For history buffs
A 3-mile hike in open desert to the ruins of a former Spanish military fortress, or presidio.
Please stay on the path when near the ruins so as to preserve what's left of them.
Overlooking the San Pedro River, the Presidio Santa Cruz de Terrenate was built in 1776 by Hugo Oconor for King of Spain Charles III. Considered one of the best preserved sites of military forts ranging from Louisiana to California, it takes a bit of imagination to envision the site today. The presidio was never finished as a result of corruption, lack of crops, raids on the horse stables, and continuous surprise attacks carried out by the Apaches. The fortress was abandoned in 1780, but was used for a short time by the US Army in 1878.
Starting from the parking area, the fairly level hike heads due west towards the San Pedro River. The bare dirt path is flanked by mesquite, acacia, bursage, creosote, kane cholla, and numerous other plant species found in the Sonoran desert. After 2/3 mile, the straight path veers to the left and takes you up onto a former railroad bed. You take a right upon reaching the railroad bed and follow it for approximately for another 1/3 miles to a sign on the left. From the sign you follow a ½-mile loop in a clockwise direction past about a dozen signs detailing the ruins, what might have taken place in each structure, and what life was life for those living and working within the fortress. Upon finishing the loop, return to your vehicle by retracing your steps along the railroad bed and the dirt path.
Not being terribly interested in this sort of history I can't say that I would go to this site again. But, it was nice to get out, stretch our legs, and see another part of the beautiful, and varied state of Arizona.
None, unless you venture down to the San Pedro River.
Check out the Official Route and Triplog.