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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 an hour
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
March 25, 2017

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 Arizona

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:
  • Max. occupancy: 4
  • smoking allowed ...
  • pets considered ...
  • children welcome ...
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! 4.5/5 -
(14 traveler reviews)

A River Rock Cabin in Cascabel
average rating of 4.5 based on 14 reviews

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: Apr 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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0 0
Surprise Az


  • 5 of 5

If you want a place in the middle of nowhere, you found it here ! Peace and tranquility is what you will get . Sue is wonderful! Be prepared for no Internet or phone service . We downloaded movies onto our iPad and watch them in the evening . Be prepared for a compost toilet ! I got used to it after one day. Turn the water heater on for the shower a couple hours before you want to take one! Or you will have a very chilly shower ! Woke us up though :)

Thank You Sue (and Sam)!

  • Submitted: Feb 22, 2017
  • Stayed: Feb 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Unforgettable with no regrets!!

  • 5 of 5

Our month long stay at the River Rock Cabin was perfect from the moment we stepped onto Sue Newman's ranch. We had planned for two years to come and we were thrilled to finally arrive. The scenery is astounding.... deep blue sky, abundant wild flowers, a wide variety of cactus...some in glorious bloom, beautiful landscape everywhere you turn, birds and creatures. If you are interested in nature then you will be amazed at what you discover out hiking in the surrounding country. Simple walks are easy to do, just step out side your door. The cabin is small and compact with everything you need and the screened in porch is a lovely place to sit and read or enjoy a quiet meal.The ranch animals are a pleasure to watch and interact with and there are fresh eggs for your breakfast most mornings....If you read Sue's description, listen to her advise and ask questions before you come you will find that the River Rock Cabin holds only pleasant surprises for you! But it is the community of Cascabel, as a whole, that makes a difference... It has a wonderful inclusive atmosphere.....From their open concept community centre to their marvellous garden (yes a vegetable garden in the dessert). The people are friendly and helpful, as is Sue and Sam the dog. There are many activities outside of Cascabel you can venture to, all of which Sue can help you find or offer advice. In Benson there is also a great tourist office with racks of information. So in conclusion we have only the highest of recommendations for a visit to the R.R.C. An utterly fantastic experience you won't forget or regret!! Thank you Sue:)...from two city kids! :)

  • Submitted: May 11, 2016
  • Stayed: Apr 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Oh my, the heart is aflutter!!! How nice to get such a review but the best part of it is the folks who wrote it. They were a perfect fit for the cabin and the community. I kept hearing during the month "Oh we met your folks in the cabin. They're such terrific people!" They slowly merged themselves into community activities and really picked up on what went on here and how unusual this community is. They took full advantage of the hiking in the area. They even helped me clean stalls one day! Holy cow! I'm so eager to have them back again!!
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2 0
Welland, Ontario, Canada

Utter Peace and Tranquility

  • 5 of 5

Let me start off by saying that I have never experienced such quietness in my entire life. If you want somewhere to quiet your mind and soul, look no farther. The deep relaxation of the sleep that I got was a total recharge for my busy lifestyle.

My favorite part was sitting in the screened in porch in the evening and hearing nothing. Mesquite scents would waft by on a warm breeze and tantalize my senses. And if you walk away from the cabin away from light, the millions of stars will completely shock you!

There is absolutely everything you need to cook and live and if you want some extra 'cozy', throw a few logs in the woodstove. The shower was hot, the bed is comfy and if you want to hike and explore, the opportunities are endless! Sue is a wealth of information on the area and everything it has to offer.

Proximity-wise, everything is close by. Benson is fun and has everything, Tucson is huge and bustling and the scenery on the way to these locales is unbelievable!

If you want to be the un-tourist and experience a rustic beauty, this is it! You will not find the quality for the price anywhere!!!!!

And if you have a solid off-road compatible vehicle, there are some amazing backroad adventures just WAITING to be embarked upon within a very short distance!!

  • Submitted: Apr 3, 2015
  • Stayed: Mar 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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7 0
Tucson AZ

Comfortable and nice

  • 5 of 5

Beautiful area with lots of wildlife and great bird diversity. Its a nice quiet getaway from the city and an excellent place to relax and explore.

  • Submitted: Mar 27, 2015
  • Stayed: Mar 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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3 0

Cabin far from the madding crowd

  • 4 of 5

Our three week escape from the bitter North was especially fine this February into March due to finding Sue’s cabin and ‘penthouse.’ If you like merely sitting in the sun or more strenuously hiking up washes to view blooming poppies and southwest bird life, this is a good location. Moon and stars are brilliant in the dry cool nights. Cascabel residents are welcoming and with resources from Sue and the community center, you can learn about their history and future. Life in the cabin is simple, but if you want you can stay in touch with the outside world via internet and voip calling. I fired up the cabin wood stove on many mornings for instant warmth. Expect a few mice in the cabin (what rural house doesn't have them?). Sue was very helpful but not intrusive, and Sam and Jasper are friendly and noisy watch dogs. Thanks to Sue for loaning us her Scrabble set. I’d consider coming back for a shorter stay.

  • Submitted: Mar 19, 2015
  • Stayed: Feb 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: While the cabin description notes it in several places, perhaps it is worth saying... again... that this is a working operation here. If things go bump in the night, the dogs need to respond or there will be a missing or dead animal in the barn or chicken pen in the morning. The coyotes, bobcats, foxes, mountain lions, coatis and heavens only knows what else lurk on the perimeters of any barnyard, waiting for THE opportunity. So yes, while I bring the dogs in at night to intentionally reduce complaints about disturbed sleep, out they go if something sets them off. This is one of the richest valleys for wildlife so we all must find our way of balancing our place in it. There are so few places left like this.
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5 0


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.


Rates & Availability

Cascabel Cabin Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
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Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly * Event
My Standard Rate
2 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add $20 per night, per additional guest

Additional information about rental rates

Please note that for more than 2 people, the cabin rate 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.
Enter dates for accurate pricing
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