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.
Great hike! I would say moderate is accurate because most of trek to pools is uphill, and trail is rocky (also narrow in some places with drop offs). Definitely worth it as some pools are waist deep +, and water is flowing. It took me 1 hour 15 minutes to reach the pools (I hike on a regular basis though), and about the same amount of time to return, for 2.5 hours round trip (not counting time spent relaxing at pools). You absolutely must have a good supply of water (I had @3 L) and good trail shoes. If possible, I also recommend trekking poles. I started at 7am and most of my trek to pools was in shade, and very comfortable.
The Canyon Loop Trail was very enjoyable. A large part of it is like a road of beach sand. Much preferred the rocky part of the trail. Great treat to have it go along the creek side and I actually have to cross water. Many wildflowers. Beautiful scenery. Variable landscape-- rock, creek, cactus, grasses. Recommend!
Its a beautiful, rewarding and tough hike. Hit the trail today around 0918, got to the pools; where there was more water than I expected. This trail is rated at moderate but I would rate it a bit higher based on the fact that it's all uphill in rough terrain. If you enjoy taking your time hiking I would recommend starting earlier than I did. It's already hot and this trail has very limited shade. Do; bring enough water; I went through 2liters like it was nothing.