I typically rate campgrounds as they fit into 1 of 5 categories. This campground will be rated as a Regional/Public Park — Grounds that are on public lands, and have a cost for entry and/or overnight stay. Ratings for this category are based on: Cost: 5 Allure of the park/lands: 5 Amenities as available (bathrooms, showers, hookups, etc): 4 Layout and privacy of sites: 5
Catalina SP is at the Northern end of metro Tucson. It’s about 30 minutes to downtown and 1 hour to either division of Saguaro National Park (East or West).
Reservations during January for a short-term (2 night) stay were surprisingly easy to obtain via their online booking tool. Longer stays should book far ahead of time, max stay is 14 days, I believe. Price of $30/night +$5 booking fee was very reasonable for RV Electric and water hookups for the stay.
Check in was easy with the attendants and there is no extra cost for park admission for campers, which is a nice bonus for AZ state parks (many states charge the fees outside of the cost of camping).
The sites were huge, very big-rig friendly, and private. Additional signage for numbered sites would have been helpful, but it’s not hard to find your spot using the power of deduction. Backing in our 25’ trailer was easy. Electric and water hookups were available at our site (30) in the B Loop. No sewer hookups and the dump stations were crowded when we left at 11:45am on checkout day. Restrooms were open, and require masks. They were spotless! Water pipes at the campground froze overnight on an evening where temps barely touched 32 degrees. They were defrosted and flowing by 8:30am. There were also dish cleaning stations outside the restroom.
Very nearby are grocery stores, gas stations and other shopping/eating spots, but the proximity to commerce doesn’t impact the natural feel of these grounds... night at the campground is very dark.
The hiking accessible from the campgrounds is fantastic with tons of desert landscape and saguaros dotting the skyline. Low mountains add to the scenic view and trees throughout the campground contribute to privacy from your (fairly distant) neighbors. Yet another fantastic reason to choose state parks for your camping/rving adventures!