Lace Up Your Hiking Boots For Earth Day

This Earth Day, celebrate the Arizona you know and love. Lace up your hiking boots and join one of the many nature walks and hiking trails available around the state. Hiking is one of the most exciting ways to explore the magic of the Southwest. Discover our awe inspiring desert landscapes and wildlife, test yourself in steep, rugged canyons or a simple day hike with your family. You’ll learn more about birds, wildflowers, forest and our ecology. Whichever hike you choose, it’s a great way to celebrate Earth Day and explore our beautiful desert.

There is a wide variety of hiking trails to choose from. We are listing just a few of our favorites. In addition we are providing a simple check list to ensure you are prepared for your hike.

HoneyBee Canyon South Trail

Highlights: Easy & Fun, Family Hike, Great Views
Distance:2.8 miles round trip Elevation Gain:83 ft
Hike Time:1.5 hours
Difficulty: Easy
Trail Condition: Well maintained trail

Trailhead: Take Oracle Rd. north from Ina about 7 miles to Rancho Vistoso Blvd., go left (west) 3.1 miles to a very nice parking area on your left (you will need to make a U turn around the median). At the parking lot is bathrooms, water fountain, and a few small tables. There are two trails leading from the parking lot, one heads south past the bathrooms and the other North, underneath the Rancho Vistoso Blvd. Bridge. (Lat:32.4689 Lon:-110.96709)
Ranger Contact:  229-5050 Oro Valley Parks & Recreation

Nature Trail Loop – Catalina State Park

Highlights: Views of Romero Canyon, Samaniego Ridge, Pusch Ridge Wilderness, saguaros.
Distance:1 miles round trip
Elevation Gain:100 ft Hike
Time:0.5 hours
Trail Condition:Well maintained trail

Trailhead: As you’re heading north on Oracle Road in Oro Valley you’ll pass the Target and Home Depot shopping centers at the corner of Oracle Road and First Avenue. Past the shopping centers you’ll cross over the Canada Del Oro wash and take the first right into the entrance of Catalina State Park. Since this is an Arizona State Park there is a fee you’ll pay at the ranger station. Continue past the ranger station until you come to the end of the paved road (3miles) where it does a small loop and there’s a parking lot. You access the trailhead to the Nature Trail right off of the paved loop. (Lat:32.42718 Lon:-110.90621)
Ranger Contact: Catalina State Park – (520) 628-5798 –

Mount Lemmon Meadow Loop

Highlights: Wonderful Pine Trees, pretty easy trek
Distance:1.5 miles round trip
Elevation Gain:360 ft
Hike Time:1 hours
Trail Condition: OK, but a few difficult spots

Trailhead: From Speedway and Campbell, head east on Speedway Blvd for 5.0 miles. Turn left at N Wilmot Rd and follow for a half mile. Wilmot turns into Tanque Verde Red. Continue on E Tanque Verde Rd for 3.8 miles. Turn left at E Catalina Hwy and follow for 4.5 miles. This turns into Mt Lemmon Hwy that you follow up for 24.6 miles. Turn right at the sign for Ski Valley. Follow Ski Run Rd for 3.1 miles all the way to the top. The trailhead is on the left. (Lat:32.44022 Lon:-110.7867)
Ranger Contact: Santa Catalina Ranger District – (520) 749-8700 –

Douglas Spring Trail

Highlights: Easy trail with waterfall view
Distance:6 miles round trip
Elevation Gain:1000 ft
Hike Time:3 hours
Trail Condition:Well maintained trail

Trailhead: From Downtown Tucson, take Speedway Blvd Eastbound toward the Rincon mountain range. Speedway dead-ends at the trailhead. (Lat:32.14 Lon:-110.41)
Ranger Contact: Suguaro National Park 3693 Old Spanish Trail, Tucson AZ. 85730 (520) 733-5153

Don’t leave home without these important items:
Courtesy of Summit Hut

Water (usually about a liter per hour of activity)
Headlamp or Flashlight (with extra batteries)
Knife or Multi-tool
Map & Compass and/or GPS
Energy Food/Snacks
First Aid Kit
Extra Clothing (prepared for all possible weather conditions – rain jacket, warm jacket, etc.)
Emergency Shelter (i.e. space blanket, tarp shelter, etc.)

If you’re interested in more trip information visit the Summit Hut blog. It’s a great resource. –

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