What’s New

2022 Cowboy Festival

Save the date for the 21st annual Cowboy Festival on November 5-6, 2022.  It’s our annual public event celebrating Arizona’s Western history and culture. It’s a fun-filled two days for the whole family featuring western music & entertainment, history & culture demonstrations, ranch life exhibits, 45 minute trail rides , kids activities, skilled artisans and speakers, silent auction and food.

Click here to view the preliminary program–it’s updated frequently.

Posted 8/3/2022

Volunteer in our Gift Shop

We seek volunteers to work at our Gift Shop at the historic Empire Ranch.  Volunteers are needed for five hour shifts on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Responsibilities include stocking, organizing, and cleaning the Gift Shop; processing sales using an iPad and Square software; providing general information about the Empire Ranch and Las Cienegas National Conservation Area; and completing various reports.  Training for all tasks provided.  Volunteers must be personable and willing to engage with visitors.  Unvaccinated persons are required to wear a mask and provide a negative test within 3 days of volunteering at the gift shop.

Click here to apply.

Gunfight at the OK Corral

Plan to attend the Sunday, September 11th matinee showing of Gunfight at the OK Corral at the Loft Cinema in Tucson.  Released in 1957 the film features Burt Lancaster as Wyatt Earp and Kirk Douglas as Doc Holliday.  Portions of the movie were filmed on the Empire Ranch.

Prior to the movie a panel of film experts will provide interesting background information about the film, with audience participation invited.  Doors Open at 2:00pm, Panel Presentation at 2:30pm, Show Time at 3:00pm.

Click here to purchase your tickets in advance ($25).  Tickets can also be purchased ($30) at the door on September 11th.

Updated  8/3/2022

National Day of the Cowboy

The July 23rd celebration of the National Day of the Cowboy at the Empire Ranch also provided an opportunity to celebrate the re-opening of the ERF Gift Shop.  Over 350 participants arrived bright and early to beat the heat and enjoy of morning of activities and shopping.

Click here to see the day’s program. Click here to see photos of the event

Updated 7/25/2022

Volunteer Days

Dedicated volunteers have been key to preserving the historic Empire Ranch House and Headquarters.  Please join us on Saturday, August 6, 2022.

To volunteer, please submit a Volunteer Opportunities Form, and we will contact you with more details!

Post updated 7/12/2022

Agents of Discovery

Explore the Historic Empire Ranch in an exciting new way. It’s called Agents of Discovery, the not-so-secret,
secret agency dedicated to learning and playing outdoors.

To get started:
1. Download the free Agents of Discovery app to your mobile device at the Apple App Store, Google Play or visit www.AgentsofDiscovery.com.
2. After downloading the app, click on the Missions button and select the ones you want to play.
3. Preload the missions and head out to the Historic Empire Ranch to start completing your challenges!

Updated 6/1/2022

Discover the Land

Discovering the Land: Community, Science, and Partnership in the Sonoita and Patagonia Region (May 7th 2022). The Cienega Watershed Partnership and Friends of Sonoita Creek invite you to share your experiences on the land with local and regional partners, stakeholders, and community members in a day of exploration and presentation! The free event will cover science and engagement across the region, from Vail to Patagonia and beyond. Join us at www.tinyurl.com/DiscoverTheLand to learn more and RSVP.

Last Train from Gun Hill

Almost 200 western film aficionados enjoyed the June 4th outdoor showing of Last Train from Gun Hill. Before the movie started Steve Boice shared stories about his interactions, as a young boy with the actors and film crew.

Click here to view photos of the evening.

Updated 6-12-2022

Cienega Ranch “The Farm”

Click here to read about the history of the Cienega Ranch which was purchased by Walter Vail about 1882 from Don Alonzo Sanford. Located along the Cienega Creek about 4 miles northeast of Empire Ranch Headquarters it was know as “The Farm.”

Spring Trail Ride, April 2, 2022

Back in the Saddle Again

It was glorious to ride again on Las Cienegas National Conservation Area.  Empire Ranch Foundation volunteers were excited to welcome everyone to the April 2, 2022, Spring Trail Ride after a two-year hiatus.  109 riders took advantage of the 4 different trail ride opportunities, and 23 enjoyed the wagon rides.  And everyone enjoyed the pulled-pork chuckwagon lunch served up by EZ Cattle Company Cow Camp Café Chuck Wagon Catering.

Click here to view photos of the day.

Updated 4/3/2022