Romero Pools

Round Trip Distance: 6 miles
Difficulty: Strenuous
Elevation: 2710 - 3803 feet
Cellphone: 2-5 bars
Time: 3 hrs.
Trailhead: Catalina State Park
Fee: $7/vehicle
Attractions: Scenic trail, plunge pools

Romero Pools is located in the Catalina State Park near Tucson, Arizona. Romero Pools is a popular cooling off spot along the Romero Canyon trail. The pools can nearly dry up during the hot summer months until they get recharged by a passing thunderstorm. Bighorn sheep have been reintroduced into the area and at times they can be seen along the Romero Canyon trail. On the day we did the hike for this post they were reported to be upon the slopes somewhere beyond the pools.

Catalina State Park is along Highway 77 about 12 miles north of Tucson. After passing the fee station follow the road to the trailhead at the end of the paved route.

As you can see there are several other trails that begin at this trailhead. The trail is well marked so all you have to do is follow the signs for Romero Canyon.

Stay to the left after crossing Sutherland Wash. The Birding trail departs on the right at this point.

The next fork is where the Canyon Loop trail branches off on the left.

Montrose Pools comes up near the 1 mile point. The pools are down a steep hill and very hard to get to.

From Montrose Pools the climb gets much steeper and the trail becomes rockier.

As the hike continues the trail begins piercing the heart of the Santa Catalina Mountains.

The climb seems relentless at times although it is a relatively short distance to the highest point.

After crossing a saddle in the ridge the trail begins giving up some of its hard earned elevation gain as it descends toward the pools.

Water can be found in numerous catchments with potholes dotting portions of the slickrock.

Upon arriving at the pools it is time to search out a peaceful spot to cool your feet and enjoy a picnic.

The trip back to the trailhead takes about half the time as the hike up to the pools. A small gift shop at the trailhead has a few snacks, drinks and other items. There is also a water spigot in the picnic area of the trailhead. Romero Pools sees a lot of traffic from hikers of all ages. Families with toddlers should plan on carrying them almost the entire distance. Be sure and carry more than enough drinking water and don't rely upon obtaining water from the pools. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.