Bowen House Ruins

Tucson, AZ

The weather in Tucson has been a bit inconsistent.  One day it will be sunny and warm while the next rainy and cool.  During the warm, sunny breaks we have gone out to nearby locations for short hikes.  One day we drove over to nearby Tucson Mountain Park to hike out to the Bowen House ruins.

Sherry Bowen, a typesetter and later city editor for the Arizona Daily Star, built it of native stone in the early 1930s.  The Bowens had lived in Rockford, Illinois but moved to Tucson in the late twenties with the hope that the change in climate would help Ruby Bowen’s serious heart condition.  The Bowens first lived in Tucson but soon decided to homestead in the Tucson Mountains.  They moved to the homestead in 1931 and lived in a cabin while the house was being built. The Bowens eventually expanded their claim to 2000 acres.

Ruby Bowen kept a diary of her first year in the Tucson Mountains.  The diary makes several references to the wildlife that existed in the area including javelina, deer, wild horses and sheep that would come down from the cliffs every evening to graze in the valley.  She even mentions a mountain lion that would come near the house when she was cooking meat and that one time attempted to get in a window.

The Bowens left Tucson in 1944 and moved to New York City where Sherry Bowen            worked for the Associated Press.  The valley and their homestead became part of Tucson Mountain Park in 1983.

The Tucson area is dotted with Saguaro Cacti.  Most have multiple arms that jut out in all directions.  An unusual Saguaro is one that has no arms, but is “crested.”

During our stay in the San Diego area we met fellow full-timers Hans and Lisa      (Metamorphis Road) who lived in San Diego before moving into their fifth wheel.   They took us on two great hikes in the area and showed us many of the sights of the city.  Hans and Lisa have now arrived in the Tucson area, so we’ll be sharing some more hiking experiences with them here.  More on that later.

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10 Responses to Bowen House Ruins

  1. Marsha says:

    I bet the view from that window is gorgeous! I can just image what that house looked like. Wouldn’t it be neat to see an aerial view of it?
    Paul and I never did find a crested cactus. Darn the bad luck but glad you two found one.
    Enjoy your time with Lisa and Hans!

  2. Marsha says:

    I forgot…new header photo…lovely!

  3. Lisa says:

    LOVE the double crested saguaro! Looking forward to tomorrow…this rain better be over with by then!

  4. One of the many that we missed while in Tucson. Agree on the weather, i think there is a system passing through, we had been rained on again at Tombstone.

  5. Gay and Joe Taylor says:

    WOW….what a treat to find a double crested saguaro. We saw a crested one, but it was not a double. I read they have only found about 25 or so in the Saguaro NP. We just left Tucson and are already planning to circle back to see the desert spring. Thanks for sharing. Have a great day!

    • placestheygo says:

      It takes me a little longer to hike when there are saguaro around. I have to stop all the time to examine the area to search for a crest. This one was right by the path…the jackpot! It was on the western end of the Yetman Trail. The spring desert will be awesome!

      Thanks for following along!

  6. rjrvtravels says:

    We will be in the Tucson area in late February and really appreciate all the great ideas. Thanks!

  7. Ingrid says:

    We too will be in the Tucson area in late Feb and appreciate the info……keep it coming 🙂 I’ll be sure to check out Lisa’s blog as well.

    • placestheygo says:

      Ingrid, we still have three weeks left here so there should be a lot of ideas. We also were here in the fall so check out those blogs for other ideas. Thanks for stopping by!

  8. I hiked a little bit in the SNP (west) yesterday, and asked a ranger about crested saguaros. He said their best specimen blew over in September. I asked if I could hike to see one, but he said I’d have to hike a long way. I’m still determined to find one here – it doesn’t have to be in captivity. 😀

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