Nature Trails in Coronado National Forest, Arizona

Southern Arizona is one of the most beautiful and best places to be during wintertime. This January I went hiking in Coronado National Forest, located about 25 miles from Green Valley, south of Tucson, Arizona.


The weather that day had a high of around 65-70*F (although it was chillier in the shade) and a slight brisk breeze. All in all, perfect hiking weather!


My grandma and I love to take our puppy hiking on the nature trail at Madera Canyon, which is a part of the Coronado National Forest. The nature trail is 2.7 miles one-way, so about 5.5 miles round-trip.

My favorite hiking companions

I’ve been walking along this nature trail for YEARS. It is definitely one of my favorite places in southern Arizona to hike since it is so close to home and the weather is always lovely. There are other hikes at Madera Canyon and Coronado National Forest, ranging from easier to harder hikes. The nature trail is probably a level 3 out of 10 on difficulty. There are spots where it’s like a stair-stepper climbing up rocks but it is mostly long patches of smooth trail. Like in the photo below, there are few resting points with benches to sit, relax and enjoy the view.

The city of Tucson is in the distance

At a few points in the hike, the trail comes right up against a steep cliff or you have to cross over a trickling stream. It’s nothing too extreme, but it is something to keep in mind.

The views of the mountains and the forest along the hike are absolutely gorgeous!


There are bathrooms at the top of the trail and a parking lot on both ends. Throughout the national forest at the various trailheads there are more bathrooms, parking lots, information panels, picnic areas and even grills. It is $5 per day to hike and park your car, and annual passes are around $40. This park is always well-maintained — even during the government shutdown, the trash cans and bathrooms were maintained. You can bring dogs so long as they are on a leash and people, like myself, are always bringing their four-legged companions for a beautiful hike.


Even though she’s a shih-tzu and this breed isn’t particularly known as being great hiking dogs, my puppy is the best hiking companion!

Due to its location and simplicity, this hike is very busy. There are always people on the trail (I don’t think I’ve ever been hiking and not seen other people), however, everyone is always so friendly and considerate of one another.

The nature trail at Madera Canyon in Coronado National Forest is definitely one of my top favorite hikes and I recommend it to everyone! It’s simple enough that anyone can do it, but challenging enough to get in a good workout and enjoy nature.



Tips for this hike:

  • Wear comfortable shoes and clothes
  • Wear sunscreen, bring a hat and sunglasses
  • Bring plenty of water
  • Bring a snack (I always get hungry at the top of the hike)
  • Enjoy nature!


Thank you for reading! Have you ever visited Coronado National Forest? Do you want to visit? Let me know in the comments below and like this post if you want more like it!




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