It’s that time of the year again where the weather is absolutely perfect! The sky is blue without a cloud in the sky, the breeze is just right with the warming sun and everything is beginning to bloom all around us!
You don’t have to be in a state where the colors change to see gorgeous vegetation and mountain ranges – right here in Arizona we have a Spring that is breathtaking and excellent for scenic hikes across the state.
For the avid hikers out there, we’re sure that you have a few hiking trails that would put to shame any postcard picture you’ve seen of the desert. But for those read this article that are new to hiking…Or new to the outdoors… or new to leaving the house in general (get off the couch already!), we have a great compilation of hikes for both Tucsonans and Phoenicians.
You’ll find that depending on your grade of experience some of these hikes are fairly long and steep while others are just right for a nice leisurely stroll. Most state parks have a variety of trails to choose from.
Additionally, you will find general safety tips for hiking in the desert land – terrain and critters will vary depending on where you are so we HIGHLY recommend stopping into the local information shop at the state park you are visiting. Park rangers and other experts will equip you with the knowledge of the landscape you need to have an awesome hike!
Top Five Hiking Trails in Tucson:
1.Seven Falls Trail at Sabino Canyon: 7.8 Miles/2-4 Hours
Seven Falls Trail is a 7.8 mile out and back trail located in the Coronado National Forest. This hike features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels (although some have labeled this hike for the more intermediate and advanced hikers). The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round.
People Talk! “Such a beautiful trail the whole way in. And the falls at the end.. what an epic treat! Definitely do this hike if you’re in the area.”
2. Upper Sabino Canyon Road:8 Miles/3.5-5 Hours
Easy hiking or biking trail with incredible views. This trail is popular for runners and joggers as well. But be aware that most of the elevation gain occurs the last 1/2 mile before the turnaround.
People Talk! “Truly amazing hike. A little crowded but worth it. So far this has been our favorite hike in Tucson.”
3. Tumamoc Hill at Sentinel Hill Park: 3.1 Miles/1 Hour
This is a terrific hike with perfect city views as you don’t have to go far to reach this gem in town. Definitely friendly for all types of ages and levels of hikers.
People Talk! “Good workout! There are beautiful views of Tucson and we saw a deer grazing close to the path.”
4. Canyon Loop Trail at Catalina State Park : 2.5 Miles/1.5 Hours
This is another *easy* hike along desert landscape, with rugged mountain views that sits in the heart of one of the most popular state parks.
People Talk! “This trail shows the Sonoran desert in full view without going out Mt. Lemmon. I was so amazing to see an actual river in Tucson! My kids loved it! Make sure you bring your water of course! Towards the end of the trail we stopped to have a picnic next to the giant saguaros on the picnic tables provided.”
5. Agua Caliente Hill Trail: 12.4 Miles/ 7 Hours Loop Trail at Catalina State Park : 2.5 Miles/1.5 Hours
Beware this trail is a doozy and not for the faint hearted aka you should be an advanced hiker. The trail is rated as difficult and primarily used for hiking, mountain biking & trail running. However, if you are up for the challenge, the reward are some pretty spectacular views Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.
People Talk! “Tough trail once you pass the 3 mile mark and head up the summit. Well worth the feeling after completing the summit. Wonderful views once you reach the top. Definitely worth the time and effort to complete.”