Catalina State Park sits at the base of the majestic Santa Catalina Mountains. The park is a haven for desert plants and wildlife and nearly 5,000 saguaros. The 5,500 acres of foothills, canyons and streams invites camping, picnicking and bird watching more than 150 species of birds call the park home. The park provides miles of equestrian, birding, hiking, and biking trails which wind through the park and into the Coronado National Forest at elevations near 3,000 feet. The park is located within minutes of the Tucson metropolitan area. Park facilities include a campground, picnic tables, grills, trails, an equestrian center, a group use area for day or overnight use (available by reservation), restrooms, showers, and a gift shop. All restroom and shower facilities are accessible. The park also offers an equestrian center which provides a staging area for trail riders with ample trailer parking. Don't have a horse? Pusch Ridge Stables is an equestrian concessionaire near the park that offers horse rides on designated trails on the north end of the park. Visit puschridgestables.com External Link for more information. This scenic desert park also offers equestrian trails and an equestrian center provides a staging area for trail riders with plenty of trailer parking. 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. Catalina State Park is located within Coronado National Forest, and is managed by Arizona State Parks in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service.
72 degrees. Moderately used trail at the time I hiked, early afternoon. The trail was spectacular. Last half of the hike was along the stream. The sound of the running water made the hike more enjoyable. Wonderful scenery. Like others have noted this trail is on the easy side of Moderate.
This is a good go to trail. It has moderate to heavy traffic depending on the season. I went in January and passed someone every 5 minutes or so. Most of it is uphill but the switchbacks aren't to bad. When you get to the falls it's a great spot to have lunch. Go an extra half mile or so and you'll have the whole trail to yourself!
Fantastic hike. I'm late 30s & fit
-1.5 hours up
...I'm fairly fast. Passed most people
...2 hour avg? More with lots of pictures
-1 hour down
...Many picture taking pauses
...On way down, stopped for 10 so my wife could snack
-One guy jogged up. Said it took him 30 minutes. Very possible if you are fit, but you'd have to be laser focused on footing in certain spots. I'm hoping to do this sometime
VERY IMPRESSED with the 55+ people we saw. Kudos to you in those rocky areas
Pools are great. Good relaxing destination, even though many around
I heard a guy say that continuing past the pools is the best. We did not have time for that.
Went as a solo hike last minute at noon. This is a totally exposed route with the exception of the last half mile near the pools so bring lots of sun protection and a long sleeve. It got HOT. Also, this is over 5.9 miles. It's closer to 6.4-ish. Heavily trafficked, but not annoyingly so (as in, not like national park on spring break annoying..)