Arizona's Desert People

Arizona’s Desert People

Winter weather in the Sonoran Desert is cool at night and warm in the afternoon. For general information on the Tohono O’odham, call the Tohono O’odham Nation at (520) 383-2028.

Area code is 520.


Gu-Achi Trading Post. Craftwork from many Southwestern tribes, including elegant sand paintings. State 86 at BIA 15; 361-2613.

Kitt Peak Observatory. Guided tours of the complex and three telescopes are offered; the visitor center gallery provides detailed photographs of the telescopes. Tours at 10, 11:30, and 1:30 daily. From State 86, drive 12 miles south on State 386; 318-8726.

Mission San Xavier del Bac. A showcase of early Spanish colonial architecture, the mission was restored with help from O’odham craftsmen. Off I-19, 8 miles south of Tucson; 1950 W. San Xavier Rd.; 294-2624.

O’odham Tash Casa Grande Indian Days. The February 16-19 festival is similar to the Sells fair, but events are scheduled at different locations in the Casa Grande area and admissions vary by event. 836-4723.

Sacred Heart Church. The Catholic church is open for Sunday services. If the church is closed, inquire in the adjacent rectory. State 86 at milepost 91 in Covered Wells.

Tohono O’odham Nation Rodeo and Fair. The fair features rodeo, powwow dancing, crafts sales, and food. Feb 1-4; $5, $3 parking. Three miles west of Sells on State 86; 383-2588, ext. 5.

Wiwpul Du’ag Native Arts. Beautiful jewelry, O’odham baskets, and a good selection of regional books. State 86 at milepost 140; 383-5555.


Desert Diner. Standard Mexican and American fare; a speciality is Indian tacos. Closed Sun. Next to the Shell station at the west end of Sells on State 86; 383-8775.

Papago Cafe. Great breakfast burritos and huevos rancheros; also lunch and dinner. Closed Sun. State 86 at milepost 124 in Sells; 383-3510.

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