The Future

Tumamoc Hill continues to be a place for people to gather. You have heard multiple perspectives of what makes this location special. Tumamoc receives more use now than perhaps at any time in its history. It is a cultural pillar in our community and is distinguished in many ways.

For example, it is the longest continuously habited site and has the oldest communally built structures in North America; it is the hill of the horned lizard; the birthplace of modern ecology; it has the best studied saguaro population in the world; it receives over 1,500 visitors a day; Arizonans have voted it the best hike in the City of Tucson.

Tumamoc Hill is a living laboratory, an ecological reserve owned and operated by the University of Arizona in partnership with Pima County with four thousand years of use and over 100 years of science. The UofA College of Science serves as stewards of this site.

Tumamoc Hill represents the past, present, and, we hope, the future of Tucson. On the Hill, we walk on the heels of our history. The diversity of you who walk Tumamoc Hill matches that of the census of the City of Tucson nearly exactly. A walk on Tumamoc Hill is an opportunity to interact with each other, exercise body and mind, and connect to the wonders of the Sonoran Desert. 

Section Highlights

Each section highlight features a video about that topic.


The Luminous Mother Shrine and Altar: Learn about the inspirational origin of the cultural anchor of Tumamoc Hill.

The Boathouse

A Boathouse in the Desert: What is the the old building at the base of the Hill and why is it called the boat house?

Annual Plants

Annual Plants: The phantoms of the desert


Tumamoc’s namesake plant, the Tumamoc Globeberry.


The grass that is eating the Sonoran Desert, where it came from and what is being done.