Catalina State Park sits at the foothills of the majestic Santa Catalina Mountains. Although it’s not far at all from the Tucson Metropolitan Area, it’s an excellent place to get away from it all, enjoy some hiking, and take in the natural beauty of southern Arizona. Watch the video and then below are three reasons it’s worth a visit.
Catalina State Park Video – Get a Sneak Peak
Catalina State Park:
Top 3 Reasons to Visit
1 | An Astounding Variety of Things to See
The massive 5,500 acres of the park are full of a vast array of desert plant life, animal life, and archaeological sites. It’s amazing that a park of this size could offer so much variety. It’s located at 3,000 feet above sea level, and has dramatic differences in its elevation, from high ridges to low creek beds.
There is a wide array of flora and fauna to be found in the park. It is especially popular for its bird watching. You can see around 150 species of birds here in the park.
2 | The Best Trails in Southern Arizona
Catalina State Park is full of hiking trails where you can experience its beauty. Some would consider the park to have the best hiking in southern Arizona. The trails range from short and easy for casual hikers, to steep and challenging for those who really love extreme hiking. Some wind into the Coronado National Forest.
The Canyon Loop Trail is an easy one that seniors and kids alike can enjoy. Two trails that give you a quick glimpse of the park’s beauty are the Bird Trail and Natural Trail, both of which are quick and easy. One of the best hikes here is the Romero Pools. The trail winds along Montrose Canyon, eventually opening up to the streams and waterfalls of the Romero Pools. This is a great spot for a picnic and some swimming.
There are miles and miles of trails here, much more than you can explore in a single day. Some trails allow mountain bikes, horses and dogs.
3 | Real Southern Arizona Culture
Catalina State Park offers a variety of unique events all year round. There are cultural events like Suvoyuki Day in August, where you can learn about Hopi culture and the history of the area. You can enjoy great live music with events like “Music in the Park” and Tucson Bandstand. There are educational opportunities as well where you can learn about the unique habitat.
You can also experience the ancient cultures of the past here at Catalina State Park. The area has been continuously inhabited since around 5,000 BCE by the Hohokam people. Visitors to the park can see the ruins they left behind, including a Mesoamerican ball court.
Catalina State Park:
The Best Camping in Arizona
Catalina State Park has a spacious and modern campground if you’d like to stay a few days and explore. It offers some of the best camping in Arizona. It’s also great for day trips. It takes just about ten minutes from Tucson to reach this wilderness area, which makes it convenient for day trippers as well as campers who need to head into town for supplies. The park also has picnic areas, barbecue grilles and a gift shop.