Catalina Overflow/Ringtail Loop

In a spontaneous change of plans, we decided to spend this week at Catalina State Park in Tucson, AZ.

Since the decision was last minute, the only spots available were in the overflow section, also known as the Ringtail Loop. Even though it’s dry camping in a dirt parking lot, it’s been surprisingly enjoyable.


We haven’t used a campground shower since our old trailer, so when I read on the Watson’s blog how fantastic the showers were next to overflow, we had to give them a try.

I think maybe only those who take military showers every other day would appreciate them the way we have, but I must admit, they’re pretty glorious.

I did hear from other campers that the showers in their loops aren’t so great, they’re push button without temperature control.

Dinner Last Night:
Butternut Squash, Kale & Sorghum Salad. Sorguhm is a new grain to me, so when I saw this recipe I had to try it.

We had some new friends over for dinner last night and I didn’t realize they were gluten-free. Lucky for all of us, two years ago, sorghum was the next big gluten free grain. The salad was yummy and sorghum tastes like pearled cous cous.


It turns out sorghum can also be popped, so today I gave it a try. It took forever for the kernels to pop, though I think I may have had too many in my pan. It tastes a lot like popcorn, just smaller.

2015 Cost of Camping:
$110.00 thru 2/28
29 night paid camping
29 nights free camping
58 days this year
Total spent: $470
Daily average cost: $8.10

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  • Reply Amanda February 25, 2015 at 11:53 am

    Yes! I remember those showers well! Still some of the best I have ever encountered at a campground. Looks like it’s not nearly as busy as it was when we stayed in that loop. Hopefully it stays that way and you don’t get surrounded by generator happy neighbors like we did. Enjoy your week of long showers 🙂

  • Reply Lynn~TalesFrom the Mutiny February 25, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    That’s it…I’m coming over to your campground for a shower. The “A” loop is not so wonderful (push button and no temp controls)…don’t tell the rangers!

    • Reply Leigh February 25, 2015 at 1:00 pm

      Come on over! I like the one on the left, next to the one at the end. The air vent is farther from the shower and the little side wall also helps keep the shower area warmer than the one I took a photo of.

  • Reply Ed February 25, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    Funny, that is the very first campground I stayed in with my RV. I stayed there the night after I picked it up in Tucson. On another note, do you guys know of a place to stay near Pasadena? Some friends who are currently living in their fifth wheel are moving from the East Coast to the Pasadena area (Monrovia) and are looking for a good campground with hookups and possibly long term rates. Thanks!

    • Reply Leigh February 25, 2015 at 1:05 pm

      Hmm, let me look that up on Campendium. 😉

      The only place we’ve stayed in the area was in San Dimas.

      We didn’t love that RV Park because there were a ton of skunks at the time, which can be scary if you have a dog, and there were a lot of people who lived there with junk outside of their rigs. That was in 2011, it could be totally different now.

    • Reply Ed @ Chasing Sunrises and Sunsets February 26, 2015 at 11:37 am

      Hi “Ed”! We used to live in Pasadena. When we sold our home, we were awaiting the finish of our new home for about 90 days. We stayed 2 months at the RV Park high on the hill at Puddingstone Recreation area between San Dimas and Pomona. Beautiful park with spectacular views. It is East Shore RV Park, the same one Leigh has provided the link to. You really can’t do any better due to the high density of the L.A./Pasadena area. They would be about 15 minutes from Monrovia.

      • Reply Ed February 26, 2015 at 1:44 pm

        Thanks, Ed. I’ve passed on this info to my friends.


  • Reply Pam Wright February 25, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    Now you can head back out to the Canyon Loop and see the neat crested saguaro! Of course, not everyone is crazy about them like I am:)

    Those are wonderful showers!! You’ll be spoiled for sure:)

    Interesting fact about the sorghum.

  • Reply Taylor @ The Learning Banks February 25, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    Had a great time with you guys last night, thanks for having us over! Glad to hear the showers are good here… headed that way shortly. 🙂

    • Reply Leigh February 25, 2015 at 2:37 pm

      Us too! It was great to meet you guys. Enjoy the showers!

  • Reply Suzanne February 25, 2015 at 9:28 pm

    I stayed in the “B” loop, and they have fancy showers there as well. In fact, I was so impressed, I also took photos. The tile was so clean, I could see myself! There is a tiny “lending library” right outside the bathhouse in the B loop…

    • Reply Leigh February 26, 2015 at 8:41 am

      Hi Suzanne, I learned that last night! So I guess it’s just the A loop with the push button / no temp control.

  • Reply Alison February 26, 2015 at 4:53 am

    Sounds like a lovely evening! So happy you liked the salad and isn’t sorghum awesome?! 😉

  • Reply John B February 28, 2015 at 5:31 pm

    I’ll second that comment about the great showers in the “B” loop; they are identical to those at Picacho Peak S.P. up the road. We stayed in the overflow last year – way too much dust from cars entering and leaving.

  • Reply Nancy Wucetich January 15, 2019 at 9:10 am

    WE have reservations in the ringtail loop since the others were already booked. I dont mind driving to get water but I hope you are not about a foot next to your neighbor!

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