Tucson, Arizona – The Great Outdoors

Tucson Hiking and BikingThe Sun, Desert, Mountains and Clear Skies combine to create an incredible outdoor playground that is open 365 days a year. Hiking, Biking, Bird Watching, Mountain Climbing, Camping & Star Gazing may be enjoyed year around, while for a couple months in Winter, you may also enjoy Skiing less than one hour away.  What makes this possible?

Tucson is located in a Desert Valley which is bordered by three National Parks and surrounded by five Mountain Ranges. At an elevation of 2,500’ to 3,500’, summer temperatures are milder and evenings are cooler. And you can enjoy the outdoors with the sun shining about 350 days per year, making Tucson one of the Sunniest places in the US.

Hiking

The varied mountain and desert terrain provide hiking opportunities for all ages and skills. There are hundreds of miles of trails located in the National & State Parks and Forests that surround Tucson.  Landscapes range from cacti-covered hills to pine-topped mountains, making hiking an option for every season.  Click here for  the Tucson Area Hiking Guide.

Biking

Bicycling Magazine ranks Tucson as the 12th most Bike-Friendly city in the US; “The city with the most bike-lane miles (620!) in the nation has a Bike-Boulevard Plan totaling 170 miles, and the Cyclovia, which helped increase bike commuting by 58 percent. “

Whether you are training for a major event, like El Tour de Tucson, like the challenge of mountain biking or prefer a leisurely, easy ride, Tucson has the route for you!  Click here for the Tucson Bikeways Map.

Bird Watching

Serious Bird Watchers include the Tuscon Area as a must-see location. The Audubon Society has recognized the Tucson area by sponsoring the Annual Tucson Bird & Wildlife Festival, a five-day event held in August.

More than 500 species of birds call our area home, hummingbirds can be seen year round, and specialty birds like Gray Hawk, Red-faced Warbler, and Vermilion Flycatchers can be found within a short drive of metropolitan Tucson.  During spring and fall migration it is possible to see 150 or more species in a single day. Summer brings spectacular rarities including hummingbird species found nowhere else in the United States.  Click here for more information or to download the Audubon Society’s publication, “Finding Birds in Southern Arizona”.

Star Gazing

The clear, dry Mountain air provides a great environment for star gazing, and Tucson’s Dark Sky’s Ordinance keeps it that way. Tucson was first recognized as a great place for astronomers when the area was chosen as the location for the National Observatory of the United States. Kitt Peak, located 56 miles Southwest of Tucson, was selected in the late 50’s, in response to success of the Russian space program.

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