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What to avoid on the weekend

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NC
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What to avoid on the weekend

We will be in Tucson Sat Feb 18-Thur Feb 23 and have are trying to pack in as much as we can in those 6 days: Kartchner, Sonoran Dessert Museum, Sabino Canyon, PIMA, Mt Lemmon Sky Nights and other hiking. What places are we better off seeing mid-week to avoid crowds as much as possible?

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1. Re: What to avoid on the weekend

All of those places will have more visitors on weekends. Mt Lemmon Sky Nights wouldn't be much affected. Most affected would be Arizona Sonora Desert Museum and Sabino Canyon.

NC
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2. Re: What to avoid on the weekend

Thanks Bob. If we left Phoenix first thing Sat AM and stopped at Casa Grande on the way down, do you think we'd have enough time to see the Pima Air and Space Museum Sat afternoon? It looks like it's fairly close to the hotel.

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3. Re: What to avoid on the weekend

Should be fine. 2 hours would be more than enough for CGNM. Pima A&SM is open until 5 PM.

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4. Re: What to avoid on the weekend

Last year I did CGNM on the way from the airport in Phoenix to Tucson. I did a ranger led tour and then some self exploring and it was a good side trip. I too think you can fit in the Pima A&SM as well. Depends on if you're tired from flying, driving, and doing CGNM?

You list looks pretty good, don't forget about Catalina State Park, it's a gem. Also, Saguaro National Park, there are two sections, East and West , both gems as well.

NC
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5. Re: What to avoid on the weekend

Yes, Springer. They are all on my list although I was starting to move things into my schedule and it's filling up pretty fast. We'll hit the ground running first thing Sat AM.

We've got 6 days. I figured:

1 day CGNM, Pima, Carnival of Illusions

1 day for Sonoma Desert Museum/West SNP and Gates Pass Rd for sunset.

1 day Sabino Canyon

1 day for Kartchner caves and some combination of Fairbank, Tombstone and Bisbee. A friend told me to do both sections of Kartchner but I haven't decided if I want to spend 3 1/2 hours underground. The best tour combo would have us there until 1:30 so not a lot of time to see other places.

That only leaves 2 days left for Catalina State Park, SNP East, the Presidio Trail and the Mission San Xavier del Bac and the rodeo and one of those has the Sky Nights program on Mt Lemmon starting late afternoon. The rodeo is probably lowest priority on my list and maybe we can squeeze in the Presidio Trail and Mission San Xavier somewhere because I'd really like to get some nice hikes in.

Colin, any suggestions for what hikes would fit best into those two days? We start early and go hard all day.

I have to be in Tucson for a meeting at 3:30 Fri so we can squeeze something into Fri AM too.

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6. Re: What to avoid on the weekend

Sabino Canyon won't take a whole day. I would do that on the morning that you go to Mt. Lemmon since they are in the same general area of town. Make sure to get your reservations for the Sky Nights program if you haven't already done that and bring some warm clothes as it will be very cold on the mountain at night.

You also won't need a whole day for the Desert Museum, SNP West and Gates Pass. If you want to watch the sunset from Gates Pass, go to the DM in the early afternoon and then spend some time at SNP before sunset.

Hopefully those suggestions will help you free up some time.

As for hiking, since you're already planning for Sabino Canyon, I'd probably do something on the western part of the Catalinas - Pima Canyon, Linda Vista or the Romero Pools in Catalina State Park (entry fee required there). You'll get some completely different views from there.

Edited: 02 February 2012, 21:39
NC
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7. Re: What to avoid on the weekend

Desert: Thanks for the suggestions. I just made my reservations for Sky Nights and Kartchner Caverns. My husband said to do both caves. I'll have to look at the hiking trails in more detail when I get a chance. I was thinking there were some long ones Sabino Canyon that sounded good. That's why I was thinking it would take all day.

Any general idea of how long I should allot for the Presidio Trail and the Mission? I haven't really looked at the map for the trail and the Mission but I assume it makes sense to do them both together? We'd rather hike that shop so 4th Ave.

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8. Re: What to avoid on the weekend

The Presido Trail is only 2-1/2 miles long and you can probably spend as much or as little time as you want depending on how many stops you make. I would think 3 hours max, maybe less.

You won't need more than an hour at the Mission. You'll probably spend more time getting there and back than you will actually at the Mission.

NC
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9. Re: What to avoid on the weekend

Great. Thanks!

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10. Re: What to avoid on the weekend

Even it does take more time to go there and back, be sure to see the Mission. It is among the most beautiful of the Spanish missions in the Americas.

Hiking Sabino Canyon depends on what hike. Most of us just think about the canyon itself. You have the option of buying a ticket for the shuttle, and riding up or riding back, and hiking up or hiking down. There are trails from the top of the canyon, and trails up above on the ridges. There are also trails at Bear Canyon "right next door." Hiking at Sabino Canyon can take from a few hours or a full day of daylight.