All about Northeast Tucson

All About Living in Northeast Tucson, Arizona

A helpful guide to the Northeast area of Tucson for newcomers and native Tucsonans, alike. The Tucson Metro area consists of a whopping 9,189 square miles. This guide is to help you narrow down what area of Tucson you’d like to live in based on your lifestyle. Learn about the history of the area, about some of the popular neighborhoods, what amenities and services are located here, and search homes for sale in northeast Tucson. Your questions are welcome!

Top 5 Reasons to Live in Northeast Tucson:

  • More rural than other areas of Tucson
  • Close to 3 mountain ranges: Santa Catalina, Rincon, and Redington
  • Close to Sabino Canyon Recreation Area
  • Homes in the area oftentimes have larger lots
  • Plenty of horse property available in the area

General Location:

Northeastern Tucson is defined by the Tucson Multiple Listing Service as being north of Speedway, east of Wilmot, south of Sabino Canyon Recreation Area, east of the Rincon Mountains, and bordered to the west and north by Sabino Creek and Tanque Verde Creek. There are 2 zip codes in northeast Tucson: 85715 and 85749.

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Northeast Tucson History and Development

The northeast part of Tucson was previously used as ranch land for cattle grazing as early as 1861. Prior to that Native Americans inhabited the area.

In the 1920s to 1950s dude ranches offered tourists from ‘back east’ a way to experience a true western adventure in the Arizona desert. Tanque Verde Ranch is one of those dude ranches that is still operating today.

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Description of Northeast Tucson

Northeast Tucson is where you go to get away from the hustle of the city. The area is much more rural than other parts of Tucson. Most neighborhoods consist of homes on large parcels of land often at least an acre in size, sometimes several acres. Horse property or property that is zoned to allow horses is quite common. Some areas have unpaved roads.

Two creeks are prominent in the northeast side of town. Sabino Creek, coming from the canyon of the same name, flows seasonally. And Tanque Verde Creek flows a few times a year. These are 2 areas where it’s possible to live creekside in Tucson at least for a short time each year.

Rock formations known as hoodoos along Catalina Highway, northeast of Tucson
Rock formations known as hoodoos along Catalina Highway, northeast of Tucson

Architecture of Northeast Tucson

A few mud adobe homes started popping up in the 1920s, many of these were for small cattle ranches. Building in the area became more prevalent in the 1950s during the post-war building boom. The 1970s brought numerous sprawling slump block ranch style homes to the area. From the 1990s to current times there’s been more custom Santa Fe style, Southwestern, and Mediterranean style homes built.

The northeast part of town is home to 1 historic district: Indian Ridge, a midcentury modern development by the prolific Lusk Corporation. Windsor Park had started the process of applying for historic status, but it has not been completed by the neighborhood at the time of this writing.

Many neighborhoods consist of lots sold to several different builders, that were built over a long time period, such as La Cebadilla Estates and Forty Niner Country Club Estates. Some neighborhoods have more consistent homes with HOAs and architectural review committees, such as The Lakes at Castle Rock and Sabino Springs.

Most homes on the northeast side are single family homes. There are some townhome communities in the Dorado Country Club Estates neighborhood and in other areas just north of Speedway.

Packs of javalina are common to see on the outskirts of Tucson
Packs of javalina are common to see on the outskirts of Tucson

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Catalina Highway and the city lights of Tucson
Catalina Highway and the city lights of Tucson

Northeast Tucson Attractions and Amenities

Public Parks and Recreation

Agua Caliente is a popular park featuring a couple ponds and some walking paths. In the heart of the property is the old ranch house that was owned by the Drachman family, prior to donating it for public use.McDonald Park and Udall Park offer several ball fields and playgrounds.

Agua Caliente park is a peaceful spot among the palm trees
Agua Caliente park is a peaceful spot among the palm trees

Sabino Canyon

Sabino Canyon is nearby, a beautiful setting for walking, biking, picnicking, and hiking. Sabino Creek runs seasonally especially after a good monsoon rainstorm or winter snow melts on the Catalina Mountains.

Seven Falls located in Sabino Canyon is a popular day hike
Seven Falls located in Sabino Canyon is a popular day hike

Mount Lemmon and Summerhaven

The cooler pines of Summerhaven in Mount Lemmon is only 28 miles away via Catalina Highway. This sky island has several observatories, some operated by UA and open for tours. Mount Lemmon is a great place to cool off in the summers. There are hiking trails to explore, camp sites to pitch a tent, restaurants to get a bite, a ski-lift with views, and don’t forget some cookies or fudge.

view of Tucson from Mt Lemmon
view of Tucson from Mt Lemmon

Saguaro National Park East

Northeast Tucson borders Saguaro National Park, along the Rincon Mountains. There are some lovely scenic hiking and horseback trails throughout the park.

Rincon Mountains within Saguaro National Park East with saguaro and rainbow
Rincon Mountains within Saguaro National Park East

Redington Pass and Tanque Verde Falls

Redington Pass is a 42-mile long primitive unpaved road that is popular for four-wheel driving.

Pool of water near Tanque Verde Falls
Pool of water near Tanque Verde Falls

The Loop Multi-Use Path and Parks

The Loop allows for a car-free paved path for walking, jogging, or bicycling. A small portion of The Loop falls on the northeast side of town, along the Pantano Wash near Tucson Country Club Estates.


Golfing in the area is available at the following privately run courses: Tucson Country Club, Dorado Golf Course, Forty Niner Country Club, and Arizona National Golf Club.


Established in 1868, Tanque Verde Ranch is a hold over from dude ranches of the past. Take a horseback ride, have a nice brunch, take a nice swim, or enjoy spa services. It’s a lovely place for out-of-town guests to check out.


There are many shopping centers, restaurants, and services located on the busier intersections along Speedway Boulevard and Tanque Verde Road.

Area Healthcare and Hospitals

El Dorado Health Campus is located within the NE area of Tucson. Many more doctors offices are located a little further west near Tucson Medical Center.

Northeast Tucson Schools

The northeast area is serviced by 2 school districts: Tucson Unified School District and Tanque Verde Unified School District. There are also charter schools and private schools available nearby.

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