Best Of Tucson®

Best Backpacking Trail

Romero Pass

What better way to climb from the hellish heat of the Tucson Basin to 6,000 feet in the beautiful Santa Catalina Mountains than on a trail that offers you a cooling jump in the drink right when you need it? Starting from Catalina State Park, the first mile and a half is sandy and low-grade. Further into the Pusch Ridge Wilderness, the trail gets rockier, and saguaros give way to oak, manzanita and the fabled Romero Pools. Seven miles up the trail, A-types will bag the pass, check the view and move on, but for the rest of us circus escapees, getting there is more than half the fun. This is the kind of trail that reminds you what life's all about: It's not just where you wind up in the end; it's the JOURNEY, stupid!

Runners up:

2. Sabino Canyon

3. Mount Lemmon

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