Special Places

Most Popular Places

These are visitor favorites. All are within an hour’s drive from Tucson and offer scenic drives, walking/hiking, picnic sites, and more. Be aware that sometimes these places can be crowded.


  • Wilderness

    Wilderness is designated by Congress as “an area of undeveloped Federal land retaining its primeval character and influence”. Wilderness is a repository of clean air and water, wildlife habitat, and natural areas for research and education. The Coronado National Forest’s eight wilderness areas are ideal places to view wildlife, hike, ride a horse, backpack, find solitude, and connect with nature.

Rooms with a View

  • Kent Springs Cabin

    The national forests of Arizona’s "Rooms with a View" cabin rental program offers a range of settings and amenities. Some are rustic; some are more modern; all are situated in beautiful settings in the forests of Arizona. Several of the cabins are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and all offer a fascinating view of local and regional history, as well as a diversity of wildlife.

Hidden Gems

If you’re looking to get away from the crowds or explore something new, consider one of these options:

  • Rustler Park Campground

    Rustler Park Campground

    Located at the top of the Chiricahua Mountains (elev. 8500 ft.), this low-use campground offers cool temperatures, many hiking trails, and scenic Cave Creek views. There are ramadas over picnic tables and a group use area.

  • Cave Creek Canyon 

    Cave Creek Canyon

    Cave Creek is a world-renowned birdwatching area and is packed with birders in the spring (March through June). But during the off-season, this area offers visitors a chance to slow down and experience a visitor center, campgrounds, and hiking trails without the crowd.

  • Red Spring Single-Track Trail System

    Red Spring Single-Track Trail System

    This area offers 25 miles of trails in the scenic Tumacacori Mountains just 4 miles off of Interstate-19. The trails are perfect for motorcycles, but hikers, mountain bikers, e-bikes, and equestrians are welcome. The trailhead offers plenty of parking for trailers and shaded picnic tables.

  • Carr Canyon

    Carr Reef After Storm

    Come and experience this beautiful canyon in the Huachuca Mountains. Explore area history and Carr Creek in the lower canyon, view seasonal Carr Falls, or drive up to the high country for incredible vistas and access to trailheads and campgrounds.

  • Cactus Group Ramadas

    Cactus Group Ramadas

    Two group sites in Sabino Canyon Recreation Area provide a perfect place to host a group picnic or special event. There are picnic tables, grills, and flush toilets at the site, and it’s a short walk into Sabino Canyon.

  • Gordon Hirabayashi Group Site & Horse Camp

    Gordon Hirabayashi Group Site and Horse Camp

    This site, open October to April, is mid-way up Mt. Lemmon just a few miles from Tucson. There is plenty of parking available for vehicles and trailers, horse corrals, and picnic tables. This site can be reserved in advance, and is a great place to hop on the Arizona National Scenic Trail.

Recreation Areas