Open Cross Ranch

Open Cross Ranch

The Real Deal.

Homesteaded in 1918, Open Cross Ranch is an authentic cattle ranch currently operating on 20,000 acres. Specifically located in the Canelo Hills of Elgin, Arizona it is adjacent to Sonoita. Owners, Mac & Billie Donaldson are 4th generation from a family of ranchers. They have thoughtfully updated and renovated the original house and two charming guest homes. They reside in the main house, while offering the Homestead and Canelo Houses for travelers. With unrivaled panoramic views and spacious areas, the western setting also presents an amazing backdrop for various events, including weddings and receptions.


The wooded grasslands of Open Cross Ranch receive the majority of rainfall from July through September, bringing rolling green pastures and abundant wildlife. Every changing season is celebrated here. The higher elevation of 5,100 feet makes for cooler, greener summers than many surrounding towns, while fall and winter are comparatively mild with an occasional short-lived snowfall.


Open Cross Ranch’s year-round cow & calf operation has crossbred cows with Angus and Hereford bulls with a USDA Forest permit in the Canelo Hills of Santa Cruz County. Calves are born from April – July and are weaned in the fall. Because of the difficult terrain of the limestone hills, working cattle by traditional horseback is necessary. Owner Mac Donaldson oversees the daily operations that keep this part of the Ranch’s history alive and kick’n.


It so happens that the classic children’s novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was written by Mac’s great, great Grandfather, L. Frank Baum. It was originally published by the George M. Hill Company on May 17, 1900. It has since been reprinted numerous times, as what we know it today as simply The Wizard of Oz.