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Hiking Through Saguaro National Park in the late Winter is now my favorite past time. You get the feel of Spring but the look of Summer. Between the higher elevation changes in scenery and the lack of people on trails, this is one of the best spots to hit up if you want to get away but don't have the ability to handle super cold weather.
Douglas Spring is a little over 6 miles from the trailhead and it is super popular usually so reserve your backcountry permit fast! You can have up to 6 people on your permit and there are three sites available at the top. It's only $8 per campsite in the park but there is NO vehicle access, so you will need to hike into any camping you need and ONLY camp in designated areas.
Bring lots of water, there isn't much water available near you, contrary to the name. The trial is also pretty open and not much shade, so early Spring and Fall are your best bets.
This trail is pretty heavily populated by horse riders so wear shoes that you don't mind sidestepping manure in.
The sites are first come, first served but we didn’t have any issues finding a spot during the winter. Our site had plenty of space for 2 vehicles, 1x 3-person tent and 3x 1-person tents. The sites are well shaded with trees and each site has a fire pit and bear box.
Lots of hiking trails available. Since it’s a wilderness area, they are all pet friendly. It is the perfect getaway from Tucson.
The Ranger and camp host we meet were super friendly!
My husband, myself and our 2 small dogs live in Tucson, AZ. We recently acquired a roof top tent and we’ve been trying out various campgrounds across the Southwest.
Dog friendly hiking opportunities from this campground on the Cochise Trail. I recommend arriving during daylight hours. We left after work, and it was harder to navigate the primitive roads back to the campground in the dark. You do have to cross the stream several times to get the the site. When we crossed the water was 3-6” deep and a few crossing are over rocks (not pavement). We had no issues in our F250, but any vehicle with a normal amount of clearance should be fine. We saw several small SUVs/crossovers, small trailers, a dirt bike and a Prius.
It’s a popular place and we were lucky to get the last site available that night. There are also dispersed camp sites (also popular) along the W Hunt Rd loop.
The campground has pit toilets (with 2 stalls each). Each site has a picnic table, a nice fire ring and a tall BBQ grill. The sites are close together. No water, so bring your own.
We will definitely return to the Cochise Stronghold area.
Sabino Canyon recreational area Is the perfect get away for a picnic 5 minutes away from the city. They have handicap accessibility and bathrooms for those who absolutely must have them. I myself prefer to pee by the trees. The also offer a tram for those who have a high hard time walking long distances. Highly recommended to those 1st visiting the Tucson area.
Patagonia Lake State Park Has a great camping site spots with power and water in great views for really reasonably priced. They have a little sand beach that the kids can play on with showers to rinse off before you head back to your little camp. Campsites are a couple minutes away from the mini sand beach. There is fishing. The little Marina also rents kayaks and paddle boats and houseboats. A wonderful gram campground highly recommended for those who have children and pets. Dogs are required to be leashed at all times.
Staying at Rincon Country East has proved to be a fantastic choice for us. The level of silence both day and especially night is a bit of heaven. Thoughtfull staff and campers makes for a most pleasant stay. The mountain views greet us constantly here. Mount Lemmon is a short drive or bike ride away with snow capped top and great food offerings. Skying is possible for those with young legs. The bike situation in Tucson is the finest we have encountered. Our electric bikes can run forever on the well paved trails all over the county. Tucson is an easy town to drive around with good shopping and dinning. So happy with our snowbird park pick!