Santa Catalina Mountains
Located on Tucson's north side, the rugged Santa Catalina Mountains in Coronado National Forest are Tucson's most prominent range with the highest average elevation. The highest point is Mt. Lemmon at 9,147 feet, noted as the southernmost ski destination in the United States. A trip from the Tucson valley to Mt. Lemmon takes you from 2,000 to about 9,000 feet, with scenery that resembles a trip from the Mexican to the Canadian border.
Sabino Canyon Trail
Easily accessible from the city's northeast side, the Sabino Canyon Recreation area is one of the most visited outdoor sites in Tucson. This easy, 8-mile (round trip) trail will accommodate everyone, from the most experienced to the least.
Mt. Lemmon Meadow Loop
This easy, 1.5-mile (round trip) loop among Mt. Lemmon's pine trees offers wonderful views of Tucson and Oro Valley and features views of an active lookout tower.
Romero Pools Trail
This moderate, 5.5-mile hike (round trip) to Romero Pools, in Catalina State Park north of Tucson, features a superb picnic site and photographic subjects, and swimming hole with slippery rocks and deep pools.
Blackett's Ridge Trail
This moderate, 7-mile (round trip) hike along a narrow, sheer-walled ridge overlooking Sabino Canyon northeast of Tucson offers an intense, exhilarating workout and great views.
Finger Rock Trail
This strenuous hike 6-mile (round trip) starts out easy for the first mile, and then progressively gets harder as the trail begins to steepen. The trailhead is at the north end of Alvernon Way and offers spectacular views of the city.
Ventana Canyon Trail
This challenging, 6.4-mile hike begins at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort and follows a rugged, steep trail up Ventana Canyon in the front range of the Santa Catalina Mountains and ends at a spectacular rock arch at the top of a peak.
Permits & Maps
Stop by a hiking-camping supply store to purchase a map or hiking guide or to contact local hiking groups and organizations for suggestions. The Summit Hut and Southern Arizona Hiking Club are good places to start. Hiking permits are required for some areas and can be obtained from Coronado National Forest.