Home Page - Map of Trailheads and Trails - Trail Guide Blog - Hikes by Region - Hikes by Difficulty -
Winter Hikes - Spring Hikes - Summer Hikes - Fall Hikes Notes -
Hiking Tips - Recommended Books and Maps - Tucson Hiking Clubs

Romero Pools

Santa Catalina Mountains

Printer friendly version
Total Length5.6 miles
Highest Elevation:3700 feet
Lowest Elevation:2720 feet
Elevation Change:980 feet
Difficulty Rating:C
Best Seasons:Spring Fall Winter
Hiking Time:2.5 hours
Dogs:Dogs not allowed

This was one of the first hikes I did when I moved to Tucson, and it really impressed me. You start out on the flat desert floor, wind steeply up into the mountains amid rock formations, and then drop down to an idyllic area of trees, pools and waterfalls at the bottom of a canyon. I hadn't been sure what to expect from hiking around Tucson, but this hike convinced me that the Santa Catalinas were a very special place.

Directions to Trailhead

•From the intersection of Tanque Verde and Grant/Kolb go west on Grant all the way down to Oracle Rd. Turn right on Oracle Rd (Highway 77) and head north past Pusch Ridge. After you have gone about 15-20 miles you will see the sign for Catalina State Park on the right.

•There is an entrance fee to get into the park. To get to the trails, just drive in and follow the signs, or ask a ranger.

Trail Description

Romero Canyon Trail, FS #8
(Catalina State Park to Romero Pools)

The view up Romero Canyon from just before you descend down to Romero Pools.

Part of Romero Pools.

Length: 2.8 milesHiking Time: 1.2 hours
Highest point: 3700 feetLowest point: 2720 feet
Trail goes uphill

This section of trail is very popular since it is very scenic, not too hard, and leads to the natural waterpark of Romero Pools.

There is a parking lot and large signs at the trailhead, so there should be no problem finding that. The trail starts across the street from the parking lot. There is a trail junction right at the trailhead; follow the sign straight ahead on the Romero Canyon Trail. A sign here says that no dogs are allowed one mile beyond this point.

A short distance in you cross the streambed (wet in winter, dry in summer). At the trail junction on a sign says that Romero Canyon is to the left. Take this trail.

About 10 minutes in there is another signed trail junction. Follow the arrow pointing to the Romero Canyon Trail. A few minutes farther there is another signed junction; once again you take the Romero Canyon Trail, which is to the left.

Up to this point the trail has been over the desert floor, but now it gets very rocky and starts to climb steeply up the north side of Montrose Canyon. About 45 minutes in from the trailhead you get to the top of the ridge between Romero and Montrose canyons, and then head upcanyon at or near the top of the ridge. This area on the top of the ridge is very beautiful, since it has rock formations, great views, and it took some work to get up here.

The trail winds its way through the rocks at the top of the ridge for about 20 minutes, generally climbing, but with some short descents, until you drop down to the stream crossing at Romero Pools. There are pools and waterfalls up and down stream from this point. To continue on the Romero Canyon Trail turn left and cross the stream at the first opportunity; do not stay on the trail as it parallels the stream without crossing it. On the opposite side of the stream follow the trail that climbs up and away from the stream.

To return, just retrace your route back to the trailhead.



Home Page - Map of Trailheads and Trails - Trail Guide Blog - Hikes by Region - Hikes by Difficulty -
Winter Hikes - Spring Hikes - Summer Hikes - Fall Hikes - Notes
Hiking Tips - Recommended Books and Maps - Tucson Hiking Clubs