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Itinerary advice

New Haven, Indiana...
Level Contributor
231 posts
179 reviews
Itinerary advice

We are coming to Tuscon in November and I wanted a little advice on our plans. We arrive at noon Thanksgiving Day so we are planning a short hike at Sabino Canyon after we arrive. Then we will spend the night at Desert Diamond.

Friday we plan to do the Missile Museum early in the morning, then visit the Mission and from there head to Sagauro West to look around that area. After catching the sunset at Gates Pass, we are thinking of heading to a hotel around the Mall area so that we can drive Mt. Lemmon on Saturday. I think we can fit all of this in on Friday but I'd like an expert opinion!

Saturday is reserved for Mt. Lemmon and the Catalina Foothills exploration. We like to hike so we figure we can easily make a whole day of it.

Sunday we are looking at visiting Saguaro East and maybe back to Sabino Canyon.

Monday we are setting aside the whole day for the Pima Air Museum and maybe some relaxation time at the pool before we head home Tuesday.

Does this all sound reasonable and in a decent order?

19 replies to this topic
Tucson, Arizona
Destination Expert
for Tucson
Level Contributor
3,636 posts
117 reviews
11. Re: Itinerary advice

Both the Canyon Loop and Romero Pools trails are in Catalina State Park. The Canyon Loop Trail is relatively easy and I do it quite often, even with a bum knee. There is a short steep climb at the beginning of the trail and some steps at the steep part in the middle of the trail, but the rest is a gradual climb/descent. The Romero Pools Trail is longer and more difficult with some very rocky stretches and a pretty good climb. Unless we've had some recent rains there is unlikely to be any water in the pools that time of year.

As far as hiking on Mt. Lemmon, just remember that you will be at altitude - that is probably going to be more of an issue than the cold for you.

New Haven, Indiana...
Level Contributor
231 posts
179 reviews
12. Re: Itinerary advice

Desertbeachlover - We are arriving on Thanksgiving and my parents are joining us on the trip so we thought Desert Diamond would be a good place to kill some time in the evening since we weren't sure what else would be open. I also have a reservation at Lodge on the Desert for the rest of the trip but I'm just not sure if thats where I want to stay if I can't use the pool, etc.

Sabino Canyon was just a way to stretch our legs for a couple hours in the afternoon of Thanksgiving.

Southwest Desert
Level Contributor
182 posts
48 reviews
13. Re: Itinerary advice

All I know is that we had our one and only car break-in in Tucson.

Marina, California
Destination Expert
for Tucson
Level Contributor
7,437 posts
104 reviews
14. Re: Itinerary advice

Lodge on the Desert's pool isn't that great. It's small. You stay at LotD for the room and maybe for the service. It's a really iconic hotel and I would definitely pick that over the casino. The casino is totally isolated, but not in a good way.

Thanksgiving evening in Tucson is certainly quiet but not dead. Since most people eat the big meal in the afternoon, things start to turn on again in the evening. The UA students are mostly gone, so it's a good time to take advantage of restaurants, especially in the campus area.

Mount Lemmon has a steep terrain in general, so the majority of the hikes are fairly tough. Remember also that you're at almost 9000' by that point, so anything is going to feel a lot tougher because of the thinner air. Even the hikes in the basin start at around 3000'. Marshall Gulch is possibly the most popular trail up there, but not because it's the easiest. You can always go for a while and see how you do. It won't necessarily be a wasted trip if you turn around after a couple of miles; businesses in Summerhaven should be open.

I mean, I've been to Fort Wayne in November, and yeah it's definitely colder there. But why go all the way to Arizona just to go take a hike in 40-degree weather? It's a great time of year for weather, but mostly only in the basin. If you're interested in hiking, then you can do a lot better in the lower elevations I think but, if you're just interested in seeing the different vegetation zones and the Sky Island, then definitely drive up there.

Green Valley...
Level Contributor
18,030 posts
65 reviews
15. Re: Itinerary advice

I just sent to you a Private Message, in part echoing the caveats of two posts by others.

Washington state
Level Contributor
17 posts
20 reviews
16. Re: Itinerary advice

You must see the Desert museum!! It is not so much a museum as a natural wildlife area! It's so beautiful and peaceful. I love it every time I go! Be sure to catch the Birds of Prey show. Just awesome!

USA
Destination Expert
for Tucson
Level Contributor
17,024 posts
30 reviews
17. Re: Itinerary advice

On my last trip to Tucson, I really enjoyed the Babad-Doag Trail. Nice hike that wasn't too strenuous or too long.

https://hikelemmon.com/babad-doag-trail/

It might be a lot to do the Canyon Loop Trail and Romero Pools on the same day. If you choose to do the Canyon Loop Trail, it's easily combinable with the Nature Trail and the Birding Trail. All three are easy to do in one visit and all are enjoyable.

New Haven, Indiana...
Level Contributor
231 posts
179 reviews
18. Re: Itinerary advice

springerrandy - I didn't know about the Babad-Doag Trail, thank you for passing that along! It looks great and is definitely going on our list.

I can tell right now that we are going to need another trip!!

USA
Destination Expert
for Tucson
Level Contributor
17,024 posts
30 reviews
19. Re: Itinerary advice

You're quite welcome.

And yes, another trip will be needed, LOL.

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