Basin Campground while most other campgrounds in the Catalina
District are closed in winter and open in summer, Molino
Campground and Picnic Area has a season that is just the
opposite. Because it is located lower on the slopes of the
Santa Catalina Mountains, Molino is open during the late
fall, winter, and early spring. The weather here is pleasantly
mild then, and any of those seasons is a good time to visit.
Campsites are located in savannah -- desert grassland dotted
with oaks. Along the banks of Molino Creek, which flows
only during and immediately after rain or snowmelt, species
such as cottonwood, Arizona live oak, and mesquite provide
a scenic setting for the campsites they shelter. Views are
dominated by nearby rugged, rocky hills.
new group campsite was opened in 2004, which has a covered
ramada, tent pads, restroom, picnic tables, grills, and
a group fire ring with benches. This site is also wheelchair
Arizona Trail -- which extends from Mexico to Utah -- passes
through this campground.
Location: Northeast of Tucson, between mile markers 5 and
6 on the Catalina Highway.
Access: Take the Catalina Highway off Tanque Verde Road
in Tucson. Drive 4.2 miles to the Forest boundary and continue
5.7 miles to the campground. All campsites are adjacent
to paved roads and are accessible by two-wheel drive low-clearance
vehicles, such as the family sedan.
Season: Fall, Winter, Spring.
Closes: Approximately April 25.
Opens: November 1.
Scenic mountain surroundings
Access to the Arizona Trail
Popular mountain biking area
Tables and fire grills
Trailers and RVs under 22' permitted.
No pack and saddle stock permitted in campground.
The Sheep Management Area in nearby Pusch Ridge Wilderness
is closed to dogs for the protection of desert bighorn sheep.
Pets must be leashed at all times.
Mountain bike access is generally east of the campground
and not allowed in Wilderness.