Santa Catalina Ranger District

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Tucson, AZ

Located adjacent to Tucson, the Santa Catalina Recreation Area is the most heavily visited part of the Coronado National Forest.  The Catalina Highway (General Hitchcock or 833) winds nearly to the top of 9.157 foot Mt. Lemmon, providing paved access to trailheads, campgrounds, picnic areas and even a downhill ski area, Ski Valley.  The Santa Catalinas are home to Sabino Canyon and the 56,933 acre Pusch Ridge Wilderness area.

  • If you would like information about Road Conditions on Mount Lemmon Highway, owned and managed by Pima County, 520-547-7510.

Molino Basin and Gordon Hirabayashi Campgrounds are open from November to April weather dependant. General Hitchock Campground is open from May to October weather dependant. Peppersauce Campground is open year-round.

Molino Basin Campground is located near milepost 6 on the Catalina Highway. There are 37 first-come, first served campsites for $20 a night. There is one reservable group site which can be reserved through There is no drinking water available at Molino Basin Campground.

Gordon Hirabayashi Campground is located near milepost 7 on the Catalina Highway. There are 11 first-come, first served campsites. The sites are $20 a night. There is no drinking water available.

General Hitchcock Campground is located at mile post 12 along the Catalina Highway. There are 12 tent only, first- come, first served campsites.  These sites are $20 a night. There is no drinking water available at this campground

Peppersauce Campground is located 15 miles South East of the town of Oracle on Forest Road 38. There are 17 first-come, first served campsites. The individual sites are $15 a night. There is one reserveable group site. You can reserve the group site through There is drinking water available.


For current information on guided nature walks, hikes, children’s programs, family activities, and school field trips, go to 


A Standard Amenity Fee is required at certain areas on the Santa Catalina Ranger District including Sabino Canyon Recreation Area, Middle Bear, Chichauhua Pine, Cypress, Inspiration Rock, Loma Linda Picnic Area, Alder, Box Elder, Marshall Gulch, and Mt. Lemmon Recreation Site. The day pass for the fee sites in the forest is $8. A week pass is $10. An annual pass is $40. The Forest also sells and accepts the $80 InterAgency Annual Pass. You can purchase these passes at the Palisades Visitor Center, open Thursday-Monday from 8-4:30 or open every day from 8-4:30 May 1 – October 31. These passes are also sold at the Sabino Canyon Visitor Center, open seven days a week from 8-4:30. You can also purchase or obtain other Inter Agency passes that work on the Forest, including the $20 Senior Annual Pass, $80 Senior Lifetime Pass, free Active Duty Military Pass, the free Disability Access Pass, and the free 4th Grade Every Kid Outdoors Pass at the Sabino Canyon Visitor Center.

Please note these passes do not include access to Rose Canyon Lake. The day pass for Rose Canyon Lake can be purchased on site.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: undefined
Reservations: Recreation Resource Management Campground Information Spencer Canyon, Rose Canyon Lake, Whitetail, and Showers Point campgrounds are all managed by Recreation Resource Management under a special use permit with the Coronado National Forest. These sites are open from April to October, weather dependant. For more information please call them directly. For Spencer Canyon Campground please call: 520-576-1492, for Rose Canyon Lake Campground please call: 520-576-3091 or 520-576-1477, Whitetail Campground please call:  520-576-9198, and for Showers Point Campground please call:  520-576-1325. You can reserve campsite and/or group areas at these sites at Please note the InterAgency and National Forest passes do not include access to these areas.
Open Season: undefined - undefined
Restrictions: Maximum RV length is 22 feet or less. 
Closest Towns: Tucson
Passes: The Coronado Recreation passes are valid at Mt. Lemmon, Madera and Sabino Canyons.  The Day pass is $8.00.  The Annual pass is $40.00.  The Senior pass (62 yrs.+ of age and a U.S. resident) is $80.00 Lifetime or $20.00 Annual.  The Access pass (permanently disabled) is free, however, proof of disability is required. 
Information Center: Santa Catalina Ranger District 520-749-8700

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



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