Southern Arizona: Catalina State Park - Hosted by Palm Springs Chapter

  • Thu, November 08, 2018
  • 12:00 PM
  • Tue, November 13, 2018
  • 4:00 PM
  • Catalina State Park

To register for this trip:  Catalina State Park

"Tucson is a City That Encourages You to Explore. The food is delicious. The access to natural beauty is even better."1  Where desert and mountain environments meet to create an area of varied and unparalleled beauty. Our trip will center itself in the beautiful Catalina State Park at the base of the Mountains in the Coronado National Forest at elevations near 3,000 feet. Experience rugged peaks, scenic vistas, waterfalls, and desert scenery. Recharge your senses amid the splendor of  Arizona desert.  Sip hot beverages around a campfire and fall asleep beneath a star-studded sky. Challenge yourself on a variety of day hikes, returning to base camp each day to enjoy the fellowship of similarly emancipated city slickers. Explore the trails with our expert trail guides who know the area. The spacious campground provides both tent and RV opportunities with full amenities. Six days and five nights of adventure and relaxation. 1New York Times 

Registration Notes
: Membership Required to register for this trip.

You can click here to purchase a 1 yr. $25 membership

Other GO Chapter members should contact our GOPS Webmaster (click here to email) in order to be added as a member of our registration system for free.

RV's and tents will share sites. One RV and up to two tents on each site. These are large sites with mature vegetation surrounding the sites. We will have propane fire-pit for the group as open fires may be restricted in the camp to a designated area only.

Amenities: Hot showers, flush toilets, water, electric hookup, picnic tables.

What to BringTen Essentials, camping/cooking gear, food, warm/cool weather clothing, camp chair, potluck item and appetizer to share at tea time.

Pets:  are welcomed. Must be kept on leash.

Schedule *(check whiteboard at camp for details and updates):   


 Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

Tuesday Nov 6 and Wednesday Nov 7:  Off season so the campground is pick a site upon arrival. Let's pick sites near site 71. We could caravan ( 325 to 340 miles depending  on route and then 142 miles to Catalina Park). Contact Scott if you are interested in this pre-trip to Organ Pipe. reservations.

Thursday, November 8

- 2 PM check in and set up camp 

- Optional late afternoon hike: Pima Canyon Trail (3.9 mi; 670 ft elev gain)

- Dinner on your own

Friday, November 9

- Santa Catalina Mts (Coronado National Forest)

- Drive 15 miles from campground to trailhead

- Hike Bear Canyon Trail to/from Seven Falls (7 mi; 900 ft elev gain)

- Potluck dinner at the campground

Saturday, November 10

- Select one: Santa Rita Mts OR Chiricahua Mts (Coronado National Forest)

- Drive 45 miles (Santa Rita Mts) OR 115 miles (Chiricahua Mts) to trailhead

- Santa Rita Mts: Hike Kent Spring Trail (6 mi; 1600 ft elev gain) OR 

- Chiricahua Mts: Heart of Rocks Loop (6.9 mi; 1600 ft elev gain)

- Visit Mission San Xavier del Bac ($0)

- Group dinner at a restaurant (optional; see list of options below)

Sunday, November 11

- Tucson Mountains (Saguaro National Park - west unit)

- Drive 25 miles from campground to trailhead

- Hike to Wasson Peak (4687 ft) via King Canyon, Hugh Norris, Sendero Esperanza, and Gould Mine Trails (7 mi; 1800 ft elev gain)

- Visit Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum About 85% of the Desert Museum is  outdoors. ($25 adult, $22 senior) 

- Dinner on your own

Monday, November 12

- Rincon and Santa Catalina Mountains (Coronado National Forest)

- Hike Agua Caliente Loop (6 mi; 1400 ft elev gain)

- Dinner on your own

Tuesday, November 13

- Check out

Weather and elevation:  Hist. Avg.  79° /47°

LocationCatalina State Park is about 2000 ft elevation; downtown Tucson is 2400 ft, Phoenix is 1100 ft, the Madera Canyon Lodge is 5000 ft, and Chiricahua Nat’l Monument entrance station is 5100 ft.


Catalina State Park is located on State Highway 77 (Oracle Rd.) at mile marker 81, nine miles north of Tucson and six miles north of Ina Rd.

Three suggested driving routes from Palm Springs to Tucson:

- Via central Phoenix: I-10 only; 385 mi; 6.0 - 7.0 hrs depending on heavy PHX traffic (map here)

- Via “Phoenix Cutoff”: I-10, AZ85, I-8, & I-10; 400 mi; 6.3 hrs (map here)

- Via El Centro and Yuma: I-10, CA86, I-8, & I-10; 410 mi; 7.0 hrs (map here)

Other Accommodations: Many motels in Tucson

Refunds: Cancellation for a refund  must be received by September 1, 2018 unless there is a wait-list.

Contacts:  Kirk Bell:   Email   or  Scott Connelly: Email 

 Health Problems/allergies: It is the responsibility of participants to carry on their person a record of significant allergies, medications and medical history in the event of a medical emergency.  Discuss any medical concerns with the hike leader if you wish.

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