Explore the most popular hiking trails in Catalina State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
14 hours ago

Awesome trail. Easy even with a toddler. Had fun with the water going today.

This was a great hike! The trail clear but not marked very well. It seems like the pools should be bigger at the end, but definitely explore more and you’ll find cool little water falls and bigger pools. The water was flowing yesterday! Also from the parking lot to the pools is more like 6 miles round trip. Definitely worth it!

Awesome trail.

Great Hike, all said and done, we went to the 2nd set of pools where the water was flowing and beautiful. Coming down in some spots were tough on my knees, but others were going down no problem.

We hiked this trail down from Mt Lemmon in October. Spectacular views West as you make your way along many viewpoints, rock formations and new growth pine on the way to Romero Pass. Romero Pass to Romero pools was very challenging. 10-12 tress have fallen across the trail and there is plenty of overgrowth from surrounding vegetation encroaching on the trail. Rattlesnake on trail just up from pools. Didn't see any hikers until we reached pools.

The first mile of this trail is super easy. The next two miles to the first pools are nearly difficult. Nothing dangerous but you will need to judge nearly every step. The pools at the end of the 3 mile trail are a little disappointing. Mostly rusty water with a lot of slippery brown growth. Not recommended for dipping or swimming.

Overall this is a great hike. We gained 1,000 feet between miles 1-3 and the return was less than 1 hour. The views from and the scenery are as good as it gets. Lots of photo ops.

Beautiful hike, rocky in spots.

Great family trail, not to difficult yet a good decent hike. Dog friendly

Lovely walk in the early hours today. I recommend this one for the vistas and desert plants.

walking
2 months ago

great little hike or walk for people with just a limited amount of time to get in a walk or hike with the dog and shaded in many places.

Made the trek at 6am, finished at 9am. No water moving in the pools, just standing water that looked gross, so that was a bit disappointing. Nice little hike though! Best time to do it in the summer is sunrise. The whole flat beginning was in the shade, mountain provided some shade on the trail once the sun came up, and the sun was behind us as we hit the flat land home. Lots of rattlesnakes. Be nice to do this when there’s water in the pools! Beautiful views however.

Beautiful hike, started at 5:30am and out by 9:30am. There was a good rain last night and the pools were full this morning. Spectacular views and great color everywhere. The desert was full of life today. Well worth the effort to get into the canyon.

Definitely not a summer trail,, started around 6am it was nice but got hot pretty soon. Not much water in the pools and pretty nasty water standing. Went off trail and found water running on the other side of the mountain, ran into a deer and baby!!

horseback riding
3 months ago

Beautiful desert county. Lots of wildlife curious about the ponies.
Pretty dense and narrow in places.
Some hairy spots where I felt more comfortable to dismount my mare and lead her.

Super refreshing swim at the top! I enjoyed this hike. The best part was it wasn’t crowded!

cross country skiing
3 months ago

I spent a lot of time trying to stay on the actual trail very poor job they have done at marking it. Past the second set of pools trail seems to end. I wandered around for awhile finally able to find out that you cross the creek to the right and the trail picks up again. I had this happen multiple times. I made it in about 7 miles and determined that I wouldn’t have enough light or water left to finish the 18 mile loop. The first half of the 18 miles is majorly up steep inclines so plan accordingly for water. I had 6 liters to start, probably needed another 2-3 if I would have done whole trail. After first set of pools I saw no one, which is what I like. Overall I liked the hike because it was a good challenge, good inclines no people. Hells gate is the hardest one I’ve done so far, which really isn’t what I would call that difficult. This trail is definitely challenging. I will be back next Saturday to conquer it. This time no more wasting time with finding the trail.

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!

hiking
4 months 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.

hiking
5 months 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
5 months 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.

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