Brown's Canyon Ranch, Sierra Vista

4.4
#3 of 15 in Things to do in Sierra Vista
Brown Canyon Ranch, formerly known as the Barchas Ranch, is a historic ranch located in the foothills of the Huachuca Mountains, near Sierra Vista, Arizona.
The land Brown Canyon Ranch is on was first settled around 1880 by John Thomas Brown, who owned a hotel a few miles away in neighboring Ramsey Canyon. Following a succession of owners, the land eventually ended up in the hands of the brothers James and Tom Haverty. Between 1905 and 1907, James and his brother built what is today the most prominent building in the canyon, a modest three-room adobe home, now known as the Brown Canyon Ranch House. James and his wife Lessie homesteaded the ranch in 1912 and lived there until 1921, when it was sold to William and Margaret Carmichael.
The Carmichaels were major landowners in the Sierra Vista area and did not take up residence at the house. Instead, they rented it out to a local miner named Harvey James and later a Yaqui Indian named Chico Romero and his family. In 1946, the Carmichaels sold the ranch to Roy and Stella Rambo, who raised cattle on it until 1957, when it was again sold to Samuel and Cecile Barchas. The Barchas family did not live on the ranch, either, but they raised livestock on it all the way up until 1997. One year later it was deeded to the United States Forest Service in a land exchange.
Efforts to preserve and restore the historic ranch house, as well as its associated outbuildings, has been underway since 1998. In addition to the ranch house, there is also a one-room adobe storeroom adjacent to the house, a wooden corral and outhouse, the stone ruins of a barn, and a pair of man-made ponds, which are now used as a preserve for the endangered Chiricahua leopard frog. Further up the trail is a small graveyard known as the Brown Canyon Cemetery, followed by the ruins of an old house and the remains of the Pomono Mine. The ranch is open to hikers and picnickers, free of charge, for day use only.
For travelers who use our international travel planner, Sierra Vista holidays become easier to arrange, with trips to the Brown's Canyon Ranch and other attractions mapped out and timetabled.
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Brown's Canyon Ranch Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
67 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • Enjoyed a walk around the ranch which was indicative of the early ranch life of years gone by. No admission fee. Nice self guided walk through the ranch and grounds. You can drive right up to the ranc...  more »
  • Whether you're riding a horse, a bike, walking a dog, birding, looking for a piece of Southwest ranching, Brown's Canyon Ranch and trails is a perfect destination. The facility is open 6 a.m. to 10 p....  more »
  • Lovely area for photo shoots, relaxing or just enjoying the desert Southwest. If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle this is a beautiful spot.  more »
Google
  • Great for walking until a car drives by over 15 MPH and dusts you. Nice if they would be more respectful of pedestrians. I like to walk from the road to the ranch as it is the prettiest grassland in SE AZ
  • Brown Canyon ranch is a great trail for beginners who want to explore the trails of southern Arizona but don't really know what to expect. The trail is generally flat and mildly steep with plenty of shade, and can ease you into exploring more difficult trials like Miller Canyon/peak. The parking opens at 6am so I suggest you get there right as it opens to beat the sun and heat if you are hiking during the spring/summer time. For parking I suggest you drive in the extra mile to the ranch house to park, as it offers direct access to the main trail and other trails, and you don't have to walk through the dirt road and avoid traffic. Even though I rate this trail as suitable for beginners I recommend you bring plenty of water and sunscreen. Be prepared!
  • We just did the nature trail, which is not shaded but a nice walk. The house and water basin was interesting. Beautiful mountains all around
  • A beautiful oasis in the high desert of Southern Arizona. Be sure to make the 10 minute trip to Ramsey Canyon to fill out your day
  • My first time to visit this area. It is an absolutely beautiful place to take a hike or have a picnic. The scenery is awesome and the hiking paths are mostly level so it is very nice for beginners or those of us with age problems. There is a parking lot off of Ramsey Rd. or you can drive in a short way on an unpaved road with ruts to the old ranch house where there is a nice large parking lot there. It is pet friendly and they have plastic bags for you to use.
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