Agua Caliente Park
This desert oasis, whose name means “Hot Springs,” is roughly 101 acres, 10 of which are a public park. The park includes three ponds, bird walks, and is full of desert vegetation. It is believed that the Hohokam Indian communities started utilizing the spring for agriculture as early as 700 B.C. Sometime after the Gadsden Purchase of 1853 it was an Army encampment that served as a link for Camp Lowell and Soldier’s Camp the Santa Catalina Mountains nearby. In 1984 the property was purchased by Roy P. Drachman and turned into a public park. The serene surroundings offer a wonderful place to picnic, bird watch or enjoy a lovely morning walk.
For centuries people of the Sonoran Desert have used the natural production of the saguaro cactus. Tohono O’Odham Indians used the juicy fig-like fruit for jams, syrup and wine. The saguaro ribs were used to build shelters and fences The Park was made a national monument in 1933 and then a National Park in 1994. It features an 8 mile paved road through a forest of mighty saguaros which at 150 years could reach the height of 50 feet and weigh 8 tons. The park also offers hiking trails and camping sites. Enter the park at the junction of Freeman Road and Old Spanish Trail. The Coronado National Forest borders the park to the North, East and Southeast.
The Rincon mountain range east of Tucson is one of five mountain ranges that surround the Tucson valley. Rincon, meaning “Corner” in Spanish describes the direction of the range. The Rincon Mountains are mostly within the Saguaro National Park as well as the Rincon Wilderness Area. The highest peak reaches 8665 feet at Mica Mountain. Although most of the range is off-limits to motorized and bicycle travel, the mountains can be accessed on foot or horseback.
This high mountain pass separates the Santa Catalina Mountains and the Rincon Mountains. Historically, it was the connection between the farming areas of Redington along the San Pedro River on the east side of the pass and Tucson on the west side. The road through the pass is unpaved and is a favorite of mountain bikers and all-terrain vehicle riders. Trails can be reached by traveling east on Tanque Verde Rd. until the pavement ends. A series of trails branch off Redington Rd.
Public park with several ball fields, 3 ramadas, paved jogging trail, playground and 2 dog runs.
This steep, scenic, winding mountain highway connects the Tanque Verde Valley to Mount Lemmon whose highest peak is 9157 feet above sea level. Summerhaven, a small village at 8200 ft., is a tourist destination with small shops and restaurants. Mt. Lemmon Ski Valley right outside Summerhaven is the southernmost ski location in the continental United States and receives about 180 inches of snow a year. Camping sites between the Tanque Verde valley and Mt. Lemmon include General Hitchcock, Peppersauce, Rose Canyon and Spencer Canyon.
Tanque Verde Falls
A half day hike that leads you to a tropical paradise in the middle of the desert. It is reached by a switchback trail that leads to the floor of the canyon. If the water is flowing, head upstream (left) and visit the pools and waterfalls along the Tanque Verde Creek. This hike is for the more experienced since the trail warning signs are not to be taken lightly. But if you make it, the reward is worth it with views of the 75 ft. waterfall and lower Tanque Verde Falls.
An authentic dude ranch for business or family vacations. A 640 acre property next to the Saguaro National Park and the Coronado National Forest. Founded in 1868, it offers horseback riding, trail riding, tennis, guided hiking, mountain biking, nature walks and fine ranch dining.
Arizona National Golf Course
This par 71, 6776 yard course designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. follows the natural flow of the land and meanders up and down the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains. In 2008, Golf Week ranked the course 15th best in the state and one of the most spectacular courses in the Southwest.
One of Tucson’s best kept secrets, this semi-private 18-hole par 72 championship course was designed by William Francis Bell. The country club features golf practice facilities, swimming pool, fitness center and grill.