It is difficult to find scenic and comfortable sites in Southern Arizona. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.
For interesting scenic Road Trips and Back Roads visit our page on Scenic RoadTrips.
Another Sunday drive. This time Neighbor Roy, Ms. Karen, and I were off to Oracle State Park via Redington Pass east of Tucson. Access to Redington Pass is easy. Just go east on Tanque Verde. Eventually, the pavement ends and the worst road in Southern Arizona begins. Even the high-clearance 4-wheel drive vehicles [...]
Many folks in Tucson don’t consider a day trip or overnight road trip to Patagonia and Patagonia Lake State Park because they think it’s too far.
More than a hundred years ago, Kentucky Camp was the headquarters for the Santa Rita Water & Mining Company, which was formed to extract placer deposits from the Greaterville Mining District in the foothills of the Santa Rita Mountains 9 miles NW of Sonoita.
Two & three-day getaway mini-vacations for Tucson locals around Southern Arizona. Tucsonans know that 7 months out of the year we live in paradise. We seldom have a desire to leave town between October and April. So these recommended getaways & staycations are geared toward the hot summer months, May through September.
Southern Arizona mini-vacations are only a bit complicated because you folks in Sierra Vista may want to spend a few days in Tucson to see a play or concert or enjoy our terrific museums. By contrast, you Tucsonans may want a weekend in and near Sierra Vista to hike Ramsey Canyon or explore the San Pedro River Valley.
The area near Safford has several worthwhile things to see and do: Roper Lake State Park, Dankworth Ponds, and Discovery Park. Just to the west of Safford is 10,000 foot-high Mt. Graham. At the top are some of the most powerful telescopes on earth. The road to Mt. Graham is about as steep, narrow, and windy as you’re likely to find in the United States. There’s a nice picnic area about 8 miles up this road from Rt. 191 a few miles south of Safford.
On the third and final day of our Southeastern Arizona adventure, we started early. Deborah Mendelsohn, our Simpson Hotel B&B innkeeper in Duncan, had prepared a delicious take-along breakfast for us the night before. Normally, we would have slept in and enjoyed breakfast with her and the other guests, but we had a lot of [...]
There are several Arizona State Park Campgrounds and RV Sites off the I-10 Corridor between Casa Grande and Willcox. RV Hookup fees are $25 a night. For sites without electricity they are $17 a night. Reservations can be made online 24/7 or with a phone call. Visit the official Arizona State Park Website for more information.
Camping in Comfort
We are always looking for comfortable places to stay at affordable prices. Roper Lake State Park just outside of Safford, offers 8 lakeshore cabins for rent yearround. A steal at $55 a night, 2 day minimum, 14 day Maximum. Visit the official website
for more information.
Photography Copyright © Arizona State Parks
A video presentation of the history surrounding La Posta Quemada Ranch at Colossal Cave Mountain Park.
One of the best kept secrets is the fact that the USDA Forest Service has cabin rentals, two of which are located in the Cochise Stronghold, Shaw Cabin and Half Moon Ranch.
It took me only about an hour & a half to get to Parker Canyon Lake from Tucson. My friends were pulling a small trailer and it took them about a half hour longer. The road is paved but narrow for about the last 10 miles.
This back road is one of our favorites, partly because it’s practically in our back yard and because it’s so indicative of the Sonoran Desert. Here in Saguaro National Park West you will be driving through a forest of giant Saguaros. And, within an easy quarter mile hike, you can get up close and personal with ancient Hohokam petroglyphs. From Tucson, take Speedway west from the I-10 Freeway (A). After a few miles, Speedway merges with Gates Pass Road which takes you over the Pass, down the other side (steep) and eventually to Kinney Road. At Kinney Road, you’ll see a sign for the Desert Museum. Turn right and head for the Desert Museum. Two miles past the Desert Museum is the Red Hills Visitors Center (B). Park and go in. Watch the brief orientation movie, get a map, and ask the Park Ranger or docent about current road conditions … Continue reading
Our friends, Michael and Diane, frequently camp and hike on Mt. Lemmon. I asked them to suggest the best campsites and trails. Here is Diane’s hiking report. The Butterfly Trail is one of our favorites. A nice thing about this hike in the summer is that much of it is shaded and there is water in the washes. The trail is rimmed with seasonal wildflowers and of course there are clusters of butterflies. Most Santa Catalina trails have south and west views, but on Butterfly you get east and west views. The spectacular views are of San Pedro Valley and Alder Canyon. This delightful trail passes through an area of such diversity that parts have been designated a Research Natural Area. Hikers may want to bring tree, wildflower, and butterfly reference books to identify all the species. The trailhead is near the Palisade Visitors Center. It’s a good idea to … Continue reading
Our dear friends Michael and Diane file this report on camping at Mt. Lemmon.
Our favorite campground on Mt Lemmon is Spencer Canyon. It’s the campground at the highest elevation – around 8,000 feet. It’s the coolest in the summer, so you can still enjoy a campfire if allowed. (Currently, fires of any kind are off limits.)
A short video about what you might encounter on the Road up to Mt. Lemmon. Mt. Lemmon is a year round destination. The road is 26 miles long. Along the way there will be hiking, biking, rock climbing, camping, skiing and at the top is the Sky Center.
The Coronado National Forest is big and diverse. It includes the Santa Catalina Mountains and Mt. Lemmon. The principle activities in the forest are biking, hiking, and camping. All of the picnic areas and campgrounds on Mt. Lemmon have toilets. For camping, our favorite is Spencer Campground, located at 8,000 feet elevation. It’s more spacious and adjacent to some of the best hiking trails. Visit the Website … Continue reading
Madera Canyon is a recommended side trip when you are in the I-19 corridor visiting the Missions, the Titan Missile Museum, or Tubac Village.The elevation ranges from 5,000-5,500 feet. The area is a birdwatchers paradise with over 250 species identified. This is part of the Coronado National Forest. It’s about 25 miles south of Tucson and 11 miles east of Green Valley. There are campgrounds and picnic areas and the extensive Santa Rita Mountain trail system is easily accessed from here. Detailed trail information and maps are available at each of the trailheads. Pets must be on a leash. At the lower end of the Canyon is a handicap-accessible nature trail. At the top are much more difficult hiking trails leading to 9,453-foot Mt. Wrightson. There is no restaurant in Madera Canyon, so at least bring a picnic lunch and some snacks. Of the several picnic area in the Canyon, … Continue reading
This rugged natural fortress was, for some 15 years, the home and base of operations for the famed Chiricahua Apache Chief, Cochise. Cochise and about 1,000 of his followers, of whom some 250 were warriors, located here. Sentinels, constantly on watch from the towering pinnacles of rock, could spot their enemies in the valley below and sweep down without warning in destructive raids. No White Eyes, man, woman or child, within a hundred miles was safe from these attacks. Click here to read more. Enjoy Hiking, birdwatching, rockclimbing. Stargazing or just cooling off in the 5000ft. Elevation. Camping is available and run by the BLM. RV’s no longer than 30′. There are 9 tent or RV sites, and 2 group sites.
Cochise Stronghold B&B.