Romero Pools, Catalina State Park

Are you looking for a challenging hike? Romero Pools should be on your checklist! This out and back hike will get your heart pumping with the estimated 1,000 foot elevation gain in only 2.5 miles. Talk about your stair-master! The payoff? Romero Pools.

Montrose Pools

Here’s the low down on this up hill climb. It is a mile from the parking lot along Romero Canyon Trail toward Montrose Pools. This is a great stop off before you attempt the rest of the hike to Romero Pools. Montrose Pools are dry much of the year, but during the monsoons and in the spring you will be treated to a wonderful “mini-Romero” experience.

Romero Pools

Now, on to the hard part (it’s worth it, trust me). Some people claim that this is a moderate hike, but in my hiking journal this is a bear of a hike. For 75% of this trail you will be stepping up and scrambling over rocks. It took two attempts before I actually made it to the pools. When we got there we were pressed for time and weren’t able to spend any time there. The cooler temperatures kept us out of the water as well. With that said, the pools are amazing. The water tumbles over huge boulders then crashes down waterfall. I could have stayed for a couple of hours.

Made it to Romero Pools!

There are a few things you should note before you head out.

First (and most important) take plenty of water. Seeing people with a single bottle of water makes me worry. Desert hiking is DEHYDRATING. Your body will lose more water than you can imagine and fast too. We don’t head out with less than 2 liters (about a half gallon) of water each, along with at least a quart of hydration water. If the temperatures are going to be above 80 degrees we take even more.

Second, leave Fido at home. This is a wildlife management area for the big horn sheep. You can have Fido with you up to the turnoff point of going up to Romero or right to Montrose, but no further. You’ll see the signs.

Third, you have to cross Oro Canada Wash which will have foot soaking water in it about half the year. You can take off your hiking boots to cross barefoot, or bring a couple of bread bags to put over your shoes to keep them dry.

Getting here is easy. Just take Highway 77 (Oracle Road) to Oro Valley, AZ. Catalina State Park is well marked. There is an entrance fee. The parking lot is large and the road also has room to park along when the lot gets full (usually in the spring on weekends). The trailhead is right off the parking lot. Total out and back is 7.3 miles.

Happy Hiking!!


This post brought to you by the letter R and:

#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter R

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One response to “Romero Pools, Catalina State Park

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