What To Pack When You’re Visiting Southern Arizona

The more you explore, the more you’ll discover in Marana.

In Marana, our motto is “Be prepared.”  Wait…no…that’s the Boy Scouts. 

In Marana, we’re prepared for everything.  Well, maybe not tsunamis… If there’s a tsunami in Marana, we’ve got bigger problems to deal with.  Let me try again. 

In Marana, we’re ready for you! Are you ready for us?  I mean, not in a weird way.  Just in a tourist way.  You know what I mean, don’t you? 

Make sure you’ve got everything you need for your trip to Marana.  Here’s what to pack when you visit Southern Arizona (Nailed it!):

1. Sun Gear

Southern Arizona enjoys abundant sunshine all year long.  Every winter, visitors from cold weather climates across the world flock to the desert for a respite of warmth.  But you know what else Arizona has a lot of?  Sunburns. Seriously people, wear your sunscreen! A hat will also help you beat the sun. It’s amazing what difference a little shade can make, and when you don your favorite baseball cap, that shade will follow you wherever you go. Many activewear brands also offer sun-protective clothing, which can keep you safe and cool in the desert.  You’ll also want to make sure you’ve got a water bottle close at hand.  With humidity levels often in the single digits, you really can’t drink enough water.  

2. Swimsuit

There's nothing like a dip in a cool pool after a desert adventure, so get that swimsuit on and take a dip!  A number of swimming pools are available across Marana, and for the intrepid adventurers, you can hike to one of several natural pools in the Santa Catalina Mountains.  The trailhead to Romero Pools is just a short drive from Marana, and after the moderately challenging hike to these waters, you’ll be ready to dive in.  

3. Golf Clubs

With beautiful weather all year long, it probably isn’t too much of a surprise that Southern Arizona is a golfer’s paradise.  Tucked into the Tortolita Mountains are three world-class golf clubs, their immaculately maintained greens carpeting the rich Sonoran desert floor.  Practice your chip shot or your putting amid the sprawling beauty of saguaros, palo verdes, and agaves.
az hot air balloon

4. Hiking Boots

Wherever you are in Southern Arizona, you’re never far from a trailhead.  The mountains around Marana offer all kinds of different hiking.  Driving from the base of Mt. Lemmon to the summit is like driving from Mexico to Canada.  As you climb the steep slopes up Mt. Lemmon Highway, you’ll pass from high desert, through grasslands, across riparian corridors, and eventually into tall pines interwoven with alpine meadows.  

For a lower elevation option, the Town of Marana proudly maintains almost 30 miles of backcountry trails in the Tortolitas, where raptors soar overhead, javelinas trot across the trails, and ancient petroglyphs blend into colorful rocks.  Those hiking boots are a must-have as you wander across this unforgettable landscape.  

5. Bike Helmet

If you’re visiting from far away, it may be tough to pack a bike, but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.  A few of the local hotels and resorts, like the Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain will let you borrow their bikes, or if that’s not an option, we’ve got several local bike shops, including HMS Bikes, with rentals available. 

With your two-wheeled friend and your trusty helmet, you’re ready to hit the road.  And what a road it is!  The Shared-Use Path in Marana skirts the banks of the Santa Cruz, a historic trail once traveled by Juan Bautista de Anza from Mexico to San Francisco, California.  Its smooth surface and magnificent views are sure to delight as you glide through the desert.  Conveniently, this path connects seamlessly with the Loop, a network of connected paths that surround Tucson.  As the Loop has increased in popularity, a number of local businesses now allow easy access from the path.  Stop by for a beer at the Catalina Brewing Company, which can be easily reached from one spur off the Loop. 

catalina brewing company

One last thing before you hit the bike path—have you put on your sunscreen? 

6. Sense of Adventure

Don't forget your sense of adventure (and lots of sunscreen).  No matter where your interests lie, Southern Arizona has got something for you.  Disc golf?  We’ve got that. Hot air balloons? Check.  Rock climbing? Yeah, we’ve got some pretty gneiss rocks here.  Cactus climbing?  What are you, some kind of animal?  Just go to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum and stare at them instead.  It’s more comfortable that way for everyone. 

If I wanted to give one piece of advice, it’s just to come to Southern Arizona with a willingness to try almost anything.  This beautiful corner of America has so much to offer, and the more you explore, the more you’ll discover.  Discover Marana.

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