Catalina State Park Campgrounds Overview

Catalina gate11570 N. Oracle Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85737
520-628-5798 (Park Office)
520-586-2283 (Reservations)

Campground Website
RV Site Rates
Site Map

(Click pics for large versions)

My visit: April 1-14, 2017 – Malia’s Miles Park Overview Page

Basic Info on All Campgrounds

See the state park Camping Page for basic camping information.  Click here for Rates.

See Facilities Information from the state park for more detailed information about all camping choices, including Loop A & B, Group and Equestrian camping areas.  Campers do not have to pay the $7 day entrance fee in addition to the daily site fee.

Reservations:  Call 520-586-2283 or make online here ($5.00 non-refundable fee).  I appreciate how you can see pictures and details about sizes, etc. of the sites that are available once you enter your dates and criteria. All sites are able to be reserved up to a year in advance and if you’re planning to stay during the busiest months (January – March), be sure to make your reservations early because they run full pretty much all the time.

Loops A & B – 120 total campsites in two loops.  All sites are nicely paved and level, roads all well maintained. See details below.  All have 20/30/50 amp electric service and water at each site (no full hookups).

Differences between Loop A and Loop B:  The main things I noticed between Loop A and Loop B are that Loop A has fewer sites, some are closer to the road, and the bathhouse is smaller with no family restroom/shower like Loop B has.  Loop A does not have its own dump station like Loop B does.

Park Manager Steve Haas told me that since Loop A is the older loop, it has more trees and shade in general. Big rigs usually stay in Loop B and the views tend to be a little better due to being a bit higher. Loop B is manicured a little more, while A is kept a little more natural.

Planned Improvements:  Steve said that they hope to have WiFi in the campgrounds this year and possibly cabins in the future.

Dump Stations – At front by main entrance is a nice two-way station (enter from either side).  Loop B has a small dump station at its entrance. No charge for campers; $15 for non-campers. Note that the front dump station is only open from 8am – 5pm, while the station in Loop B is open 24/7.

Rules:  14 night limit; campgrounds open all year.

Loop A

Catalina Loop A entry

Entrance to Loop A

47 reservable sites in this loop, some back-in and some pull-through.  All sites have 20/30/50 amp and water at each site. Roads and sites are all paved and have picnic tables and BBQ grills. In this loop only, some sites can be reserved as either electric or non-electric (1, 6, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 16, 17, 19, 21, 23 25). This option can only be had by calling the park office directly and then electric is turned off on the site. No generator use allowed. See links above for more details and rates.

Separate page with more pictures coming soon, including most requested sites, etc.

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Loop B

Catalina Loop B entry

Catalina Loop B entry

73 reservable sites in this loop.  All sites have 20/30/50 amp and water at each site. Roads and sites are all paved and have picnic tables and BBQ grills. See links above for more details and rates. Unlike Loop A, this loop has a small dump station at its entrance. The configuration is a bit different with more pull-through sites in the middle of the campground.

Separate page with more pictures coming soon, including most requested sites, etc.

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Equestrian Center Campground

See Facilities Information for Equestrian camping area info toward bottom of page. Vault toilets only here; no showers.

See Trail Map for info on the 50-Year Trail that is accessible from here. It’s the most popular trail for equestrians (but note it’s also open to hikers and mountain bikes).

Wood fires are allowed in designated fire pits here, unlike Loops A and B where no camp fires are ever allowed.

Catalina - Equestrian camping

Equestrian Camping Area

The lady I talked to here was traveling with these other rigs and she said they liked it that they could “circle the wagons.”  🙂

Catalina - equestrian pens

Equestrian Pens

I always thought it would be neat to have a horse and take it camping.  There are more pens to the side of this picture as well.

Catalina - Equestrian picnic area

Adjacent Picnic Area

I just thought this area was so pretty! Horses are not allowed to picnic here, though. 😉

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Group Camping

See Facilities Information for group camping area info. This complex has modern restrooms and showers, along with a covered group picnic area. No electric at any of the sites (except for camp hosts).  Wood fires are allowed in the group camping area, unlike Loops A and B where no camp fires are ever allowed.

Catalina Group - Ringtail

Ringtail Group Area

As you can see, all of these sites are out in the open with no shade.  This area is used as an overflow campground during busy months (Jan. 1 – March 31) and can be reserved like any other campsite. The rest of the time it is a regular group area. This area is popular with clubs and really looked like a great place for a get-together with everything you’d want (well, except for hookups of course).  See Reservable Group Areas for more info.

Catalina Group - Flycatcher

Flycatcher Group Area

Tents get the shade and some grass; no RVs are allowed here. This is right across the road from Ringtail.

Catalina Group- Gila

Gila Monster Group Picnic Area

Nicely shaded and covered picnic area within the group camping complex.

Catalina - group restrooms

Modern restrooms and showers building

As noted in Pros/Cons info below, it was almost unbelievable to me how clean, modern and well equipped all of these buildings were throughout every campground.

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Pros/Cons

I always provide short recaps of pros and cons about the parks I visit. I realize this is subjective stuff and what bothers some people, others won’t have a problem with, and vice versa. As a fulltime RVer, I like things that weekend campers can do without. But, based on my own observations and/or comments from others, here goes:

button-pro Pros:

  • Fantastically beautiful surroundings featuring the amazing Catalina Mountains.
  • Great walking trails with several easy enough for even me to do!
  • Convenient location to Tucson and shopping necessities (WalMart and little mall one mile away), multitude of restaurants, etc.
  • I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen more modern and clean restroom and shower facilities in any state park ever. Every single person I talked to mentioned this. To prove what I mean, I provided pictures in the individual Loop A and B pages coming soon.

button-con Cons:

  • I really had to think about this one and it might seem hard to believe, but the only drawback I came up with is that the signs within the campground could be clearer to indicate the range of site numbers you’re looking for. The rows are marked by “Back-in” or “Pull-Through” and while they tell you how to get where you’re going when you check in, I’m the world’s worse at following maps and it’s hard to look and figure that out while you’re driving.  See Loop B where I stayed for example. (That page coming soon.)
  • The only complaint I heard from another camper was not being allowed to have campfires. But to me, given the danger of wildfire here, especially during a really dry spell, I can’t fault them for that. Steve said that is the #1 complaint, though.
  • I honestly couldn’t think of anything else, but if you’ve stayed here and have anything you want to say, please feel free to use Comments below.

RVParkReviews.com – Opinions from other campers on what they liked and didn’t like, along with other tips.

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Pet Friendly: No extra charge for pets. All pets must be on leash and cleaned up after; dog pens are allowed.

satelliteSatellite TV: Most sites looked like there would be no problem at all getting satellite reception.  Even sites with trees on the side looked like they would be clear enough, but I can’t swear for all of them. Local channels by antennae from Tucson.

cellphone

Internet/Wi-Fi/Cell Phone: No wi-fi at the campground at this time. My Verizon phone had no problem and Jetpack provided 4G service.

CampsitePhotos.com:  Provides individual photos of all campsites.

two-centsMalia’s 2 Cents: I love it when a park has beautiful, natural scenery and feels like it’s out in the middle of nowhere, but is still so close to all city conveniences! I thoroughly enjoyed my stay here and could have easily spent more time with all there is to do at the campground, as well as in Tucson and surrounding attractions.

Your Two Cents?  The only way I know if the reviews and research I present are helpful to you is if I hear from you.  I sure would appreciate your feedback in Comments below.  I do have some pictures of a few more individual sites and if you want to see any, leave comment below and I will post here.

All Malia’s Miles Catalina State Park Pages:

Park Overview  (including Nature Trail) ♦  Romero Ruin Trail
Campgrounds OverviewLoop ALoop B

Nearby Attractions I Explored:

(more coming soon)

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum ♦ Saguaro National Park
Sabino Canyon
♦ Mount Lemmon

Transparency/Disclaimer: As stated openly on my Home page, I do barter whenever possible for review space on my website. It’s one of the ways that help support my travel habit and keeps this site free to readers. But I always make it clear that my reviews are my honest opinion, can never be bought at any price and if I wasn’t satisfied, I would also state that (just like I do Pros and Cons on every campground I review, whether it’s bartered or not).

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  • J.C. Webber III

    Yea, it’s one of our favorite parks! Nice review.

    • Thanks – always good to hear from you, too!

  • Thanks, Andrea – it’s good to hear from someone who stayed in Loop A and that makes sense to me. I can definitely see how A is easier to maneuver even without clearer signs since it doesn’t have as many sites and only one middle row. I’ve never been to Patagonia, but that’s not a good start to a stay when you get frustrated trying to find your site, especially for those who travel alone without a navigator. Thanks for your input!

divider-greenMailboxYour comments and feedback matter to me. The only way I know if this site is of any value to you is if you tell me about it. I love hearing from you and my mailbox is always open. Contact me or please leave comments above. Comments from folks who have "journeyed" with me at Malia's Mailbox.

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