Camping at Molino Campground
Molino Campground is located in the Santa Catalina Mountains of the Coronado National Forest, which offers a variety of outdoor activities. The campground is situated at about 4,500 feet in elevation, providing a cool retreat from the hot temperatures of lower elevations, particularly during the summer months.
Molino Campground is about 5.5 miles east of Tucson, Arizona. Its location on the Catalina Highway, which leads up to Mount Lemmon, makes it a popular campground for visitors looking to enjoy the Coronado National Forest and the numerous recreational activities it has to offer.
Campsites and Amenities
- The campground typically offers a combination of first-come, first-served campsites along with sites that can be reserved in advance.
- Many of the sites are well shaded by a canopy of trees, providing a respite from the sun.
- Basic amenities are provided, including picnic tables, fire rings or grills, and pit toilets.
- Drinking water is usually available, but it's recommended to bring your own as a backup.
- There are no hookups for RVs, but the campground can accommodate small to medium-sized RVs and trailers.
The location of Molino Campground makes it an excellent base for engaging in various outdoor activities such as:
- Hiking: There are numerous trails accessible from or near the campground, suitable for all skill levels, offering stunning views and a chance to observe local flora and fauna.
- Biking: The Catalina Highway is popular among road bikers, and there are also many mountain biking trails in the area.
- Bird Watching: The diverse ecosystems in the mountain range make it an excellent spot for bird watching.
- Photography: The surrounding landscape provides ample opportunities for nature photography.
- Stargazing: The clear skies and distance from city lights make this a wonderful location for stargazing.
Wildlife in the area includes a variety of species, such as deer, javelinas, and various species of birds. Always exercise caution and respect wildlife by maintaining a safe distance and not feeding them.
Weather and Seasonal Access
The campground is generally open from late spring to late fall. It's crucial to check the weather conditions before your trip, as mountain weather can be unpredictable and change rapidly. Snowfall in winter can make the highway to the campground impassable.
Reservations and Fees
Reservations for campsites at Molino Campground can be made through the National Recreation Reservation System and are encouraged during peak seasons. There is a fee for camping, which can be paid on-site or online when making reservations.
Respect the Environment
When camping at Molino Campground, it's important to adhere to the principles of Leave No Trace to minimize your impact on the environment. Pack out all trash, stay on designated trails, and protect wildlife by keeping your distance and not disturbing habitats.
For the most accurate and current information, it's best to contact the Coronado National Forest's Ranger District that oversees the Molino Campground. They provide updates on campsite availability, seasonal closures, fire restrictions, and any other pertinent information that could affect your visit.