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A River Rock Cabin in Cascabel

Bedrooms 1
Property type cabin
Minimum Stay 2 nights


About the property

Built 100 yrs ago. Sleeps 2 + a double bed in nearby 'penthouse'

Built in the ancient floodplain of the fabled San Pedro River, this rustic old cabin has been fully electrified and refurbished. It is 1 room with a large screened porch doubling its living space. It has a double bed - towels, pillows and bed linens provided.

There is a counter for eating and food prep plus a sink and small refrigerator, a microwave, toaster oven and all sorts of electrical appliances for cooking.

Heating is with a small pot bellied wood stove that came out of a caboose. Wood is provided.

The bathhouse is separate with a hot shower, colorful Mexican sink and a composting toilet. There is additional space and refrigeration for food storage for long term stays.

Sustainability is a watchword in this community which is most concerned about the impact to the land and its creatures that we humans bring.

Outdoors next to the cabin is a Mexican adobe fireplace with a grill. Sit by the fire in the evening or get it going early and cook your meal there.

The cabin seems to have an old fashioned 'pay it forward' atmosphere as people often voluntarily fill the woodbox for the next guest and leave the place surprisingly clean.

Of course there are the sounds and smells of the animals along with a dusty atmosphere. We are part of a working ranch operation. If this is objectionable, this isn't the place for you.

Interested in Conservation Ranching? Know someone who is? We’re always looking for folks who would like to learn about what we are doing and would like to help. There’s often a fence to check on range (spectacular views), cows to look for on range (great hiking to find them if you can), or mesquite treelets and thistle to dig out of the irrigated pastures. Let us know if this is something you would like to explore, and we’ll work out a plan. Own vehicle essential.

More Details

Member since: 2012
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within a few hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
March 9, 2018

About Sue

I left the east coast in '94 after a disastrous downsizing of the company I was working for and of course it was a gift in disguise..... once I got my feet firmly planted again.

I opened a boarding stable in Tucson and ran that until the city grew too big and close. So I moved out to the wilderness and started over again. It has been such a gift and I don't know that, if I was ever given the chance, I would have thought I would be allowed to choose such a life. The experience has been enhanced by living among a thriving, tiny community of people seeking the balance of what's best for the land and for themselves, making the land and its wild animals an equal partner in the equation.

We are doing conservation ranching, preserving an entire canyon while bringing it back from overgrazing, running cattle on range and on irrigated pasture, selling grass fed beef. None of this takes place on this property, but on the thousands of acres of range land and pasture some miles from here. I say this because I've had people ask if there was butchering or branding or whatever going on here. No there isn't.

Formerly I was married, living in Conn and eventually divorced and raising a daughter by myself. I worked as a professional photographer for 30 years while also working in printing and publications. My MA degree was from Syracuse School of Journalism.

Horses were always a large part of my life, even tho' I never owned one as a youngster but the time came when I had to let it all go. It was only in retirement that I was able to bring these fabulous animals back into my life.

Sue purchased this cabin in 2005

Why Sue chose Cascabel

When I was looking for property and came upon this place, I was really struck by the old cabin built into the side of the mesa. I could feel its potential and also its history. Once I settled in with the animals, I turned my attention to the cabin and saw, once I got windows in and opened it up, how welcoming it was. As was the land. The land is in one of the last remaining old mesquite bosques, very near the river, surrounded by desert leading up to mountains on both sides of the river. This is like a national park or refuge and is actually being considered for that status.

What makes this cabin unique

The energy of the surrounding land is palpable. Native ancient populations lived here in great numbers and on the mesa above me is one of the largest documented villages. It is now under conservation easement. Baicatcan. The hiking or riding in the valley takes you into unspoiled deep wilderness. Before I moved out here, each time I visited the valley, I could feel my whole body expand and relax and let in this clean air and wide open space, the amazing quiet and peacefulness. It is possible to do a Spirit walk with some Native American neighbors, if you ask me to arrange it.


Cascabel Cabin Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • cabin
  • Guests provide their own meals
House Rules:
  • Check-in: Flexible / Check-out: Flexible
  • Max. occupancy: 4
  • pets considered ...
  • children welcome ...
  • smoking allowed ...
Location Type:
  • Mountain View ...
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Historic
  • Air Conditioning ...
  • Free Long Distance ...
  • Internet ...
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Mobile Phone ...
  • Telephone ...
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Wireless Internet ...
  • Wood Fireplace ...
  • Wood Stove ...
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cooking Utensils ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Toaster ...
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 4 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Bathroom 1 -
  • Bathhouse is separate from the cabin. It contains a shower, sink and a composting toilet system. There are 3 steps up to get inside and a grab bar on the outside. Footing is a little uneven.
  • 1 Bedroom, Sleeps 4
  • The Penthouse - 1 double
    Bedroom 1 - 1 double
  • Double Beds (1) standard double bed, Double bed in the Penthouse also
  • Books ...
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • alternative lifestyle
  • ruins
Leisure Activities:
  • bird watching
  • eco tourism
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • mountain climbing
  • mountaineering
If keeping your vehicle pristine is a priority, you won't like the road dust you gather as you make your way here. I need to emphasize for long term renters... those wishing to stay longer than 3 weeks... that an overnight here is advised. When you stay this long, you will provide your own maintenance whether it be with maintaining the composting toilet or helping to keep up the wood supply for the cabin. I try to stay ahead of need but it is always more fun to do it together.


Excellent! 4.6/5 -
(19 traveler reviews)

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A River Rock Cabin in Cascabel
average rating of 4.5789475 based on 19 reviews

Perfect get away, where a dog can be a dog.

  • 5 of 5

Adorable little cabin with so much character. Relaxing surroundings where you still can experience a rustic feel of outdoor life without a lot of work. My dog was in heaven, able to play and run free and just be a dog. Sue is a wonderful host, very knowledgeable about the area. I will definitely be back.

  • Submitted: Nov 26, 2017
  • Stayed: November 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Mary. it was a treat to have you and Bear here! Your genuine response to the cabin and this wilderness feeds me, knowing that deep down you've received the gift of this still pristine valley. And leaving the cabin in apple pie order is so appreciated. I look forward to your return!
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United States


  • 5 of 5

This was my third stay at Sue's cabin. I find it very comfortable, yet still connected to the land. I enjoy the cabin, screen porch and outside area, The bath house works well. It is surprisingly-well-equipped with cooking equipment. But the homey touches - lots of hooks, storage, great book selection - are the best part. Cascabel is full of interesting, friendly people and Sue is a wonderful conduit to meet them.

  • Submitted: Feb 15, 2018
  • Stayed: February 2018
  • Source: HomeAway
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Langley. Wa USA

We Loved our stay with Sue!

  • 5 of 5

Beautiful cabin in the high dessert of Arizona. Quiet, peaceful and very welcoming. Sue is a sweet host and she graciously shared her friends and community with us. Me who is not a good sleeper, slept 10 hours every night!

Thank you Sue. Hope to see you again next year.

  • Submitted: Feb 9, 2018
  • Stayed: January 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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A unique experience to enjoy silence, stars and nature.

  • 4 of 5

We enjoyed our stay at the cabin and loved meeting community members from Cascabel. There is a nice community center where you can join in on a weekly morning coffee. People were very friendly.

Some practical things to know about the cabin if you decide to stay here. It's cozy and the wood stove heats it very well. It is about 50 feet from the main road (dirt) and there is a fair amount of cars and trucks going by which do kick up dust that spreads to the cabin. A little tough to keep clean. There are mice, and we did clean up lots of droppings in the kitchen and caught several mice in the traps! The compost toilet is in a bathroom with a heater, do be aware that they are buckets which need to be emptied every few days.

Garbage needs to be taken to town for disposal.

As long as you know some of these realities of cabin life, you will enjoy the peaceful life in Cascabel!

There are nice hikes where you likely will not see a soul. It really is a unique place to stay, and I know we will remember our stay for a long time.

  • Submitted: Jan 22, 2018
  • Stayed: January 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Happy to answer any questions that might arise out of this review. Not sure how much stronger I need to word my cautionary note - " If the sounds or smells of animals or a dusty environment are a problem, then this is not the place for you." And the cabin is NOT THAT close to the road and has a lot of greenery for privacy. These folks were a bit high end for the cabin and seemed to have a variety of support needs that are not usually required. They did leave the cabin in immaculate condition and paid it forward in supplying wood for the next person staying here. The cabin is for self sufficient folks who understand that this is a 100 yr old building. The occasional mouse visits every house in the valley and the ravens are nearby, waiting for them to be deposited on a nearby post. They're pretty amazing to watch as they swoop in for lunch. The road, a farm to market lane, offers a great sense of the ranching activity in the valley whether it is a huge hay truck passing by or a livestock trailer moving cows to other range pastures. Much of the time it is very quiet and the pitch black skies at night offer a sight few can see elsewhere because of light pollution. Part of learning about the reality of what the word sustainability means is understanding that living lightly on the land is not an easy task when immersed in a consumer driven world. This community out here strives to live lightly. Our environmental concerns mean that we move cows from time to time to reduce overgrazing. So yes, there may be ranch traffic on the road. We live and work here and share the experience through spaces like this cabin. And the magic comes for those staying here in being able to experience life that pretty much mirrors an earlier century. The old book 'Chop Wood Carry Water' is real here.
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Fantastic Retreat!!

  • 5 of 5

Absolutely adorable cabin well outfitted with most anything you need. The separate bath house is clean with hot water. The animals are so personable and the area is gorgeous. Every person we met whether hiking or at the community center was so welcoming. It was an awesome retreat from the outside world. Where there was no cell service there was wifi. We were forced to focus as a family and made great smores and hiked, flew kites, and enjoyed being present.

Sue was the best part. We had some last minute changes that she accommodated beautifully. Her service and personality made this a place I definitely want to return to. She is so knowledgeable about the area and sustainable action to promote this beautiful land. She was the highlight for the entire family.

I highly recommend this property if you want a chance to separate from the busyness of life and enjoy simplicity. Even the smallest chicken seemed happy to be there. Only about 3 hours of phoenix it would be great for a weekend trip. Our reservation was for 9 days and we would have loved to stay longer!

  • Submitted: Jan 8, 2018
  • Stayed: December 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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We liked it. Truly located in the Sonoran Desert with all that entails.

  • 4 of 5

Sue, the owner, was very nice and a wealth of information. One of the trails goes up from the cabin and leads up onto the mesa and into a forest of cactus. The saguaros are like we've never seen before - huge and very numerous...better than any highly touted saguaro area. You can sit on the nice cool screened in porch and see a wonderful variety of birds and other wildlife. This cabin is clean and cozy. If you want all the services of a typical tourist spot this may not be for you. However if you prefer to be in a true desert with no other tourists or signs, this is a good spot. My wife and I are very glad we found this rental and this nice little community. Beats the heck out of any arboretum or desert museum. Thank you Sue!

  • Submitted: Apr 9, 2017
  • Stayed: April 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Nearest Airport
60 Miles
Nearest Barpub
35 Miles
Nearest Golf
35 Miles
Nearest Train
35 Miles
Nearest Motorway
35 Miles
Nearest Restaurant
35 Miles
Nearest Ski
60 Miles
Mt Lemmon - Tucson
Car: necessary

The San Pedro River is the only remaining SW river not dammed - as a result, it is the largest migratory flyway in the country. The cabin is located on a dirt road, deep along the river valley, across from the river. The birding is fabulous, as is the hiking or horseback riding, if you haul your horses in. Stabling available on the ranch. The area is under major conservation which has preserved wildlife corridors from the mountains to the river. Bear, ring-tailed cats, coati, mountain lions, desert tortoise, deer... they are all here. A wildlife guide is available for hire for back country exploration.

If you were to hike up Hot Springs Canyon, it brings you through a year-round running stream and to Hooker Hot Springs on the Muleshoe Ranch. This is wild back country and is generally considered to be a very long day hike or an overnight hike. It is possible to have someone meet you and drive you back to the cabin.

Other trips, with back country permits, can take you into the Aravaipa Wilderness.

Of course there's the alternative - sitting on the porch or out in the sun and being quiet and still, separating yourself from the frantic rush of the outside world. Being here is like living in an earlier century.




Additional information about rental rates

Please note that for more than 2 people, or those wishing to use the extra penthouse bedroom there is an additional $20.
LATE ARRIVAL: If you misjudge distances, easy to do in the West, please assume that I will NOT meet you at the cabin after 10:00 PM. Lights will be on for you and I will go through the moving parts in the morning.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.
  • 100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.