Area Status: Closed
This area is Closed

While most other campgrounds in the Catalina District are closed in winter and open in summer, Molino Campground and Picnic Area has a season that is just the opposite. Because it is located lower on the slopes of the Santa Catalina Mountains, Molino is open during the late fall, winter, and early spring.

The weather here is pleasantly mild then, and any of those seasons is a good time to visit. Campsites are located in savannah -- desert grassland dotted with oaks. Along the banks of Molino Creek, which flows only during and immediately after rain or snowmelt, species such as cottonwood, Arizona live oak, and mesquite provide a scenic setting for the campsites they shelter. Views are dominated by nearby rugged, rocky hills. Roads in the campground are paved.

At a Glance

Operational Hours: Molino Basin CG is open from Nov.1 to early May.
Area Amenities: Accessible,Tent camping,Camping trailer,Picnic tables,Toilets,Parking
Fees Located at 4,370 feet in elevation, this campground lies within the desert grassland and open oak woodland ecosystems. There are 37 campsites which can accommodate trailers up to 22 feet in length. Camping cost $10.00 per night per vehicle. Picnicking or other day use in campgrounds is also $10.00 per day. All fees are payable by cash, check, or money order at the time you occupy the site. Make check or money order payable to "USDA Forest Service." Coronado Recreation Fee Program passes are not required if vehicles remain in the campground. Limit of 2 vehicles and 10 persons per site. Campers must occupy site for the first 24 hours. 14-day stay limit per year. It features accessible rest rooms, picnic area, trailhead and group-use site (by reservation). The typical operating season is November to May.
Open Season: Nov 1 - April 30
Restrictions: No hookups. Trailers and RVs under 22' permitted. No pack and saddle stock permitted in campground. The Sheep Management Area in nearby Pusch Ridge Wilderness is closed to dogs for the protection of desert bighorn sheep. Pets must be leashed at all times. Mountain bike access is generally east of the campground and not allowed in Wilderness.
Closest Towns: Northeast of Tucson, between mile markers 5 and 6 on the Catalina Highway
Water: No water. It's always a good idea to bring drinking water with you on your camping trip.
Restroom: Toilets
Operated By: Santa Catalina Ranger District
Information Center: Santa Catalina Ranger District   520-749-8700

General Information

Directions: Take the Catalina Highway off Tanque Verde Road in Tucson. Drive 4.2 miles to the Forest boundary and continue 5.7 miles to the campground. All campsites are adjacent to paved roads and are accessible by two-wheel drive low-clearance vehicles, such as the family sedan.

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Camping & Cabins

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Group Camping

A new group campsite was opened in 2004, which has a covered ramada, tent pads, restroom, picnic tables, grills, and a group fire ring with benches. This site is also wheelchair accessible. Trailers and RVs under 22' permitted.
Reservation InfoMake reservations online at
Fire InformationGroup fire ring with benches.
No. of Sites1
Hookups - ElectricNo hookups.

RV Camping

Campground Camping

Winter season, scenic mountain surroundings, access to the Arizona Trail. Popular mountain biking area. Tables and fire grills.
No. of Sites37
No. of Accessible sitesAccessible to persons with disabilities.


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Camping trailer
Picnic tables
Tent camping
Areas & Activities


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  Elevation : 
4,500 feet