Sunday, March 2, 2014

Rainbows and Ground Squirrels at Catalina State Park

Catalina State Park makes me happy. It's greener up here and closer to the mountains than where we just came from. The nights are cooler and quieter, the sites are spacious, and once again we have trails right out our door. What's not to love?

Here's my review of Catalina State Park when we stayed here for a few nights last year.

The State Park is nestled in next to the Santa Catalina Mountains.

We arrived just in time to meet up with Rick and JoAnne and their buddies Hal and Lois. We last caught up with R&J in Montana last summer when they were camp hosting at Glacier National Park. We had a great time laughing and sharing stories from the road over a happy hour.  Who knows when our paths will cross again, but it's nice to know we can keep in touch through various internet avenues!

Happy hour with Rick & JoAnne and Hal & Lois.

Our first morning in the park clouds were gathering for the first rain storm in months. Beyond the Santa Catalina Mountains the rising sun glowed on the underside of the clouds.

Sunrise glow on the clouds.

With heavy rain showers forecast for the day we ran a few errands and spent the rest of the day inside our little cocoon on wheels.

As we headed out for our errands we followed this amazing set up.
I'd love to see the car being loaded or unloaded!

We got a side view at the shopping center.
We wondered why they weren't driving the car!

That evening during a break in the showers we were treated to an extremely bright rainbow that turned into a double rainbow!

Last night we had a major deluge, it seemed like the hardest rain either of us had ever experienced! We're looking forward to an explosion of life in the desert after this storm!

This morning we did a short hike up a trail that is not on the Catalina State Park trail map. I wrote about it last year here. You take a trail to the right of the Romero Ruins trail and it heads up into the hills to a small stream. Though the water was lower this year, it's a very pretty hike and everything around us was clean and fresh from all the rain in the past 24 hours.

Excellent views towards Oro Valley.
Hans is dressed to blend in to the desert!

Back at camp we're relaxing and watching the round tailed ground squirrels cavort around. There seem to be hundreds of them throughout the park this year...much more than last year.

Rosie is so photogenic!

Contemplating a climb.


  1. We really like Catalina, too. Great picture of the double rainbow. And Rosie looks like she's enjoying it there!

  2. Glad to see you got some of that weather you were missing! Nothing like rain in the desert. Safe travels.

  3. Amazing rainbow! We didn't get that brilliant shaft of sunlight here. We've noticed an increase in the ground squirrel population this year. They're everywhere along the Rillito trail, as well as along Mission Road. The little buggers keep running out into traffic without looking.

  4. Great photographs! We loved hiking in that park last year when we were in Tucson. Looks like you are having a great time.

  5. That sunrise photo looks like the mountains are on fire. The lighting with the double rainbow is spectacular. Great job, Lisa!

    How nice that you caught up with Rick and JoAnne again. Looks like a fun evening:)

  6. It was great seeing you guys again. We also got some pics of that rainbow but you got the double - you win!

  7. Thank you for the memories, We both love Catalina, not only of its scenic views but also the hiking trails that begins there.
    You are also having lots of socializing out there. Hope to meet Joanne and Ric someday too.
    Great Photos, especially the sunrise glow.