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  • Recreational Access / Special Use Permits

    people hikingPermits are required for Cienega Creek Natural Preserve, Empirita Ranch Access, and overnight parking at Pima County trailheads. Please call (520) 877-6158 to request a permit or come in to the Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation Administration Building at 3500 West River Road Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Permits are not issued on Saturdays, Sundays, or county holidays.

    Trailheads

    Trailhead Parking
    Overnight trailhead parking
    (520) 877-6158
    Pima County-managed trailheads open at dawn and close at dusk, except as otherwise noted. Be aware that trailhead hours may vary according to location and managing agency. The following trailheads allow after hours parking with a permit: Avenida de Suzenu, Bear Canyon, Campbell, El Camino del Cerro, Pima Canyon, Finger Rock, and Ventana Canyon. No after hours parking is allowed at the other Pima County trailheads. Trailhead parking permits are available at no cost.

    To request an overnight parking permit for trailheads please call (520) 877-6158 or fill the form below to request a permit, hit submit, and we will complete your permit and email it back to you. PCNRPR only issues permits Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Permits are issued within 2 business days of request.

    Request an overnight parking permit

    Cienega Creek Natural Preserve

    Cienega Creek Hiking Permit
    (520) 877-6158
    Request hiking permit
    The Cienega Creek Natural Preserve is a 3,979-acre preserve established for the preservation and protection of the natural and scenic resources of the property. The preserve extends 12 miles in length from Colossal Cave Road on the northwest to the former corners of the Empirita Ranch on the southeast. A section of the creek within the preserve has been designated as a Unique Water of Arizona due, in part, to its excellent quality of water.

    The presence of water combined with riparian vegetation creates a wildlife habitat of very high value. The habitat supports a large and diverse population of mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. Birders regard Cienega Creek Preserve as an exceptional area for viewing opportunities. The preserve is managed with the objective of accommodating public use to the degree that such use will not result in degradation to the natural qualities of this special resource. Access is limited. Access permits are required and available at no fee.

    To request a hiking permit for Cienega Creek Natural Preserve please call (520) 877-6158 or email cienegacreekpreserve@pima.gov or fill in the form below to request a permit, hit submit, and we will complete your permit and email it back to you. PCNRPR only issues permits Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Permits are issued within 2 business days of request.

    Request a hiking permit

    Empirita Ranch

    Empirita Ranch Access Permit
    (520) 877-6158
    Request an access permit
    Permits for Empirita Ranch access allows up to 2 vehicles per permit. Permits will be issued for up to 5 consecutive days at a time; a maximum of 10 days per month unless demand requires shorter permit periods to allow more user access.

    To request an access permit for Empirita Ranch please call (520) 877-6158 or email empiritaranch@pima.gov or fill in the form below to request a permit, hit submit, and we will complete your permit and email it back to you. PCNRPR only issues permits Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Permits are issued within 2 business days of request.

    Request an access permit

    Agua Caliente Park

    Agua Caliente Group Use Permit
    (520) 749-3718
    Request a Group Use Permit
    A Group Use Permit is required for all functions with 20 or more guests. The maximum group size is 40 guests.

    All new permits for commercial photographers to use Pima County Parks for photo shoot backdrops have been temporarily put on hold pending an administrative review of the permitting process. Under existing County Park Rule 1.020, all commercial activity on a county park must have the prior written permission of the Pima County Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation Department.

    Research and Scientific Study: Activities that involve collecting of water, plants, animals; netting, banding or marking of wildlife, or access to restricted areas, is considered research or science study. Research and scientific studies must have prior permission from the Pima County Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation.
    For information contact: Pima County Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation Department at 520-877-6000.

    Request a Group Use Permit

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    Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation

    3500 W. River Road
    Tucson, AZ 85741

    (520) 724-5000


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