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Arizona, USA
Few cities in the U.S. can claim to be 'sandwiched' by a National Park; Tucson might well be the only one. Saguaro National Park is divided into Eastern and Western divisions that flank the city--plenty of wilderness hiking within a half-an-hour's...
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Ventana Canyon, Catalina Foothills, AZ 85750, USA
The foothills around Tucson are home to some of the best spa-golf-resorts in the U.S. and you don't have to go far for a taste of the wilderness before you turn in. Just behind the Loews Ventana Canyon resort on the edge of the city, an unspoiled...
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Hohokam Road, Tucson, AZ 85745, USA
Just beyond the western edge of Tucson, you'll find these Hohokam petroglyphs in Saguaro National Park. No one knows precisely when they were carved into the rocks, but Hohokam settlements in the Sonoran desert date back almost two thousand years....
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5700 North Sabino Canyon Road,, Tucson, AZ 85750, USA
One of the best things about Tucson is what's all around it: desert and mountains. It's anything but barren, if you know where to go. All along the northern edge of the city are the Santa Catalina Mountains, rising to over 9100ft/2770m. Hikers,...
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5700 North Sabino Canyon Road,, Tucson, AZ 85750, USA
Many who have not visited Arizona think that its saguaros grow in a Sahara-like setting...but the mountainous desert around Tucson hides many lush spots, like this riparian canyon on the NE edge of the city. Late fall paints the cottonwoods along...
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The trail up Blackett's Ridge on the northeastern edge of Tucson leads to a rocky 'island' in the sky, some four thousand feet high, perched above two desert riparian canyons. Arizona's second largest city feels a world away from up here, even...
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7768 W Picture Rocks Rd, Tucson, AZ 85745, USA
Follow the yellow flower road in the Sonoran Desert; wildflower displays of poppies don't necessarily happen every year. (Last year was a bust in Saguaro Nat'l Park near Tucson; this year the timing of the winter rains was just right!) So, spring,...
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Arizona, USA
Few things are as evocative of the American Desert Southwest as the saguaro cactus. One of the best places to get up close to these spiky giants (as tall as 60 ft, as old as 200 yrs, as heavy as 2 tons!) is near Tucson. Arizona's second largest...
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Mt Wrightson, Arizona 85624, USA
Tucson is surrounded by mountains. As you look south, however, the highest and most distinctive peak is Mt. Wrightson (9,453ft/2,881m) in the Santa Rita range. Hike to the top and you'll be rewarded with a 360-degree view from the highest point...
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11570 N Oracle Rd, Tucson, AZ 85737, USA
When the southern Arizona desert gets just the right mix of rains at the right time in fall and winter, the following spring can produce a riot of wildflowers. People around Tucson said that the spring of 2010 was one of the best displays in...
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Hike into Bear Canyon on the northeastern edge of Tucson, and you'll be rewarded (most of the year) with a view of Seven Falls, gushing out of the Santa Catalina Mountains. Even though the hike in and out is around seven miles, it's mostly flat....
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Arizona, USA
If, like most visitors, you head for Tucson between Thanksgiving and Easter, you're probably seeking sun and warmth while the rest of the country deals with the winter blahs. And you'll most likely find what you're looking for. There's a reason...
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Romero Canyon, Arizona 85619, USA
One of the best day-hikes from Tucson is just north of town, on the 'back side' of the Santa Catalina Mountains: Romero Canyon. Drive up to Catalina State Park for the trailhead, and you'll begin trekking through mesquite woods and towering...
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Pima Canyon, Arizona 85718, USA
One of the quickest and most immersive city-into-wilderness hikes is a trip from Tucson to Pima Canyon. From downtown Tucson, it's a quick drive up through the Santa Catalina foothills to the trailhead parking lot—tucked into saguaro-studded...
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27 E Ramsey Canyon Rd, Hereford, AZ 85615, USA
When people think of southern Arizona and its border with Mexico, cactus and sun-baked sand may come to mind — but a mountain canyon with fall foliage, homestead cabins, and deer? Go high enough, and you'll find this and more. The Huachuca...
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Mt Lemmon, Arizona 85619, USA
On the northern edge of Tucson, you can drive through a condensed version of western North America's ecosystem in about half an hour. On the way up the Mount Lemmon Highway (also known as "Catalina Highway" or "Sky Island Scenic Byway"), you...
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E Bonita Canyon Rd, Willcox, AZ 85643, USA
A couple of years ago, on Black Friday, my wife and I headed away from the malls of Tucson and into the mountains: Chiricahua National Monument, just west of the New Mexico border in SE Arizona, was one of the last strongholds of the Chiricahua...
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4070 S Avenida Saracino, Hereford, AZ 85615, USA
Last April, I spent a morning hiking along the San Pedro River, just NW of Bisbee, AZ; the caterpillars were astoundingly abundant. When I stopped, I could hear them munching on leaves all around--a surround-sound of crunching, the aural fecundity...