nature trips

trail running



wild flowers


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. $7 entrance fee

Beautiful, clean trail with plenty of challenging aspects: the incline, the terrain and the heat (this time of year). Highly recommend arriving just after sunrise to enjoy this one. You’ll leave feeling accomplished. Note: there was still water in some of the Romero Pools, but not all. Some rainfall will fix that quickly, I’m sure. Still a beautiful hike!

16 days ago

Isolated and a great trail if you want to meditate and observe the core of the Catalina Mountains. Not sure if I went all the way to the end because I was stopped by an accumulation of rocks with no signs and no extended trail anywhere beyond that point.

Amazing views, clean and challenging trail. Might be lucky like me and spot Javelinas towards the evening hours.

1 month ago

fun trail, good hike and easy to follow. family friendly.

Nice hike and great views, but the pools are now bug farms ... will have to go back after monsoon season.

Great little trail! Took small kids and it was not bad at all. Not much traffic and beautiful views.

horseback riding
1 month ago

Very busy trail. A lot quieter during the week but easy and has water crossings very pretty.

Took some out of towners on this hike and we had a blast. The pools were full enough to swim in and the trail is well maintained.

The hike is a bit of a grind since there is not much sun cover. The views are varied and spectacular so I highly suggest this trail. The pools at the end were ok, but the very last pool and its hidden view totally made the trek worth it.

Me and my crew couldn't have asked for a better place to backpack and camp. Although the hike in with 30lb packs was rough for us since we hadn't don't any training prior to our trek, we made it in, found our spot and survived next to the pools for a good 3 days. The views were immaculate and there was plenty of good places to hide in the shade. The pools were beautiful and there was plenty of water for us to swim and filter. If you're going to do this hike and make it an overnight, make sure you have at least a gallon of water on you and a water filtration system.

Great short quick burner if you want to get in a great workout but you can also take your time and enjoy the climb and lunch at the pools (in season). I went yesterday and there was some water. The views are great and photo worthy. Definitely a great hike!!

Enjoyed the relative short distance of this climb, and moderately difficult rocky inclines in places. No shady spots until you get closer to the pools, so wouldn't want to be out there when it's hot. The vegetation was quite nice, despite lack of trees. Saw sparse wildflowers, and ocotillos were showing some nice colors today. Recommended, would do it again.

great hike really hot day though leave at sunrise

We have done this trail a few times. I would rate this more on the difficult side....only 6 miles but 1700' elevation gain, steep and rocky in several places, hot with no shade. The trail had greened up and was in bloom this trip. Not much water in the pools. There is a camp spot under trees just across the pools for nice shady lunch spot! Great trail we hike almost every trip to Tucson area.

We drove in and did Picacho Peak and wanted more nature. So glad we found Romero Pools. It was beautiful, the flowers are out. The ocotillos are full and blooming and the beauty of vegetation on this trail took my breathe. I will be back with more time.

I started out at 6 am, and it was so worth it, peaceful and beautiful, with so many unexpected wild flowers I had never seen, plus gorgeous views of Tucson and the mountains. The pools were a wonderful payoff at the end, way more extensive than I expected. I will be going back again and again.

By par my favorite still. Have yet to have a hike that compares!

The pools are glorious and well earned by the time you get there. Great day hike!

2 months ago

too crowded but if u take some of the side loops that show up on this map it's more scenic & fun.

A great day hike, 4-5 hours. We spent 4 hrs round trip including a half hour at the beautiful pool. Fairly strenous in places but views all along the way.

3 months ago

Quick and easy trail with a bit of history and remnants of foundation of buildings that once stood.

3 months ago

Overall, good trail but somewhat boring at first. It gets better once you get into the actual canyon. The area of the pools is nice and with a bit more water would present some nice swimming holes. While I only went to the pools, I could tell that beyond the pools would become more picturesque. It looks like an adventure further up into the Catalinas.

3 months ago

made about 6 miles round trip, would be great if water was flowing. Huge saguaros at beginning. Keep your phone on to stay on real trail, there r lots of them, probably all.nice tho.
no people, awesome!

3 months ago

This area is too crowded for my taste. Great if hiking alone, I suppose, since there are plenty of people around.

Love this place. Hike it every spring when I visit Tucson. Hiking over a lot of rock and rough, uneven terrain, so plenty of places to twist an ankle. So while you're admiring the beautiful scenery keep an eye on where you step. Trekking poles are useful. This trail is a knee buster, and plenty of spots where snakes could be lurking along the way. Start early, beat the crowds and afternoon heat, and don't underestimate the amount of water you need. once you get to the pools, you feel like you've ascended into heaven.

3 months ago

Great fun hike. Made better by the 55° sunny weather (Feb 24). Few notes

• Not to soft or rocky of a trail
• Balanced with a good amount of flat and straight sections mixed with inclined switchbacks
• Very much scenic with loads of desert vegetation
• Good amount of traffic and not too crowded
• Lots of visible signage... No dogs
• Don't stop at the first set of pools you see. There are way more with a mini "waterfall" (@ 5 feet) at the end.

Great hike. Clear, cool pools.

Beautiful views, some bouldering too.

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