Coronado National Forest


Overlooking Tucson from high in the Santa Catalina Mountains
Overlooking Tucson from high in the Santa Catalina Mountains
Coronado National Forest

Coronado National Forest includes some 1,780,000 acres of southeastern Arizona and a little bit of southwestern New Mexico. The Forest is mostly scattered among what are called "sky islands:" mountain ranges that rise almost straight up from the desert floor. Elevations here vary from about 3,000' to a high of 10,720', supporting everything from desert cactus to alpine mixed conifers and everything in between. This is an area where you can play golf in the morning and go snow skiing in the afternoon (or vice versa).

There are 12 different mountain ranges included in the Forest. As all of them rise dramatically from the desert floor, the views each offers are spectacular. But each mountain range is a bit different, and you'll find everything from ancient geologies to relatively recent volcanism. And these mountains tend to be very rugged.

Some sections of the Forest touch directly against the Tucson city limits, affording great access but also allowing for huge human impact in particular popular areas (such as Sabino Canyon). On the eastern and western city limits of Tucson you'll also find Saguaro National Park, and the eastern section of the Park shares a lot of trail and trail access with the Rincon Mountain section of the Forest and the Rincon Wilderness.

 
Coronado National Forest, Morning hikers in Sabino Canyon
Hikers in Sabino Canyon, Santa Catalina Mountains
Catalina State Park is completely surrounded by Coronado National Forest on the west side of the Santa Catalina Mountains between Tucson and Oracle. The State Park is jointly managed by the US Forest Service and Arizona State Parks.

Chiricahua National Monument in the Chiricahua Mountains and Coronado National Memorial (on the border with Mexico) are also surrounded by the National Forest.

Coronado National Forest
 

Campgrounds

Dispersed camping is allowed almost everywhere on Coronado National Forest, except where no camping signs are posted. The list below is of the Developed Campgrounds, the ones that usually have better restrooms and usually have drinking water available (and usually charge fees for use).

Campground Name Status Elevation Fee Location District Facilities
Arcadia Open 6,700' Yes Pinaleno Mountains Safford Picnic SitesTrailer HookupsRestrooms availableCampfire RingsHiking Trail Access
Bathtub Open 6,300' Yes Chiricahua Mountains Douglas Trailer HookupsCampfire Rings
Bog Springs Open 5,200' Yes Santa Rita Mountains Nogales Picnic SitesTrailer HookupsRestrooms availableCampfire RingsHiking Trail Access
Cochise Stronghold Developed sites Closed until Sept 1st. Dispersed camping is open 5,000' Yes Dragoon Mountains Douglas Handicapped accessiblePicnic SitesTrailer HookupsRestrooms availableCampfire RingsHiking Trail Access
Cunningham Open 9,000' Yes Pinaleno Mountains Safford Handicapped accessiblePicnic SitesTrailer HookupsRestrooms availableCampfire RingsHiking Trail AccessHorse Facilities
Cypress Park Open 6,000' Yes Chiricahua Mountains Douglas Handicapped accessiblePicnic SitesTrailer HookupsRestrooms availableCampfire RingsHiking Trail Access
General Hitchcock Open 6,000' Yes Santa Catalina Mountains Santa Catalina Picnic SitesRestrooms availableCampfire RingsHiking Trail Access
Gordon Hirabayashi Open 5,000' Yes Santa Catalina Mountains Santa Catalina Handicapped accessiblePicnic SitesRestrooms availableCampfire RingsHiking Trail AccessHorse Facilities
Herb Martyr Open 5,800' Yes Chiricahua Mountains Douglas Restrooms availableCampfire RingsHiking Trail Access
Hospital Flat Open 9,000' Yes Pinaleno Mountains Safford Picnic SitesRestrooms availableCampfire RingsHiking Trail Access
Idlewilde Open 5,000' Yes Chiricahua Mountains Douglas Picnic SitesTrailer HookupsRestrooms availableCampfire RingsHiking Trail Access
John Hands Open 5,600' No Chiricahua Mountains Douglas Picnic SitesRestrooms availableCampfire RingsHiking Trail Access
Lakeview
(Parker Canyon Lake)
Open 5,400' Yes Huachuca Mountains
(Canelo Hills)
Sierra Vista Handicapped accessiblePicnic SitesTrailer HookupsDrinking water availableRestrooms availableCampfire RingsHiking Trail Access
Molino Basin Open 4,500' Yes Santa Catalina Mountains Santa Catalina Handicapped accessiblePicnic SitesTrailer HookupsDrinking water availableRestrooms availableCampfire RingsHiking Trail Access
Peppersauce Open 4,700' Yes Santa Catalina Mountains Santa Catalina Picnic SitesDrinking water availableRestrooms availableCampfire RingsHiking Trail Access
Pinery Canyon Open 7,000' No Chiricahua Mountains Douglas Handicapped accessibleRestrooms availableCampfire RingsHiking Trail Access
Ramsey Vista Closed 7,400' Yes Huachuca Mountains Sierra Vista Handicapped accessiblePicnic SitesTrailer HookupsDrinking water availableRestrooms availableCampfire RingsHiking Trail Access
Reef Townsite Closed 7,200' Yes Huachuca Mountains Sierra Vista Handicapped accessiblePicnic SitesTrailer HookupsRestrooms availableCampfire RingsHiking Trail Access
Riggs Flat Open 8,600' Yes Pinaleno Mountains Safford Handicapped accessiblePicnic SitesTrailer HookupsRestrooms availableCampfire RingsHiking Trail AccessFishingBoating
Rose Canyon Open 7,000' Yes Santa Catalina Mountains Santa Catalina Handicapped accessiblePicnic SitesTrailer HookupsDrinking water availableRestrooms availableCampfire RingsHiking Trail AccessFishing
Rucker Forest Camp Open 6,500' Yes Chiricahua Mountains Douglas Picnic SitesTrailer HookupsDrinking water availableRestrooms availableCampfire RingsHiking Trail Access
Rucker Lake Open 6,300' Yes Chiricahua Mountains Douglas Handicapped accessiblePicnic SitesTrailer HookupsDrinking water availableRestrooms availableCampfire RingsHiking Trail Access
Rustler Park Open 8,500' Yes Chiricahua Mountains Douglas Handicapped accessiblePicnic SitesTrailer HookupsRestrooms availableCampfire RingsHiking Trail Access
Shannon Open 9,100' Yes Pinaleno Mountains Safford Picnic SitesTrailer HookupsRestrooms availableCampfire RingsHiking Trail Access
Soldier Creek Closed 9,300' Yes Pinaleno Mountains Safford Picnic SitesTrailer HookupsRestrooms availableCampfire Rings
Spencer Canyon Open 8,000' Yes Santa Catalina Mountains Santa Catalina Handicapped accessiblePicnic SitesDrinking water availableRestrooms availableCampfire RingsHiking Trail Access
Stewart Open 5,100' Yes Chiricahua Mountains Douglas Handicapped accessiblePicnic SitesTrailer HookupsRestrooms availableCampfire RingsHiking Trail Access
Stockton Pass Open 5,600' No Pinaleno Mountains Safford Picnic SitesTrailer HookupsRestrooms availableCampfire RingsHiking Trail Access
Sunny Flat Open 5,200' Yes Chiricahua Mountains Douglas Handicapped accessiblePicnic SitesTrailer HookupsDrinking water availableRestrooms availableCampfire RingsHiking Trail Access
Sycamore Open 6,200' Yes Chiricahua Mountains Douglas Handicapped accessiblePicnic SitesTrailer HookupsDrinking water availableRestrooms availableCampfire RingsHiking Trail Access
West Turkey Creek Open 5,900' Yes Chiricahua Mountains Douglas Handicapped accessiblePicnic SitesTrailer HookupsDrinking water availableRestrooms availableCampfire RingsHiking Trail Access
White Rock Open 4,000' Yes Tumacacori Mountains Nogales Handicapped accessiblePicnic SitesTrailer HookupsDrinking water availableRestrooms availableCampfire RingsHiking Trail Access
 

Picnic Areas

Coronado National Forest has quite a few good picnic areas. They are all in the mountains, in areas where there's good views. Some picnic areas give direct access to hiking trail heads. Not every picnic area in the list below has drinking water on site. There's only one or two that offer any kind of horse facilities. And not every picnic area has restrooms, but most do. If this list isn't long enough, take a look above at the camping areas list: there's quite a few picnic areas on that list that aren't on this list.

Picnic Area Sites Elevation Location District Facilities
Alder 5 7,900' Santa Catalina Mountains Santa Catalina Fee AreaRestrooms availablePicnic Sites
Bear Canyon Overlook 4 2,600' Santa Catalina Mountains Santa Catalina Fee AreaHiking Trail AccessRestrooms availablePicnic Sites
Box Elder 7 7,900' Santa Catalina Mountains Santa Catalina Fee AreaRestrooms availablePicnic Sites
Cactus Ramada 1 No 2,500' Santa Catalina Mountains Santa Catalina Fee AreaHiking Trail AccessDrinking water availableHandicapped accessibleRestrooms availablePicnic Sites
Cactus Ramada 2 No 2,500' Santa Catalina Mountains Santa Catalina Fee AreaHiking Trail AccessDrinking water availableHandicapped accessibleRestrooms availablePicnic Sites
Catalina State Park No 2,650' Santa Catalina Mountains Arizona State Parks Fee AreaHorse FacilitiesHiking Trail AccessRestrooms availablePicnic Sites
Chihuahua Pine No 5,800' Santa Catalina Mountains Santa Catalina Fee AreaHiking Trail AccessDrinking water availableHandicapped accessibleRestrooms availablePicnic Sites
Cypress 8 5,800' Santa Catalina Mountains Santa Catalina Fee AreaHiking Trail AccessDrinking water availableHandicapped accessibleRestrooms availablePicnic Sites
Inspiration Rock 2 7,900' Santa Catalina Mountains Santa Catalina Fee AreaHandicapped accessibleRestrooms availablePicnic Sites
Loma Linda 2 8,000' Santa Catalina Mountains Santa Catalina Fee AreaRestrooms availablePicnic Sites
Lower Sabino No 2,500' Santa Catalina Mountains Santa Catalina Fee AreaRestrooms availablePicnic Sites
Lower Sabino East Dam 3 3,000' Santa Catalina Mountains Santa Catalina Fee AreaRestrooms availablePicnic Sites
Lower Sabino West Dam No 2,500' Santa Catalina Mountains Santa Catalina Fee AreaRestrooms availablePicnic Sites
Lower Thumb Rock 5 4,000' Tumacacori Mountains Nogales Restrooms availablePicnic Sites
Madera Canyon 3 4,600' Santa Rita Mountains Nogales Fee AreaHiking Trail AccessDrinking water availableHandicapped accessibleRestrooms availablePicnic Sites
Marshall Gulch
Open until weather dictates closure
20 7,500' Santa Catalina Mountains Santa Catalina Fee AreaDrinking water availableHandicapped accessibleRestrooms availablePicnic Sites
text-center Bear Canyon No 5,800' Santa Catalina Mountains Santa Catalina Fee AreaDrinking water availableHandicapped accessibleRestrooms availablePicnic Sites
Mt. Wrightson (Roundup) 20 5,500' Santa Rita Mountains Nogales Fee AreaHiking Trail AccessRestrooms availablePicnic Sites
Noon Creek 15 5,700' Pinaleno Mountains Safford Hiking Trail AccessRestrooms availablePicnic Sites
Red Rock 10 4,000' Tumacacori Mountains Nogales Restrooms availablePicnic Sites
Rose Canyon Group
Closed for the winter (Nov-Apr)
2; 1 site is reservable 7,000' Santa Catalina Mountains Santa Catalina Fee AreaHiking Trail AccessRestrooms availablePicnic Sites
Sabino Canyon Group No 2,500' Santa Catalina Mountains Santa Catalina Fee AreaHiking Trail AccessRestrooms availablePicnic Sites
Sabino Dam Overlook No 2,500' Santa Catalina Mountains Santa Catalina Fee AreaHiking Trail AccessRestrooms availablePicnic Sites
South Fork 4 5,300' Chiricahua Mountains Douglas Restrooms availablePicnic Sites
Sykes Knob 5 7,700' Santa Catalina Mountains Santa Catalina Fee AreaHiking Trail AccessDrinking water availableHandicapped accessibleRestrooms availablePicnic Sites
Upper Sabino Canyon No 2,600' Santa Catalina Mountains Santa Catalina Fee AreaHiking Trail AccessRestrooms availablePicnic Sites
Upper Thumb Rock No 4,000' Tumacacori Mountains Nogales Restrooms availablePicnic Sites
Wet Canyon 2 6,100' Pinaleno Mountains Safford Restrooms availablePicnic Sites
Whipple 3 4,200' Santa Rita Mountains Nogales Restrooms availablePicnic Sites
White House No 4,600' Santa Rita Mountains Nogales Restrooms availablePicnic Sites
 

Trails

The list below is not nearly a complete list of all the hiking trails available on the Coronado National Forest. This is only a representative sampling. You won't know what's there until you go there and see for yourself.

Trail Name Trail No. Ranger District Amenities
Agua Caliente 140 Nogales Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Arcadia 328 Safford Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Armour Spring 71 Nogales Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Ash Creek 307 Safford Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Ash Creek Detour 307a Safford Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Ash Spring 247a Douglas Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Aspen 93 Santa Catalina Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Atascosa 100 Nogales Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Baker Canyon 225 Douglas Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Basin 600 Douglas Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Bear Canyon 299 Safford Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Bear Canyon 125 Sierra Vista Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Bear Wallow 333 Douglas Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Bog Springs 156 Nogales Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Bootlegger 257 Douglas Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Border 45 Nogales Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Box Camp 22 Santa Catalina Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Box Spring 22A Santa Catalina Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Brown Canyon 115 Sierra Vista Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Brush Corral 19 Santa Catalina Hiking trailHorseback trailMountain bike trail
Brushy Canyon 355 Douglas Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Burro 240 Douglas Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Butterfly 16 Santa Catalina Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Canada del Oro 4 Santa Catalina Hiking trailHorseback trailMountain bike trail
Carr Peak 107 Sierra Vista Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Cathedral Rock 26 Santa Catalina Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Cave Canyon 149 Nogales Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Centella 334 Douglas Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Chinaman 137 Nogales Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Clark Peak 301 Safford Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Cochise 279 Douglas Hiking trailHorseback trailMountain bike trail
Comfort Springs 109 Sierra Vista Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Cottonwood 233 Douglas Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Cottonwood-Fire Canyon 266 Douglas Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Crest (to Miller Pk) 103 Sierra Vista Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Crest 144 Nogales Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Crest - Junction Saddle to Sentinel Peak 270 Douglas Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Crest - Barefoot to Wilderness 270 Douglas Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Crest - Wilderness to Monte Vista 270 Douglas Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Cunningham 316 Safford Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Deadman 70 Safford Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Devils Canyon 237 Douglas Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Dutch John 91 Nogales Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
East Divide 287 Safford Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
East Fork 24a Santa Catalina Hiking trailHorseback trailAccess to wilderness
East Sawmill Canyon 146 Sierra Vista Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Emigrant Canyon 255 Douglas Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Esperero 25 Santa Catalina Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Fife Canyon 273 Douglas Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Finger Rock 42 Santa Catalina Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Florida Canyon 145 Nogales Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Flys Peak 337 Douglas Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Frye Canyon 36 Safford Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Gardner Canyon 143 Nogales Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Grant Creek 305 Safford Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Grant Goudy Ridge 310 Safford Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Grant Hill Loop 322 Safford Hiking trailHorseback trailMountain bike trail
Greaterville 79 Nogales Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Green Canyon 262 Douglas Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Green Mountain 21 Santa Catalina Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Green Mountain Shortcut 21A Santa Catalina Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Greenhouse 248 Douglas Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Hamburg 122 Sierra Vista Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Heliograph 328a Safford Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Herb Martyr 247 Douglas Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Holdout Springs 285a Safford Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Hoovey Canyon 261 Douglas Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Huachuca 121 Sierra Vista Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Hunter Canyon 111 Sierra Vista Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Ida Canyon 110 Sierra Vista Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Ida Peak 274 Douglas Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Indian Creek 253 Douglas Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Jhus-Horse Saddle 252 Douglas Hiking trailHorseback trailMountain bike trail
Josephine 133 Nogales Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Kent Springs 157 Nogales Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Ladybug 329 Safford Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Lemmon Rock Lookout 12 Santa Catalina Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Lutz Canyon 104 Sierra Vista Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Marshall Gulch 3 Santa Catalina Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Maverick Spring 704 Santa Catalina Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Middle March 277 Douglas Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Miller Canyon 106 Sierra Vista Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Miller Creek 28 Santa Catalina Hiking trailHorseback trailMountain bike trail
Monte Vista 221 Douglas Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Mormon Canyon 352 Douglas Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Mormon Ridge 269 Douglas Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Morse Canyon 43 Douglas Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Mt Lemmon 5 Santa Catalina Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
North Burro 237a Douglas Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Old Baldy 372 Nogales Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Oracle Ridge 1 Santa Catalina Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Oversite 112 Sierra Vista Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Palisades 99 Santa Catalina Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Pat Scott Canyon 123 Sierra Vista Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Pima Canyon 62 Santa Catalina Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Pinery-Horsefall 336 Douglas Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Pole Bridge 264 Douglas Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Pomona Mine 116 Sierra Vista Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Pontatoc 410 Santa Catalina Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Pontatoc Ridge 411 Santa Catalina Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Powers Garden 96 Safford Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Price Canyon 224 Douglas Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Quantrell Mine 141 Nogales Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Raspberry Ridge 228 Douglas Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Rattlesnake 275 Douglas Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Rattlesnake 285 Safford Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Red Rock Canyon 223 Douglas Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Romero 8 Santa Catalina Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Round the Mountain 302 Safford Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Rucker 222 Douglas Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Rucker Peak 601 Douglas Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Sabino Canyon 23 Santa Catalina Hiking trailHorseback trailAccess to wilderness
Salsbury 263 Douglas Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Scotia Canyon 127 Sierra Vista Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Shake 309 Safford Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Shaw Peak 251 Douglas Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Silver Peak 280 Douglas Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Slavin Gulch 332 Douglas Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Snowshed 246 Douglas Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Soldier 53 Santa Catalina Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
South Fork 243 Douglas Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Sunnyside Canyon 117 Sierra Vista Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Sycamore 278 Safford Hiking trailHorseback trailAccess to wilderness
Sycamore Canyon 40 Nogales Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Sycamore Reservoir 39 Santa Catalina Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Taylor Canyon 306 Safford Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Temporal Gulch 595 Nogales Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Tortilla 254 Safford Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Turkey Creek 34 Santa Catalina Hiking trailHorseback trailAccess to wilderness
Turkey Pen 262 Douglas Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Turtle Mountain 219 Douglas Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Upper Rock Creek 259 Douglas Hiking trailMountain bike trail
Vault Mine 77 Nogales Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Ventana 98 Santa Catalina Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Walker Basin 136 Nogales Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Webb Peak 345 Safford Hiking trailMountain bike trail
West Divide 289 Safford Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
West Fork 24 Santa Catalina Hiking trailHorseback trailAccess to wilderness
Wilderness of Rock 44 Santa Catalina Hiking trailAccess to wilderness
Witch Ridge 260 Douglas Hiking trailMountain bike trail
 
The Chiricahua Mountains in Coronado National Forest
The Chiricahua Mountains
Bottom photo courtesy of Karen Fasimpaur, CCA 3.0 License
Other photos courtesy of byways.org. Small icons courtesy of the US Forest Service