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.

a few stones to signify a former Indian compound was the only thing to see.

can be a harsh trail going up. a lot of loose rock but beautiful scenery!

This was awesome and going counterclockwise was good because all the stairs were downhill. I was surprised there was some shade along the way, especially in the canyon. The views were terrific. The trail is well maintained and easy to follow. It is sandy and some spots are like walking on a beach so I was slowed a bit by that. I thought the trail was very easy.

great quick hike, if I had a bit more time I would have gone around twice!

Very easy and enjoyable hike. Benches to stop and just take in the beautiful scenery. It's hard to believe the road is so close because all you hear are the birds and the breeze. Will definitely go back for a quick and easy walk in a beautiful setting.
September 2016

This being our first moderate hike it was a workout! 2 hours up and 2 down. Heavy inclines with rocks and boulders so I would recommend hiking poles if you too are a beginner. However the pools are worth it, seeing we spent 2 hours there taking in the sights and temps!

2 months ago

Where the trail starts to loop back go off trail, it's good stuff

Great trail, my opinion- best for fall, spring hiking. Good alternative trail at Catalina State Park if you do t want to see so many people... Water at the 2.5 mi mark.

As a novice hiker, this is accurately labeled as moderate. We went up early morning, so we luckily had the shadow of the mountain shading us the majority of the way up. I had to stop several times on the way up, it got me good, haha. The first pool was maybe about 3 feet deep while the second was above five feet but less than six. It's definitely worth it when you get to the pools. It gets hot quick, though. The walk down was much easier than the way up, but by this time we no longer had the shadow of the mountain to offer us it's shade. To say it was hot is an understatement. Overall, I would definitely recommend and do this hike again.

Good trail for a simple hike - not very much incline, lots of birds and soft sand. Trail is easy to determine.

This trail is marked easy however I would say easy befits those that are looking for a walk on flat ground or even someone that is in shape yet has trouble with an incline for more than one section of a trail; that's easy.
This is not easy, I'd label it moderate. While I enjoyed myself thoroughly, jumping from rock to rock all the way up and through the switchbacks, the hubby was not as exalted. He is in great shape but not hiking shape, endurance mainly in the leg muscle area.
The trail starts on very loose beach like sand for .7 mi, at which point you begin your ascent which for the remaining two miles is largely uphill, over large rocks, and a few switchbacks. Even with the hubby's troubles it was worth it, for him, to get to the falls. DO BE SURE to go left not right when you are at the pools as the right is beautiful it doesn't contain pools with enough water for swimming.
One of the pools was about 4 ft deep while the second, lower one, was about 8 ft, this is Mid May. The hike, the pools are all amazing; definitely one of my new favorites. Downside is it is heavily trafficked and you d annoy have dogs past the .7 mark.

The pools were worth it once you get to jump in and cool off! Plan for rocky hills and lots of sun though. Remember, no dogs allowed on this trail!