Nestled in the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains, the Catalina Foothills is home to some of Tucson's most extravagant estates.
Prior to being developed in the early 1920s, the Catalina Foothills was primarily federal trust land and open range for cattle grazing.
John Murphey, a prominent developer and civic leader, purchased 7,000 acres tract of land north of River Road between North Oracle Road and Sabino Canyon in a federal land auction, and began his vision of low density residential development. Murphey's vision was to design the Catalina Foothills in such a way that the lots preserved exisiting natural desert terrain, while retaining the integrity of the Santa Catalina mountain views and privacy.
Around the same time in the 1930s, a Swiss architect by the name of Josias Joesler moved to Tucson. Sharing the same vision as Murphey, Joesler went on to create a "romantic revival style" in Tucson that is most recognized. His work can be seen scattered throughout the Catalina Foothills in such buildings as Catalina Foothills School District's district office, St. Phillip's in the Hills Episcopal Church, St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church, historic Blenman-Elm Neighborhood, Broadway Village Shopping Center, The Ghost Ranch Lodge, and buildings along 4th Avenue.
Enjoy a new appreciation for Tucson's architecture by viewing the National Park Service's database of National Registrar of Historic Places.
Today, the Catalina Foothills maintains Joesler's long term vision with the addition of modern amenities. With upscale store fronts and first rate restaurants abound, the Catalina Foothills is a popular choice for those seeking Tucson homes on large lots, natural desertscape, and upscale Tucson living.
Near the lower portion of the Catalina Foothills is the historical Rillito Race Track. Considered the birthplace of modern Quarter Horse racing as we know it, Rillito Race Track is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Tucson Quarter Horse racing formally begins 1943 when Rukin Jelks, accompanied by the assistance of Melvin H. Haskell, builds the track. The racetrack faced difficult times during the 1990s and 2000s but in 2011, alongside Pima County, Rillito Race Track made a comeback. The Rillito Park Foundation now manages the track, in addition to other park facilities that include Jelks Stud Farm house, soccer fields, and facilities for the farmers' market. Also, conveniently noted is 131 mile "The Loop" that borders the race track.
SHOPPING La Encantada, the Catalina Foothills high-end outdoor shopping plaza, serves as a center for the Catalina Foothills. With such shops as:
GOLF Golf courses are plenty in the Catalina Foothills of Tucson. From mountain courses to gorgeous natural desert terrain, golfing in the Catalina Foothills is sure to please. Some popular Catalina Foothills golf courses include:
HIKING It wouldn't be Tucson without hiking trails, and there's no shortage of Tucson hiking trails in the Catalina Foothills. Hiking trails are found tucked within neighborhoods throughout the Catalina Foothills. Some of the popular trails trekked on by Tucson locals and area visitors are:
Take a look at the Catalina Foothills Hiking Trail map and... Get out and explore!
RESORTS The Catalina Foothills is Tucson's luxury resort corridor, with a wide variety of resorts that offer a range of amenities. Some popular Catalina Foothills resorts include:
The Catalina Foothills is also known for their school district: District 16. Additional information regarding school ratings, please visit the Arizona Department of Education