Catalina State Park sits at the base of the majestic Santa Catalina Mountains in Arizona. The park is a haven for desert plants and wildlife and nearly 5,000 saguaros.
The park was established in 1983, and consists of 5,493 acres of high desert/lower Sonoran Life Zone. The park entrance sits at about 2,600 feet above sea level in the Santa Catalina Mountain foothills, rising to 3,000 feet at the highest point in the park. 9,157-foot Mt. Lemmon is just 9 miles from the park.
It has a complete system of trails following the contours up and out of the park into the adjacent Coronado National Forest. The 5,500 acres of foothills, canyons and streams invites camping, picnicking and bird watching — more than 180 species of birds call the park home. Birders love Catalina State Park’s ease of access, varied habitat and large list of resident and migratory birds.
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 handicap accessible.
The park also offers an equestrian center which provides a staging area for trail riders with ample trailer parking.
If you don’t have your own 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.
This scenic desert park also offers a beautiful mountain backdrop, desert wildflowers, cacti and many species of wildlife.
Catalina State Park is located within Coronado National Forest, and is managed by Arizona State Parks in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service.