The Santa Catalinas, just north of Tucson, are the largest range near the city. Towering more than 6,500 feet above town, they also provide a cool place to climb and hike when southern Arizona’s blistering summer sets in. The Catalinas also boast a huge variety of different hiking and climbing experiences. Some, like Mt. Lemmon and Mt. Bigelow, have roads which run to the top. Others, such as Rose Peak and Green Mountain, are a short stroll from the Catalina Highway. Many, like Prominent Point and The Cleaver, shed the climber's blood during a painful off-trail bushwhack through desert vegetation. And still others, such as Thimble Peak and Finger Rock, require rock climbing skills.
In 2003 the Catalinas suffered a catastrophic forest fire. Over eighty thousand acres burned and the area will take many years to recover. Loss of vegetation has facilitated erosion and flooding, and the natural dryness of the area slows revegetation. Please try to stay on the trails whenever possible, and if camping use existing sites and fire rings.
Clicking on the small picture by a peak will take you to a picture of that peak.
Clicking on an underlined peak will take you to that peak's page on SummitPost.
An elevation in red is interpolated.
Catalina Summits and the 300-foot rule....
Summits without ranking numbers on this list do not pass the “300-foot rule” – meaning that the drop between them and a higher peak is less than 300 feet. In this case, they are considered part of that higher peak, rather than an independent mountain. The fact that they fail this somewhat arbitrary test is no reflection upon the difficulty of summit in question; after all, Finger Rock, which is the most technical climb on this list, is not itself an actual peak.