Park Event Calendar
December 3 – Buffel Slayers
8am - 12pm. Eradicate buffel grass from Catalina State Park! Please wear sturdy shoes, long pants, and a sun hat. Bring water and a snack. We will provide digging tools and gloves. All participants please meet at the Equestrian Center.
December 3 – Tucson Bandstand
3pm. The Tucson Bandstand invites you to Catalina State Park’s First Saturday Concert Series. They will be sharing 60s and 70s jukebox tunes along with some holiday tunes! Kick back under the trees and enjoy wonderful music with the beautiful Santa Catalina Mountains as a backdrop. All-day admission to the state park is $7 per vehicle (up to four adults). Be sure to join Catalina State Park for our First Saturday Concerts throughout the year.
December 11 – 50th Year Trail
8:15am. Park and meet at the Equestrian Center parking. An easy hike, returning by another pleasant trail to make a loop. 7 miles, 450' elevation.
December 11 and 18 – Geology Walk
9am. How were the Santa Catalina Mountains formed? What are some of the different rocks in the park? Learn about the geology of Catalina State Park with experienced geologist, Karen. This walk takes several hours. All participants please meet at the picnic area ramada.
December 14 – Adventures with the Moon
7:30pm. The Moon, Earth’s only natural satellite, with its mystery and intrigue, continues to provide interest to earth’s humans. Join Catalina State Park volunteer, Richard, as he takes you to the moon and back through interactive activities and displays. Meet at the Romero Ruins Ramada.
December 18 – Cabin/Canyon Trail Loop
8:15am. Park and meet at main trailhead parking (near the two buildings). From main trailhead hike to cabin via unnamed trails and back by Canyon Trail South to parking. 7 miles, 400' elevation.
December 25 – "Park's Best Short Trails Loop"
8:15am. Park and meet at Catalina State Park’s main trailhead parking (near the two buildings). Especially good for those new or not too familiar with the whereabouts of the park’s trails.
January 7, 2017 – Annon and the Late Show
2pm. Annon and the Late Show invites you to Catalina State Park’s First Saturday Concert Series. They will be sharing smooth rhythm and blues with a soulful Latin flare. Kick back under the trees and and enjoy wonderful music with the beautiful Santa Catalina Mountains as a backdrop. Check out their facebook at http://bit.ly/1NDLOZx. All-day admission to the state park is $7 per vehicle (up to four adults). Be sure to join Catalina State Park for our First Saturday Concerts throughout the New Year!
February 4, 2017 – The Saguaro Sunset Trio
3pm. Catalina State Park is pleased to welcome back the Saguaro Sunset Trio for the First Saturday Concert in February. The Trio combines harmonizing vocals, instrumentation, and rhythm for an entertaining set. Saguaro Sunset Trio will be playing easy listening bluegrass, country, and folk music. All-day admission to the park is $7 per vehicle and the concert is included with park admission. Be sure to join us at 3:00pm on February 4 and check back for two more concerts in March!
February 18, 2017 – Nancy Elliot
3pm. Join Catalina State Park in welcoming Nancy Elliot for the First Saturday Concert on February 18, 2017. Bob Atkinson, a Tucson, Arizona Poet, describes Nancy this way; “Nancy's feeling for Southwestern Culture gets displayed in each concert she performs. In a mix of historical stories, cultural stories, and contemporary experience, Ms. Elliott displays a warmth on stage few of us can match in daily social interactions. Her guitar and persona create a feeling of being in a room speaking one-on-one with her, even if you're only one of many enjoying her refreshing musical treatment of a polished acoustic/singing/storytelling performance.” Visit her website at www.NancyElliottMusic.com or facebook at https://www.facebook.com/nancy.katycreek
March 4, 2017 – Marietta Loherlein
4pm. Join Marietta Loherlein for a First Saturday Concert at Catalina State Park. Mari will be plaing a variety of folk, pop, and country music. Be sure to join us for a wonderful concert with a beautiful backdrop! All-day admission to the park is $7 per vehicle and the concert is included with park admission. Join us again for a special Third Saturday concert on the 18th!
March 18, 2017 – Saguaro Sunset Trio
4pm. Catalina State Park is pleased to host the Saguaro Sunset Trio for the special Third Saturday Concert in March. The Trio combines harmonizing vocals, instrumentation, and rhythm for an entertaining set. Saguaro Sunset Trio will be playing easy listening bluegrass, country, and folk music. All-day admission to the park is $7 per vehicle and the concert is included with park admission. Be sure to join us at 6:00pm on March 18 and check back for two more concerts in April!
Join the Buffel Slayers to help eradicate Buffelgrass at Catalina State Park in Tucson! Invasive buffelgrass is highly flammable and impacts native Sonoran Desert plants such as saguaros. For future events, please LIKE this group’s new Facebook page at http://Facebook.com/buffelslayers
Catalina Now Offers 24/7 Online Campground Reservations!
Reserve a campground RV or tent site from the comfort of your home, anytime of day. Make online reservations Site reservations for this park are also available by calling the Reservation Center at (520) 586-2283. You can call 7 days a week, from 8 am to 5 pm MST. There is a $5 non-refundable reservation fee per site.
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Spring 2013 has brought wildflowers to the park. Enjoy a hike or activity during this beautiful time of year. Photo courtesy volunteer Margie Caswell.
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 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.
All programs and events subject to entrance fees of $7 per vehicle, up to four adults. Events subject to change. For all hikes and walks, please bring an adequate water supply, a snack, sunscreen, and wear appropriate clothing, shoes, and hat for the weather conditions. Enjoy the park!
"Our Knights in Spiny Armor" (December Program)
Mondays 8:30am. This short hike with leader, Monty, is about the majestic cactus, the saguaro, which grows only in the Sonoran Desert. Whether you are new to the desert or simply love saguaros, this event is for you! Meet at the Trailhead.
Treasure Hike through Romero Ruin
By reservation only. Park Ranger, Jack, leads a tour of the Romero Ruins Trail, where the whole family can learn about the history and mystery surrounding the Hohokam’s largest ruin site in the park. Call (520) 628-5798 to schedule a tour. Please provide 24 hours notice.
Catalina State Park Nature Program
Saturdays 10:00am-1:00pm. Learn about and see many reptiles that live naturally in the Sonoran Desert. Listen to our experts talk about the creatures and their adaptions to survive in the desert. This is a live reptile exhibit and much more! Fun for all ages! Program is weather permitting.
Guided Bird Walks (Seasonal Program)
Sundays at 8:00am, Wednesdays at 8:00am, and Fridays at 8:30am. Both novice and seasoned birder enjoy the variety of birds that visit and live in the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains. Our experienced bird guide, Mary Ellen, will help you spot and identify various birds as you walk through the park. Please bring binoculars, and a bird guide (if you have one). This eventful walk lasts several hours. Call the park for a schedule of walks. There will ne no guided bird walk on December 25.
First Saturdays Concert Series:
The first Saturday of every month, enjoy the music in the park with the Santa Catalina Mountains as the backdrop. All shows are at the Trailhead Stage. Concert times vary. Feel free to bring a chair and favorite foods. Free popcorn is provided by the Friends of Catalina State Park. Park entrance fee applies.
Sundays: Guided Hikes
Times vary. Explore the trails of Catalina State Park with experienced hiking guide, Gaston. Consult website to learn of hiking routes. Please register by 4 PM Saturday prior to the hike at VHC.Gaston@gmail.com. For safety reasons, four hikers are required for a hike to occur. As hikes depart promptly, please arrive 5 minutes early. If rain threatens, the guide will phone the registered hiker ASAP or about one hour before the scheduled hike time, whichever comes first. Please inform the guide of any medical condition, medication, or allergy to Aspirin.
The Saguaro (saw-WAH-row,) scientific name Carnegiea gigantean, is a tree-like cactus species of the Cactaceae family, which can grow to be over 50 feet tall or taller than a four-story building. It is native to the Sonoran Desert in Arizona. There are over 5,000 Saguaro in Catalina State Park. The Friends of Catalina SP offer an Adopt a Saguaro Program.
Join the Friends of Catalina SP!
“The mission of the Friends of Catalina State Park is to work in partnership with the park staff and our community to support its volunteers and to promote, improve and preserve Catalina State Park for present and future generations." If you hike, cycle, or ride the park trails … If you enjoy the nature programs with the live snakes, gila monsters and other wild animals … If you enjoy the park’s boulder terrain and mountain vistas … If you want to continue the education programs that hundreds of elementary school children enjoy … Please join us in supporting our park! Learn more at http://www.friendscsp.org
Environmental Education Programs:
Are you looking to schedule an environmental education program? Oracle State Park, located just up the road from Catlina State Park offers the Oracle Odyssey and Oracle Adventure, interactive programs that encourage students to connect with the local natural and cultural history. These programs bring ecological concepts learned in the classroom into a real world context. Visit Oracle State Park's website at azstateparks.com/Parks/ORAC or call (520) 896-2425 for more information.
- Alamo Lake
- Buckskin Mountain
- Cattail Cove
- Lake Havasu
- River Island
- Yuma Quartermaster Depot
- Yuma Territorial Prison
- Dead Horse Ranch
- Fort Verde
- Red Rock
- Riordan Mansion
- Slide Rock
- Verde River Greenway
- Boyce Thompson Arboretum
- Fool Hollow Lake
- Lost Dutchman
- Lyman Lake
- Tonto Natural Bridge