Steep, rugged, challenging trails in remote terrain have their place, but plenty of hikers prefer paths that are short, flat, easy, nearby, and still rich in natural desert beauty.
Pima County parks official Kerry Baldwin remembers the phone call all too clearly.
You can hike just a few miles on the Arizona National Scenic Trail — or trek its entire length of about 817 miles from Mexico to Utah.
Drive north of Tucson into Oro Valley, pull over, and peer up at rugged Pusch Ridge towering above you to the east: What you’re seeing is the past and future home of a free-roaming herd of bighorn sheep.
Hikers, bird-watchers, picnickers — heck, just about everybody who loves the outdoors — cheered the reopening Thursday of Sabino Canyon and Saguaro National Park near Tucson.
Wonderlands of natural beauty and adventure await in the mountains and deserts around Tucson - but so do potential dangers.
There is something quite wondrous about breaking a fresh trail - in science, in art and even in a medium as simple, and yet sublime, as new-fallen snow.
Above: On Mint Spring Trail in the Catalina Mountains.
Jasmine the pack donkey paused along the Mint Spring Trail to munch sweet summer grass and snatch a brief break in the bargain.
A bee keeps busy on Mint Spring Trail in the Catalina Mountains.
Along the Mint Spring Trail in the Catalina Mountains.
on Mint Spring Trail in the Catalina Mountains on July 19, 2012. Photo by Doug Kreutz, Arizona Daily Star
Left: Leigh Anne Thrasher and her donkey, Jasmine, take their time on Mint Spring Trail in the Catalina Mountains.
Barbara Santa Maria and her nephew, Raul Benitez, 9, find a puddle on East Michigan Drive just perfect for a little post-storm horseplay. But downpours such as Saturday's are also a real threat to unwary motorists, children and others.
Debris like this tattered mattress in the Rillito River bed could knock down someone trying to escape the current generated by one of our summer thunderstorms.
A monsoon storm can cool down a desert afternoon and create shallow puddles just right for splashing.