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  • Natural Resource Area Access

    people hikingNatural Resource Area Access Permits are required for Group Use at Agua Caliente Park, access to Cienega Creek Natural Preserve, Empirita Ranch Access, and overnight parking at Pima County trailheads. Please fill out the request forms in the links below to request a permit. You may also call (520) 724-5000 or come in to the Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation office at 3500 West River Road, Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

    Permits are not issued on Saturdays, Sundays, or county holidays.

    Agua Caliente Park

    NOTICE: Agua Caliente Park is Closed for Restoration of Pond 1 

    The main construction phase for the Agua Caliente Pond 1 Restoration Project is scheduled to begin on Monday October 14 and extend through the end of November. Equipment will be used to grade and deepen the pond, hauling soil from Pond 3; install the polymer liner to reduce pond seepage and conserve water; and construct the wildlife island. Heavy equipment is being staged on site and hauling of material between Ponds 1 and 3 will commence on the 14th. Traffic control will be in place and may cause delays for vehicles using Roger Road. Residents are urged to reduce speeds and watch for flaggers. Agua Caliente Park will remain closed during this phase of construction, thus we are not issuing group use permits.

    Cienega Creek

    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.

    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

    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.

    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

    Trailhead Parking

    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: 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.

    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
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    Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation

    3500 W. River Road
    Tucson, AZ 85741

    (520) 724-5000


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