Catalina State Park is experiencing crowding. Please choose a different park or come at off-peak hours (after 2 p.m.). Please be responsible and practice social distancing. Parking is only allowed in designated parking spots.
Thank you for taking a look at the various facilities and experiences available to park visitors. The Catalina Mountains are full of history and invite adventure amid a beautifully rugged desert setting. Catalina State Park is the perfect "home base" for anyone looking to further explore this region and home to the best, most convienient camping near Tucson. Take a look below, and we hope to see you at the park!
Facilities Available At Catalina State Park
Visitor Center/Park Store
The Visitor Center is located at the park entrance and is open approximately 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily. Entrance and camping permits are issued here. Information is available about the park and local vicinity. The Visitor Center features a small gift shop. There are two gift shops. A small one located in the Visitor Center/ranger station at the park entrance. Some of the items offered are postcards, maps, books, field guides, drinking water, snacks, sunscreen, hats, and tee-shirts. This shop is open approximately 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily. There is also a trailhead gift shop open seasonally near the bathrooms at the trailhead.
Campground and RV Sites
120 camp sites are available that have electric, water, and are either tent or RV ready. The campground is located in the shadows of the famed Catalina Mountains, this scenic camping option close to the Tucson metro area gives a vibe of a much more remote setting. Native birds and wildlife abound and help make any camping trip, especially in such scenic campgrounds, a memorable and worthwhile experience. Click below to learn more about reserving a spot.
Group Ramadas & Camping
The park offers a total of six reservable group areas. Four (Ringtail, Flycatcher, Granite, and Gila Monster) can be reserved for either day use or overnight camping and two (Picnic Area and Romero Ruins) are only day use. Download the info packet for minimum and maximum group sizes. Download Reservable Group Areas Information Packet and Download Park Map
The picnic area features tables, BBQ grills, and a modern flush restroom and one 20x40' shade ramada (see next paragraph). Day use hours are 5 a.m. – 10 p.m. There are at least 10 picnic tables at each Ramada.
A 20x40' ramada is now reservable! It has two grills and 10 picnic tables. It is only for day use (5 a.m. – 10 p.m.); no camping or wood fires are allowed (wood fires are allowed in the group area). The reservation fee is $35 plus the day use entrance fee $7/vehicle.
Two RV dump stations are available in the park. Free for registered campers. $15 per vehicle dumping fee if not registered in the campground.
Hot showers in the restroom buildings at campgrounds and group areas. For use by registered campers only. Flush restrooms are available in the visitor center, picnic area, group areas and campgrounds. Waterless restrooms are available at the trailhead and equestrian center. All restroom facilities are handicap accessible.
Activities and Experiences
Hiking and Biking
The desert backcountry in and around Catalina State Park is a playground for those seeking adventure on the trail. There's no shortage of choices here and most trails are of the shared use variety. Trails range from easy to intermediate and each offers a distinct Arizona trail experience. A large variety of native plants, birds, and wildlife can be experienced from every trail in the park.
An equestrian staging and camping area is available for visitors who trailer their own livestock into the park. Stock can be off-loaded for day rides, or riders can camp with their animals. Sixteen pens are available first-come, first served (no charge for pens). Picnic tables, BBQ grills, a restroom, and drinking water are available. Horses or stock animals are not permitted on the nature trail, birding trail, and Romero Ruin Interpretive Trail, or in picnic/camping areas or on paved roads.
- No reservations
- First come, first served
- Camping or day use (no designated sites)
- 16 corrals
- Wood fires allowed in designated fire pits
- Vault toilet
- Hitching Posts
- Mounting/dismounting steps
- Water, no electricity
- Camping fees are $20 per vehicle per night
- $7 vehicle day use
Exhibits that showcase the natural wonder of southern Arizona are located in the Visitor Center. Stop by and check out these educational displays during your next trip.
A variety of desert wildlife inhabits the park, including more than 170 species of birds. Mammals of interest include deer, coyote, javelina, bobcat, and jackrabbit. Most desert animals are nocturnal, so early morning and late evening viewing is best. Any of the park trails offer good opportunities for birdwatching and wildlife viewing.
- Campground check-in: 2:00 p.m.; Check-out: 12 noon.
- Vehicles must remain on paved roads.
- Vehicle washing is not allowed.
- Discharge gray water only into designated dump facilities.
- Damaging, defacing, or removing natural features is prohibited.
- Do not attempt to drive through flooded roads.
- Pets must be kept on a leash.
- Wood fires and ground fires are permitted only in designated areas.
- Camping is limited to 14 nights in a 30-day period.
- Generator hours: 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
- Quiet hours: 10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.