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National Parks, Caves, and Mountains Are Tucson’s New Gyms

BY: Kevin Moore | Jul 13, 2015
National Parks, Caves, and Mountains Are Tucson’s New Gyms

Tucson gyms provide welcome environments for escaping the heat and working up a different kind of sweat on the cardio or weight machines. However, the city and the surrounding area feature plenty of opportunities for individuals looking to enjoy an alfresco workout. Here are five possibilities ranging from the scenic to the athletic:

Bike a National Park

The sprawling expanse of Saguaro National Park blankets more than 140 square miles and features nearly 170 miles of hiking trails amidst the towering cacti. Hiking and driving aren’t the only ways to sightsee, however. The paved 8-mile Cactus Forest Loop Drive and gravel 6-mile Bajada Loop Drive allow bicyclists to savor scenic views.

Climb a Crag

In 2011, Climbing magazine named Tucson the United States’ best town for climbers. Naturally, the area is home to popular climbing attractions for visitors of varying skill levels. Nestled among the Santa Catalina Mountains, Mount Lemmon peaks at 9,157 feet and features more than 1,500 traditional, sport, and top-rope routes up its granite slopes.

Clamber Through a Cave

The caverns at Colossal Cave Mountain Park brim with tapering stalactites, honeycombed boxwork, and rippling flowstone. Guides immerse visitors in this underground world by leading intermediate and advanced Wild Cave Tours. Over the course of two to four hours, groups will follow the unmarked, rarely traveled routes of early cave explorers, crawling through tight passageways and scrambling over the occasional obstacle.

Join an Outdoor Boot Camp

Even Tucson personal trainers like to escape the confines of their gyms from time to time. At Xtreme Sports and Fitness, the coaches combine high-intensity interval training, circuit training, and weight routines when organizing 75-minute outdoor boot camps at Grijalva Park. The group setting creates a sense of camaraderie as attendees challenge and support each other throughout each full-body workout.

Play a Team Sport

Tucson Ultimate unites locals seeking anything from casual fun to competitive play. In addition to tournaments and separate leagues for children and adults, the group also organizes weekly pickup games at various parks and facilities. The cardio-intensive sport provides more than just an outlet for athletic skill. Tucson Weekly named Tucson Ultimate’s matches the city’s Best Outdoor Urban Workout.