|Santa Catalina Mountains - Mount Lemmon|
The only paved road that leads to the upper reaches of Mt. Lemmon and the Santa Catalina Range is one of the most scenic highways in the southwest. This 28-mile (one-way) route provides access to a fascinating land of breathtaking vistas, outlandish rockscapes, cool mountain forests, and deep can...
Catalina State Park
|Description: This high desert park at 2,650 feet elevation north of Tucson features a wide array of desert plants and animals, as well as archaeological sites. The northwest face of the Santa Catalina Mountains forms the backdrop for the scenic park with its foothills, canyons, and streams. Plants include mesquite, paloverde, and acacia trees, crucifixion thorn, ocotillo, cholla, prickly pear, and saguaro cactus. Desert willow, Arizona sycamore, Arizona ash and native walnut grow along the washes.|
Wildlife to Watch: More than 150 species of birds have been documented in the park, including red-tailed and Harris’s hawks, elf owl, Gambel’s quail, cactus wren, Lucy’s warbler, rufous-winged and rufous-crowned sparrows, pyrrhuloxia, broad-billed and Costa’s hummingbirds, northern beardless-tyrannulet, gilded flicker, and Gila woodpecker. Collared, desert spiny, and canyon spotted and tiger whiptail lizards are easily seen in the warmer months. A variety of snakes may be encountered in the park, including coachwhip, gophersnake, western patch-nosed snake, and western diamond-backed rattlesnake. Black-tailed jackrabbit and cottontail rabbit, mule and white-tailed deer, javelina, coyote, and ground squirrel are frequently seen. Mountain lion and black bear have been observed.
Special Tips: Fee Site. There is a visitor center and an equestrian center for off-loading or camping with horses.
Other Activities: There are eight trails varying in length and difficulty. The Romero Ruin Interpretive Trail (3/4 mile) meanders through the ruins of a prehistoric Hohokam village site that is over 1,000 years old. The one-mile Nature Trail offers beautiful vistas and interpretive signs. A one-mile Birding Trail with interpretive signs offers hikers a chance to see some of the park’s 170+ species of birds. Trailheads in the park connect to longer, more strenuous hikes that connect with other Coronado National Forest Trails.
Ownership: Arizona State Parks
Size: 10,218 acres
Closest Town: Tucson
Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing: