Goat Packing: A Tucson Hiking Treat

Purple Mountain Pack Goat

Purple Mountain Pack Goat on a hike in the Sonoran Desert

In the 1970′s when we first moved out in the country, before we were a Tucson Bed and Breakfast accommodation, our children were very active in 4-H.  We had horses, a pony, a pig, a calf, chickens, rabbits, a lamb, dogs, and several goats.  Our son milked the goats twice a day,  and we even made goat milk ice cream on weekends.  The goats followed us around the property like pets, and we had great fun with them.  We especially enjoyed the twin babies the goats frequently produced.

When we want to visit goats today, we just walk down the lane to our neighbor Tom DiMaggio who runs Purple Mountain Pack Goats and who has been written up in “Arizona Highways Magazine”.  We encourage our guests to try the new adventure of goat packing with Tom who takes them on hikes into the beautiful foothills of the Coronado National Forest. The goats pack all needed equipment including water and food. Tom is a gourmet chef who once owned a restaurant in town so guests get a real food treat.  He selects the appropriate level of hike depending on the physical condition and desires of those hiring his services.  Several of our guests have even gone on 2-3 day camping trip although most choose a half or full day.  It is fun not only to visit beautiful areas but to have a knowledgeable guide to explain the fauna and flora of the Sonoran Desert.  He sometimes can stop by in his truck, with the goats in the back, to pick up one or two guests for their day’s adventure.  This makes a nice break from sightseeing and gets visitors into areas they might not otherwise go.  Guests can then return to the Hacienda and soak away sore muscles in the hydrotherapy spa.

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