Dusk view of SaddleBrooke Ranch clubhouse with scenic mountains behind it

SaddleBrooke Ranch has the serenity and the amenities of a resort.

There are several gated communities in the Tucson area catering to the active adult, with age restrictions for the 40+, 50+, or 55+ buyer. Whether you wish to live closer to downtown, in the foothills of the nearby mountains, in a quieter desert location, by a golf course, or whether you wish to be closer to the airport.

Buyers also have a choice between larger and smaller communities, as gated communities range from one with 5,400 homes down to one with just 100 homes. There are also gated communities for every budget, ranging in price from the low $100s through to the low $700s.

Advantages of a Gated Community

Some people prefer gated communities for several reasons. It means there is less traffic on the streets, which is both more peaceful and good for keeping road maintenance costs down. Gated communities also help to considerably reduce uninvited callers, such as salesmen. Many gated communities ban them altogether. People also prefer them because they provide a general feeling of security.

Here are seven gated communities in the Tucson area, listed from largest to smallest, with some factors to consider when choosing between them.

SaddleBrooke Ranch - Oracle

Low $200s - Low $700s

SaddleBrooke Ranch is the largest gated community at 5,400 homes, and with the lowest age restriction at 40+.

It is the most northerly of these gated communities, in a desert setting that is a 45-minute drive from downtown, although there is plenty to do nearby if you live in SaddleBrooke Ranch. It's an hour's drive from Tucson International Airport, and just under two hours from Arizona's main airport, Phoenix Sky Harbor International.

Homes start in the low $200s for the smallest floor plan of 1,486 square feet, which provides a two-bedroom, two-bathroom home with a two- to two-and-a-half-car garage. The largest homes are 3,077 square feet and offer a three-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bathroom, three-car garage home in the high $700s.

The Highlands at Dove Mountain - Marana

High $100s - High $400s

The Highlands at Dove Mountain is in a rural setting north of Tucson's northern suburbs, and a 25-minute drive from downtown Tucson. It's a 10-minute drive from the main Interstate 10 highway.

This gated community has 1,500 single-family homes for the 50+ active adult, and although some of the area has been developed, it is still mostly a desert landscape with mountains on the horizon.

Prices start in the high $100s for the smallest homes of 1,111 square feet, with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a two-car garage.

There are numerous models available, going through to the largest at 2,461 square feet, with two bedrooms plus a den, two bathrooms, and a two-car garage. Some slightly smaller models in different configurations provide three bedrooms plus a den, two bathrooms, and a three-car garage. 

Del Webb at Rancho Del Lago - Vail

High $100s - High $200s

Del Webb at Rancho Del Lago is in the small town of Vail, to the southeast of Tucson. It's 10 minutes off I-10, which takes you to Downtown Tucson or to Tucson International Airport in 30 minutes. This gated community has 522 single family homes for the 50+ active adult.

Floor plans start at 1,212 square feet, offering a two-bedroom, two-bathroom home with a two-car garage. Prices are in the low $200s. The most expensive homes are in the high $300s, with the largest floor plan having 2,823 square feet, which affords a home with three bedrooms and a den, three bathrooms, and a two-car garage.

Vistoso Village - Oro Valley

Low $200s - High $200s

Vistoso Village is in the small town of Oro Valley which runs into the northern suburbs of Tucson, a 35-minute drive from downtown. It's 20 minutes off I-10 and two hours from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. This is a gated community of 271 attached homes for the 55+ active adult.

There are only five floor plans in this community, from 1,170 square feet to 1,815 square feet. The smaller homes have two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a two-car garage. The largest homes have an extra den.

Altura - Tucson

Low $100s - Low $400s

Altura is a gated community of 240 homes for the 55+ active adult. It's southeast of Tucson in the Rincon Valley, surrounded by desert with views of the Rincon Mountains, and a 35-minute drive from Downtown Tucson. It's 30 minutes from Tucson International Airport.

There are 13 models of homes at Altura, starting at 934 square feet for a one-bedroom, one-bathroom home with a one-car garage. The largest models are 2,675 square feet and offer three bedrooms, two-and-a-half bathrooms, and a two-car garage. Prices start in the low $100s, making this one of the best lowest-priced communities in Tucson.

Casa Del Oro Norte - Tucson

High $200s - High $300s

Casas Del Oro Norte is a smaller, gated 55+ community of 130 attached homes on the north side of Tucson, overlooking the Omni Tucson National Golf Course and Spa. It's 10 minutes from I-10, 20 minutes from Downtown Tucson, and 30 minutes from Tucson International Airport.

This community has seven different models, from 1,800 to almost 3,200 square feet, with prices starting the mid $200s.

Mona Lisa Villages

Low $100s - Mid $100s

Mona Lisa Village is the smallest of Tucson's gated communities but also the closest to Downtown Tucson, a 20-minute drive away. It's also the only community that is walking distance from a major shopping mall, the Foothills Mall. It consists of 100 attached homes for the 55+ active adult.

Homes here have either one or two bedrooms and range in size from 843 to 1,047 square feet. Prices are in the low to high $100s, making it one of the places in Tucson with homes for sale under $200k.