We have stayed here a couple of times on trips to the West Coast. The park is beautiful at the foot is the mountains overlooking Tucson. The elevation is fairly high up. So, the temps are quite moderate compared to Tucson. They have a mix of reservation and non reservation sites all ranges from large RVs to tent camper. Great showers and restrooms and good roadways all the way into the sites. Tucson is just minutes always and the State Park Entrance is near a residential neighborhood. The mountains are beautiful in the morning. I would highly recommend this site if you are wanting to camp near Tucson.
Nice little park. Staff was great. Sites are too close together for my liking but lots of trails off the park. Dropped in on Memorial Day weekend, sites were mostly full (1 site left) but the neighbors had little dogs and we have 2 big German Shepherds so that wasn’t going to work so we asked if we could stay in the equestrian area since there was only one person in there & they agreed. It was PERFECT for us. Not sure we’ll stay again if we can’t use that area!
Great stop in an AZ state park within minutes of civilization at Tucson. Plenty of hiking trails nearby, great campsite amenities. Showers, clean bathrooms, water at every campsite.
Showed up on a Monday afternoon with no reservation and picked up a non-electric site no problem. $20 fee or $30 with electric hookup.
Would definitely stay here again.
Catalina State Park was beautiful in a very unique way. The campground sits at the base of the Catalina mountains and it made for gorgeous views. The landscape is pretty standard desert. There was a lot of plant life but not a lot of green. There are a ton of ants and other desert crawlies (just be prepared). Most of the spots are not well shaded so I don't think this is a very good summertime campground unless you are in an air conditioned camper of some sort. Some of the sites do have electric and water which is a nice perk. The campground is literally right on the edge of town. The road you take to get into the park is at a stop light intersection with a shopping plaza on the other side. Even with the close proximity tot he highway and town I didn't notice any unwanted noise.
The bathrooms were really well kept and had showers that even in the cold of November were putting out hot water. There are a ton of neat little hiking trails through the park (and quite a few geocaches). I could totally see this being a fun place to take pictures just because of the views. If you are looking for a large group event they had some facilities that could accommodate. My biggest dislike about this campground is they do not allow wood fires at all. It makes sense because EVERYTHING there is super dry but with the cool night temperatures (even when it was hot mid day) you couldn't warm up with a roaring fire. As a workaround you can use the fake logs in the BBQ pit (but they didn't seem to put off enough heat for us) and it looked pretty silly having 5 people standing around a BBQ pit trying to warm up!
This is by far the cleanest campground I’ve ever seen. The park rangers were very helpful. The bathrooms were spotless and the showers are huge and clean better then the ones I have at home. Everyone was very friendly and my 2 dogs loved it to stayed 5 days can’t wait to go back!
Catalina State Park is just a bit outside of Tucson Arizona, and more importantly, Saguaro National Park. We used this State Park as a jumping-off point for our trip to Saguaro and it was a pretty good location for that.
Oro Valley is a modern area with tons of shopping and dining options right outside the park. This was very convenient for us to pick up McDonalds or grab something we forgot from the store.
The Park itself is stunning. Right up against the mountains, the views are gorgeous, especially at sunset. We were in campsite #A-23, which was AMAZING. Perfect for tent camping, the space is large and flat. You could easily fit several tents in this site.
We drove around campgrounds A and B and found the sites to be much more spaced out in A. Most of the sites were occupied by RVs, which made for a very quiet and non-stressful night!
Our site had electric hook ups and a water faucet. Also a BBQ grill and picnic table are provided. Wood fires are NOT permitted in the park.
Overall we LOVED this place. We will for sure return in the near future!
The Park also has a lot of amazing trails, including a very short hike to see Hohokam ruins which were so cool to see!! The kids loved this hike and the views were amazing.
As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I get products to test from time to time - at Catalina State Park we had the opportunity to try out the Wenzel Camp Quilt (or 2!). These quilts are so great! Our old camp blanket had to be carefully folded in a particular way and then zipped up. These quilts come with stuff bags and you can just stuff the quilt in them when you are done! I now keep these in the car with me at all time, because you never know when you need a picnic blanket, or something to keep you warm!
For us, it is a no-brainer to just toss one or two of these in with your camping gear. Here in Arizona, the temperature drops fast once the sun goes down. Although it was over 100F during the day, it was still FREEZING cold in our tent at night. We were so grateful to have these quilts to snuggle up and keep us warm!
So close to Tucson! Take in a game at U of A. Go shopping. Explore the area. This park is in a prime location. Large sites, hiking trails for all levels.
Nice RV hookups but great tent sites as well. Desert vegetation so don't count on much shade. Best in the fall or spring. Summer is Hot!
Stayed here for a scout outing and I am not sure how I've managed to stay away since.
Honestly because this park is basically in my backyard is the only reason I haven't returned. I know that sounds stupid, but you know how we take our local area for granted. Otherwise, I would love to spend a weekend or two in this spacious, clean jewel. Nice facilities and paved roads make it easy to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Don't forget your bicycles either. Regardless if you just pedal around the park or if you venture out into bike friendly Tucson you will love it here.
This such a nice quiet park.. stars are great at night! Hiking trails nearby, bicycles, horse trails. Nice big private sites.