Tucson – Basic Info and Related Pages

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I first visited the Tucson area in April 2017 and remember being surprised that there was so much here that 3 weeks was not enough.  Later, when I was in Sedona wondering where to spend the winter, I remembered Tucson and thought that sounded good, not only for the moderate temperatures, but for more exploration of its many attractions.

(Click images for larger size in separate window)

I’m starting this index now since I’m planning to spend the winter of 2017 here and will be filling in pages before and after that. I arrive on December 3 and will be staying at Diamond J RV Park for the first couple of months anyway.

Loop B site 50

Me at Catalina State Park Loop B

I really enjoyed my home at Catalina State Park! Here’s full info on the campgrounds there.

Tucson - Gilbert Ray CG

Gilbert Ray Campground scene

The first week, I enjoyed a stay at Gilbert Ray Campground, especially meeting up with one of my “old” Facebook friends and finally being able to hug in person. 🙂

Tucson - Me on Gates Pass Road

Me on Gates Pass Road

Gates Pass Road is the scenic way into Tucson from Gilbert Ray. No RVs allowed, but don’t miss it in your tow car.

Sonora Desert Museum

Arizona Sonora Desert Museum

The outdoor Sonora Desert Museum is near Gilbert Ray, but don’t miss it no matter where you stay in Tucson!

Tucson - Sabino Canyon tram-hike

Sabino Canyon – You can ride the tram or hike

The biggest attraction for me is definitely Sabino Canyon (link to my coverage of first visit): I remember feeling like, “Why didn’t I hear about this before now?!” I took the tram up and hiked down and one time was not nearly enough!  Totally interesting rock formations, water flowing through the canyon and even little waterfalls to keep you company. What more could you ask for?

Tucson - Saguaro collage

Saguaro Cactus

I also didn’t know that Saguaro cactus could be so interesting and that here in the Sonoran Desert is the only place in the world that they grow. They only start putting out arms when they are quite elderly (around 80), and there are some that become crested like the one on the far left. They’re even fascinating when they die and remain standing like this grandfather one I saw in the west side Saguaro National Park.

NP west - Signal Hill (petroglyphs)

Saguaro National Park – Trail to Signal Hill Petroglyphs

I explored both sides of Saguaro National Park and was amazed at the differences between the east and west sides. I need to see more and I haven’t even begun writing about what I saw!

Tucson - Me near Sasco Mine

Me near Sasco Mine

I’m really looking forward to seeing friends who live around there again, too. Cate took me on this tour around Sasco Mine, a place I probably would never have heard of without her as a guide.

Mission San Xavier del Bac

Mission San Xavier del Bac

It was really crowded there when I got there on a busy weekend and it was hard to get into the actual chapel, so next time I’m going to check it out mid week.

 Saint Augustine Cathedral

Saint Augustine Cathedral

I love visiting these elaborate cathedrals and always light a candle for my mom in them.

Tucson Attractions:

Here are some attractions that I had researched and others that friends recommended.  Some I saw last year and others I’m looking forward to exploring when I return. I haven’t gotten around to writing about everything I did last year, but some of the links are to my coverage when I did.

Catalina State Park Arizona Sonora Desert Museum
Saguaro National Park: East side of Park  ♦  West side of Park
Sabino Canyon  Mount Lemmon
Rincon Mountains Tumacacori National Historic Park
Summerhaven Tohono Chul Park & Botanical Gardens
El Presidio Historic District Tubac Artist Colony
Mission San Xavier del Bac St. Augustine Cathedral
Gilbert Ray Campground (Pima County) Biosphere2
Kitt Peak Observatory Hike Arizona.com

I’d love to hear from y’all in Comments below if you have other ideas for things I shouldn’t miss in the area. I’m really looking forward to this!

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Links to More Tucson Info:

Visit Tucson.org – Official tourism site (also see Official Travel Guide).

Go-Arizona.com – Tucson is located in the Sonoran Desert, the only place in the world the majestic saguaro cactus grows. These tall and ancient cactus stand like silent sentinels in the shadows of the five mountain ranges which cradle the Tucson valley and are showered with sunshine over 300 days a year. The average winter temperature is 70.

Southern Arizona Guide – Things to do in Tucson.

Tucson Guide – 62 Things to do in Tucson

C.I. Chu’s – (My favorite Mongolian BBQ restaurant)

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