Catalina State Park Equestrian Center

11570 N Oracle Rd , Tucson, Arizona

Admin: Lil Leclerc

Catalina State Park Equestrian Center Catalina Sate Park is a popular spot for activities such as horseback riding, hiking, bicycling and bird watching. The trails are varying in length and difficulty. Ask for a Trail Guide at the Ranger Station & Gift Shop when you check in. The Equestrian Center area consists of 17 large pipe corrals of which 4 are partially covered with shade from a large barn. Water is available via a garden hose long enough to reach all the corrals. You need to provide water and feed bucket unless you happen to get one of the 4 shaded corrals which have wooden mangers. Also provided is level parking area for dry camping, mounting blocks, hitching rails, restroom, wash rack for horses or mules. A wheelbarrow and rake are available for manure clean up. A picnic area with tables, BBQ grills and 2 fire pits is available for the campers. At the main camp ground areas approximately ¼ mile away are hot showers, and garbage bins. A dump station is available next to Ranger Station. The cost is $20.00 per night with a 14 day maximum stay. The best time to arrive is during the week and you may be able to get the prime horse corrals for your ponies. On the weekend the corrals will fill up quickly as this is a popular spot for winter visitors. Reservations for the Equestrian Corrals are not available so this is first come first serve. Pets are allowed but must be leased at all times. There are many miles of horse trails available. Most of the trails can be made into loop trails. The trails are well signed with some areas were horses are not permitted. These trails are marked with signage. We rode the Bridle Trail (1.4 miles one way), which was a flat easy trail connecting the Equestrian Center with the Canyon Loop Trail (2.43 miles loop) that begins at the Trail Parking lot and loops through the foothills. This trail links to the Romero Canyon Trail and the Sutherland Trail. Canyon Loop Trail crosses a wash several times, so seasonal flow may be present. This trail is relatively flat but about half way there is an area with 90 stair steps. There is an equestrian bypass. One day we rode the 50 Year Trail to the North which has some elevational climb and gorgeous views of Oro Valley and distant Tucson. For a challenging ride we rode the Bridle Trail to the Romero Trail and on to the Sutherland Trail that climbed high into the foothills. We then took the Crossover trail to the 50 Year Trail and back into camp for a 9.6 mile loop ride. The Sutherland Trail has many stair steps and rocky areas. There are no cliff hangers but your horse or mule should be sure footed and able to handle a lot of rocks. We only saw deer, and a few hikers. Fortunately no rattlesnakes were seen or heard. On the flat well traveled trails you will encounter bikes and many hikers. Everyone was respectful to the horse traffic. Additional riding areas could be the washes that run through the Park. These are not signed but you will see footprints in the sand. For further information on Catalina State Park visit their web site www.AZStateParks.com/Parks/CATA

TRAIL HEAD

Equestrian Center

TYPE OF DESTINATION

Layover - Campground
Camping / Lodging with Facilities - Campground
Primitive Camping with no Facilities - Trail Head, Nat’l Park, Wilderness, etc.

AMENITIES FOR 2 LEGGED -

-- Room for Large Living Quarters Trailers

-- Showers

-- Restrooms

-- Porta-potty's / Pit Toilets

-- Garbage Containment

-- Manure Removal

-- Water / Drinkable

-- Water / Potable

-- Restaurants / Café Nearby

AMENITIES FOR 4 LEGGED -

-- Horse Corrals

-- Dogs Must be on a Leash

-- Dogs Must be on a leash on trails

MILES OF DESTINATION / ACREAGE OF PUBLIC LANDS / # OF DAYS’ WORTH OF RIDING

5,500 acres of foothills. canyons and streams. The park provides miles of equestrian riding from short trails to longer ones of 10+ miles.

TYPE OF LAND

- Public Land

ACCESS TO TRAILS

- Trails right from location

WATER CROSSINGS

- Streams

Type of Footing on the trails

- Sandy, Desert, Dry

- Gravel, Rock

- Shoes / Boots Suggested

Type of Terrain

- Flat

- Hills

- Mountains, Hard Climbs

- Challenging Trails / Terrain

TYPE OF HORSE I WAS RIDING

- Gaited

- Mule / Donkey

LOCAL WILDLIFE

We saw many birds and whitetail deer. Early morning hikers reported rattlesnake sightings

PEAK RIDING SEASON / WEATHER

September to March

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