Entertainment Magazine
Treasures of the Santa Catalina Mountains

Author: Robert E. Zucker

I have seen the Santa Catalina Mountains almost every day since I was born. [1]

Those ominous mountains have been a constant backdrop my entire life. I have always been allured by their beauty and remoteness.

Although I’ve explored the Santa Catalina Mountains for many decades and hiked the back trails, I wasn’t aware of the extensive history and legends connected with these imposing mountains.

I’ve seen the Romero Ruin site many times, followed many of the pioneer trails, explored many abandoned tunnels, rode horses through Campo Bonito as a kid while staying at the YMCA Triangle Y Ranch, and, like most Tucsonans, spent many, many hours staring at the Catalina’s peaks outside my back door. I didn’t think much about what went on there.

After learning more about many obscure legends and stories of the Catalinas from Tucson’s last prospector, William “Flint” Carter, I listened with the same doubt as many others over the millennium that considered the legends a fairy tale. I decided to explore the legends and the claims. Just as a prospector would dig through the dirt to get to the bedrock, I dug through thousands of pages of documents to uncover the real story of what happened in those now stoic mountains. Years later, this edition emerged. There are still many loose ends and much more speculation to confirm or dispel.

But, I was able to discover more than the story behind the legends. It became clearer how history– historians and treasure hunters– revealed, and distorted, the mountains’ secrets. I also collected a few nice rocks along the way.

There are still more riches to be discovered about the Santa Catalina Mountains. Buried behind centuries of dirt, and stuffed away in some forgotten storage box, those treasures will eventually be revealed.

Anyone with any other information not included in this survey of history and legends, should contact the author. There are still more files, manuscripts, records and dirt to dig through.

And, there will be more stories to be told.

Return to Treasures of the Santa Catalina Mountains Index.



[1] As a Tucson native, I lived here most of my life except for a few years in California. In the late 1970s through mid 1990s, I published several newspaper titles, including Youth Alternatives, Youth Awareness Press, Tucson Teen and Entertainment Magazine. The newspapers are now represented online at EMOL.org, EntertainTucson.com, EntertainmentMagazine.org, AZentertain.com among other domain names, including my personal site at Robert-Zucker.com. Recently, I authored a couple of other books, “Entertaining Tucson Across the Decades” and Traveling Show, with more titles on the horizon.

Photo of author Robert Zucker at the Romero Ruin in the Catalina State Park, Tucson, Arizona. Photo by Dorothy Sossong.

Find out more about Robert E. Zucker at Robert-Zucker.com


Buy "Treasures of the Santa Catalina Mountains"