Oro Valley, AZ - Catalina State ParkMay 7 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 72 °F
Still nearTucson, AZ, but have moved northward to Catalina State Park in Oro Valley, AZ. This Park is one of our favorites which explains stopping here after only a few miles trip from our last stop.
Both Tucson and Oro Valley have grown so much you can't tell where one begins and one ends. But as you drive through Oro Valley the difference becomes apparent. Oro Valley has been dubbed the "Upscale Tech Mecca" with over 10 high tech firms. With this comes a median income 50% higher than the US median. This explains the plethora of eating and shopping opportunities. All of this is nice, but it is Catalina State Park that is the real gem here.
The Park, adjacent to the Coronado National Forest, is nestled against the western slopes of the Catalina Mountains. Saguaro cacti abound in the surrounding plateau areas. Nature watching is the norm here. Birds are everywhere. We have a very vocal Gila Woodpecker who sits at the very top of a saguaro cactus, singing his/ her heart out. Cute furry ground squirrels scurry about seeking shade and food. And we have little lizards looking for a warm spot to relax. Also, can't forget the butterflies.
Oro Valley hasn't always been so populated and busy. Back in the day farming, ranching, and mining dotted the landscape. To keep things interesting Apache Indians stirred up things. But civilization gradually tamed the area. The 5,000 acre ranch, Rancho Romero, aided in settling the area and provided the land for the now Catalina State Park.Read more