Hiking Arizona's Cactus Country
by Erik Molvar (Falcon Guides)
© Erik Molvar/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.
I hiked this 5.6 mile round trip to the Romero Pools in about 3.5 hours, including stopping frequently to take pictures and a long rest period at the pools. The pools are just large enough to take a dip, and the water is cool enough to make that worthwhile. The first part of the trail is fairly flat, wide, and sandy; then it narrows into a singletrack that winds over rocky terrain. I saw about twenty people total from beginning to end, including some children (so it is doable for families). Both shade and vegetation are increasingly abundant as one nears the pools. There were great views of the Catalina Mountains and of the valley to the south with mountain ranges in the distance. However, the views are nothing surprisingly spectacular as similar views can be seen from a greater distance from the road and in other parts of Tucson. Bring your hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, water, and a camera.
Trail was pleasant to Romero Springs from Catalina State Park. The pools while very nice were overly crowded, but a good resting point after the first climb. Romero Springs was beautiful, I intend to return for camping below the large shaded trees and next to the water. Our groups destination was to Hutch's Pool to camp before exiting Sabino Canyon. From Romero Springs to the Start of the West Fork of Sabino was EXTREMELY challenging while carrying a 40+ pound pack for camping. The trail while well marked had many trees in the way (probably from the fire/flood combo couple years back) and lots of loose footing for the very difficult climb towards the end. The scenery and change in Scenery is great, however. I would recommend the hike without a heavy pack and coming from the east instead of the way my group took (from Catalina State Park to Sabino).
Keep Me Informed
Weekly newsletters, announcements and offers from Trails.com to your inbox.
We HATE spam and promise to keep your email addresses safe and secure.