Whitetail Group Site

Area Status: Closed
This area is Closed

Whitetail Campground offers group campsites in the foothills of the Catalina Mountains of southeastern Arizona, 5 miles south of the town of Summerhaven and the top of Mt. Lemmon. Groups can enjoy picking, hiking, camping and wildlife watching while enjoying a cool respite from hot summer. The facility can accommodate groups for day or overnight use. Hosts live on site.

This campground is designed for large groups such as church, corporation, family reunions, etc. Sites are often booked a year in advance through reserveamerica.gov. On occasion a site may not be booked and walk-ins are welcome, however, the cost of the site is the fee.

Whitetail Group Campsites have large firepits, large grills, tables, ramadas and bear boxes. Each site has a clean, stocked restroom.Each site has a ramada with picnic tables, a 120 volt outlet to plug in a coffee pot, crockpot, etc.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Closed indefinitely to protect public health and align with state and local measures to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. Visit www.fs.usda.gov/goto/r3/safety for more information.
Operational Hours: Check-out is 11am and check-in at 1pm.
Reservations: Reservations for this group site can be made at Recreation.gov.
Fees Site #1 is $110 a night, with a maximum of 40 people and 8 parking spaces. Site #2 is $126 a night, with a maximum of 60 people and 12 parking spaces. Site #3 is $110 a night, with a maximum of 45 people and 8 parking spaces. Site #4 is $110 a night, with a maximum of 45 people and 9 parking spaces. Site #5 is $148 a night, with a maximum of 90 people and 16 parking spaces.
Open Season: April - October (weather dependent)
Restrictions: Absolutely NO Rv's, generators, etc. may plug into these outlets. Also, groups must pre-plan parking as it is limited. Emergency vehicles must have access to all sites.
Operated By: Santa Catalina Ranger District
Information Center: This beautiful campground's phone number is 520-576-9198.

General Information


Accessible to persons with disabilities.

General Notes:

Natural Features:

Whitetail Campground sits high on the slopes of the Santa Catalina Mountains at an elevation of 8,000 feet. Because of its elevation, it can be much cooler than the lower-elevation campgrounds in the area. The campsites are spacious and spread out among stands of big ponderosa pines

The Coronado National Forest covers 1.78 million acres of southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico. Elevations range from 3,000 to 10,720 feet in 12 widely scattered mountain ranges, or "sky islands," that rise dramatically from the desert floor, supporting biologically diverse plant communities.


Hiking and sightseeing are popular activities. The surrounding national forest boasts a variety of trails, including some on the 9,157-foot Mt. Lemmon, for those who wish to venture away from the campground for the day.

The University of Arizona runs an observatory just up the road, and visitors can also drive a few minutes to the small town of Summerhaven, which offers amenities and attractions on Mt. Lemmon's summit.

Anglers can try for stocked trout at nearby Rose Canyon Lake.


All five group areas have picnic shelters that can accommodate between 40 to 90 people each and come equipped with drinking water, electricity, trash collection and vault toilets.

Nearby Attractions:

Catalina Highway, also known as General Hitchcock Highway and Sky Island Scenic Byway, is the only paved road that leads to the upper reaches of Mt. Lemmon and the Santa Catalina Range, offering a scenic day trip.

Other notable attractions include Saguaro National Park, Sabino Canyon and Colossal Cave.


From Tucson, Arizona, go north on Catalina Highway approximately 30 miles from Tucson until you reach Milepost 20. Turn Left on Whitetail Road.

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  Elevation : 
8,000 feet