The Santa Catalina Mountains
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.
|Rank||Peak||Elevation||7.5 minute Quadrangle|
|1||Mount Lemmon||9,157||Mt. Lemmon|
|2||Mount Bigelow||8,540||Mount Bigelow|
|3||Marshall Peak||8,300||Mount Lemmon|
|4||Cathedral Rock||7,957||Mount Lemmon|
|5||Green Mountain||7,904||Mount Bigelow|
|6||Samaniego Peak||7,700||Mount Lemmon|
|7||UN 7693||7,693||Mount Bigelow|
|8||Window Peak||7,468||Mount Lemmon|
|9||Rose Peak||7,303||Mount Bigelow|
|10||UN 7281 "Guthrie Mountain"||7,281||Mount Bigelow|
|11||Mt. Kimball||7,258||Oro Valley|
| ||Mule Ears||7,060||Mount Lemmon|
|12||Rattlesnake Peak||6,653||Sabino Canyon|
|13||Prominent Point||6,628||Tucson North|
|14||UN 6512||6,512||Agua Caliente Hill|
| ||Finger Rock||6,420||Tucson North|
|16||Table Mountain||6,265||Oro Valley|
|17||UN 6191||6,191||Agua Caliente Hill|
|18||Airmen Peak||6,100||Agua Caliente Hill|| |
|19||UN 6060||6,060||Mount Bigelow|
|20||UN 6053||6,053||Mount Bigelow|
|21||UN 6020 "Table Tooth"||6,020||Oro Valley|
| ||UN 5968||5,968||Agua Caliente Hill|
|24||UN 5817||5,817||Mount Bigelow|
|25||Gibbon Mountain||5,801||Agua Caliente Hill|
|26||UN 5681||5,681||Mount Bigelow|
|27||Bighorn Mountain||5,660||Oro Valley|
|28||UN 5506||5,506||Agua Caliente Hill|
|29||UN 5471||5,471||Agua Caliente Hill|
|30||UN 5466||5,466||Campo Bonito|
|32||UN 5420||5,420||Sabino Canyon|
|33||Agua Caliente Hill||5,369||Agua Caliente Hill|
|34||Pusch Peak||5,361||Tucson North|
|35||Thimble Peak||5,323||Sabino Canyon|
|37||UN 5166||5,166||Agua Caliente Hill|
|38||UN 5055||5,055||Agua Caliente Hill|
|39||UN 5001||5,001||Sabino Canyon|
| ||UN 4910 "The Cleaver"||4,910||Tucson North|
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.