The is one of the more popular hikes in the area - largely because of the water pools that greet you at the end (most of the year - they had water when we were there on April 18, 2015) in a landscape that is totally parched. Except for the first kilometre or two that is a wide sandy flat path it is pretty much up hill the whole way on good trails but which have lots of cobbles on them. The net gain in altitude is about 1000 feet over 4.3 km. The highest point on the trail is before you get to the pools and then you lose about 200 feet dropping back down to the pools. There is no sign that you are at the pools - it is pretty obvious that you are there. The Romera trail continues on past the pools for those that want to go further. The amount of water you need to pack in will depend on the temperature. The parking lots look like they would hold hundreds of cars and there is a little shop in the parking lot to buy drinks and other things. This is a state park so there is a fee to get in. Hard to classify how difficult this trail is since difficulty is in the eyes of the beholder. It is not flat so I can't call it easy. It is not very long and it is not one of those hikes where if you stumble the drop offs are 100s of feet such that you are risking your life so I can't call it extreme. As with all desert hikes starting right away at dawn will make it easier since you will need to carry less water. I would recommend hiking shoes but I saw many people doing it in just runners.
Lots of information (including directions) on the park web site: http://azstateparks.com/Parks/CATA/. It is east of the road on North Oracle Road (also known as the 77) south of the intersection with E. Tangerine Road. There is a large mall (Oro Valley Market Place) filling in the land SW of the E. Tangerine Road/N. Oracle Road intersection. The entrance to this mall off of N. Oracle Road is the same intersection to access to the State Park - instead of turning into the mall turn east into the park.
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