Arizona 86 parallels the Mexican Border through Southern Arizona. Beginning in Ajo, the road travels east through the Tohono O'odham Reservation, passing Kitt Peak on the way to Tucson, where the road ends at Interstate 19.

Arizona 86 has been expanded and contracted significantly over the years. The original alignment was established in 1930 between Willcox and Bowie Junction. In 1931, it was expanded to go between Benson and San Simon.

In 1943, the road was expanded west through the Tohono O'odham reservation to Ajo.

Arizona 86 became the primary route between Tucson and El Paso, leading to it's partial demise in 1970 as Interstate 10 was built over the route from Benson to San Simon, truncating the route to U.S. 89 in Tucson.

In 2002, the road was cut back further to Interstate 19.


Arizona 86 east
Distance sign to Quijotoa (39 miles) and Tucson (120 miles). Photo taken 03/23/08.
This is the first reassurance marker along Arizona 86, just past Why. Photo taken 03/23/08.
Arizona 86 enters the Tohono O'odham Reservation here. The road will travel through the reservation for the next 87 miles. Photo taken 03/23/08.
Turn right for Schuchuligk. Arizona 86 is in Gunsight Valley. Photo taken 03/23/08.
Distance sign to Quijotoa and Tucson. Arizona 86 is now following Gunsight Wash. Photo taken 03/23/08.
5 photos
Reassurance marker for Arizona 86. Photo taken 03/23/08.
Turn left for Hickiwan, or turn right for Gu Vo. Photo taken 03/23/08.
Arizona 86 is now in the large Quijotoa Valley, where this reassurance marker is seen. Photo taken 03/23/08.
Turn right for San Simon. Photo taken 03/23/08.
Distance sign to Quijotoa and Tucson. Photo taken 03/23/08.
Turn right for the village of Pinisimo. Photo taken 03/23/08.
Arizona 86 enters the Quijotoa Mountains here. This section of highway has more vegetation and a number of hairpin turns. Photo taken 03/23/08.
The next 10 miles are a Flash Flood Area, as Arizona 86 crosses several washes. Photo taken 03/23/08.
The saguaro forests become more dense as we climb out of the valley. Photo taken 03/23/08.
Arizona 86 climbs up toward Quijotoa Pass here. This Saguaro is very distinctive alongside the road. Photo taken 03/23/08.
Arizona 86 follows Quijotoa Wash. Notice the extensive Saguaro forests on the unnamed mountain. Photo taken 03/23/08.
Arizona 86 enters the village of Quijotoa here. Photo taken 03/23/08.
5 photos
Reassurance marker for Arizona 86. Photo taken 03/23/08.
Arizona 86 approaches Indian Route 15. The Business Area refers to a trading post located in Quijotoa. Photo taken 03/23/08.
Continue ahead for Tucson, or turn right for Santa Rosa and Casa Grande on Indian Route 15. Photo taken 03/23/08.
Distance sign to Sells (18 miles) and Tucson (78 miles). Photo taken 07/04/08.
5 photos
Reassurance marker for Arizona 86. Photo taken 07/04/08.
Turn left for the village of Nolia. Photo taken 07/04/08.
Distance sign to Sells (9 miles) and Tucson (69 miles). Photo taken 07/04/08.
Arizona 86 travels south through the reservation, through very sparsely populated land. Photo taken 07/04/08.
Turn right for the Tohono O'odham Career Center. Photo taken 07/04/08.
Arizona 86 enters the town of Sells here. Sells is the governmental center for the Tohono O'Odham tribe, and was known as Indian Oasis until 1918. Photo taken 07/04/08.
Distance sign to Kitt Peak Junction (Arizona 386) and Tucson. Photo taken 07/04/08.
Turn right for Ali Chukson. Photo taken 07/04/08.
5 photos
Reassurance marker for Arizona 86. Photo taken 07/04/08.
Distance sign to Kitt Peak Junction (10 miles) and Tucson (48 miles). Photo taken 07/04/08.
Turn left for San Isidro and Comobabi. Photo taken 07/04/08.
Turn left for the Santa Rosa Ranch, Schucka, and Sil Nakya. Photo taken 07/04/08.
Advance signage for Arizona 386, 1/2 mile. Photo taken 07/04/08.
Turn right on Arizona 386 to travel up Kitt Peak, or continue ahead on Arizona 86 to reach Tucson. Photo taken 07/04/08.
Arizona 386 departs from Arizona 86 here. Photo taken 07/04/08.
Distance sign to Robles Junction (16 miles) and Tucson (38 miles). Photo taken 07/04/08.
This is the only roadside table between Arizona 386 and Tucson. Photo taken 07/04/08.
5 photos
Reassurance marker for Arizona 86. Photo taken 07/04/08.
Turn left for San Pedro. Photo taken 07/04/08.
Due to the proximity of the Mexican Border, the entire Arizona 86 corridor is within the Border Patrol authority zone. Most of the traffic AARoads spotted on this road were Border Patrol vehicles. Photo taken 07/04/08.
Advance signage for Arizona 286, 1/2 mile. Photo taken 07/04/08.
Arizona 86 is entering the small town of Three Points, also known as Robles Junction, here. Photo taken 07/04/08.
Turn right to reach the town of Sasabe, or continue ahead on Arizona 86 to Tucson. Photo taken 07/04/08.
The lightly traveled Arizona 286 departs from Arizona 86 here. Photo taken 07/04/08.
2 photos
Reassurance marker for Arizona 86 eastbound. Photo taken 07/04/08.
Distance sign to Ryan Airfield (9 miles) and Tucson (23 miles). Photo taken 07/04/08.
2 photos
Reassurance marker for Arizona 86 eastbound. Photo taken 07/04/08.
Turn left for Continental Road and the refuse transfer station. Photo taken 07/04/08.
Turn left for Aviator Lane and Ryan Airfield. Ryan Airfield is a general aviation airport that caters to smaller aircraft as well as flight training. Photo taken 07/04/08.
Arizona 86 meets Camino Verde here, in the outskirts of the Tucson metropolitan area. Photo taken 07/04/08.
Turn right for Camino de Oeste. Photo taken 07/04/08.
Arizona 86 ends abruptly at Interstate 19, 500 meters. There is no end shield at the end of the highway. Photo taken 07/04/08.
Eastbound Arizona 86 at Junction Interstate 19 Southbound in Tucson. Interstate 19 leads south to Green Valley and Nogales. Photo taken 05/24/03.
Eastbound Arizona 86 at Junction Interstate 19 Northbound in Tucson. Note the use of Interstate 10 shields, since northbound Interstate 19 feeds directly into Interstate 10. Photo taken 05/24/03.
Arizona 86 west
Westbound Arizona 86 advances from Business Loop I-19 to Interstate 19. Note the use of metric distances, which is common for I-19. Photo taken 05/24/03.
Arizona 86 west at I-19 north to Interstate 10. Photo taken 05/24/03.
Westbound Arizona 86 at Interstate 19 south. Arizona 86 continues west to Why and Ajo. Photo taken 05/24/03.



Photo Credits:

  • 05/24/03 by AARoads.
  • 03/23/08 by Kevin Trinkle.
  • 07/04/08 by Kevin Trinkle.

Connect with:
Interstate 19
Arizona 85
Arizona 386

Page Updated 07-21-2008.