Rancho De La osa Guest Ranch in Sasabe, Arizona Rancho De La Osa Guest Ranch 1-800-872-6240

Rancho De La Osa History

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Hollywood star
Cesar Romero

Supreme Court Justice
William O. Douglas

President Lyndon B. Johnson


Rancho De La Osa is one of the last great Spanish haciendas still standing in America. Its history has been lovingly preserved in the beautiful buildings that rest comfortably in the rolling grasslands of the high Sonoran Desert near Tucson, Arizona.

In the late 17th Century, the fertile Altar Valley was settled by Spanish Jesuits. Father Eusebio Francisco Kino and his followers built a mission outpost on the ranch. This building was used for more than a century as an outpost to trade with the local Indians and Mexicans. This rare and historic adobe structure is reputed to be the oldest building in Arizona and still serves as a peaceful gathering place for our guests to mingle and relax.

Rancho De La Osa is part of the original three million acre land grant from the King of Spain to the Ortiz brothers of Mexico in 1812. When the Gadsden Purchase was signed in 1854 settling the border dispute between Mexico and the United States, the ranch fell within the US boundaries. Shortly afterward cattle baron and Civil War hero Colonel William Sturgis began renovations on the main house and made the structure the center of his massive ranching empire.

The Mexican Revolution brought history to our doors when revolution leader Pancho Villa fired on the hacienda. A Mexican cannonball from the era was found embedded in the stucco walls of the main house. Today the cannonball sits on display in the structure for all to see.

In 1921, Louisa Wade Wetherill, who is still considered one of the foremost Navajo historians, came south looking for a lost tribe of Navajos. She never found them, but she started "Hacienda De La Osa (She Bear) Guest Ranch" in 1924, and the ranch began its transformation into one of America's premier guest ranches, beginning an enviable tradition that continues to this day.



People from around the world have recognized the special qualities of vacationing at a ranch in the Sonoran Desert. With more than 300 days of sunshine a year and night-time stars that shine with unmatched clarity within a coal black sky, it wasn't long before the ranch's reputation drew some of the world's leading personalities.

Some of our guests have included: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt; Gone With The Wind author Margaret Mitchell; Hollywood cowboy star Tom Mix; Hollywood stars John Wayne, Cesar Romero and Joan Crawford; western author Zane Gray; Supreme Court Justice William O Douglas; William B Clayton (who drafted the Marshall Plan in one of the casitas in 1948); President Lyndon B. Johnson and former Presidential candidates Hubert Humphrey and Adlai Stevenson.

Rancho De La Osa is a special place that rejuvenates the spirit and invigorates the soul.


Rancho De La Osa Guest Ranch      P.O. Box 1      Sasabe, AZ  85633

760-567-6005          Email:  dean@duderanches.com

Copyright 2015 Rancho De La Osa Guest Ranch.