News & Events

Experience the Spirit of the West

If you’ve ever been captivated by images of a lone cowboy framed by towering Saguaros against a setting sun, you’ve already gotten a taste of Southern Arizona’s rugged roots. Though the days of saloons and shootouts have long passed, our region continues to embrace its proud western heritage.

From cheering for bucking broncos to relishing simple joys like a mesquite-broiled steak, a horseback ride through the desert or a campfire beneath starry skies, Dove Mountain invites you to experience the true spirit of the West in Southern Arizona. Here’s our roundup of not-to-be-missed local celebrations of ranching culture and destinations offering down-home, uniquely Arizonan experiences.

Fiesta de los Vaqueros

Feel the pulse of the Wild West at the Tucson Rodeo, running from February 17-25, 2024, considered one of the top 25 rodeos on the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association calendar. Established in 1925 and held during the annual Fiesta de los Vaqueros, the celebrations include bull riding, roping and racing plus a Rodeo Parade with over 200 participating organizations.

The rodeo’s importance is so locally ingrained that schools still dismiss students for “Rodeo Days,” a carryover from a time when nearly all Tucson children and adults were either in the parade or cheering on from the sidelines. The popular event has also been featured in Hollywood western classics including 8 Seconds and Ruby Jean and Joe.

Empire Ranch
Caption: Empire Ranch in Pima County, Arizona in the 1890s.


Guest Ranches

Though Arizona has moved beyond its early reliance on cotton, citrus and cattle, the state still boasts 19,000 working ranches and farms. Immerse yourself in the cowboy way of life with a stay at a guest or dude ranch, named for the Eastern “dudes” who, inspired by tales of Teddy Roosevelt and Buffalo Bill, flocked west beginning in the late 1800s to experience the frontier spirit for a spell.

Only 25 minutes from Dove Mountain is the White Stallion Ranch, offering activities such as riding and shooting and luxurious yet rustic stays with barbecues, entertainment and poolside drinks that have drawn in clientele like John Wayne and Paul Newman.

Further afield is Elkhorn Ranch, a third-generation family enterprise at the base of the Baboquivari Mountains. Unplug with a stay in a cozy cabin or saddle up for an authentic experience embodying the 6 Hs of guest ranches: horses, hats, hospitality, heritage, honesty and heart.

Riding, Dining & Dancing

There are three things cowboys enjoy most: a good horse, a good meal and a good drink. Saddle up for a ride through the protected Tortolita Mountains adjacent to our community to take in stunning vistas and feel the warmth of the sun on your skin. New to horseback riding? Marana Parks and Recreation regularly offers guided rides for beginner equestrians.

After a day on the trails, sup at one of the area’s excellent steakhouses — a local favorite is stagecoach stop turned rustic eatery Li’l Abner’s Steakhouse, where fine cuts are still cooked over an open fire. Or kick up your heels with country and line dancing at the Maverick King of Clubs or Whiskey Roads to end the night with drinks, friends and good old-fashioned fun.

Happy trails!

About Dove Mountain

The Dove Mountain community features new luxury homes tucked into stunning high desert landscapes, including custom foothills homes with sweeping canyon and mountain views and golf course homes located on or steps from three of the best golf courses in Arizona.

To learn more about all that the Dove Mountain community has to offer, contact Dove Mountain Properties at 888-603-7600, or connect with us via our online inquiry form.

‹  Back to News & Events

‹  See All News