Catalina State Park

In preparation for our summer vacation we are trying to take the popup out once a month so that we have it all figured out before we hit the road in it this summer. We are also trying to visit places we have never been so that we can take advantage of all the great places our state has to offer. For this trip we visited Catalina State Park, which is just north of Tucson, Arizona.

I have lived in Tucson all my life and I cannot believe this is the first time I’ve visited Catalina State Park. It is beautiful! It’s almost in town but it’s far enough off the road that you feel like you’re out of town. Fortunately for us we were about five minutes from the store (and Starbucks) because we had to make three store (and coffee) runs. Sheesh. Not all trips are like that but this one was.

We were in spot 15 and while we had no electricity, the sites on the southern outer edge of Loop A seemed to have the most privacy and the best views.


This is the view we enjoyed from our campsite the entire weekend.  A girl could get used to this.

The bathrooms and showers were really clean and overall I was impressed with their facilities. The only disappointment was that fires are never allowed in the park.  We did not realize that when we made our reservations so we showed up expecting to spend the evenings by the campfire. Instead we played cards in the camper. Not a bad tradeoff. The kids brought their scooters and had a blast riding around the campground. The scooters will be going with us everywhere we go now.

There is a great little trail not far from the campground called the Romero Ruins Interpretive Trail.  It’s .75 miles and not a hard hike by any means but you do have to walk though a wash and up some stairs.  Taking a stroller would be hard.  The majority of the trail is atop a ridge with great views of the surrounding area. This would be a great place to watch the sunset.

Looking west towards Oro Valley (a suburb of Tucson) 

Looking east towards the Catalina Mountains

Evidence of a Hohokam village can be traced back to 500 A.D. and there are signs all along the trail providing history.

I enjoyed talking with the kids about how the Hohokam lived versus how we live now.

I thoroughly enjoyed the history lesson; not sure about the kids though.

If you follow me on social media you may have seen this picture. I love it so much that I had to post it here, too.  This enormous saguaro was along the trail and Little Mister was pretending to hug it.  This has got to be the largest saguaro I’ve ever seen.

There are many hiking trails within the park of varying levels. The park has a great calendar and hosts concerts, star parties, and guided walks.  Be sure to check out what else is going on while you are there to make the most of your trip.

I definitely recommend Catalina State Park. Spring and Fall are ideal times to visit, as is sunset.

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