Catalina State Park RV & Campground Guide

Arizona

Catalina State Park

, at the base of the Santa Catalina Mountains, is home to a vast array of desert plants including 5,000 saguaro cacti. The foothills are home to a variety of desert wildlife as well, and are a great place for hiking, horseback riding, and camping. You can go bird watching - more than 150 species of birds live in the park - and look for wildflowers that thrive in the desert climate. 

The weather in the high desert park ranges from just below freezing to the low hundreds in the summertime. The best time to visit the park is from October through May when the temperatures are milder and you’re able to enjoy the outdoor activities at the park. 

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Weather
Spring 75-91 F
Summer 99-101 F
Fall 74-95 F
Winter 66-70 F
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Nearby Cities
Tucson, AZ
Marana, AZ
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RV Resorts & Campsites in Catalina State Park

There is RV camping available at the park, with modern restrooms with flush toilets and showers, and dump stations available. The campground has electric and water hookups and a picnic table and grill at each site. If you decide to RV camp, you can rent one from RVshare.com, where you’ll find a variety of options - one is sure to be perfect for you and your family. All rentals come with nationwide insurance, 24/7 roadside assistance, and a world-class team dedicated to helping you with your RV trip. You can rent an RV near your home and head to the park on a road trip, or if you’d prefer, you can fly nearer to your destination and rent an RV there. Along with camping right inside the park, you can try one of these nearby campgrounds. 

Crazy Horse RV Campground

This RV park is in Tucson and is close to restaurants, shopping, and the many activities Tucson has to offer.

  • Water hookup: yes
  • Electrical hookup: yes
  • Sewer hookup: yes
  • Wifi: yes
  • Pet-friendly: yes
  • Other amenities: showers, laundry, swimming pool, rec hall with activities, pool table, free coffee daily and donuts on occasion

Tucson/Lazydays KOA Resort

Also located in Tucson, this campground has a nature pond, activity park, and planned activities including yoga and water fitness classes. 

  • Water hookup: yes
  • Electrical hookup: yes
  • Sewer hookup: yes
  • Wifi: yes
  • Pet-friendly: yes
  • Other amenities: pool, 9-hole putting green, dog park, hot tub, next to RV dealership with service department 

RV Rentals Near Catalina State Park

Nearby RV Rentals

Restaurants

What to Do at
Catalina State Park

Inside Catalina State Park

There is plenty to do inside the park! Kids ages 6012 can earn a Junior Ranger button by completing the activities outlined in the booklet you can get at the visitor’s center. It’s a great way for kids to learn more about the wildlife and history of the park. 

There is also plenty for adults to do, including:

Hiking: Trails ranging from a ¾ mile easy loop to more than 16 miles round-trip snake throughout the park. Take a short, interpretive trail to get a good overview of the area, or a longer trail that leads you up steep climbs to an unforgettable view. 

Bicycling: Many of the hiking trails can be used by cyclists as well, and some provide excellent opportunities for mountain biking.

Guided activities: Participate in activities planned by rangers, including geology walks, introductions to geocaching, and more. 

Outside Catalina State Park

The park’s proximity to Tucson means there are lots of things to do! Learn more about the history and nature of the area, eat some delicious food, and bring home some unique souvenirs from your trip!

Restaurants

There are several places near Catalina State Park to relax and enjoy a good meal, including what the state Visitor’s Bureau calls “The Best 23 Miles of Mexican Food.” 

El Charro Cafe

The El Charro Cafe is the nation’s oldest Mexican restaurant in continuous operation by the same family. They feature traditional northern Mexico-Sonoran style food, and they proudly proclaim they’re the home of the chimichanga.

Type: Mexican

Location: Tucson, AZ

Feast

Chef Doug Levy changes his menu on the first Tuesday of the month, so there are always unique, delicious new dishes to try! The constant change also allows him to feature seasonal foods, depending on what’s growing at the time.

Type: Varies, Seasonal

Location: Tucson, AZ

Shopping

Old Town Artisans

A variety of boutiques, restaurants, and art galleries occupy this site, which was originally a fort built by the Spanish in 1775. The block of shops is on the former stables area, and the north wall is where the fort’s north wall stood. The adobe buildings are from the 1850s. As you stroll through the shops today, you’ll see ceilings made of saguaro cactus ribs, packing crates, and whiskey barrel staves.

Location: Tucson, AZ

Sightseeing

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

This 98-acre desert museum is part zoo, botanical garden, art gallery, natural history museum, and aquarium. Walk through various desert habitats, learn about the animals that live in that ecosystem through live animal demonstrations, and see the Earth Sciences Center with its extensive mineral collection. Prices are $21.95 for adults and $8.95 for kids.

Location: Tucson, AZ

Pima Air & Space Museum

Visit one of the largest non-government funded aviation and space museums in the world. The museum has over 350 artifacts in six indoor exhibit hangars, including a Wright Flyer and a 787 Dreamliner. There are walking and tram tours available daily, and you can also take a bus tour of the “Aircraft Boneyard.” Prices are $16.50 for adults and $10 for kids 5 and up.

Location: Tucson, AZ

Biosphere 2

What began as a science and technology experiment is now a giant walk-in terrarium that’s home to almost 4,000 species of plants and sea life. Time Life Books named the experience one of the 50 Must-See Wonders of the World. Their Under the Glass tour takes you on a trail through the rainforest, across an “ocean” overlook, through their coastal fog desert, and through the underground technosphere where you learn how the building was constructed. Prices are $21 for adults and $14 for kids over 5.

Location: Oracle, AZ

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How to Get to
Catalina State Park

Catalina State Park is about a 30 minute drive from downtown Tucson. From Congress St, turn onto N. Granada Ave. Continue on to N. Main Ave, then onto N. Oracle Rd. Follow Oracle Rd. to the park entrance. 

Entering Catalina State Park

There is a fee to enter Catalina State Park

Per Vehicle : $7

Visiting Catalina State Park is a wonderful way to experience the beautiful desert foothills and landscape. There are so many outdoor activities and ways to learn about the history of the area.  While you’re on your trip, don’t forget to tag us in your social media posts or send us a photo and some details at [email protected]. We may just feature your story on our blog or social media channels. Happy camping!