Sasabe, Arizona

Church in Sasabe
Gila Monster, Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge

Sasabe (O'odham: Ṣaṣawk) is a small hamlet in the Altar Valley of southern Pima County, Arizona, United States, immediately north of the international border with Mexico. It hosts a minor border crossing, an adobe sales outlet, a public school, a guest ranch, a general store with fuel pumps, a weekend bar, and a post office serving the ZIP Code of 85633. In 2010, the population of the 85633 ZCTA, including Sasabe, was 54.


The name Sasabe is derived from the Native American language of the Tohono O'odham (formerly Papago) meaning "head valley". The post office was established at Sasabe in 1905.

Sasabe is best known for its historic Rancho de la Osa guest ranch, formerly the headquarters of a three million acre (12,000 km2) Spanish land grant. Some ranch buildings reportedly date to the late 17th century. The guest ranch opened in 1921. Guests have included Presidents Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson.

On average, 165 cars, trucks, or pedestrians per day passed through the Sasabe Port of Entry in 2011. Sasabe, Arizona is much smaller than its sister community, El Sásabe, Sonora, which is known for its burnt-adobe brickyards.

In the 2018–2019 school year, the local school served 28 children in grades K-8.


Sasabe is seated on an arid, gently rolling sand-plain relieved only by scatter shrub trees and grass hummocks. Much of the area north and east of Sasabe is within the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge. In 2006, 3,500 acres (14 km2) of the refuge that border Mexico east of Sasabe were closed to public entry due to problems with smugglers and unauthorized border crossings.

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Uses material from the Wikipedia article Sasabe, Arizona, released under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license.