Why Outdoor Enthusiasts Love Tucson, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona topped the list of Outside Magazine’s “The 12 Best Places to Live in 2019,” and some of the many reasons why it’s such an amazing place to call home are the wide array of outdoor activities and stunning environments to explore. With a population of 535,676 and a park acreage of 4,610, Tucson clocks in as a mid-sized city. It also boasts the designation of a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy with its unique combination of Native American, northern Sonoran, and colonial Spanish cuisines.
From cycling to hiking, Tucson offers plenty of trails along mountains, valleys, and more. Visit Mount Lemmon and cruise along its 29-mile, 6,600-foot trail or opt for one of the mountain’s many climbing routes. Explore the 36th Street Trailhead after dark on a mountain bike after dark with a headlamp.
Tucson’s local government did a study between July 2015 and June 2016 to determine how often Tucson used the surrounding trails. They set up cameras at the Sweetwater, Richard Genser, Iris Dewhirst, and Gabe Zimmerman trailheads. According to the Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation Department, all four trailheads logged 82,000 users, which works out to approximately 56 users daily!
From its sunny days to its amazing topography, Tucson is easily considered one of the sunniest cities in America. Tucson boasts mountains on all four sides as well as a stunning surrounding desert. Outdoor enthusiasts can experience everything from cacti to evergreens!
As the cactus capital of the world, you’ll see cacti wherever you turn whether you’re in the suburbs or hitting a national park.
Saguaro National Park
When National Geographic decided to rank every national park in America, Saguaro National Park claimed the number one ranking. National Geographic chose this ranking because the towering cacti provided such a surreal experience. With two sides, the Saguaro National Park offers unique topography and activities.
Tucson has sunny days nearly every day of the year, which means stunning sunsets almost each and every night. Vibrant colors festoon the sky with silhouetted cacti and palms. The mountains create a gorgeous frame, and it’s easy to stop in your tracks to just stare at the bright colors.
Tucson has tons of trails for biking, whether you prefer single tracks, downhill, or off-roading. Choose from 700 miles of designated trails across all types of terrain. While it’s great to see all the cacti along the path, be careful to avoid running into them. Some of the best trails to explore include Agua Caliente Trail, Brown Mountain Trail, Catalina Canyon Loop Trail, and so many more.
If Tucson is known for something other than its amazing cuisine, it’s definitely known for its hiking trails. Tucson has plenty of trails to choose from for every kind of hiker, whether you’re super intense or more casual. Valley Overlook Trail is a favorite as well as Tanque Verde Falls, Bear Canyon to Seven Falls, and Romero Canyon Falls.
Mountains and Canyons and Deserts – Oh My
Tucson has it all when it comes to terrain. You can explore mountains or canyons, and when the temperatures start to heat up, drive up to Mount Lemmon for cooler temperatures. Wherever you go in Tucson, you’ll be sure to find amazing topography.
Outdoor enthusiasts love Tucson for its diverse nature and activity options. Whether you’re interested in the history of the area or the present-day adventures, Tucson has something for everyone.
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