Welcome to a magical world of creek crossings, cactus forests, desert foothills and rocky gorges of the Santa Catalina Mountains. To your children, it will feel like you’re exploring a fairy kingdom.

Sabino Canyon Recreation Area is one of the best things to do in Arizona and is the playground of the local Tucson community and any one who visits this city in the Sonoran desert. 

The Sabin Canyon Tram

Sabino Canyon tours offers a narrated, educational 45-minute, 3.8 mile tour into the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains and is one of the top things to do in Tucson.  

Sabino Canyon Hikes

There are miles of hiking trails that wander throughout the area and lead deeper into the Santa Catalina backcountry. 

Gilbert Ray Campground 

We loved Gilbert Ray Campground in the middle of the Tucson Mountain wilderness. Our campsite was huge and secluded and the campground serene and beautiful – what a bargain for only $20 a night.

Catalina State Park 

We highly recommend this campground, but be sure to book in advance as it’s popular. The scenery and SUNSETS are stunning at the base of the Catalina Mountains. 

There are a few trails straight from the campsite that are easy for walking or biking. The sites are clean, level and spacious and the bathrooms very clean with warm showers and it’s only $35 a night.