Tucson & Pima County

Tucson is a city of just under a million people of many ethnicities. It is surrounded by five mountain ranges on the upper Sonoran Desert, one of the richest deserts in the world. There is a plethora of opportunities for recreation in the area. Tucson is the chief city of Pima County which stretches to the west and incompasses vast areas of wildland including the Pascua Yaqui Nation and the To'Hono O'odham Nation. 


Hiking and Recreation

Tucson has a wealth of hiking trails.  Near Milagro Cohousing, in the Tucson Mountains, are the Yetman Trail, Sweetwater Trail and both King Canyon and Hugh Norris Trails reaching Wasson Peak at 4687 ft. These trails are best from late fall through spring. There are also archery and shooting ranges, camp and picnic sites. Consult the website for maps and current events: http://www.pima.gov/nrpr/parks/tmp/

In the Santa Catalina Mountains, hikers can chose from low desert trails like Pima Canyon, Madera Canyon  or Bear Canyon, to Canadian Life zone trails like Butterfly or Aspen Loop.  The Park Service Vistors' Center on the Mt. Lemmon Highway is worth a stop for flora, fauna and geology orientation.  Several campsites are available and there is fishing in Rose Canyon Lake. The Mt. Lemmon Observatory offers night programs. http://skycenter.arizona.edu/

South of Tucson, in the Santa Rita Mountains, a few trails lead to spectacular Mt. Wrightson (9400 ft.) high in the pines with 100-mile vistas.  Camping and birding opportunities are available in Madera Canyon near the perennial creek. http://www.visittucson.org/listings/Madera-Canyon/6391/

A good general site for events and more links for Tucson and Pima County: http://www.pima.gov/nrpr/


Notable Nearby Destinations

Sweetwater wetlands offers superior birding opportunities. It is within cycling, walking and a few minutes of driving distance from Milagro. http://cms3.tucsonaz.gov/water/sweetwater

Tumamoc Hill is Arizona's oldest scientific reserve and a functioning desert laboratory. Owned by the University of Arizona walkers are allowed to follow the main paved road for nearly 1.5 miles to the top of the flat topped hill between the hours of 5:30pm and 7:30am.  The saguaros, barrel cactus, cholla and other plants provide wonderful views of seaasonal changes and shelter many different birds, deer, javelina and small mammals. http://www.tumamoc.org/

Arizona Sonora Desert Museum is an unusual and highly attractive blend of a zoo, botanical garden and art gallery that showcases the Sonoran Desert. Winding trails pass naturalistic compounds for animals, aviaries, an underground cave, a rocky hill, a riverine area, aquariums. Docents will personally introduce you to desert creatures around the grounds and wildlife shows take place in the comfortable Warden auditorium. There is a cafe and restaurant with tasty meals you can eat in or outside as well as gift shops. http://www.desertmuseum.org/

Tucson Botanical Gardens has a wide variety of labed plants - herbs, flowers, trees, and a cactus garden - accessed by user friendly paths.  From fall to spring there is a very popular butterfly exhibit. https://www.tucsonbotanical.org/

Tohono Chul is the place "Where Nature, Art & Culture Connect". It offers extensive desert gardens, an exceptional resturant, gift shop, gallery and cultural events - http://www.tohonochulpark.org/

Saguaro National Park (West) has an excellent visitor center (you must see the show in the auditorium)s and miles of trails, roads, picnic sites, and splendid desert scenery. 

Biosphere 2 has a unique history and now is a center for research, outreach and teaching about the Earth, its systems and place in the universe. .http://www.b2science.org/

Kitt Peak has sky wonders seen through many observatories, a visior center, night programs: http://www.noao.edu/kpno/

Pima Air and Space Museum is also called the "bone yard" and has a marvelous assemblage of aircraft http://www.pimaair.org/

Titan Missile Site offers insights into our military history http://www.titanmissilemuseum.org/

Organ Pipe Monument in the far western part of Pima County and near the border of Mexico has unique vegetation in a striking setting http://www.nps.gov/orpi/index.htm


Educational Destinations

Tucson is the home of the oldest institute of higher education, the Univeristy of Arizona.  http://www.arizona.edu/

The first community college is Arizona - Pima Community College offers many courses and schedules at several campuses around the city. http://xhttp://www.pima.edu/.

K-12 education is provided by public, private and charter schools.  Milagro Cohousing is served by Tucson Unified School District: http://www.tusd1.org/


Entertainment 

Tucson offers so many events that you are spoiled for choice. Check out what is on at: http://azstarnet.com/entertainment/


Fine Dining

Tucson has many restaurants of great ethnic variety but is notable for its Mexican food. Near Milagro is a local favorite: Teresa's Mosaic Cafe http://www.mosaiccafes.com/Teresas_Mosaic_Cafe/Teresas_Mosaic_Cafe.html

Check out the list for what is on offer in the metropolis:http://www.urbanspoon.com/pr/59/4/Tucson/Fine-Dining.html