Explore the most popular wildlife 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.

A very easy walk through a variety of desert vegetation with explanatory signage along the trail. Great views of the Santa Catalina Mountains to the east.

4 months ago

Awesome moderate to easy trail. Nice vistas and flora. Everyone seemed friendly and shared the trail well. The dogs loved it.

Nice and easy with the grandchildren and dogs. Trailhead near restrooms, picnic tables and a small snack/Shop.

This was a challenging hike as I haven't been on a long hike in quite awhile. Also my kit was heavy, I was carrying a lot of water because I wasn't sure of access to water. Once I confirmed water sources I got rid of the extra water and lightened my load considerably. Pack enough water to get you to Hutch's Pool. Once there you can top off and drink your fill. The area around there has some good camp sites as well. Make sure to top off as the next water source isn't until you get to the top and hike down to Ski Valley.

This hike surprised me as to how beautiful the views and many waterfalls there were. I went in late March and there was a good amount of water, hiking a majority of the way alongside the creek. If you're looking for an extra challenge, continue up the Mount Lemmon Trail leading you to Mt. Lemmon Trail #5. Incredibly rewarding, however, I would suggest planning on someone picking you up at the top or camping a night before heading back down!

Actually 14.4 miles round-trip. Excellent, varied, challenging hike. Lots of time in the woods after passing Romero Pools. Rocky: the hiking is rarely smooth and easy.

6 months ago

Hiked the loop on 11/19/17. Great little hike with amazing views. Not really strenuous but some rocky sections/slanted trail if you have glass ankles. Saw a lot of mountain bikers and a few horses during the hike. I will advise to bring the AllTrails app or a good GPS with you as the trail is not marked well at all. Verizon coverage is good here. Several side trails to get lost on. I used the map on this app a lot to see where I was. Had to ask directions to find the trailhead. Fun day hike, bring plenty of water. No place to refill out there.

I did this from Catalina State Park to Sabino direction with two overnight stops. Left late afternoon and hiked to Romero Pools area and camped, then next day hiked to Hutch's Pool and camped there, then out the next day. Hike from Romero Pools up to crest was pretty tough with a pack, but I'd do it again. I went in the Spring so I had water at Romero and at Hutch's.

6 months ago

Omg, the trail markers on this trail are basically non-existent, which caused us to get totally off the trail. As we were walking through dried up river wash with NO idea where we were and realizing we were lost, my husband decided to walk towards the few houses that were remotely located. This meant crawling under a barbed wire fence and tresspassing on private property. I know, you are probably laughing right now.

Anyway, once we walked through NON-TRAIL terrain towards electricity poles and lines in the distance, we found the road which got us back to the trailhead parking lot (we only knew we were on the right track after asking a resident who was driving on the road).

We aren't idiots, so the fact that we got so lost makes me think that, unless you are familiar with this trail, you should SKIP IT. There were a lot of bikers on the trail when we first started out, but it's not like we could follow them to stay on course.

We will make sure that our next hike has reviews which mention decent trail markings (which seem to be few and far between in the Tucson area) or, if we feel like we have NO idea how to stay on a trail, turn back.

An amazing MTB trail. I recommend the Golder Ranch Advanced Loop and the Chutes.

mountain biking
8 months ago

The 50 year Upper 50 Year Trail is a really solid intermediate mountain bike trail. You bike here and feel like you are RIGHT next to the Catalinas. This trail is famous for "The Chutes" ...a windy curvy chute like grinder that is fast and furious. It can be scary. I really recommend what they call the Oro Valley Sensational Three of ...Honeybee Canyon, 50 Year Trail and Old Pueblo 24 hour courses. Check out The Arizona Bicycle Association's site at BikeTucson.com. There is an outfit that delivers and picks up bikes to these trails at tucsonbikerentals.org.

Nature Trail Loop at Catalina State Park (counterclockwise). About 1/3 of the way around we lateraled of to the east for 0.2 miles and hiked on a 2nd separate loop trail on the same mesa area. The 2nd loop was approximately one mile & much less traveled. The AllTrails mapping was definitely helpful in making sure we stayed on trail. Lots of plant and wildlife, especially after the recent heavy rains. Wildflowers and cactus blooms surprised us for mid-August!

A great hike with the kids. information signs along the way and just the right length so they don't get bored.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Hike along a low ridge- view of Catalina Mountains on one side, but view off the other side is lots of views of housing developments. Not my favorite hike in the area.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

I did this hike back in 88'. It is a long hike for sure and the trail seemed to be hard to find as you got closer to the pass. You start by parking at the parking area in Catalina State Park. Things are pretty well signed. The day I did it, there was water in Sutherland wash that I had to walk thru. Then it's all uphill from there for the most part. Once at the pass, that divides Romero creek with the West fork of Sabino creek. Then the long slog back down Romero Canyon to where you started. It's an all day adventure, so plan accordingly. I did this in the winter months, and I wouldn't recommend this as a summer hike.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Lots of big rocks and saguaro, steep at first to get to the loop. Great for kids

Friday, March 25, 2016

Great hike for kids or beginners.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

This short loop was well traveled in this busy park. It is fairly flat, and great for a nice little stroll. A rare bird sighting brought us to the park- the rufous-backed robin- which we did see.

mountain biking
Friday, September 25, 2015

The areas premiere mountain biking network. Many more trails east higher in the hills adding tech and beauty to this network. Middle Gate, Upper Loop, Rattlesnake and many more trails. The Chutes is the areas most famous feature. Odd linear gullies and ridges carved by cows, motor cycles and bikes. May be 50 miles of trails here. Benn here many times, watch for cows and cactus.

mountain biking
Sunday, June 14, 2015

The chutes are the best part of this trail. Quite sandy in some spots so when you hit those spots it unnecessarily wipes you out making it hard to enjoy the rest of the trail. When I went it was quite hot. I recommend going in the early mornings.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Great for kids. We saw a lot of birds. This is a good place to bring friends visiting the desert to get a good idea of what it's like.

Friday, January 02, 2015

Easy trail, love it at sunset with the light hitting the Pusch Ridge, makes for good photography.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

There are hidden gems on this trail. It's best to have someone with you who knows the trails first time out to make sure you get to experience the best parts.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

It has it's ups and downs

mountain biking
Sunday, December 18, 2011

A somewhat unique trail to Tucson in that the rocks tend to be large and round rather than small and sharp. There are several routes on this trail ranging from beginner to experienced and times ranging from a hour or so to however long you want to spend goofing off in the playground that is the upper 50 loop. Without a doubt, this is a must for visitors and locals alike. Take a guide your first time out.

1 month ago

1 month ago

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