Sierra Vista, located 75 miles southeast of Tucson, Arizona serves as the main commercial, cultural and recreational hub of Cochise County. Translated from Spanish, Sierra Vista means "mountain view", confirmed by the city's setting among the Huachuca, Dragoon, Mule and Whetstone Mountains. Sierra Vista is a hub for visiting interesting historic sites and viewing wildlife. The city sees bird watchers from all over the world flock to local canyons to observe and photograph hundreds of different bird species. Fort Huachuca, a U.S. Army post located in the northwest part of the city, is the major employer for this community of 46,000. Nearly half of all jobs in Sierra Vista are in the government sector. The professional, scientific and technical services sector is large due to contracts with the Army. Fort Huachuca is also home to the 92nd and 93rd all African-American Infantry divisions known as the Buffalo Soldiers who fought during World War II.
Sierra Vista History
In 1877, the U.S. Cavalry rode into the southeastern corner of what is now Arizona, charged with protecting the settlers in the area. Camp Huachuca was established, and five years later the camp was declared a permanent U.S. Army post as Fort Huachuca. With the completion of the Southern Pacific and El Paso & Southwestern railroads, the San Pedro Valley began to grow. The first business that opened just outside Fort Huachuca was a saloon and brothel, established in 1892. In 1915, a one-room schoolhouse opened its doors as the Buena school in order to serve the growing population of settlers around the gates of Fort Huachuca. The community went through several name changes, including Buena, Overton, Garden Canyon and Fry. Sierra Vista was finally incorporated in 1956 and Fort Huachuca was annexed as part of the city in 1971. Explore more Sierra Vista history with the following links.
Sierra Vista Weather
At an elevation of 4,623 feet and surrounded by mountain peaks reaching nearly 10,000 feet, Sierra Vista enjoys a moderate four-season climate with abundant sunshine. The city has very little humidity and less than 15" of rain annually, but torrential rain can occur during July and August. Snow is a rare sight in Sierra Vista though some years the city can receive several inches of snow while receiving no snow in other years. Summertime temperatures range from the mid-60’s at night to the low 90’s during the day. Winter temperatures range from the mid-30’s at night to the mid-60’s during the day. Get local climate and current weather information for Sierra Vista using these links.
Sierra Vista Transportation
You’ll find many options for transportation to and from Sierra Vista. The city is supported by a regional transit system called Vista Transit and is also served by the Sierra Vista Municipal Airport (FHU) which is jointly operated by the U.S. Army as Libby Army Airfield. The closest airport with commercial air service is Tucson International Airport.
Cost of Living in Sierra Vista
Sierra Vista is a highly livable city with a cost of living 6% to 7% lower than the national average, and relatively inexpensive housing. The dry climate and moderate weather lead to additional savings in home maintenance and energy fuel costs. See how far your budget will go when living in Sierra Vista using these links.
Sierra Vista Schools
The Sierra Vista Unified School District has six elementary schools, one middle school and one high school serving nearly 6,000 students. All schools in the district are rated as either Highly Performing or Performing Plus by the Arizona Learns system.
Sierra Vista Hospitals
Canyon Vista Medical Center is the medical hub of southeastern Arizona. This facility is Joint Commission accredited and offers level 3 trauma services in addition to emergency services, rehabilitation services, maternity services, and intensive and critical care services. If you’re planning a move to Sierra Vista, it’s a good idea to know the medical resources available to you:
Sierra Vista Real Estate
One of the benefits of Sierra Vista is that there is very little traffic, meaning less noise and less hassle commuting to work from anywhere in the city. The median home value is around $158,000 with most homes constructed in the past 50 years. Explore homes currently on the market with the following links.
Sierra Vista Hotels
Whether you stay for a week or just one night, there is plenty of comfortable and enjoyable lodging in Sierra Vista and the surrounding area. The highly-rated Garden Place Suites provides comfort and spacious rooms with a great view of the nearby mountains. The Gateway Studio Suites is similarly regarded by travelers who frequently overnight in Sierra Vista. If you are planning a longer stay, you might consider one of the many private guesthouses or vacation homes available through online booking. Find great places to stay in Sierra Vista using these links.
Sierra Vista Restaurants
For dinner out, you will be pleased to discover Sierra Vista has more than 100 restaurants and boasts nearly 25 international eateries with fare from around the globe. Daisy Mae’s Stronghold is one of Sierra Vista’s great steakhouses with a history as a trading post, stagecoach stop, and brothel. Another steakhouse, the Mesquite Tree Restaurant, is tucked under the branches of a massive, centuries old, mesquite tree. For breakfast, Papa’s 50’s Diner provides a wide variety of favorites in a vintage atmosphere. The award-winning German Cafe serves schnitzel, potato pancakes, and other authentic German dishes, just like the old country. If you enjoy Korean cuisine, the hardest part will be choosing between several restaurants. Kim Ba Woo’s Den is an excellent choice for Korean BBQ. Find more great places to eat in Sierra Vista using the following links.
Things to Do in Sierra Vista
Sierra Vista is a fun place year-round, with activities that include a hot air balloon festival, women’s professional rodeo, and Cochise Cowboy Poetry and Music Gathering of the Southwest. Fort Huachuca Museum is popular with visitors interested in the area’s military history. The Historical Museum and Annex showcases military heritage, and the Buffalo Soldier’s Memorial is a tribute to African-American soldiers. Known for its biodiversity, Ramsey Canyon Preserve attracts bird lovers from around the world who visit to view hummingbirds, trogans, warblers and flycatchers alongside magnificent raptors, shorebirds, tanagers and others. You can visit several nearby ghost towns, including the town of Fairbank where famed lawman Jeff Milton thwarted a Wells Fargo train heist in early 1900. You can also explore Coronado Cave, where Geronimo is said to have hid from U.S. Army troops in the 1800’s. Discover more fun things to do in Sierra Vista using these links.