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Oro Valley’s trail system is vast and wild. It leads through canyons, up mountain peaks, past desert oases, and ancient villages. Most people have no idea what secrets the desert holds. They spend their time in the city, sitting at home. But there’s so much to see. Let’s get out and explore the wilderness.
Located in Catalina State Park, the Romero Pools Trail is 5.5-mile out and back hike, generally lasting more than two hours, but it is highly rewarding. During certain times of the year, you’ll find naturally occurring pools and a small waterfall.
This hike is perfect for beginners. It’s 3/4s of a mile, which means it can be finished in less than an hour. The trail leads to a 1500-year-old Hohokam village resting at the base of the Santa Catalinas. It’s amazing to see.
Featuring 19 miles of trail, Honeybee Canyon Park is one of Oro Valley’s largest hiking experiences. You’ll find rain-scented creosote, desert flowers in the summertime, and various forms of cacti. There’s a rock dam and ancient Native American petroglyphs. There’s also a mountain biking trail, which is said to be quite smooth and flat, making it perfect for beginners who have trouble with hills and various obstacles like rocks and roots.
From mid-March to April, you’ll begin to see rattlesnakes on the trails. Young snakes are the most aggressive and poisonous, so it’s best to avoid hiking during that time, especially in rocky areas. The heat starts to reach its peak around late May. Oro Valley residents get a bit of relief from late June to early August because of the monsoons, but the trails tend to flood and washout during the rains, which can be quite intense. The best time for hiking would probably be early September to early March. It can get a bit cold, but that’s when the desert is safest.
The Arizona sun poses a serious threat to hikers. Temperatures can reach well into the 100s, making hiking impossible during certain times of the year. Even during the wintertime, you have to go prepared. For every 2 hours that you hike, you should pack 1 liter of water, and always bring a minimum of half a liter. You should also bring sunscreen and try to dress in clothing that is light but covers your body. You don’t want to get scratched by a cactus or a rock, but you also don’t want to wear anything that will cause you to overheat. Boots are recommended, and if you’re planning on taking a difficult trail, you might consider a hiking pole or walking stick.