View Full Version : New Guy, looking for so Intel on Tucson.

08-07-2012, 07:22 AM
Hello All,

Let me start this with my introduction. I grew up in Southwest Colorado and someone in my family always had a Scrambler. For the last two years I had been kicking around the idea of getting one for myself, well I found one and look forward to getting to Davis-Monthan and starting the process of turning my jeep into exactly what I want it to be. Not to mention Florida doesnít have much to offer in the way of jeeping if you donít want to spend all day in the bogs.

The real reason for this post is that my wife and I will be in Tucson for two days in November to do a bit of recon. I am hoping that some of you will give us the lowdown on the parts of town to avoid as well as the parts that would be worth looking at. I will be working on DM so donít want to be too far away but we are willing to look at anything recommended.

Thanks for the help!


08-07-2012, 07:48 AM
I know a few members from Tucson but in case they don't offer any advice, you can check out this link:


08-07-2012, 03:57 PM
Patrick, What kind of information are you looking for? What do you and your wife enjoy doing?

08-07-2012, 04:25 PM
some good areas are rita ranch, vail for southeast tucson. with that most of the east side is nice (mostly older homes) with a few bad spots. marana is good but far. i live behind the base, Valencia and swan It's a newer neighborhood,i love it also there is a lot of military personal that live in my area.

08-08-2012, 10:56 AM
Thanks for the help. Any information well help and we will have the 8 days to look when we move too. We are just going to be in Tucson for such a short time in Sept. that I don’t want to spend too much time looking in neighborhoods that are not so desirable.

-gcdaz the wife and I like to stay out doors as much as we can. We look forward to jeeping and camping, if we aren’t out and about we stay pretty close to the house. We might go out to eat a time or two a week, so we want to split the difference between work (DM) and the outskirts of town.
My wife mentioned she might like to look at houses with pools or at least houses in neighborhoods with pools… What you think is this doable?

And again, thanks for the help!


08-09-2012, 11:59 AM
I don't live in Tucson, but I have kids at UA, so I've spent quite a bit of time there over the last 5 years or so. I usually Jeep farther north, so if you're after trail info, I don't have anything first-hand. I am planning a trip up the backside of Mt Lemmon in the near future, though. Mt Lemmon is the high peak just east of Tucson (accessed easily right at the edge of the city). The "Control Road" is unpaved and is the old route from Oracle to the top. Once at the top, there are pines, cool, weather, ski resort (smallish), and the town of Summerhaven which has small restaurant(s) and a place to buy cookies and pie (I think...I never had the pie). The front side of the mountain has a paved road to Tucson. In Tucson itself, there is a small zoo not too far from downtown. There are lots of interesting small shops and restaurants on 4th Ave south of Speedway a bit. If you enjoy hiking, Picacho Peak (along I-10) north of Tucson is rugged, short, and unusual (wear gloves for grabbing the steel cables). Sabino Canyon has many trails to hike, as does Catalina State Park and Saguaro National Park. Trails in Tucson tend to be steep and rugged, at least the ones I've done, but easy to get to since the city is ringed with mountain ranges. The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is another zoo, but with a strong focus on southwestern desert animals (generally considered a very good zoo). South of the city is one of the only remaining Titan missiles, still in its silo. You can tour the silo facilities. San Xavier del Bac, a spanish mission built by one of the early Spanish priests who explored this area with the conquistadors is also just south of Tucson. If you like caves, there are at least two, Colossal Cave (a dry cave east of the city) and Kartchner Caverns, a bit of a drive to the east on I-10, but a well-preserved wet cave. For house hunting, I like north or east Tucson. The area around the university is mostly old, small, student-rental focused. Oro Valley is really nice, for instance. Lots of interesting restaurants in Tucson. I can share a couple of my favorites, which I would consider lower-end. For breakfast, Bobo's (greasy spoon, nasty-looking place, always packed) or Gus Balon's (old-time cafe, homemade pie, HUGE cinnamon rolls if you get there early). I like Hungry Fox, too. For lunch, BK's (Mexican, sonoran hot dogs). Nico's for breakfast burritos or fast-food Mexican. Frog and Firkin for pizza (on University near the U of A). Also like the many sonoran hotdog stands. King Donut on Ina for HUGE donuts. And a little more upscale, Guadalajara's on Prince for Mexican food and salsa made at your table. Those are some thoughts anyway. Hope it helps.

08-27-2012, 01:46 AM
Hey im in tucson and know every part of town and just about every trail so if you need help hit me up

08-27-2012, 03:43 AM
Gcdaz, good review. I lived in Tucson for about 4 years when I went to U of A (go cats). The only thing I can think of major that you missed is Kitt Peak National Observatory. I loved living in Tucson and did a lot of hiking in Sabino Canyon and it's neighbor Bear Canyon. I was a poor college kid so mostly ate ramen, Bologna and cheese sandwiches, and frozen pizza but TTT truck stop heading out if Tucson on i10 east has great omelets.


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larry avants
08-27-2012, 08:48 AM
I live on the North West side of Tucson, Tangerine and LaCanada, Lots of Sub divisions in this area, and most homes have a pool in the back yard. Makes Arizona summers alot more bearable. A hall to DM from here but can be done on mostly Freeway. Alot of DM Mililtary and and homeland security types live in this area and make the drive to DM including my wife.


08-30-2012, 11:58 AM
Hey all, thanks for inputs. It looks like we will be targeting the east side of town to start. However, Larry, if it doesn’t pan out and depending on where the Wife ends up working we might end up in your neck or the woods. Definitely looking forward to the wheeling! And hope to ride some trails with yawl when we get to AZ.

And please keep the good stuff coming!


08-30-2012, 12:53 PM
Hit me up when you get here 520-312-7129

larry avants
08-30-2012, 12:54 PM
I don't know if you have kids, but the copper creek subdivision has a k-5 school in the housing area....


08-31-2012, 12:52 AM
Hey Patrick, are you at Eglin now? I'll be there 7-21 Sep with some 16's from AATC, perhaps we could meet up for a beer while I'm out there. gcdaz's review is pretty spot on. Housing prices are still pretty low, houses w/ pool can be found quite reasonably. I'm told by a realtor friend that the market seems to be heating up though. I'm out on the SW side of Tucson, I do not recommend this area, though there are some good values to be found, there's a good deal of skectchiness too. This town isn't what it used to be, but it's not too bad overall, I think you'll like it here.

08-31-2012, 06:33 AM
Theres nothing wrong with the sw side of town. Im near i19 and valencia and we have never had anything stolen, never any violence, and never any break ins

08-31-2012, 11:25 PM
Everybody's mileage varies. I guess I shouldn't have painted with such a broad brush, but I live further west off of Valencia, near Mark. Along the Valencia strip I have had my truck broken into twice, interrupted a third, have had several road rage idiots go nuts, and know several people who have not had the best experience out here. And oh by the way, the meth heads are thick as thieves out here.
But, these days that might describe most sections of Tucson.

09-04-2012, 08:05 AM
Hey all, thanks for the help. So far it looks like we will be able to find what we are looking for, at this point we are just ready to get this thing started.

And Ron, I am still at Eglin. my number is 570-991-0427 hit me up when you get here and we will get a beer for sure.

10-08-2012, 01:28 PM
Vail is really nice, and has one of one of the top school systems in the state. You can find homes ranging from manufactured on a couple of acres to big two story Santa Fe style homes with 3 car garages, to ranches out there. It is also "away" from the city, but still close enough for shopping etc. My son is at DM, and my daughter lives near Rita Ranch. Vail and Rita Ranch are also close enough to DM. Trails aren't too far away either....

12-07-2012, 03:20 PM
So we made it to Tucson... found three houses... just polling to see what people think. House #1 is in Sycamore Park. House #2 is in Civano(east of houghton) House #3 is in Vista Montana (near Wilmot & i10). All input welcome! Thanks!

12-07-2012, 07:34 PM
Welcome to Tucson ... I am going to be moving down to that area here in the next month or so ... but we are looking for property so I think we are going to end up in Marana.


12-08-2012, 12:40 AM
Wilmot and i10 is ok. You should move on the southside so I have someone to wheel with. Hit me up 520-312-7129 if you plan any trips or anything. Got a few guys going to redington sunday if you wanna go

07-18-2013, 03:49 PM
I'm in Sahuarita, I'm always looking for people to wheel with. Keep me in mind when you plan a trip.

12-22-2013, 03:50 PM
Just saw this thread. I know it's dated but we are winter vistors now and in Tucson Dec through to sometime in March. Just got a new to us Liberty and would love to take some day trips to see the countryside.