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Thomas Wiewandt

Member since: 2005
Call Owner
Speaks: english, spanish

Tucson Vacation House in a Wildlife Sanctuary

26 Reviews
Bedrooms 2
Property type house
Minimum Stay 5 nights


Arizona House Rental Photos and Description

2 BR, 2 BA, Sleeps 4.

If you love nature and seek a comfortably furnished and peaceful place to relax or work, you've found it. This spacious, custom-built 2-bedroom, 2-full-bath house is situated in the Tucson Mountains on a private 50-acre wildlife sanctuary. The estate bridges an 880-acre county nature preserve and Saguaro National Park West on the east side (city side) of the Tucson Mountains. Front and back deck and patio areas are ideal for wildlife watching and afford a nighttime view of Tucson's city lights and the full-moon rising. Rental includes a computer workstation with hi-speed WiFi Internet service. Your host and property manager Thomas Wiewandt lives nearby; he's a professional nature photographer/tour operator and southwestern author.

For Additional Information: Weaving Studio: A fully equipped weaving studio is located on the premises and available for use by experienced weavers for a $100/week rental fee, all materials included.

  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • Low Allergen Environment
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
  • pets considered
Thomas Wiewandt (Owner)
Member since: 2005
Call Owner
Speaks: english, spanish

About Thomas Wiewandt

I'm a professional wildlife photographer/filmmaker well rooted in the Sonoran Desert.

Thomas Wiewandt purchased this house in 2004

Why Thomas Wiewandt chose Arizona

I chose this property because of its unique location and richness in desert plant and animal life. Both homes -- mine and the rental -- have been carefully nestled within this natural area, 50 acres of pristine desert. The state of Arizona levies 60% higher taxes on undeveloped land, so income from this rental is helping me to keep this land in a natural state. My goal is to have it added to Saguaro National Park West for preservation in perpetuity.

What makes this house unique

You won't find a more restful and secluded home in Tucson, and it's perfect for anyone who loves watching wildlife and hiking. This property is also contiguous with our newest county park, Sweetwater Preserve, an 880-acre tract of pristine desert with superb hiking and mountain biking trails, rated among the best in the Tucson area.

We are also located on the east side of the Tucson Mountains, just a 10-minute drive to large grocery stores and Interstate-10, providing easy access to all parts of metro-Tucson.

We have the best of both worlds!


based on 26 traveler reviews

Tucson Vacation House in a Wildlife Sanctuary
average rating of 5.0 based on 26 reviews

Paradise in the Desert

  • 5 of 5

What a beautiful place, a great location, a home full of amenities and a very gracious, interesting and informative host. The home was convient to Tucson and a wonderful home base for travels all around the area. We had our own wildlife show daily - one morning spotting a bobcat, seeing coyotes on a couple of occasions and daily visits from the Gambel quails which you could always hear before seeing. Sunrises and moonrises were outstanding and on our last day, we watched a hot air ballon over the city. Our stay took place over one of the weeks during the Gem Show for 2009 - totally unplanned. Our host directed us to the best location for viewing some amazing archaelogical finds and gems from around the world. He also offered us excellent recommendations for dinner at a nearby local restaurant. We were in heaven and found our visit extremely relaxing - it was hard to leave and come back to the "real" world. We hope to get back again in the summer when the storm season arrives to enjoy the landscape in a different setting. The home itself was spotless and had everything we could need for our stay. We would definitely recommend this home to anyone needing to get away but also needing the convenience of easy access to main roads, highways and lots of great food and attractions. While in Tucson, we visited Mt. Lemmon (beautiful beyond compare and snowy), Sabino Canyon (ride the tram to the top and walk back - easy trek with amazing scenery), the Desert Museum (definitely a highlight of the trip), Pima Air Base/the Boneyard (get there early, lots to see), the ASARCO Mineral Museum (different and very cool), Titan Missile Base (don't miss doing a Directors Tour), took a day trip down to Tombstone and on to Bisbee for the Queen Mine Tour (great fun). Everywhere we went the scenery was breathtaking. As you can tell, we had a full visit but still made it back home every evening to relax in front of the fireplace and fall asleep listening to the desert wind down its day. We can't wait to get back.

  • Submitted: Apr 4, 2009
  • Stayed: Feb 2009
  • Source: HomeAway
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11 0

Perfect peaceful desert retreat

  • 5 of 5

We celebrated our anniversary enjoying the amazing scenery surrounding this beautiful home. Everything inside was as described but the location was even better! We enjoyed hiking in the adjacent Sweetwater Preserve, watching deer from the deck, and sitting in wonderful sunshine on the patio every afternoon complete with a gorgeous Costa's hummingbird who buzzed us regularly! Tom was a perfect host providing lots of information about the area. We also enjoyed hiking in Saguaro National Park, and the Tortolita Mts. Playing golf at The Pines(Quarry) and driving up with the amazing views going to Mt .Lemon. We would highly recommend this home to anyone visiting Tucson. We enjoyed everything about it; location, convenience and cleanliness, and hope to return some day. Thanks Tom!

  • Submitted: Jan 13, 2016
  • Stayed: Dec 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: I'm grateful to all who appreciate this spectacular natural setting and especially to those who take such good care of our house -- thank YOU for being such wonderful guests!
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Recent visitors

  • 5 of 5

Comfortable house, spacious, perfect for us. Easy to travel to the many sites around Tucson and to local restaurants. Hiking nearby, excellent view of beautiful sunrises and sunsets. Fully equipped kitchen, outdoor grill, internet access, cable TV.

The natural surroundings are wonderful, full of birds and other animal visitors. The owner is gracious, helpful.

We thoroughly enjoyed our two week stay here.

  • Submitted: Apr 18, 2015
  • Stayed: Mar 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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0 0

Wilderness At Your Doorstep!

  • 5 of 5

If you are a nature lover this is the place for you! We enjoyed being able to hike from the house, watch sunrise, sunsets, and the full moon rise over the twinkling city lights in the distance! Coyotes serenaded us a few times, hawks floated lazily on up drafts, finches, sparrows, and woodpeckers enjoyed the water trays we set out, and Gambrel quails entertained us with their goofy vocalizations! Desert cottontails were spotted right on the south deck as were some tiny lizards. The house is clean, comfy and spacious. Tom is nearby though never intrusive. He is a wealth of knowledge! During your stay watch his documentary about the five seasons of the Sonoran desert, you will be amazed with the photography, flora and fauna! We went to Sabino Canyon, Tohona Chul Gardens, Kartchner Caverns, Madera Canyon, San Xavier Del Bac Mission, Saguaro National Park, and The Desert Museum( do not miss the raptor show offered 2X daily, it was incredible!). This home is about ten minutes from town so getting groceries or a coffee from Starbucks was never an ordeal. You are definitely not in suburbia so there is no traffic noise, or noisy neighbours to intrude upon your relaxation, peace and quiet. We highly recommend this property, you will not be disappointed! Thank you Tom for allowing us to enjoy ten days of rest and relaxation!

  • Submitted: Nov 23, 2014
  • Stayed: Nov 2014
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you, Bruce, for such a heart-warming review, and I appreciate your mentioning my film DESERT DREAMS: Celebrating Five Seasons in the Sonoran Desert. It will be rebroadcast on PBS in Phoenix as part of their holiday pledge drive November 29-30 and December 7, and DVDs may be purchased through our website DesertDreams. Org. Happy Holidays! tom
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0 0

A true Sanctuary for reflection and peace

  • 5 of 5

We have stayed at over 20 rental properties throughout our travels and none can compare with the beauty and quiet of the Wildlife Sanctuary. We hope to return again soon.

Walt Johann

  • Submitted: May 1, 2014
  • Stayed: Feb 2014
  • Source: HomeAway
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Desert delight

  • 5 of 5

This is the second time I reserved this rental with Tom, the owner. Everything was perfect and as advertised. This is a high quality residence and a high quality desert experience (though some of the furniture is becoming somewhat dated). Sun and hiking are right out the back, front, and side doors. The home is remote from, yet convenient to, the amenities and resources of Tucson.

Property was clean, and well maintained. Everything works. Owner, whose house is several hundred feet away, is personable and responsive.

I would recommend this rental and hope to stay here again soon.

  • Submitted: Apr 16, 2014
  • Stayed: Mar 2014
  • Source: HomeAway
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Car: necessary

Ideally located, our retreat is tucked away in the Sonoran Desert foothills of the Tucson Mountains that flank Tucson's west side, yet it's only 10-minutes from Interstate 10. This provides easy access to the airport and a wealth of tourist attractions in southern Arizona. Our 50-acre property is a wildlife corridor that connects Saguaro National Park to the south and Sweetwater Preserve to the north.

The house is only 4.3 miles from scenic Gates Pass Road, which quickly takes you to Old Tucson Movie Studios, the Desert Museum, and Saguaro National Park. Grocery stores, post offices, hospitals, theaters, museums, the University of Arizona, Pima Community College, downtown Tucson, Starr Pass Golf Course, the Tucson Mall, and much more lie within a 4-10 mile drive of our desert retreat.

Whether your passion is birding or biking, golf or gaming; the arts or astronomy; museums or missions, this is the place to be. And if you're an experienced weaver, our complete in-house weaving studio is available for your creative pleasure - see link below.

Other Activities: Nature photography, bird-watching, museums, cinema, shopping.


Rates & Availability

Tucson House Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
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Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly * Event
Jun 1 2016 - Aug 31 2016
5 night minimum stay
My Standard Rate
5 night minimum stay

Additional information about rental rates

Refundable damage deposit $500

Personal checks will be accepted only for payments made at least 7 days prior to arrival. If you cannot meet this deadline, please call us. We only accept credit cards (through PayPal) from International Guests. International Guests must pay all currency conversion charges and bank fees. Guests from Canada can avoid extra fees by sending us a bank Money Order in USDollars.

To make a reservation, travelers must fill out and sign our Rental Agreement--download from Reservations are confirmed when this Agreement is returned to us with 50% of the total rent due (not including our Security Deposit). The balance due plus our security deposit ($500) falls due no later than 7 days prior to arrival, 14 days prior for anyone living outside the USA.

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Arizona House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 2100 sq. ft.
Location Type:
  • Mountain ...
  • Mountain View ...
  • Rural ...
  • Away From It All
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Activities Guide
  • Air Conditioning
  • Alarm Clock
  • Basic Soaps
  • Ceiling Fans
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Computer Available
  • Filtered Water
  • Fireplace
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Laundry Soap
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room
  • Local Maps
  • PC
  • Paper Towels
  • Parking
  • Parking Off Street
  • Security System
  • Telephone
  • Toilet Paper
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Wireless Internet
  • Blender
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Freezer
  • Grill
  • Kitchen
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Dining
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 6 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Master Bath - toilet , combination tub/shower
    Second Bath - toilet , combination tub/shower
  • Grip bars in both bathrooms mounted to tub-shower walls to assist the elderly
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 4
  • Master Bedroom - 1 king
    Second Bedroom - 2 twin/ single
  • Master bedroom contains full bath, walk-in closet, laundry facilities, and private wooden deck overlooking the desert with city lights in distance. Second bedroom is near the living room and adjacent to the second full bath.
  • Audio Tape Player
  • Books
  • Books for Adults
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player
  • Games
  • Music Library
  • Radio
  • Satellite / Cable
  • Stereo
  • Television
  • VCR
  • Video Library
Communication / Internet:
  • fax
  • Deck / Patio
  • Outdoor Grill
  • Outdoor Grill Gas
  • Patio
  • Wood Deck
  • 4 garden chairs
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • Low Allergen Environment
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
  • pets considered
  • restaurants
Leisure Activities:
  • bird watching
  • horseback riding
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • golf
  • hiking
  • mountain biking
  • roller blading
  • swimming
  • tennis
PC workstation + printer; WiFI DSL internet service; answering machine; puzzles; games; weaving studio option; gas stovetop; electric oven; blender; bread machine; mixer; wide assortment of condiments.

Learn more about this vacation rental at the owner's website:

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