Catalina State Park 2016

Catalina State Park sits about 15 miles north of Tucson off Hwy 77.
As such it was a few miles from our rental home. 
By all accounts it was a must see, so we made the short aunt up Oracle Road.






Vistas of the Santa Catalina Mountains dominate the view as you enter the park. 
There are plenty of saguaros (a sign said about 5,000).




Cactus like crucifixion thorn, ocotillo, cholla,
and prickly pear were everywhere, of course.
At an elevation of 2650 feet there seemed to be
more trees here than desert area further south.  









We chose the mile long birding trail;
one of 8 trails that meander around the park. 
Although our visit was a short one,
we could have easily spent the entire day.

As always in Arizona,
bring plenty of water







We hiked along dry river beds surrounded by mesquite, paloverde, desert willow,
Arizona sycamore, and  Arizona ash (not that I could identify any of them).





It was not the season for birds, but they say there have been over 150 species identified in the park. 
We did spy a black-tailed gnatcatcher and what I believe to be a rufous crowned sparrow.




The park offers picnic areas, camping and miles of equestrian, hiking, and biking trails which wind through the park and into the Coronado National Forest at elevations near 3,000 feet.


Because it is a state park, expect to pay an entrance fee of $7.00 per vehicle (1-4 Adults) or you can bicycle or walk your way in for $3.00. 
The fees are well worth for this very picturesque and easily hiked park.





Catalina State Park is well worth the visit. We would love to spend
more time there and will definately want to hike it during briding season.

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