First stop on our tour, Catalina State Park. We are not strangers to this park as we have visited in years prior. There are 3 loops at Catalina and we have stayed on all of them.
Loop A is primarily dry camping with a few electric sites. The views are good and the sites are just a little closer than Loop B. We really enjoyed Loop A in years past and find it tends to have a little younger crowd.
Loop B is power and electric, spaces are farther apart and it has stellar shower facilities. The views along the back of the loop are amazing. We have stayed in this loop the past couple of years for the full electric and water luxury as we almost always start our journey here.
The third loop is called Ringtail and is a dirt loop that was formerly the overflow parking. Ringtail is dry camping but has a great shower facility. I found Ringtail really dusty and way too close for comfort. I could hear our neighbors walking around inside their camper. However, Ringtail is the only one with a community fire ring. I did find this area more friendly and was sorry that we missed several new friends who had just departed ringtail the day before we arrived.
All the loops have easy access to trails and we spent most days hiking and biking straight out of the campsite. We enjoyed the Bird Trail, The Romero Canyon Loop, Romero Pools and we even went off trail in another Canyon (until I freaked out about snakes and made us turn around). Biking is great as well with access to The 50 Year Trail. There are a number of other trails that we have driven to. We use the book Fat Tire Tales and Trails by Cosmic Ray as a guide for scoping out rides.
We also attended a concert at the trailhead area with Kate and Iain (Annon and TLS). The summer concert series takes place on the first Saturday of each month and was great fun. Sitting in the shade, enjoying friends, good music and beautiful weather.
One of the reasons we love using this as a launch point is the convenience to good shopping. No need to sit in traffic for hours or drive far, lots of close shopping including Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Target and Walmart. We are always missing something and the close shopping really makes it easy.
Of course hiking, biking and shopping cannot interfere with the search for great Tucson beer! We also combined our visit with catching up with family in Tubac and friends in Oro Valley. Overall a very successful visit.