opening in the 1850s, the property that is now Mira Vista
Resort has been a haven for respite and renewal. Its history
began in 1852 as a stagecoach stop on the Butterfield Line,
originally a mail delivery/passenger line running from St.
Louis to San Francisco. The one-way trip was 2,700 miles and
took approximately 25 days. Coaches were often overcrowded,
and travelers were continually at risk from robberies or
attacks. Today, the bar is housed in the original stagecoach
stop structure, which retains its authentic lava stone
construction including the original stone bathtub.
the opening of the Southern Pacific Railroad into Tucson in
1880, the West was opening up to people looking for a better
life. Rustlers plied their trade and miners followed veins
of gold and silver while claim jumpers, hijackers, and
stagecoach robbers followed in their wake. On March 20,
1882, down at the Tucson Railroad Depot, Wyatt Earp shot
Frank Stilwell to death for his part in the murder of Earp’s
brother, Morgan, two nights earlier in Tombstone. And on
January 25, 1934, John Dillinger and his gang were
apprehended in downtown Tucson after hiding in the Hotel
notorious outlaw, Tojano, made Sombrero Peak his hideout
(look to the west and you will see the famous peak). Tojano
was famous for robbing stagecoaches, his most famous robbery
– $50,000 in gold stolen from the army payroll stagecoach.
Some believe the gold is buried in the vicinity of Sombrero
Peak, and that Mira Vista’s stone fireplace contains a
treasure map showing its location!
the 1880s, Geronimo used this place during the conclusion of
the Indian Wars. On a volcanic hill several miles away are
the famous “Picture Rocks” where the Indians printed their
“newspapers” on rocks telling where food and water could be
found. The area is also known as Picture Rocks because of
the ancient petroglyphs inscribed into the red rock canyons
by the Pima Indians hundreds of years ago.
the 1930s, the era of the modern dude ranch, the old
Butterfield stop was renamed Saguaro Vista Guest Ranch.
Because many of the old Westerns were filmed at nearby
Universal Studios-Tucson, many celebrities visited the ranch
to relax after working on the movie sets. Hollywood legends
such as John Wayne, Greta Garbo, Cary Grant, Katharine
Hepburn, and many others lodged here. Twelve of the original
suites built at the time still stand today and have been
updated for Mira Vista’s guests. And the original well is
now the Jacuzzi.
In the 1980s, the Suzanne Somers Institute for the Effects
of Addictions on the Family was founded for families
affected by alcoholism. Ms. Somers opened a shelter for
abused women on the property within the operations of
Saguaro Vista Guest Ranch, providing a safe haven for women
and children coming from abusive households. You can find a
plaque with her name at the entrance of our clubhouse and
lounge, completely remodeled in December, 2007.
property was sold in 1997, and the new owners returned it to
its previous grandeur as a guest ranch, renaming it La
Tierra Linda – the beautiful land – and spending $1,000,000
in renovations, including building an Old West town. The
pristine desert background provided the perfect setting for
romantic weddings, celebrations, and honeymoons. The
property underwent further renovations in 2004 when the
resort underwent new ownership and renamed Coyote Moon
Health Resort and Spa. Coyote Moon closed in December 2005.
Opened in May 2006, Mira Vista Resort is a new and exciting
chapter in a history rich in legends and glamour, but most
importantly, a history of continued renewal. For more than
150 years, this land has been a sanctuary for those wishing
to relax. Now, as a family-oriented clothing-optional
resort, it fulfills the destiny for which all of its
transformations have prepared it.
its various transformations, the majestic landscape and
inspiring views have remained constant for thousands of
years. Watch the sunset gild the Santa Catalina Mountains in
the evening before the radiant stars come out for a
spectacular show. Of all the mountain ranges in view, the
Tucson Mountains are the most striking with their volcanic
towering peaks and relics of old craters. An unexplained
freak of nature makes these mountains warmer than other
areas of Tucson, perhaps due to a deep underground lava bed.
As you walk the grounds and hear the wind whisper, you
cannot help but wonder if ancient souls are secretly telling
their stories through the sounds, sights, and smells. Take
it all in and you will see that this truly is sacred land.