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Catalina State Park, Tucson

(550+ reviews on the web)
State Park Nature / Park
Expanding across the slopes of the Santa Catalina Mountains, Catalina State Park teems with trails that move through the dry desert and thick green brush. An equestrian center offers tours on horseback. You also can backpack and hike along well-maintained trails that are simple to follow. Temperatures are hot in the day and cool at night, so be sure to bring plenty of water and wear layers to adjust to changing temperatures in the 2,225 ha (5,500 acre) park. Arrange to visit Catalina State Park and other attractions in Tucson using our Tucson trip generator.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • The loop trail is a little less that two miles and starts and end in the main parking lot. It is one of the few trails you can walk a dog on a leash and when the water is running you get to walk throu...  more »
  • Great infrastructure and trail system. Friendly rangers, tons of wildlife--seems like this park is off the beaten path but easy going for the non-hardcore types. Another great thing to do/see in Tucso...  more »
  • This park is far enough away from the lights of Tucson to provide a great place to view the night sky. Breathtaking. Walking or hiking is great here, too.  more »
Google
  • Beautiful place to view wildlife and escape busy Tucson. This location is an excellent birding location with dozens of species throughout the year. Hiking trails are well marked and parking lots have restrooms, picnic areas and places to refill water. The surrounding hills are covered in the giant Saguaro Cactus that bloom in May/June. This is my favorite location in Tucson to view the tiny Elf Owl about the size of a soda can (They live in the Saguaro and migrate from Mexico every year around May/June). You can also hike into the mountains (Tonto National Forest) (Catalina Wilderness) but be sure to bring plenty of water and snacks to avoid dehydration.
  • Had a fantastic time taking a relaxed stroll. We originally planned to go on the birding trail but the maps they hand out are not completely accurate, so we ended up on a longer loop that was more in line with the amount of time we wanted to spend anyway. I recommend using Google Maps or another map service to get a better picture of the trails; that's what we ended up doing after realizing we weren't on the trail we originally intended to follow.
  • Absolutely LOVED our short time at Catalina State Park. It was a bit pricey for one night ($35) but well worth it! The bathrooms were clean and the other campers were very respectful of quiet hours (& we were there on a Friday night). The Saturday Nature Program was wonderful!! The creatures and rocks were neat to see up close and the volunteers were very knowledgeable. We only took the Romero Ruins Trail and a short bit of another trail but the views are absolutely gorgeous!! When you're there, it feels like you're away from the busy city so you wouldn't even realize that there is a walmart and restaurants just 5 minutes away. GREAT place!! more pics on our blog - Approved Adventures
  • Beautiful views well maintained trails. Romero pools trail is not difficult but worth it. Love the bid trail never knew there were so many birds in AZ and it's like a different world. Loop trail takes about 45 minutes and only moderately difficult in a couple ares but mostly easy. Love the first Saturday concerts.
  • Awesome hike! If you are an experienced hiker, then I suggest to go hike where it says Bighorn Sheep Mgmt Area. Make sure you bring lots of water and make sure you don't bring dogs or horses since it's forbidden. The other side of the park, on the left of Bighorn Sheep Mgmt Area, is really nice too and much easier. During the colder months, there is a river to cross.