Redington Road winds up and over a pass between the Santa Catalina and Rincon Mountains, an area of big cattle ranches and even bigger views. The route starts among the horse farms and suburban ranches of east Tucson and switchbacks through a desert landscape of saguaros and ocotillos to a broad plateau covered with high grasslands. The climb to the pass is punctuated with eye-catching views of Saguaro National Monument, Tanque Verde Canyon and Tucson sprawling to the west. Hiking trails lead south from the road into Tanque Verde Canyon, which is visible from the road as an occasional green flash of streamside cottonwoods. Within this canyon, steep drops in the streambed become spectacular waterfalls after a rain or snowfall. These popular spots are just a short walk from the road and accessible via the Lower Tanque Verde Falls trail. Use caution when traveling on foot in this area as footing can be slippery on the loose rock and soil present here. Higher up on the pass, the soaring ridges of the Santa Catalinas and the Rincons dominate the views. Closer at hand, picturesque wooden corrals and clusters of grazing cattle bear witness to the area’s ranching heritage. As the road wanders across the plateau among mesquite, soaptree yuccas and barrel cactus, the layered slopes of the Galiuro Mountains and the wide flat valley of the San Pedro River emerge to the east. Tall saguaros reappear along the roadside as the road drops into the valley and continues on to the tiny ranching and farming community of Redington.
At a Glance
East of Tucson.
Santa Catalina Ranger District
Directions: Take Tanque Verde Road east out of Tucson until it becomes the Redington Road. Mileage/Driving Time: About 12 miles to Redington. Three hours round trip from Tucson.
Desert setting. Mountain pass views. Cowboy country. See the other side of the Santa Catalinas. Hiking trails, trail biking, ATV riding on primitive roads. City lights at night. Road Conditions: Gravel; suitable for passenger vehicles in all but the worst weather. This road is subject to flash floods.