Ventana Canyon is one of the most beautiful canyons in the Santa Catalina front range, and one of the least visited. The main reason for that is that the trailhead is actually in the Ventana Canyon Resort’s employee parking lot. Another reason may be the fact that this front range trail includes several sections of steep and rocky switchbacks. Ventana means window in Spanish. The window in this case is a 15-by-25 foot opening in solid rock that tops one of the peaks in the Santa Catalina Front Range. The route up Ventana Canyon leads to The Window, presenting memorable views of sheer canyon walls and a steadily broadening panorama along the way. The stream that the trail follows for much of this route is dry most of the year, but you can usually find water in some of its pools during the spring and early summer. The riparian habitat it nourishes provides good birdwatching. The trail becomes steadily more difficult to follow as it climbs farther from the trailhead and higher up the canyon. As you climb, occasional pools and widening vistas provide reasons to stop, take a breather and look around. The Window comes into view well before you get to it, as does the 100-foot drop at its base.
At a Glance
|Current Conditions:||From January 1st to April 30th, traveling more than 400 feet off this Forest Service system trail is prohibited due to the bighorn sheep lambing season. 36 C.F.R. § 261.53(a) No animal may be brought, or allowed to enter, into the Restricted Area at any time during the year. This prohibition includes, but is not limited to, dogs, domestic sheep, and goats.|
|Restrictions:||Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport are prohibited. This includes the use of motor vehicles, motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters, unless provided for in specific legislation.
Dogs are prohibited in the Bighorn Sheep Management Area portion of the Pusch Ridge Wilderness.
|Water:||Purification of water is recommended prior to use.|
|Operated By:||Santa Catalina Ranger District|
|Information Center:||Santa Catalina Ranger District 520-749-8700|
From Tanque Verde Road in Tucson turn north on Sabino Canyon Road and follow it 4 miles to the junction with Sunrise Road before the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area. Turn left (west) here and drive about a mile to Kolb Road. Turn north, to Loew’s Ventana Canyon Resort on Kolb Road and park in the employee parking lot west of the main resort. The trailhead starts at the end of the employee parking lot. You will follow the trailaround the back side of the apartments. From the back edge of the apartments it willturn right,heading north down through a wash and into the main canyon. It will keep going north alongside the creek for miles and up into the mountains.
Day HikingDesert canyon, Waterfalls (in season), Access to The Window, Magnificent views, 4.7 miles of this trail are in the Pusch Ridge Wilderness. A map of the access route to the trailhead is available at the concierge desk at the resort.
|Elevation desc||2,950 - 7,000 feet|
|Difficulty Level:||More Difficult|