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The Fabulous West – Traveling with Pets to Tucson

There are so many fun things to do with pets in Tucson, it’s such a pet friendly place! Earlier this week, we covered Phoenix’s fabulous dog friendly hiking trails. Today, we’re taking a look at another Arizona city just 90 miles to the south: Tucson.  Smaller and less developed, yet still a booming metropolis – Tucson is to Phoenix what San Diego is to Los Angeles, for comparison.  Like Phoenix, Tucson is an extremely dog friendly. Put traveling with pets to Tucson on your list of places to visit. You will find that most restaurants with outside patios and many stores and establishments won’t balk much at you entering with your dog – the exception being, of course grocery stores.As always, you should check with establishments before assuming you and your boxer can just waltz in.

Things to Do

Check out our Tucson Travel Guide for things to do. But first read up on some of them below.

Tucson has 11 dog parks spanning all areas of the city. Gene C. Reid Park at 900 S Randolph Way is an off leash park as is the McDonald District Park at 411 N Harrison Road.  Palo Verde Park at 300 S. Mann  Avenue in Tucson  and Anamax Park at 17501 S Camino de las Quintas in Sahaurita are both off leash.  Depending on what part of the city you are staying in, a dog park isn’t too far away! As with Phoenix, the Tucson area is gorgeous, mountainous and offers many hikes you can do with your hound.

The Santa Catalina, Tucson, Superstition (not technically its own range, but the name is just so fabulous!), and Rincon ranges as well as Saguaro National Park offer many opportunities to hit the trails with your dog.  Tucson has many  fantastic hiking trails you will definitely want to explore. From narrow ravines to saddles with views of the city on one side and desert as far as the eye can see on the other side, hikes in Tucson can lead you to areas where it is very easy to imagine yourself in the Wild Wild West.

Saguaro National Park in Tucson is an amazing desert oasis filled with the Saguaro cactus native to the region. Full of flora and fauna common to the area, the park is as information and educational as it is beautiful.  The park is located (as is the city of Tucson) in the Sonora Desert and spans an area of 91,440 acres, of which 70,905 acres is designated as wilderness. The Tucson Mountains lie to the west side of the park while the Rincon Mountains are in the east. While the park is named for the mighty Saguaro cactus that is native to the Sonora desert, the park also has lovely examples of barrel cactus, cholla cactus and prickly pear cactus as well. Two threatened species of animals live in the park- the Less Long Nosed Bat and the Mexican Spotted Owl. I’ll be honest here, fellow dog owners, I am not much of an outdoors kind of gal, and national parks, despite their beauty, tend to bore me. Not Saguaro. I was captivated by the terrain, the cactus, how to tell how old the saguaro are (it is SO COOL), and all the other information that the visit to Saguaro National Park imparted on me.  Now, as for dogs and the park, it is pretty much like other national parks. Dogs are allowed only on the roadways and picnic areas. Dogs are not allowed on any trail, off roadways or inside visitor areas. Your dog must be on a leash no longer than six feet in length at all times. Like I said, pretty much the same as in any national park. The exception is service animals, who are permitted to go anywhere their owner does. Tucson also has an abundance of off-leash dog parks.

See our long list with maps to each in our Tucson Travel Guide. Tucson is a beautiful city with bustling commerce and modern amenities. Yet the majesty of the Sonora Desert and the mountains surrounding the city that give off an aura of mystery make you feel like you have gone back in time a bit while visiting Tucson. It’s a great break from the hustle and bustle of our normal lives.  Pet Hotels of America has an extensive listing of pet friendly lodgings in Tucson. From gorgeous spa and golf course properties like the Hilton El Conquistador resort to La Qunitas and Motel 6s, there is a hotel for every vacation, personality, taste, and budget that will accommodate you, your family and your dog.

Remember, booking early is essential when traveling with pets. See what’s available today so you get the best deals. Start your search for pet friendly hotels in Tucson here. Then sit back and think of all the fun things you can do when you get there!

Posted by Lisa on Jun 18, 2011 in Blog, no comments
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