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part ofCoronado National Forest, US Forest Service
Status: Open through Thu Dec 31 2015   Season Dates


Cactus Ramada 1 is a reservable group picnic site within the extremely popular Sabino Canyon Recreation Area at the edge of Tucson, Arizona. The facility is accessible and can accommodate up to 45 people. Groups can picnic, hike and ride horseback in this desert oasis of Coronado National Forest.

Natural Features:

The recreation area is located along Sabino Creek at an elevation of 2,800 feet in the foot of the Santa Catalina Mountains. For many who come to visit the Southwest, this area provides their first close encounter with the Sonoran Desert and the fascinating variety of plants and animals that make it their home.

Winter temperatures are pleasant, and springtime brings the desert to life with numerous flowering cacti and desert wildflowers.


Hikers are drawn to Sabino Canyon for its beauty, scenery and challenge. Three popular trails begin at the recreation area and offer access to the dramatic landscape of the Santa Catalina Front Range, famous for its deep canyons and soaring ridges. A sunset hike reveals the lights of Tucson framed by the black silhouette of surrounding mountains.

The self-guided Desert Nature Trail at the Sabino Canyon Visitor Center provides an excellent way to get to know the plants that have adapted to living in this demanding environment.

Several area trails can also be used for mountain biking and horseback riding.


The group site can accommodate up to 45 people. Amenities include a vault restroom, picnic shelter, four accessible picnic tables, one serving table, two bear-proof trash cans, two grills and a campfire circle.

Access to Cactus Ramada 1 is through the use of the Sabino Canyon Tours shuttle buses or by foot travel 1/3-mile to the Cactus Picnic Area from the parking area.

There are also many individual first-come, first-served picnic sites scattered throughout area. A visitor center and bookstore are nearby.

Nearby Attractions:

The recreation area or visitor center can be used as a home base for exploring scenic and natural areas of Sabino Canyon. The city of Tucson is just a short drive away and has many attractions and amenities. Other notable places nearby include Saguaro National Park and Colossal Cave.

Activities and Amenities

Within Facility
  • Accessible Picnic Areas
  • Biking
  • Birding
  • Campfire Rings
  • Cell Phone Service
  • Educational Programs
  • Grills
  • Hiking
  • Historic Sites
  • Horseback Riding Trails
  • Parking Area
  • Picnic Shelters
  • Picnicking
  • Ranger Station
  • Self Pay Station
  • Trails
  • Trash Collection
  • Vault Toilets
  • Visitor Center
  • Wildlife Viewing
Less Than 1 Mile
  • Drinking Water
  • Horse Corrals
  • Interpretive Trails
  • Paved Roads
Within 10 Miles
  • Emergency Services
  • Fuel Available
  • Grocery Store
Know Before You Go
  • Parking is in the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area and Visitor Center parking lot; visitors using Cactus Ramada 1 must use a shuttle bus (additional fee) or walk a short distance to the site.
  • This site is for day use only; no overnight camping; day use hours are 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • All funds will be forfeited if contact is not made with the Santa Catalina Ranger District prior to 12 hours before the reservation period; call 520-749-8700
  • Only one vehicle is allowed inside the group site to carry supplies in and out
  • This is mountain lion and bear habitat; be aware of your surroundings, secure all food and make sure all trash is properly disposed in provided trash cans
  • Pets are not allowed in portion of the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area
  • Bicycles are not permitted in Sabino Canyon on Saturdays and Wednesdays; all other days, they are permitted before 9 a.m. and after 5 p.m.
  • Charcoal not provided; please bring your own
  • Click here to learn more about Coronado National Forest
  • Don't Move Firewood: Prevent the spread of tree-killing pests by obtaining firewood near your destination and burning it on-site. For more information visit dontmovefirewood.org.

Getting There:

GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
32.31889, -110.81611
32°19'8"N, 110°48'58"W

From I-10, take exit 250 for Orange Grove Road. Go east on Orange Grove Road and proceed about 6.5 miles. Turn right on Skyline Drive. After about 1 mile, continue right onto Sunrise Drive. Follow for 6.3 miles and turn onto Sabino Canyon Road. Continue to the entrance just north of Sunrise Drive.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:

5700 N. Sabino Canyon Road
Tucson  AZ  85750

Phone Number:

Project Office: (520)749-8700
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