Sonoran Desert land is for sale and it’s a butte.
Owl Head Butte, the only privately owned of seven buttes in the Owl Head Buttes area, is for sale for $600,000. The land includes 9.1 acres and spectacular views.
The owner, who prefers to remain anonymous, is a Tucson resident who bought the property in 2001. It is about 35 miles from Tucson at the north end of the Tortolita Mountains. The land has a well and a housing site, but building a home would require bringing in power or living off the grid.
The other six buttes in the Owl Head Buttes area are on federal Bureau of Land Management land. The area has drawn hikers and off-road enthusiasts for many years. The butte for sale rises about 300 feet off the valley floor. It’s easy to see because the ground slopes to the west.
The current owner is a former East Coast resident who came to Tucson to work in the medical field. Owl Head Butte is the former rim of a volcano. Indian lore claims it is one of the petrified seven sisters.
“There’s really nothing like this (for sale) in the state,” the owner said. “It’s over-the-top crazy.”
He is selling the butte because he is transitioning from the medical field to his new interest: ceramics. During the more than two decades he has owned the butte, he has enjoyed visiting the area. “You can watch birds of prey just spend the day riding on the thermals below you,” he said.
He was off roading when he first visited Owl Head Butte. “I drove up and saw the for-sale sign and contacted the owner and the realtor,” he said. “He genuinely seemed like he loved the property. ... It was an interesting purchase.”
Owl Head Buttes has a rich history. Thomas Jefferson Jeffords, a U.S. Army scout, Indian agent, prospector and superintendent of overland mail in Arizona Territory, was a presence in the area. He befriended Apache leader Cochise and was instrumental in ending the Indian wars in the region. The book “Blood Brother” by Elliott Arnold chronicles the story of Jeffords, Gen. Oliver Howard and Cochise. The novel was adapted into the film “Broken Arrow” in 1950. James Stewart played Jeffords.
Jeffords homesteaded in the Owl Head Buttes area, spending the last 22 years of his life there. He died in 1914.
It takes about an hour to reach Owl Head Buttes from Oracle Road in Tucson. The property is being listed by Long Realty Company. Drone footage of the property for sale can be viewed on Youtube. Enter the words “Tucson Butte” in the search bar.
“If it sells, fine. If it doesn’t, fine,” the owner said. “It was such an accomplishment purchasing this thing I kind of will be fine with it either way.”