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Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927
Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927

Authentic Tucson Experience: Mud Adobe Casita Nestled in Canyon Among Wildlife

Bedrooms 2
Property type house
Minimum Stay 3 - 7 nights


About the property

House, 2 Bedrooms, 1 Bath, (Sleeps 2-4)

Nestled inside a boulder studded canyon this adobe casita is the perfect peaceful retreat possessing a commanding view of Tucson. With just under 4 acres to roam, the romance of the location will enchant couples. Possessing the rustic qualities of the classic Tucson adobe style, the massive 16' thick walls of the adobe casita were forged from the earth with adobe blocks made on site.  The casita appears as though it's always been there having grown out of the ground merging seamlessly with the surrounding desert. Adobe construction including passive solar design moderate temperatures in ways unmatched by other building materials providing an unsurpassed level of comfort.  

If you've never slept in an adobe home it may be your best night's sleep yet.  The natural materials of the casita were chosen to effect a calming harmony that will help relax you into a deep slumber at night as the coyotes serenade you to sleep.  Imagine waking fully restored with an energy reminiscent of your childhood.  

The casita features the conveniences of modern living:

•Update Facebook, connect with your family at home via Skype, or just catch up on a TV show you missed on HULU from any room with WIFI. 

•Catch the big game, your favorite soap, or the most popular prime-time shows on a large, flat screen, LED HDTV. 

•Cuddle with loved ones as the wood burning fireplace warms and transforms your nights into a cherished memory.

•Whip up a quick snack using the new microwave then stash the dishes in the new dishwasher. 

•Even though you'll start to miss the casita before you leave, take advantage of the new washer and dryer to pack fresh, clean clothes. 

•Start your morning with a complimentary coffee starter pack.

•The 300+ thread count, organic cotton sheets are a joy to sleep on. Additional linens provided to enhance your comfort.

•With more than 350 days of sunshine, Tucson is the sunniest city in the US. Attached covered parking protects your vehicle.

•For your convenience a hair dryer is stored in the bath vanity. 

•A naturalist library containing numerous field guides to look up your discoveries made during your foray into the surrounding desert. 

•A full kitchen is available for foodies wanting to cook for themselves but you may want to take advantage of our Special Offers instead and sample the wondrous delights of Southwestern cuisine among many others.

Special Offers:

With a 1 wk reservation you'll receive:

•A free guided tour valued at $97 per person led by a naturalist entrusted with the traditional wisdom carried by national treasures such as the great, great grandson of Sitting Bull and the Shadow Wolves a group of local Native American trackers.

During your adventure you'll discover:

*Various track & sign left by the wild inhabitants of the area.  

*Local birds and some of their nesting places.

*Closely guarded secrets of the Sonoran Desert.

Keywords: house, casita, adobe

More Details

Andrew Ford
Member since: 2011
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within an hour
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
March 17, 2018

Why Andrew Ford chose Tucson

Even now nearly 14 years later I still remember the first time we saw the canyon like it was yesterday. It was completely by accident. One Saturday I happened to be working as a real estate agent showing a friend homes in the area. Wanting Rhonda to get to know his family better, for the 1st time in 12 years I brought her along on an appointment with me.

In an attempt to take a short cut to the next house we tried to go through the canyon. As soon as I saw the for sale sign, we stopped so I could get out. The place was completely captivating unlike any other I'd ever seen in Tucson after living here for 40 years and seeing more than a 1000 homes in my 12 year career.

After seeing so many homes it was surprising that only 5 homes or so were truly memorable. This was something that I continued to wonder about throughout my time as an agent. What made those few homes so charming?

We were fortunate to win the property from a competing buyer. Since then we've come to regard ourselves as custodians of this valuable resource including the plants and wildlife it is home to.

In 2008 during an annual family retreat when we gather together to celebrate the past year and share our visions for the coming year, one of our goals was to build a home that our family could use to carry on our tradition.

For 10 years we had been collecting ideas for our dream home largely from multi million dollar homes throughout Arizona that we wanted to somehow incorporate into our more modest budget.

During project planning once again I returned to the question of the source of indefinable charm that only 5 homes in a thousand possess. A builder friend recommended the work of architect Christopher Alexander who studied some of the most loved buildings throughout time in an effort to capture that special quality that makes these structures so appealing.

What makes this house unique

Alexander ultimately came to describe this quality as wholeness. Wholeness guided the design of the Firelight Casita with the intent of establishing a strong connection between people, places, and nature. Ageless design elements that span the history of humanity create a sense of belonging of the home to it's surroundings.

According to Alexander there are 151 patterns that form a timeless way of building. So far we've been able to incorporate 112 of them. Hints of the pattern language are included with your welcome email. During your stay see how many you can identify.


Tucson House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 3:00 PM
  • /
  • Check-out: 10:00 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 4
  • Children welcome
  • Parties/events not allowed
  • Pets not allowed
  • Non smoking only
Location Type:
  • Mountain
  • Mountain View
  • Rural
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Air Conditioning
  • Basic Soaps
  • Broadband Access
  • Carport
  • Ceiling Fans
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Covered Parking ...
  • Ducted Cooling
  • Fireplace
  • Firewood
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Area
  • Parking
  • Parking Off Street
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Wireless Internet
  • Wood Fireplace ...
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Freezer
  • Kitchen
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Dining
  • Dining Area
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Bathroom 1 -
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 4
  • Queen size Beds (2), Sleep Sofa or Futons (1) 2nd bedroom can be configured to include 1 single, 2 twins, or 1 king size bed.
  • Books
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player
  • Games
  • Satellite / Cable
  • Stereo
  • Television
  • Video Library
  • Outdoor Grill
  • Porch / Veranda
  • Low Allergen Environment
  • wheelchair inaccessible
  • botanical garden
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • library
  • live theater
  • museums
  • playground
  • recreation center
  • restaurants
  • ruins
  • theme parks
  • water parks
  • winery tours
  • zoo
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • bird watching
  • eco tourism
  • gambling casinos
  • horseback riding
  • outlet shopping
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • sledding
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundromat
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • equestrian events
  • fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • mountain biking
  • mountain climbing
  • paragliding
  • roller blading
  • skiing
  • swimming


Wonderful! 4.9/5 -
(19 traveler reviews)

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Authentic Tucson Experience: Mud Adobe Casita Nestled in Canyon Among Wildlife
average rating of 4.9473686 based on 19 reviews
Streetsboro, Ohio

Perfect stay for first time to Tucson

  • 5 of 5

Perfect rental, perfect weather for our first visit to Tucson at end of March. Well equipped kitchen, new appliances, comfortable bed, desert setting--all as pictured. The welcoming basket of local goodies was a treat. Yes, the road to house is rough--suggest an SUV--but worth it for the setting. Owner's suggestion of nearby, new Fry's grocery was helpful. Check out the sky at night. Daily sightseeing: Desert Museum, Patagonia for birds, Tombstone for fun!, Sabino Canyon for tram ride and hike, Downtown food tour with Brad (Tucson Food Tours), West National Park for views, Mission Del Bac for history (and fry bread). Great week and great stay at this casita.

  • Submitted: Apr 7, 2017
  • Stayed: March 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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0 0

Great Sonoran getaway rental.

  • 5 of 5

We really enjoyed our two week stay in your casita. Great scenic, quiet location, well stocked, a nice home away from home. Good base of operations to adventurize in the Tucson area.

  • Submitted: Feb 9, 2017
  • Stayed: January 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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0 0
Reading, PA

Great Little Casita

  • 5 of 5

My wife and I stayed in the casita for a week in December and loved it. It's an excellent jumping off point for points south and west like Saguaro National Park and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Very close to the old Spanish Mission. Easy highway access for Tombstone, Bisbee, Patagonia etc.

Very well appointed house perfect for a couple or 2 couples who are close.

Very responsive owner, but not on sight so you don't meet them if you don't need to.

We scoured the listings and you would be hard pressed to do better that this in the price range.

Beautiful desert scenery. Would stay here again.

  • Submitted: Jan 2, 2017
  • Stayed: December 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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2 0

Perfect Tuscon Getaway

  • 5 of 5

I just returned from my stay and am missing this lovely Adobe home already! This was one of my favorite all time VRBO rentals! I would say this would be my dream vacation home! The location was perfect and had a remote feel although it was not. The Adobe home is just beautiful, clean, comfortable and well equipped. There was a pair of doves raising 2 young in the bedroom window, I was able to watch them grow up in a week! Lots of wildlife here. I saw hummingbirds, rabbits, coyotes, Great horned owl, scorpion and even a tarantula!

  • Submitted: Sep 6, 2016
  • Stayed: August 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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3 0


  • 5 of 5

A senior German couple, we enjoyed the two weeks of our stay and called that place a home - a comfortable one with much charm. You will find many memories of Old Mexico in style and architecture. Therefore the casita is not only a secluded getaway to enjoy a lazy day or a starting point for adventurous hikes into the nearby mountains and the Sonoran desert (beginning with the easy stroll through the fantastic Sonora Desert Museum only a few miles away) but also an inspiring "base camp" from where you can travel back in time: to the reminders of the "Spanish Entrada" (Presidio Tubac, Missions San Xavier del Bac and Tumacacori), to the atmosphere of the Wild West (much more than only visiting the tourist trap of "Old Tucson" nearby), and to so many places where Apache Indians lived their secret lives or lurked for landhungry immigrants, greedy miners or Cavalry patrols, lost in the deserts. Yes, on our last day in the casita we played ourselves "Apache Scout Sentinel" high on the cliffs of two Saguaro studded Beehive buttes in front and behind the Casita.

We would be very happy to return to this pittoresque and hospitable spot some day.

  • Submitted: Jun 16, 2016
  • Stayed: May 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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3 0
Dayton, Ohio


  • 5 of 5

We had a very nice stay here getting away from more than we knew. The house is as advertised with the amenities being excellent, and more if new to the Sonoran Desert. While remote via the 1/2 mile dirt road, it is 10 min. to amenities, and 15-25 min. to most of all Tucson. The place is so quiet on the inside, with owls and coyotes outside at night, and good daytime birdwatching. While here, we enjoyed close proximity to the Sonoran Desert Museum, SD National Park, The Rock Shop, and Old Tucson. The San Xavier mission is nearby and worth a visit regardless of belief. (we met jeweler Joe Begay there, A must meet) Other explorations during our stay included Mt. Lemmon (a half day at least), and the Artisans Downtown. Last but not least of course is owner Andrew"s personal guided tour in the desert. Make time for it! J.S.

  • Submitted: Dec 31, 2015
  • Stayed: November 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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8 0


Nearest Airport
8.5 Miles
Tucson International Airport
Nearest Barpub
2.5 Miles
Chili's Bar & Grill
Nearest Golf
8.8 Miles
Star Pass PGA Course
Nearest Train
9.5 Miles
Amtrak N Toole Ave
Nearest Motorway
4 Miles
Nearest Restaurant
1.4 Miles
Little Mexico Steakhouse
Nearest Ski
51 Miles
Mt Lemmon Ski Valley
Nearest Point of Interest
Old Tucson Movie Studios
Nearest Point of Interest
Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum
Nearest Point of Interest
Spectrum Shopping Mall
Nearest Point of Interest
Harkins Movie Theater
Car: necessary

The 'Firelight Casita' was built on a long since forgotten mining road leading to 2 abandoned gold mines hidden in the surrounding canyon conjuring images of the old west. You can easily imagine Apache scouts atop the stone towers guarding the entrance to their stronghold. The 'Firelight Casita' overlooks the San Xavier Mission, the 'White Dove of the Desert', completed in 1792 and widely regarded as Tucson's most sacred place. Convenient access to shopping at the .5 mile long or more Spectrum Shopping Center (10min) with grocery shopping even closer make this quiet escape a best kept secret. Or skip the zoo and curl up with a good book in the window seat if you can tear your eyes away from the dramatic scenery and the varied wildlife passing by.




Additional information about rental rates

Damage Waiver $79
Cleaning Fee $97

Rates subject to change until reservation is confirmed

Minimum reservation rental rate $497

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.