About This Castle in the Desert


Re-opening September 18, 2020 for Fall Tours!

We are taking every precaution to ensure the health and safety of our Guests and Staff. 

Everyone is required to wear a face mask, will practice social distancing, with tour sizes broken into smaller groupings.  All participating must sign and submit a coronavirus COVID-19 Waiver of Liability prior to participating in public events, including tours, at Tovrea Castle at Carraro Heights.

Guests with Tour Tickets for September through December 2020 will be contacted via the Ticket Purchaser’s email, with updates on the tours within 2 weeks of their tour date.  If you have questions prior to that time, please contact us at Tours@TovreaCastleTours.com.

She sits majestically atop the hill, patiently awaiting her Guests who will return soon and very soon. Nearly a Century old, many minutes and hours have passed since she was built in 1928.  But these sands of time seem to pass so very slowly as she anticipates the rumbling of the Tour Trams arriving at her door with her very special Guests, the sound of their voices ringing in the air, their footsteps on her maple floors .  It has been a lonely time, but it is almost over! 

Tovrea Castle at Carraro Heights is an Historic Icon and a Jewel in the Sonoran Desert quietly glowing each evening as a beacon of hope in our uncertain lives – a way to make passersby smile – enchanting all who come under her watchful gaze. She holds within her 100+ years of Arizona History – the past, our present and the future – and the tales she tells are wonderful to hear, her charm enveloping all who see her.  

Her guardians, Tovrea Carraro Society, are her daily companions, making sure her luscious Cactus Gardens are cared for and her wardrobe of Stucco and Stone stands strong. They continue to keep up with the demands of this lovely Lady of Phoenix, even without her much-loved visitors from far and wide.

She is all shiny and clean, She is all shiny and clean, gleefully showing off her bright lights each night as the re-opening day draws near. She understands that extra precautions are being taken to keep everyone safe and healthy.  Her Guests will wear Face Masks while taking care to be 6 feet away while they hear the tales of the Castle and her People, adding this time to a rich and fabled story of surviving under the southwest sun in a modern time like no other. 

Thank you for helping Preserve Arizona’s History in Castle form!

Please Click Here to make Your tax deductible Donation.

Tovrea Castle at Carraro Heights is a “Jewel in the Desert” that has intrigued people in the Valley of the Sun for 90 years and is a Phoenix Point of Pride, an Arizona Centennial Legacy Project and on the National Register of Historic Places.

Why would anyone build a Castle in the middle of the desert in the late 1920’s and why is it still here today?

To answer this, just look at the unique cast of characters who were inspired by the property beginning in 1907.  The “Castle” continues to spark the curiosity of passersby, due to its unique location – now in the heart of the Phoenix metropolitan area – visible to all, yet secluded by the forty-four acres of preserved desert surrounding the structure.az-legacy-project-2012

Owned by the City of Phoenix and Operated by Tovrea Carraro Society, the primary attraction of the site is the Castle; a four-story, 5,000 square foot architectural wonder perched atop the highest point of the granite-rich property. Groomed cactus gardens and undisturbed natural Sonoran Desert flora cascade from the Castle, providing scenic backdrops and viewing opportunities throughout the established trail system.

Opened to the public in 2012, Tovrea Carraro Society invites you to tour the Castle and Cactus Gardens with our devoted team of volunteers – tickets must be reserved in advance of your tour. While you are visiting, pick up a few mementos in “Treasures at the Castle” Gift Shop located onsite in the Visitor Center.

All tours are Docent-led, with Guests exploring the Cactus Gardens and Outbuildings by tram before arriving at the Castle Main Floor and Basement.  The site is not available to explore without being on a tour.  All tours are a ‘go’ whether rain or shine, heat or cold.

Tours sell out months in advance, with few to no cancellations; walk-up ticket availability is very rare.  The property is not available to Visitors except by tour and may not be seen without a guide.

Occupancy limits and the historic nature of the site requires that the tour size be limited and tours must be booked in advance.  The number of tickets that you may purchase is limited for each type of tour.  Please check the information on each tour prior to purchase.  Regular Tours are held on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays; Group Tours on Thursdays and Special Events on Wednesdays.  The Castle and Grounds are ‘dark’ on Mondays and Tuesdays for maintenance, repairs and ongoing upkeep.

Due to overwhelming demand for tour tickets, Tovrea Carraro Society has determined that a Lottery Ticket System is the only fair mechanism for distribution of tickets to our Guests.

Initially meant to begin for the Fall 2020 regular tour tickets, the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to exchange regular tour tickets from the Spring to the Fall 2020, has changed the regular tour ticket time period for the Lottery Ticket System.

The launch date for the Lottery Ticket System has not yet been determined; if you are on our email mailing list for updates you will be notified – and always check our website for updates, too.

The Lottery Ticket System will now cover the Spring 2021 Regular Tour Tickets (January – May 2021).  Special Event Tours will NOT be included in the Lottery System at this time, but may be in the future.


If you are interested in adding your email to the mailing list for updates on this new Lottery Ticket System, please click here.  You are NOT signing up for the Lottery, itself, but will receive updates when it is open, policies for the Lottery Ticket System and other pertinent information.

The Visitor Center, starting point for all tours, garden days and events
5025 East Van Buren Street
Phoenix, AZ 85008

From Arizona State Route 202 (Loop 202/Red Mountain Freeway) in Phoenix, Exit 4 (Van Buren/52nd St), turning west off the Freeway.

From Van Buren St, the Visitor Center is west of the Loop 202 on the south side of Van Buren St; just east of the Main Post Office.

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