Santa Catalina Mountains, Arizona - A Trail and Recreation Map. Rainbow Expeditions, Inc.
This inexpensive topographic map, which is based on USGS 15' quads, is absolutely essential for hiking in the Santa Catalina Mountains. It shows the whole mountain range, and all of the trails are clearly marked with their names and distances between points. The map is frequently updated and revised, so it is usually current. It is printed on tough and durable paper, so it can survive being folded repeatedly and stuffed in your pack. With this map in hand, you really do not need any guide books, or this website. Most outdoor stores in Tucson carry multiple copies of this map. You can purchase this map, and the others listed below, from the Summit Hut Online Catalog. Click here to go directly to the catalog page for the maps.
Santa Rita Mountains, Arizona - A Trail and Recreation Map. Rainbow Expeditions, Inc.
Same format as the Santa Catalina map described above. Get it before you go on any hikes in the Santa Ritas.
Rincon Mountains, Arizona - A Trail and Recreation Map. Rainbow Expeditions, Inc.
Same format as the Santa Catalina map described above. Get it before you go on any hikes in the Rincons.
Saguaro National Park, Arizona. Trails Illustrated.
Trails Illustrated makes great hiking maps on virtually indestructible plastic stock. You can leave these out in the rain without fear. This particular map covers the Tucson Mountains and the Rincons. All of the hiking trails are clearly marked and labeled, with distances between points. This map shows more detail than the Rainbow Expeditions map of the Rincons, and it gives more of the trail names.
Cowgill, Pete, and Eber Glendering. The Santa Catalina Mountains: A Guide to the Trails and Routes, Fourth Edition. Rainbow Expeditions, Tucson, Arizona, 1997.
This small yellow book was extensively revised and expanded in the 1997 and now it is not only a comprehensive guide to all of the trails of the Santa Catalina Mountains, but it seems to also cover every possible cross country route also. The trail descriptions are not very detailed, but there are precise distances, directions, and elevations for every last trail in the range. As of December 2006 this book seems to still be out of print. You may be able to find it used on Amazon or other used book sites.
Leavengood, Betty. Tucson Hiking Guide, Third Edition. Pruett Publishing Company, Boulder Colorado, 2004.
This excellent book is very popular, and most everyone who hikes in the Tucson area has a copy. Although the book only covers a sampling of the Tucson area trails, Leavengood's trail descriptions are more detailed than mine, and she includes bits of relevant natural history and human history. She also describes more hikes in the B and C difficulty range than I do. Definitely purchase this book to learn more about some of the most popular trails.
Leavengood, Betty, and Mike Liebert. Hiker's Guide to the Santa Rita Mountains. Pruett Publishing Company, Boulder Colorado, 1994.
This book is a guide to all of the trails in the Santa Rita Mountains, and once again Leavengood provides well-written and detailed descriptions. Since the initial focus of this website is the Santa Catalina Mountains, you should definitely get this book to learn about the trails of the Santa Rita range. As of December 2006 this book appears to be out of print, though you can probably find it used online.
Molvar, Erik. Hiking Arizona's Cactus Country, Second Edition. Falcon Press Publishing Company, Helena and Billings Montana, 2000.
This book covers all of southern Arizona, but it describes quite a few hikes in the Tucson area, and seems well written.