About Sweetwater Wetlands and Access

Download the Sweetwater Wetlands Location Map
(2511 W. Sweetwater Drive: updated Jan. 2020)

The Sweetwater Wetlands is one of the most important functional, environmental, and educational components of the City of Tucson's reclaimed water system. The facility was originally constructed in 1996 to handle backwash filter water from the reclaimed water plant. The wetlands now uses reclaimed water exclusively.

Sweetwater Wetlands Access

  • The Sweetwater Wetlands has more than 2.5 miles of pathways accessible to visitors. Almost 1,000 feet of pathway is concrete surfaced and ADA-approved for wheelchair access.
  • Bicycle riding, dogs, and horses are not allowed on the Sweetwater Wetlands property.
  • A west entrance to the Sweetwater Wetlands is open from the paved bicycle path along the east bank of the Santa Cruz River. Designed and built by Pima County for its "Loop" bicycle trail system, it includes a bench, trash bin, and bicycle racks.
  • The drinking fountain includes a water bottle filling station. A handwash station makes it convenient to wash up.
  • Concrete surfacing allows easy access from the parking area to the main ramada, where visitors can overlook areas of both deep, open water and shallow water with emergent (bulrush/cattail) vegetation.
  • Pathways are generally flat and surfaced by either decomposed granite or ¾-inch gravel. Some areas may be thicker than others.
  • The natural soil at the Wetlands is clay-rich which may become slick following a rainfall. Always exercise caution when visiting.