Spring 2018 travel dates: Pre-night in Phoenix on May 24, 2018. Tour departs on May 25, 2018 and returns to Phoenix on May 28, 2018.
Fall 2018 travel dates: Pre-night in Phoenix on October 18, 2018. Tour departs on October 19, 2018 and returns to Phoenix on October 22, 2018.
Travel back to the 19th century, a time when cowboy rivals held gunfights in the streets of Tombstone and outlaws made the west wild. Tales of conquest and survival come to life on a 4-day, 4-night guided tour from Phoenix, AZ. This Western trip of a lifetime explores several historic Southern Arizona locations like Fort Bowie, San Xavier del Bac mission, the Amerind Museum, and the old mining town of Bisbee. Small group tour dates coincide with Wyatt Earp Days or Helldorado Days in Tombstone, AZ for an immersive experience.
- Small group tour with up to 13 passengers – no crowds!
- The best historical lodging available – no lines!
- Custom touring vehicles with individual leather captain’s chairs that recline, plenty of legroom and flatscreen TV
- Expert guides who are CPR and FirstAid certified
- Breakfast, lunch, one hosted dinner and pre-night at Tempe Mission Palms included in tour price!
$1,595 per person for double occupancy.
$2,085 per person for single occupancy.
$1,595 per person (double occupancy) Includes guided tour, lodging, breakfast, lunch, one hosted dinner and taxes
Tempe Mission Palms near Phoenix, AZ
Cancellation and Payment Policy
Tours canceled within 35 days of departure will be charged in full.
A 10% non-refundable deposit will be taken by credit card when booking this tour.
Private Tour Option
This tour can also be operated as a private tour. Contact a tour specialist for details.
Our vehicles are designed to carry up to 13 passengers in individual leather captain’s seats. Groups range from 8-13 passengers.
Our guides have many years of experience in leading tours throughout the American West. Their knowledge and enthusiasm will ensure that everyone gets the most from each destination.
The hotels will be 3-4 stars. The accommodation has been chosen to give passengers the best access to the surrounding areas. For those traveling alone there are single occupancy rates available.
This tour offers a wide range of walking opportunities, which require a reasonable level of fitness mostly due to possible elevation changes. The level of activity can be suited to and catered for almost all levels of fitness. It is not an activity holiday, just an active holiday.
Individual luggage must be kept to a maximum of one piece of luggage less than 50 pounds. It is recommended to travel with a small day pack for easy access to camera, sun block, and clothing. We advise our clients to pack as lightly as possible.
Temperatures across the American West vary by season. We recommend our guests bring jackets in the event of changing weather patterns.
Post Tour Accommodation Packages
Post tours packages are available through your travel agent.
Travel insurance is a vital aspect to booking a holiday, giving you protection against unforeseen circumstances that could otherwise spoil your holiday. It is important that you purchase travel insurance that properly covers your participation in whatever activities you may undertake at the time that you make your booking.
Terms and conditions will be provided and must be agreed upon separately for this tour.
How The West Was Once | 4-day, 3-night Guided Tour of Bisbee, Tombstone and Tucson From Phoenix
Our May 2018 departure coincides with ‘Wyatt Earp Days’ which brings to life the Old West and allows visitors to experience a shootout re-enactment, street entertainment and Wyatt Earp lookalike contest.
Our October 2018 departure coincides with Tombstone’s Helldorado Days. The Wild West shows, re-enactments, parade, 19th century fashion show, carnival, live music, street entertainment and incredible food showcase the history of Tombstone. What began as a celebration of Tombstone’s 50th anniversary in 1929 has become a much loved annual tradition.
Pre-night (included in tour cost): Located in the heart of downtown Tempe on Mill Avenue, Tempe Mission Palms hotel features a rooftop pool, incredible cuisine at Mission Grille, and the sweet smell of citrus in the courtyard. Discover the celebrated hotel retreat in the heart of vibrant downtown Tempe. There is no better way to start your tour than relaxing at the Mission Palms in Tempe with access to over 100 shops, restaurants, and galleries.
Day 1: After an early breakfast, the small group guided tour heads south into the heart of Arizona’s Sonoran Desert, surrounded by towering saguaro, volcanic peaks and endless horizons. The first stop of this old western trip is the Amerind Museum. This hidden gem was established in 1937 to foster and promote knowledge and understanding of the Native Peoples of the Americas through research, education, and conservation. Located among the wonderful rock formations of Texas Canyon, the Amerind Museum enhances our Native American experience with native plants and birds in the solitude of the high desert.
As we continue the day, our next highlight will be Fort Bowie tour. Fort Bowie Historical Site commemorates the bitter conflict between Chiricahua Apaches and the U.S. calvary. This 19th century outpost provides insight into the “clash of cultures,” a young nation in pursuit of “manifest destiny” and the foraging culture fighting to preserve its existence. For more than 30 years, Fort Bowie and Apache Pass were the focal point of military operations eventually culminating in the surrender of Geronimo in 1886 and the banishment of the Chiricahuas to Florida.
Our day ends in the historic mining town of Bisbee. Nestled at 6,000 feet in the Mule Mountains, Bisbee is the picturesque county seat of historic Cochise County. It was founded in 1880, and quickly became a thriving urban center, driven by a booming mining industry that thrived on the area’s rich reserves of copper and precious metals. Despite becoming the most cultured city in the Southwest, the rough edges of the mining camps could still be found in notorious Brewery Gulch, with its booming saloons and shady ladies.
Overnight at historic Copper Queen in Bisbee
Day 2: Known as the ‘Town to Tough to Die,’ Tombstone was home to famous outlaws, pioneers, miners, cattlemen and cowboys. The most famous were Wyatt Earp and his brothers, who originally came as mining investors but soon became lawmen to protect their investment. Big Nose Kate’s Saloon and the Bird Cage Theatre were the ‘wickedest’ nightspots in the West. Our expert guide will tour you through the Tombstone Courthouse and the famous Boot Hill Cemetery.
When visiting in May, our group will experience “Wyatt Earp Days” where the streets of Tombstone come to life with gunfights, western skits, and an 1880’s fashion show to celebrate the legendary Wyatt Earp. In October 2018, Tombstone will be celebrating its annual Helldorado Days where our small group will be treated to Wild West shows, live music, and Old West re-enactments.
The day ends with a return to Bisbee but not before a visit to Fairbank where trains brought supplies to Tombstone and took silver and other valuable ore from the Tombstone mines to deliver them to the stamp mills at Contention City and Charleston. By 1886, Fairbank had only a steam quartz mill, a general store, a butcher shop, a restaurant, a saloon, a Wells Fargo office, the railroad depot, a stage coach station, and about 100 residents. Abandoned a hundred years, it is now a desert ghost town.
Overnight at historic Copper Queen in Bisbee
Day 3: Today will showcase Southern Arizona’s emerging wine production, with some of the best wines of the West. We’ll visit two of the most beautiful vineyards in the region for a flight of wine tasting and continue west to Tubac, where an incredible collection of artists and craftspeople has become the world famous Tubac Artist’s Colony. From coppersmiths to hand-crafted jewelers, this small community is where art meets history – don’t worry, they ship worldwide!
After wine tasting and modern art, we will step back in time and visit the Mission of San Xavier del Bac, a National Historic Landmark which was founded as a Catholic mission by Father Eusebio Kino in 1692. Construction of the current church began in 1783 and was completed in 1797. It’s the oldest intact European structure in Arizona and its interior is filled with marvelous original statuary and mural paintings. After exploring San Xavier, we will be checking into our historic Tucson hotel, the Arizona Inn. A hosted farewell dinner will be shared to celebrate How The West Was Once and reflect on the events that shaped the colorful history of the Southwest.
Overnight at historic Arizona Inn, Tucson
Day 4: Your expert guide will greet you in the morning to explore Tucson, also referred to as “The Old Pueblo.” Derived from the O’odham Cuk Son, the Spanish word Tucsón means ‘at the base of the black hill.’ This historical meaning points to volcanic rock that covers the hill known as Sentinel Peak; locals call it “A” Mountain. We’ll have time to visit the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, an interactive outdoor museum, zoo and garden that combines live animal exhibits and demonstrations with botanical gardens, and enjoy a leisurely lunch in Old Tucson. In the afternoon, we’ll begin our return back to the Valley of the Sun. Once returned, airport drop offs and hotel drop offs will be provided.
Post-tour lodging packages are available upon request.
Double occupancy lodging in a 3-4 star hotel/lodge throughout the tour including pre-night at Tempe Mission Palms
Meals: All breakfasts, all lunches and one hosted dinner
Unlimited bottled water
Entrance fees to Amerind Museum, Fort Bowie, Arizona-Sonora Museum or other named activities
Experienced and professional tour guide
Additional third party tours and activities not listed above
Meals not listed above
Incidental hotel fees
DETOURS Tours offers small group touring in our custom vehicles featuring leather captain’s chairs for maximum comfort.
Because DETOURS travels with a maximum of 13 passengers, this allows us to take a flexible approach and take full advantage of touring opportunities in the American West.
Due to the developing tourism industry in the area, changes can and do occur in this type of program. Weather conditions, sometimes severe enough to limit where we can drive or walk, can also alter the program. As visitors, we will respect this, and remain flexible and open to local conditions, safety concerns and unforeseen opportunities. Our guides will do their best to keep things on track and in the event that our schedule changes, they will try to keep disruption to a minimum, consider your wishes, and organize other options as far as it is reasonable and practical to do so.