Set on the banks of Molino Creek on the slopes of Arizona’s Santa Catalina Mountains just ten miles from Tucson, Molino Basin Campground has one thing that sets it apart from most of the other sites in this spectacularly scenic region -- its low elevation means that the campground has a longer opening season, making it a furrific spot for a Fido-friendly, late-fall getaway!
Facilities at Molino are a little basic. You won’t find any electricity, RV hookups or showers, but the surrounding area is full of rewards for those willing to "ruff" it. The campsite is fringed by oak and mesquite and boasts striking views of stunning rock formations. If you can, visit in the spring, when the wildflowers surrounding the site burst into a riot of color. Reservations are essential to secure a spot in one of Molino’s group sites, but they aren’t available for individual campsites, so it’s best to arrive early. Fees for the group site are $100; rates for the individual sites can be as low as $5 per night.
Not only is the site itself beautiful, but Molino is close to some fantastic recreation options for nature-loving pups and their people. The Arizona Trail passes right through the campground; you and your pooch are free to stroll a stretch, but keep in mind that parts of the route are off-limits to doggos due to wildlife concerns. Look up a map before you head out! The seven-mile out-and-back Molino Basin Trail might be a better bet, but the path does have a few sharp inclines, and there’s plenty of loose terrain, so watch your step! It’s well worth the walk if you can make it, though. The trail leads to the Pusch Wilderness, where you’ll be treated to fabulous views of the areas peaks and canyons. Just be sure to keep your furry friend out of the Sheep Management Area!
Molino Basin Campground doesn’t have any wifi, and cell coverage ranges from spotty to non-existent for most networks, so consider your camping choice carefully if you need to stay in constant contact. Otherwise, enjoy your digital detox! Drinking water isn’t available at the campground, so bring your own bottle or take a water filter with you. Campfires are allowed, but regulations can change with the weather. Remember to bring waste bags for your pupper, and have a pawesome trip!