per night. It includes deluxe lodging with 3 hearty meals daily, all horseback trail riding and lessons, guided hiking, mountain biking and other activities, BBQ cookouts, breakfast rides and much more! Join us and let us show you a spectacular western adventure with just you and some friends.


Wine, Dine, Ride and Romance – Show the one you love just how much they mean to you this year. Spend just the weekend or a full week with us and rekindle your relationship. Our Ranch Romance Package is something neither of you will forget. Starting at just $500 per night, you and your special someone can enjoy deluxe lodging, special pricing on spa treatments, $75 dining credit for a romantic dinner and all ranch activities will be available ala carte.

Whatever getaway you may be looking for, we hope to see you this fall at Tanque Verde Ranch.



Roasted over a fire, gifted to a good friend, or secretly eaten too close to dinner, our homemade prickly pear marshmallows is a treat above all others. The prickly pear flavors are a guest favorite at the ranch. Learn how to make this popular flavor-filled treat and share with your family and friends.

Click here for recipe!

Top Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter

September 30, 2014


If you’re looking for something unique and want to escape the typical land adventures, turn to the Mt. Lemon Sky Center and discover several astronomy programs. Their programs include public observing, a multitude of workshops, and remote observing, all of which are offered several times throughout the year.


Just a half hour west of Tanque Verde Ranch is Mt. Lemmon. More than 9,000 feet above sea level, it’s one of the highest mountaintops in the continental United States. The thirty-mile trip up the mountain winds through several ecosystems beginning in the desert and ending in Pine Forest. At its peak lies the Mt. Lemon Sky Center, a premiere site for astronomical research.


Mt. Lemmon’s SkyNights Star Gazing Program is offered nightly and is one of the most popular programs offered. Experience the heavens of the Arizona sky and learn about constellations, observe atmospheric phenomena, and view the wonders of the cosmos from Arizona’s largest public viewing telescope – a high quality 32-inch Schulman Telescope. A five-hour excursion, you will enjoy a shuttle ride up the mountain taking in the beauty of the dessert and experiencing the various ecosystems on your way. After you reach the peak, the presenter will introduce the facilities, the mountain, and elements of the program. A light meal is given and shortly before sunset, the guests will be escorted to a picturesque mountain overlook to observe the sunset. Once deep twilight has fallen, a brief sky orientation and stargazing will unfold.


Another unique program is where you can experience the life as an astronomer through Mt. Lemmon’s Astronomer Nights. As a visitor for this extended observing program, YOU become the astronomer investigating the cosmos and deciding how the night unfolds. Typically the program is limited to 1 or 2 people. You will observe through a telescope with an astronomer’s guide, acquire high quality data, and sleep on-site in the astronomer dormitories. Your stay might offer a significant contribution to the field. Also offered at the SkyCenter are various workshops where you are able to learn about the wonders that happen in the sky.

They also have several workshops available to the public such as the Making Every Pixel Count Workshhop. Learn how to produce stunning images of deep sky objects from Adam Block, a renowned imager whose skill with a CCD camera continues to inspire enthusiasts around the world. His images have appeared in numerous books, magazines, websites and television programs.

This hidden exploratory center is suitable for all ages, and a perfect evening adventure for the whole family. The high quality of Mt. Lemmon’s SkyCenter programs will impress and please both novices and experienced amateur astronomers. Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter offers access to the universe. Capture these exciting endeavors on your next trip to the ranch. For more information, please click here.

Furnishing Memorable Vacations

September 30, 2014


Carmen Petitti owns and operates Que Bonita in Tucson, a wonderful home furnishing store, with an array of items including rugs, jewelry, furniture and furnishings, one-of-a-kind apparel and accessories. Carmen has been instrumental in assisting Tanque Verde with some of the furnishings for the current ‘room refresh’ project that has been taking place this year at the Ranch.

Carmen has a truly unique outlook on life that results from many personal miracles she experience first hand. Originally from Honduras, Carmen immigrated to the United States as a teenager with nothing to her name and no family to support her in the United States. After surviving cancer at age 21, she attended night school while working two jobs during the day.

In 1979, Carmen brought some items from Honduras with her after a visit home, and her co-workers liked them all enough that they purchased everything she had brought. It was here that sparked the idea of going into the import/export business in retail and furnishings. Guided by intelligence, flair and luck, Carmen made her first contacts in Mexico and started her own business in the early 1980s, performing sales throughout the western states. The Que Bonita shop came into being in 1986.


Carmen doesn’t hesitate to offer her intelligence and flair to bring luck to others; not just with the products she sells, but also with where she obtains products. Tanque Verde Ranch will be home to dozens of chairs hand-crafted by the Tarahumara people of northwestern Mexico, fairly isolated in the high sierras. It’s not easy for Carmen to transport the furniture – some will be transported out of the village by mule! Working with the Tarahumara is close to Carmen’s heart, as she looks to give back and help others wherever possible.

Other furniture that Carmen is helping the ranch with will be handcrafted leather chairs, desks, wrought iron lamps and wrought iron copper-topped tables. Each of these is indeed made by hand by craftsmen in different parts of the southwest and Mexico, each, like Carmen, with their own stories and hardships that they survive in special ways as Carmen has.

Carmen’s joy from Que Bonita has been making friends and knowing beautiful people through the store, while giving back and helping others in need. Next time you’re at the ranch enjoy the new furnishings, consider stopping by to see Carmen and her store – Que Bonita. Learn more about her work with the Tarahumara Indians and her story by clicking here.