Hours, Map & Directions

The Empire Ranch Headquarters is magnificently situated in the high Sonoran Desert and rolling grasslands of the Las Cienegas National Conservation Area (LCNCA), located just 50 miles southeast of Tucson, and 10 miles north of Sonoita.

The Ranch Headquarters and the LCNCA are open daily to visitors from sunrise to sunset.   The Visitor Contact Center is open during docent tours, volunteer work days, and special events. Click here for a schedule of upcoming events and more details.

There is no charge for entry and permits are not generally required to visit the national conservation area. However, commercial, competitive, and large organized group events require a special recreation permit. Permits are generally required if the group number is over 29, or if the activity needs BLM oversight or will have an impact to public lands and people.  Click here for more detailed information about BLM permits.

The Empire Ranch House is a 22-room adobe and wood frame building, which dates to 1870 and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.  The ranch sits at the heart of the 42,000-acre Las Cienegas National Conservation Area (NCA), on public lands acquired and administered since 1988 by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Tucson Field Office.

Please Note:  The Empire Ranch House will be inaccessible starting in March 2017 as it undergoes stabilization.  The rest of the buildings at Headquarters, including the Visitor Contact Station, will remain accessible during this construction which is expected to last throughout 2017.

Some of the rooms at the historic Empire Ranch headquarters are wheel-chair accessible through the front breezeway (zaguán) entrance; the public restrooms are wheel-chair accessible. The terrain around the Empire Ranch headquarters is primarily dirt with uneven surfaces that can be challenging for some mobility scooters.

While often providing serenity and quiet, several times during the year special events are hosted by the Empire Ranch Foundation including a Fall Roundup & Open House, Horse Trail Rides & Dinners, and educational outreach events for youth. More information on these activities can be found on our Event Calendar.


View Larger Map

Directions from Tucson

  • Go east on I-10 and exit at Route 83 (scenic highway)
  • Proceed south on Route 83 approximately 18 miles to the paved road on your left between mile post 40 and 39. Watch for brown Historic Empire Ranch sign on the right side of the highway.
  • Turn east (left) onto paved road and follow for 3 miles to the Empire Ranch House on your left.

Directions from Sonoita

  • Go north on Route 83 for 6.6 miles, to the paved road on your right between milepost 39 and 40. Watch for brown Historic Empire Ranch sign on the right side of the highway.
  • Turn east (right) onto paved road and follow for 3 miles to the Empire Ranch House on your left.