Panther Peak Wash - Roadrunner Loop is a 4.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Tucson, AZ and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and horses and is accessible from September until May. Horses are also able to use this trail.
Great views of Panther Peak and roadrunner sightings This is a really nice hike that gives a sense of why the Tucson Mountains have been dubbed "The Tucson Chaos" by some. The first leg of the trail starts at the Cam-Boh picnic area and follows the Cam-Boh trail for 1.25 miles to the Panther Wash. Following the Panther Wash north, you will quickly approach the beautifully rugged ridgeline of both Panther and Safford Peak. The current theory regarding the origins of the Tucson Mountains is that they were a volcanic top that rested on top of the granite Santa Catalina Mountains. Over many millennia the Tucson Mountains slid 20 mile west leaving the Tucson basin in between (still looking for a good citation). At the foothills of Panther Peak the wash connects with the Roadrunner Trail which takes you back to the Cam-Boh picnic area. This leg of the loop is aptly named; I spotted at least 5 roadrunners on my trip.
This trail was very hard on my ankles. 90% of this trail was soft sand or wash type material with no traction.
Convenient parking at the Cam-Boh Picnic area, and easy to find trail head. Trails are decently marked and maintained.
Nice, fairly flat trail with wonderful desert scenery. Much of the Panther Peak Wash Trail runs along the namesake wash, so best to avoid if there is a chance of rain. Wash bed is primarily sandy, so sand cups on trekking poles is advisable. Also, if you reach the fence at the north end of the Panther Peak Wash Trail, that divides the National Park from the State Trust land, the Roadrunner Trail branches off just before the fence. Panther Peak Wash Trail continues, so a sign indicating the trail's path around the fence points the opposite way of the Roadrunner Trail.
There is an area with thick cholla cactus at the north end of the Roadrunner Trail. A comb or multitool for dealing with cholla berries is a good idea. While it's possible to traverse the trail without hooking any cholla berries, it's not called "jumping cactus" for nothing.