Golder Ranch Parking Area

Main Golder Ranch Parking Area. July 2016.
Main Golder Ranch Parking Area. July 2016.

Overview

Location

Driving Time and Distance from Tucson

  • 40 Minutes from Speedway and Campbell
  • 21.3 miles from Speedway and Campbell
  • Vehicle Access: Passenger Car/Paved Roads/Short Section of Passenger Car Friendly Dirt Road - take care pulling into the parking area, the entrance to the parking area is sometimes in rough condition.

Fees and Services

  • Fee: No (There is no fee required at the parking area but the surrounding land is State Trust Land where a permit is required.)
  • Restrooms: No
  • Water: No

Additional Notes

    The directions/mileage given here are for the largest/most popular/easiest to reach Golder Ranch area parking - there are other parking areas along the dirt roads in the area, some of which require high-clearance/4wd vehicles to reach.

Driving Directions

Driving Directions from the Speedway and Campbell intersection in Tucson - Golder Ranch Parking Area:

  • North on Campbell (3.5 miles)
  • Left on River Road (2.2 miles)
  • Right on Oracle/AZ-77 (13.7 miles)
  • Right on East Golder Ranch Road (1.9 miles)
  • Just before the parking area the pavement ends and the road bends to the right, the unsigned parking area is a large dirt area on the right (the parking area is before the cattle guard).

Google Maps Directions from the Speedway and Campbell intersection in Tucson to Golder Ranch Parking Area.

Pusch Ridge - taken from E Equestrian Trail road north of the Golder Ranch Parking Area. July 2016.
Pusch Ridge - taken from E Equestrian Trail road north of the Golder Ranch Parking Area. July 2016.

 

Resources

In addition to the main/first parking area there are two notable parking areas – one to the north, one to the south – that are best accessed with a high clearance vehicle – road conditions vary quite a bit and could be quite a bit rougher than you would expect so close to homes and major roads, take care! (And be careful if ‘exploring’ in this area, the land ownership in the area is a mix of private, state and federal land.)

  • North: Instead of pulling into the main parking area turn left to take E Equestrain Trail northeast to a junction with FR642 (Baby Jesus Ridge Road) at a corral. At the junction take a right – the corral area is well used and you may have to look carefully to find where FR642 leaves the corral area – from here proceed as far as you feel comfortable – there is a good access point near the forest border. There is a good chance that your parking area will be on Arizona State Trust Land which requires a permit.

The corral at the junction of FR642 and Equestrain Trail road (FR462 leaves to the left) - there is additional parking along FR462 although a high clearance vehicle is required (potentially 4wd depending on conditions/distance). July 2016.
The corral at the junction of FR642 and Equestrain Trail road (FR462 leaves to the left) - there is additional parking along FR462 although a high clearance vehicle is required (potentially 4wd depending on conditions/distance). July 2016.

  • South: Instead of pulling into the main parking area stay right, across a cattle guard, to continue south on Golder Ranch Road. At a Y junction turn right onto FR 643 (‘Cargodera Canyon Road’) and take that to the a large sandy parking area at the Forest Boundary – this is also the boundary of Santa Catalina State Park (Fee Area). It is legal to drive past this parking area and continue on FR 643 – however 643 deteriorates quickly and becomes so rocky that you might find that it is faster and more pleasant to hike the road vs. driving the road unless you are on an ATV (and eventually you will reach some true 4WD rock crawling obstacles). The main large sandy parking area is Arizona State Trust Land which requires a permit.

Two gates leaving the Golder Ranch Trailhead - the gate to the left leads into Catalina State Park (a fee area) and to the left the Trail Link trail follows FR643 towards the Sutherland Trail. August 2017.
Two gates leaving the Golder Ranch Trailhead - the gate to the left leads into Catalina State Park (a fee area) and to the left the Trail Link trail follows FR643 towards the Sutherland Trail. August 2017.
Left: The Golder Ranch South parking area is 'unofficial' does not have any parking signs but is a large, obvious, sandy area with plenty of room. August 2017.
Right: Two gates leaving the Golder Ranch Trailhead - the gate to the left leads into Catalina State Park (a fee area) and to the left the Trail Link trail follows FR643 towards the Sutherland Trail. August 2017.

A beautiful view of Pusch Ridge from the Golder Ranch South parking area. August 2017.
A beautiful view of Pusch Ridge from the Golder Ranch South parking area. August 2017.

All Trailheads - Map

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Santa Catalina Mountains - Trailheads

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Agua Caliente Hill South Trailhead: 32.274321, -110.712042
American Flag Trailhead: 32.580837, -110.720361
Avenida de Suzenu Trailhead: 32.298201, -110.730737
Babad Do\'ag Observation Site and Trailhead Parking: 32.309311, -110.720727
Bear Canyon Trailhead: 32.300779, -110.802350
Bigelow Trailhead: 32.409781, -110.713268
Box Camp Trailhead: 32.419668, -110.739977
Bug Spring Trailhead: 32.345101, -110.718245
Upper Butterfly Trailhead: 32.427277, -110.740810
Romero Canyon Trailhead: 32.425211, -110.908883
Charouleau Gap Trailhead: 32.520380, -110.884755
Davis Spring Trailhead: 32.457276, -110.637932
Golder Ranch Parking Area: 32.474823, -110.892434
Gordon Hirabayashi Recreation Site End of the Road Parking Circle: 32.336230, -110.719862
Gordon Hirabayashi Recreation Site Upper Parking Area: 32.339662, -110.717267
Hairpin Turn: 32.311623, -110.742468
Incinerator Ridge Parking Area: 32.411710, -110.705315
Iris Dewhirst Pima Canyon Trailhead: 32.353367, -110.948284
Linda Vista Trailhead: 32.380712, -110.961143
Lizard Rock Parking Pullout: 32.382799, -110.694588
Lower Green Mountain Trailhead: 32.374255, -110.690398
Marshall Gulch Trailhead: 32.428054, -110.755743
Milepost 0: 32.304094, -110.745165
Mint Spring Trailhead: 32.440167, -110.766155
Molino Basin Parking Area: 32.337338, -110.690988
Mount Bigelow Butterfly Trailhead: 32.415841, -110.714039
Oracle Ridge Trailhead: 32.451491, -110.754335
Palisade Trailhead: 32.407339, -110.719898
Red Ridge Trailhead: 32.448284, -110.769479
Richard McKee Finger Rock Trailhead: 32.336174, -110.910111
Ridgeline Parking Pullout: 32.405573, -110.699480
Sabino Canyon Visitor Center: 32.309540, -110.823065
San Pedro Vista: 32.400287, -110.690083
Soldier Trail Trailhead: 32.308865, -110.735603
Mount Lemmon Recreation Area: 32.440483, -110.785733
Sunset Trailhead: 32.427543, -110.741826
Upper Green Mountain Trailhead: 32.397796, -110.689435
Ventana Canyon Trailhead: 32.327884, -110.852938
Lower Oracle Ridge Trailhead: 32.604757, -110.757670
Italian Spring Trailhead: 32.306189, -110.574231
The Lake Trailhead: 32.321015, -110.620599
Summit Trailheads: 32.441073, -110.783767
Redington Pass Backcountry Touring Area: 32.306522, -110.609590
Golder Ranch Parking Area - South: 32.452877, -110.890730
Golder Ranch Parking Area - North: 32.482202, -110.876399
The Cordones Parking South: 32.527303, -110.918931
The Cordones Parking West: 32.526375, -110.928282
The Cordones Parking East: 32.554449, -110.880996
American Avenue Trailhead: 32.621216, -110.746685
Catalina State Park Equestrian Center: 32.429275, -110.927125
Romero Ruins Parking: 32.423239, -110.918703
Kannally Ranch House Parking Area: 32.609041, -110.733156
Oak Woodland Parking Area: 32.610119, -110.739510
Oracle State Park Group Use Area Parking: 32.609640, -110.735049
Callas Drive Gap Road Parking: 32.600635, -110.772304

Update Notes

  • 2017/11/27 – Text edits, improved the north and south parking area description, added new pictures
  • 2017/8/5 – Img Srcset update, added information about the North/South parking areas