Many children dream of having a treehouse. A place to hide from younger brothers and sisters. A place to hold secret meetings with classmates and neighbors. Even adults are drawn to treehouses. Thus the reality shows on HGTV. All of the above led to the Tubac Treehouse, a unique lodging destination set 21 feet off the ground between sturdy pine trees and overlooking a working cattle ranch.
Kirk and Sherry Sinclair are the owners of Historic Shankle Ranch, where the treehouse is located. Sherry says the idea came from a desire to provide a space for the family’s grandchildren. But once the Sinclairs purchased more property, they turned the treehouse into a rental so others could enjoy it.
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to stay here,” Sherry says. “It’s a totally different experience — it’s like you’re disconnected from the world.”
But building the treehouse wasn’t easy. It required some homework, such as having a “tree doctor” check the pines to ensure they were healthy enough to hold the structure. After that, The Treehouse Guys, a company that specializes in building custom treehouses, spent four weeks building it. Mesquite trees from the property formed the main structure, and support beams brought in from Canada gave the treehouse a rustic feel.
A favorite guest feature is the wraparound porch. “Incredible views from the porch and an extremely cozy inside with everything you need,” one guest wrote in a review on Vrbo. Those views include Mount Wrightson and the Tubac area.
While the ranch house at Shankle Ranch provides accommodations for up to 16 people, the treehouse is available for smaller groups or families. According to Sherry, four people can comfortably sleep in the treehouse, which is furnished with a queen bed and two twin beds. Amenities such as a microwave, a refrigerator, a coffee maker and a barbecue grill are also included, and the ranch’s pool and jacuzzi are open to guests.
“We’ve stayed in [the treehouse], and it’s a different feeling than staying in the house,” Sherry says. “You’re up in the trees, hearing the birds … and the views are amazing — you can usually see the cattle across the way.”
Sherry recommends visitors check out the shops in Tubac and explore the town’s art galleries during their stay. Another nearby attraction is Tumacácori National Historical Park.
Reservations for Tubac Treehouse and Historic Shankle Ranch can be made through Vrbo.
44 Chavez Siding Road