Tucson Outdoor Activities
Sure, the city is great, but what about the natural beauty that surrounds it? In Tucson, the desert and the mountainous terrain make for not only great photo opportunities, but they help tell a quite compelling story of the city's development and character. Nature lovers, explore the great outdoors and appease your appetite for beautiful horizons and sweeping mountain scenes. Here are some noteworthy places to help get you more familiar with this aspect of what makes Tucson so special.
Get a look at true outdoor beauty by spending a day at the Santa Catalina Mountains. The mountains have a staggering elevation of 9,157 feet above the Tucson's desert floor and several brave souls choose this destination for rock-climbing adventures. More than 1,200 climbing routes can be found on Mount Lemmon
, easily the most popular climbing area in the state. It also features a winding road that allows you to drive up to various lookout points and even enjoy a meal at the Iron Door, a restaurant located near the mountain's summit.
Address: 5404 Canyon Rise Pl, Tucson, AZ 85749 - MAP
Phone: (520) 721-6751
At Coronado National Forest
, you could quite possibly experience four seasons in one day. As some of the spectacular views are at elevations ranging from 3,000 to 10,720 feet, this terrain is commonly referred to as "sky islands" and the temperature can drop away quite quickly the higher you go. Enjoy the cactus and wildflowers as well as the chance to enjoy outdoor activities at the park like hiking, camping, horseback riding and picnicking.
Address: 300 West Congress Street, Tucson, AZ 85701 - MAP
Phone: (520) 388-8300
The Sweetwater Wetlands
is the closest thing to an oasis in the desert, and it's a natural gem that should not be missed. Built in 1996, it helps treat secondary effluent and backwash from the reclaimed water treatment system at the adjacent Roger Road Wastewater Treatment Plant. Sweetwater serves as an environmental education facility and habitat for a variety of wildlife. Nature lovers and birdwatchers alike will enjoy spending time outdoors and surveying the wetlands, as they consist of several ponds that are home to ducks, Brewer's blackbirds and various other species of birds and wildlife. There are footpaths both paved and unpaved that act as an informal guide to the more scenic spots in the area.
Address: Sweetwater Wetlands Park, Tucson, AZ 85705 - MAP
Phone: (520) 791-5080
The Agua Caliente Regional Park
is a perfect destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy the natural environment of Tucson. This great little getaway features a Ranch House Visitor Center and Art Gallery, Rose Cottage, and Bunkhouse, all complimenting the park's beauty and offering plenty to see. The park is a wealth of natural beauty, as you can enjoy bird watching, walking along the trails and taking in the natural wildlife species that call the Agua Caliente their home. Also, don't forget to bring along a picnic lunch and your camera to enjoy an unforgettable day getting up close to nature at Agua Caliente.
Address: 12325 East Roger Road, Tucson, AZ 85749 - MAP