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Arizona - Where to Picnic Guide

Catalina State Park

P.O. Box 36986
Tucson, Arizona 85740
(520) 628-5798
Fax (520) 628-5797

The park is located on State Hwy. 77 (Oracle Road) at mile marker 81, just 9 miles north of Tucson and 6 miles north of Ina Road.

This scenic desert park offers camping, hiking, picnicking, bicycling, horseback riding, plant and wildlife viewing, and an archaeological site, all just a few minutes from Tucson. Catalina State Park is located within Coronado National Forest, and is managed by Arizona State Parks in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service. The park encompasses 5,493 acres at elevations near 3,000 feet.

Bring along your curiosity and your sense of adventure as you take in the beautiful mountain backdrop, desert wildflowers, cacti and wildlife that call this area home.

Hiking and riding on the trails are popular activities, with eight trails varying in length and difficulty. 

  • The Romero Ruin Interpretive Trail (3/4-mi.) meanders through the ruins of a prehistoric Hohokam village site that is over a thousand years old. 
  • The mile-long Nature Trail offers beautiful vistas of the Sonoran Desert and Santa Catalina Mountains, with signs explaining the desert ecosystem and its inhabitants. 
  • The Romero Canyon Trail (7.2 mi.) and the Sutherland Trail (10.5 mi.) offer longer, more strenuous hikes through beautiful desert terrain and riparian canyons. Both climb to cool natural pools and connect with other Coronado National Forest trails which continue on to Mount Lemmon at the top of the Catalina Mountains. 
  • The Canyon Loop Trail (2.3 mi.) is representative of the various habitat types found in the park. 
  • The 50-Year Trail (7.8 mi.) is popular with equestrians and mountain-bikers, and the Birding Trail (1 mi.) offers hikers a chance to see some of the park's 170+ species of birds in three different types of habitats. 
  • The Bridle Trail (1.4 mi) is the only completely flat trail in the park, connecting the Equestrian Center with the main trail head.

Open 365 days a year. Day-use hours are 5:00 a.m. to 10:00p.m. Visitor Center hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Checkout time for overnight campers is 2:00 p.m.

Park Facilities

  • Campgrounds with 120 sites, 95 with water and electric hookups. 
  • Campsites have picnic tables and grills. 
  • Campgrounds have restrooms with showers; dump station. No Reservations
  • Picnic Area with restrooms, picnic tables, grills and a group shade Ramada.
  • Equestrian Center for off-loading or camping with horses.
  • Group Areas with restrooms, showers and group Ramadas for day use or camping. By reservation only; minimum 20 people.
  • Trails for hiking, backpacking, bicycling and equestrian use.
  • Ranger Station with information and gift shop.

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