Best deserts in Tucson

Check out the top deserts in Tucson, reviewed and ranked by the city’s locals
1. Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
1. Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
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224 local reviews
2021 N Kinney Rd, Tucson
Closed · Opens 7:30 AM
+1 520-883-1380
AquariumZooMuseum
Robin
The Desert Museum is ranked on TripAdvisor.com as one of the Top 10 Museums in the country and the #1 Tucson…
Lindsay
Although it's called a museum, this facility – about 15 miles west of downtown Tucson – is actually a zoo. In…
Ryan
This is a living zoo and museum! Enjoy their hiking trails through the desert (bring walking shoes) to see…
1. Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
1. Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
host-0host-1host-2
224 local reviews
2021 N Kinney Rd, Tucson
Closed · Opens 7:30 AM
+1 520-883-1380
Robin
Robin
The Desert Museum is ranked on TripAdvisor.com as one of the Top 10 Museums in the country and the #1 Tucson attraction. Unlike most…
Lindsay
Lindsay
Although it's called a museum, this facility – about 15 miles west of downtown Tucson – is actually a zoo. In fact, 85 percent of what…
Ryan
Ryan
This is a living zoo and museum! Enjoy their hiking trails through the desert (bring walking shoes) to see native animals in their natural…
2. Sabino Canyon
2. Sabino Canyon
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100 local reviews
Sabino Canyon, Catalina Foothills
Natural featureEstablishment
Jon
Soaring mountains, deep canyons, and the unique plants and animals of the Sonoran Desert found here. The…
Silvia
Sabino Canyon is a significant canyon located in the Santa Catalina Mountains and the Coronado National Forest…
Marie
20-minute drive; A true desert oasis. Water flows through Sabino Creek and pools among the rocks during the…
2. Sabino Canyon
2. Sabino Canyon
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100 local reviews
Sabino Canyon, Catalina Foothills
Jon
Jon
Soaring mountains, deep canyons, and the unique plants and animals of the Sonoran Desert found here. The wonders of the desert foothills and…
Silvia
Silvia
Sabino Canyon is a significant canyon located in the Santa Catalina Mountains and the Coronado National Forest north of Tucson, Arizona,…
Marie
Marie
20-minute drive; A true desert oasis. Water flows through Sabino Creek and pools among the rocks during the summer and winter rainy…
3. Saguaro National Park
3. Saguaro National Park
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100 local reviews
Saguaro National Park
+1 520-733-5100
ParkPoint of interestEstablishment
Eddie
For the serious nature hiking enthusiast, Saguaro National Park is uniquely situated around the 500 square…
Chris
A great place to explore the Tucson Desert, either on foot or in the car. Located only 4 miles from your…
Denise
Saguaro National Park is a United States national park in Pima County in southeastern Arizona. The 92,000-acre…
3. Saguaro National Park
3. Saguaro National Park
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100 local reviews
Saguaro National Park
+1 520-733-5100
Eddie
Eddie
For the serious nature hiking enthusiast, Saguaro National Park is uniquely situated around the 500 square miles that make up Tucson; which…
Chris
Chris
A great place to explore the Tucson Desert, either on foot or in the car. Located only 4 miles from your location, Saguaro East is the…
Denise
Denise
Saguaro National Park is a United States national park in Pima County in southeastern Arizona. The 92,000-acre (37,000 ha) park consists of…
4. Sonoran Desert Museum
4. Sonoran Desert Museum
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22 local reviews
311 N Court Ave, Tucson
Closed · Opens 8:30 AM
(520) 883-2702
MuseumPoint of interestEstablishment
Rob And Linda
The Desert Museum is ranked on TripAdvisor.com as one of the Top 10 Museums in the country and the #1 Tucson…
Marie
40-minute drive; Great place to become acquainted with the Sonora Desert's flora and fauna, such as…
Melanie
A renowned destination and must-go-to for first-time visitors and residents alike, this combination of…
4. Sonoran Desert Museum
4. Sonoran Desert Museum
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22 local reviews
311 N Court Ave, Tucson
Closed · Opens 8:30 AM
(520) 883-2702
Rob And Linda
Rob And Linda
The Desert Museum is ranked on TripAdvisor.com as one of the Top 10 Museums in the country and the #1 Tucson attraction. Unlike most…
Marie
Marie
40-minute drive; Great place to become acquainted with the Sonora Desert's flora and fauna, such as hummingbirds, javelin, scorpions, etc. …
Melanie
Melanie
A renowned destination and must-go-to for first-time visitors and residents alike, this combination of botanical garden, zoo, and natural…
5. Tohono Chul Park
5. Tohono Chul Park
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28 local reviews
7366 North Paseo Del Norte, Tucson
Closed · Opens 8:00 AM
+1 520-742-6455
ParkRestaurantFood
Chelsea
The grounds are fabulous and location great. Here you can see what the desert blooming desert looks like if …
Linda
Sets on 49 acres of lush desert surroundings Themed botanical gardens among giant saguaros and fragile…
Marilyn
Not far and a real gem in the desert. Stroll through the park and learn about the desert plants. Afterwards…
5. Tohono Chul Park
5. Tohono Chul Park
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28 local reviews
7366 North Paseo Del Norte, Tucson
Closed · Opens 8:00 AM
+1 520-742-6455
Chelsea
Chelsea
The grounds are fabulous and location great. Here you can see what the desert blooming desert looks like if you don't want to hunting and…
Linda
Linda
Sets on 49 acres of lush desert surroundings Themed botanical gardens among giant saguaros and fragile beautiful hummingbirds. Treasures of…
Marilyn
Marilyn
Not far and a real gem in the desert. Stroll through the park and learn about the desert plants. Afterwards have lunch in the restaurant on…
6. Mount Lemmon
6. Mount Lemmon
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105 local reviews
Mount Lemmon
Natural featureEstablishment
Chris
The 27 mile Mt Lemmon Scenic Byway takes you from the heat of the desert to the cool of a pine tree forest…
Lindsay
Regarded as one of the most scenic drives in southeast Arizona, the Mount Lemmon Scenic Byway takes travelers…
Wade
There is actually an active Ski Lift 33 miles away on Mt. Lemmon and it is about an hours drive from the…
6. Mount Lemmon
6. Mount Lemmon
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105 local reviews
Mount Lemmon
Chris
Chris
The 27 mile Mt Lemmon Scenic Byway takes you from the heat of the desert to the cool of a pine tree forest. Pack a light supper and head…
Lindsay
Lindsay
Regarded as one of the most scenic drives in southeast Arizona, the Mount Lemmon Scenic Byway takes travelers to the upper reaches of Mount…
Wade
Wade
There is actually an active Ski Lift 33 miles away on Mt. Lemmon and it is about an hours drive from the house. The drive up the mountain is…
7. Tohono Chul Park 45965
7. Tohono Chul Park 45965
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24 local reviews
Tohono Chul Park 45965, Tucson
Closed · Opens 8:00 AM
+1 520-742-6455
Point of interestEstablishment
Denise
"One of the World's Great Botanical Gardens" - Travel + Leisure; "One of the Top 22 Secret Gardens in the U.S…
Justin
A fantastic strolling botanical garden on a 140 acres, patio dining with a superb brunch, gift shop, art…
Amanda
A desert botanical garden that is set along a beautiful, paved walking path. You will not be disappointed!…
7. Tohono Chul Park 45965
7. Tohono Chul Park 45965
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24 local reviews
Tohono Chul Park 45965, Tucson
Closed · Opens 8:00 AM
+1 520-742-6455
Denise
Denise
"One of the World's Great Botanical Gardens" - Travel + Leisure; "One of the Top 22 Secret Gardens in the U.S. and Canada" - National…
Justin
Justin
A fantastic strolling botanical garden on a 140 acres, patio dining with a superb brunch, gift shop, art gallery. Great place to get some…
Amanda
Amanda
A desert botanical garden that is set along a beautiful, paved walking path. You will not be disappointed! They have an excellent gift shop…
8. Mission San Xavier del Bac
8. Mission San Xavier del Bac
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83 local reviews
1950 W San Xavier Rd, Tucson
+1 520-294-2624
ChurchPlace of worshipPoint of interest
Lindsay
Known as the White Dove of the Desert, the mission was founded in 1692. This beautiful mission appears to…
Joy
There are two historical missions in the area. They are very interesting because they are still used by the…
Julianne
One of the oldest buildings in the desert southwest, this spot is easily one of the most iconic areas to…
8. Mission San Xavier del Bac
8. Mission San Xavier del Bac
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83 local reviews
1950 W San Xavier Rd, Tucson
+1 520-294-2624
Lindsay
Lindsay
Known as the White Dove of the Desert, the mission was founded in 1692. This beautiful mission appears to magically rise from the desert…
Joy
Joy
There are two historical missions in the area. They are very interesting because they are still used by the Native Americans. The copper…
Julianne
Julianne
One of the oldest buildings in the desert southwest, this spot is easily one of the most iconic areas to visit. The mission also has small…
9. Gates Pass
9. Gates Pass
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44 local reviews
Gates Pass
Natural featureEstablishment
Terri
If you want to see some iconic Southern Arizona scenery, just take a short drive through Gates Pass. I never…
Rainy (Irene)
Beautiful drive through a curvy desert mountain (avoid if you're the car-sick type)... fills your eyes with…
Jill
A beautiful place to watch the sunset over the desert. There is a parking area with a few picnic tables. A…
9. Gates Pass
9. Gates Pass
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44 local reviews
Gates Pass
Terri
Terri
If you want to see some iconic Southern Arizona scenery, just take a short drive through Gates Pass. I never get bored of the beautiful…
Rainy (Irene)
Rainy (Irene)
Beautiful drive through a curvy desert mountain (avoid if you're the car-sick type)... fills your eyes with sahuaros... and offers the most…
Jill
Jill
A beautiful place to watch the sunset over the desert. There is a parking area with a few picnic tables. A few short trails start/end at…
10. Tucson Botanical Gardens
10. Tucson Botanical Gardens
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53 local reviews
2150 N Alvernon Way, Tucson
Closed · Opens 8:30 AM
+1 520-326-9686
ParkPoint of interestEstablishment
Eddie
Tucson Botanical Gardens is a five-and-a-half-acre collection of sixteen residentially scaled urban gardens in…
Kristine
This is an awesome way to spend a leisurely day, enjoying the lush desert gardens. There is a great Cafe in…
Riemke
Well worth a visit to view their excellent butterfly exhibit and desert plantings. Nice for a stroll and…
10. Tucson Botanical Gardens
10. Tucson Botanical Gardens
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53 local reviews
2150 N Alvernon Way, Tucson
Closed · Opens 8:30 AM
+1 520-326-9686
Eddie
Eddie
Tucson Botanical Gardens is a five-and-a-half-acre collection of sixteen residentially scaled urban gardens in Tucson, Arizona, United…
Kristine
Kristine
This is an awesome way to spend a leisurely day, enjoying the lush desert gardens. There is a great Cafe in the interior that serves…
Riemke
Riemke
Well worth a visit to view their excellent butterfly exhibit and desert plantings. Nice for a stroll and peaceful setting and information…
11. Sabino Canyon Visitor Center and Bookstore
11. Sabino Canyon Visitor Center and Bookstore
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69 local reviews
5700 N Sabino Canyon Rd, Tucson
Closed · Opens 8:00 AM
+1 520-749-8700
Book storeStorePoint of interest
Carol
This significant canyon is located in the Santa Catalina Mountains in the Coronado National Forest on the…
Tiane
Great hiking/walking trails, wildlife and beautiful desert scenery. There is also a guided tour tram that…
Marilyn
Experience the beauty of one of the most unique Southwestern desert canyons on a Sabino Canyon tram ride…
11. Sabino Canyon Visitor Center and Bookstore
11. Sabino Canyon Visitor Center and Bookstore
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69 local reviews
5700 N Sabino Canyon Rd, Tucson
Closed · Opens 8:00 AM
+1 520-749-8700
Carol
Carol
This significant canyon is located in the Santa Catalina Mountains in the Coronado National Forest on the outskirts of Tucson. It's a GREAT…
Tiane
Tiane
Great hiking/walking trails, wildlife and beautiful desert scenery. There is also a guided tour tram that takes you to the top of the…
Marilyn
Marilyn
Experience the beauty of one of the most unique Southwestern desert canyons on a Sabino Canyon tram ride. Sabino Canyon is a natural desert…
12. Mount Lemmon
12. Mount Lemmon
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39 local reviews
Mount Lemmon, Mount Lemmon
LocalityPolitical
Emily
From the bottom of Catalina Highway to the top of Mount Lemmon, you cross seven different biomes, from desert…
John & Susie
In 1 hour you can drive from desert to alpine elevations, or stop anywhere along the way. Great hiking. If you…
Jacqueline
The Sonoran desert has a number of "sky islands" with plants generally found further north inthe US. Mt…
12. Mount Lemmon
12. Mount Lemmon
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39 local reviews
Mount Lemmon, Mount Lemmon
Emily
Emily
From the bottom of Catalina Highway to the top of Mount Lemmon, you cross seven different biomes, from desert to oak grassland to mixed…
John & Susie
John & Susie
In 1 hour you can drive from desert to alpine elevations, or stop anywhere along the way. Great hiking. If you find yourself at the village…
Jacqueline
Jacqueline
The Sonoran desert has a number of "sky islands" with plants generally found further north inthe US. Mt. Lemmon (named for Sarah Lemmon, a…