King Canyon Trail to Wasson Peak is a 6.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Tucson, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, birding, and horses and is best used from March until November. Horses are also able to use this trail.
This Saguaro National Park trail to Wasson Peak wound through a dry wash (scrambling required!), up along a ridge with incredible views (one pictured here), over a saddle with a spectacular view of Tucson, then up to the peak. Varied terrain with amazing vistas. Definitely recommend!
The path was rocky and your feet hurt by the time you got back down. The second time we walked up the wash which was much easier and a easier climb. There were pictographs on each sides of the walls when you get to one of the large falls in the wash. Just before you get to the choice of walking the trail one way or another. We continued to walk up the wash and take the right split. The left split will take you up the wash and you can spot two of the old mines they used to try and get copper out of. The right wash takes you up another 1/4 mile or so to a path on the right. Although there are a few air sucking climbs, the path turns into a once service road and up to the saddle. Much much easier on your feet then the King Canyon Trail itself.
WHEW this was rocky. I'm really not sure how I didn't sprain an ankle. The incline is a little much for a new hiker like myself. BUT I made it to the top and it was 100% worth it. Do this hike on a cooler day.
I loved this hike. It took me just under 3 hours on an 80 degree September day. I took the high road, went to Wasson Peak, and turned around, going back the same way. The whole way up is a great incline, and the way down is easy. Can't move too fast due to rocks.
I didn't see one other person. Trail is well marked and no bushwhacking needed, always a plus.
Beautiful wild flowers in late March.
Take care around the Africanized bees. Feeding on flowers they were pretty docile, but can be very defensive around their hive ( which we had to walk within 5m of to get past).
great trail! the views are fantastic! not too crowded, but definitely well used. I did see some of the petroglyphs on the lower wash trail! the bird watching was great too!!
From the Kinney Road parking area, you have two options for this trail. You can take "the high road," which follows what appears to be a service road, or you can drop down and follow the wash. The two options rejoin at the junction near the Mam-a-Gah picnic area. I took the low road, hiking along the wash. This offers some nice views or the rock walls along the wash, and the opportunity to climb over some ledges in the streambed. The wash portion is marked as trail, though only for hikers. Signs are placed to discourage equestrians, bikes, etc. from this section, and for good reason.
Hiking along the wash, the trail starts out as loose sand. Beyond the turn-off to the picnic area, the trail is primarily hard-packed dirt and loose rock.
As with the other trails in this area, King Canyon is well-marked and easy to follow. The ascent to the Sweetwater Saddle offers some beautiful views of Tucson Mountain Park and the open desert beyond. The day I hiked, there were numerous other hikers using the trail, but not so many as to think it was crowded. I would meet other hikers perhaps every ten to twenty minutes or so, but spent most of the hike enjoying the quiet of the desert.
This is a nice trail to take your time on, with periodic stops to enjoy the scenery or take pictures. You can do a simple out-and-back, or turn at the Sweetwater Saddle and return via a different loop from Wasson Peak along the Hugh Norris trail. According to one of my books on Tucson Trails, there are some petroglyphs along a portion of the King Canyon trail, and I need to go hike it again and see these for myself.