Romero Ruin

Round Trip Distance: 1 mile
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 2690 - 2744 feet
Cellphone: 3-5 bars
Time: 30 mins.
Trailhead: Romero Ruin
Fee: $7/vehicle
Attractions: Hohokam Ruin

The Romero Ruin trail is located in the Catalina State Park near Tucson, Arizona. The ruin is the site of a Hohokam village that dates back to about 500 A.D. The site also includes the ruin of Francisco Romero's ranch that is thought to have been built prior to 1850. Erroneous legends of gold buried at the site led to much damage being done by treasure seekers and pot hunters. Today there are severe punishments for anyone digging at an archaeological site or removing artifacts.

Catalina State Park is located about 12 miles north of Tucson, Arizona just off of Highway 77. The Romero Ruin trailhead is just inside the park across from the second pullout. There is a picnic area and ramada at the parking area but at present there are no restrooms. Restrooms can be found at the entrance station and the trailhead further up the road.

The trail crosses a seasonal wash, or arroyo, that is normally dry. At times or moisture a little wading may be required.

After crossing the wash a series of steps lead up the small hill to the ruin.

Once on the hill the trail begins a loop that travels through and around the village. Take the left fork and follow the trail in the clockwise direction.

Interpretive signs provide all the information necessary to turn this short hike into a rich experience of learning. This sign speaks of a wall, that was probably at least 5 feet tall, that was built around the village some time after A.D. 1150.

Most of the structures remain as piles of rubble which until a time when further excavations can be done is the best way to preserve them.

Be sure and leave any artifacts behind for others to enjoy and for archaeologists to study. Report anyone digging or removing items to the park rangers.

During early spring there are a large variety of wildflowers all along the trail. The wildflowers give way to cactus blossoms and various hues of green as the trees and brush develop their summer foliage. The pictures for this post were taken in the latter half of March at a time when the daily temperatures were barely reaching the 90 degree fahrenheit mark. The Romero Ruin trail is a good place to learn a little of the Hohokam culture that once thrived in the area. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.