Pontatoc Ridge Trail

HARD 11 reviews

Pontatoc Ridge Trail is a 3.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Tucson, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until November.

3.9 miles 1473 feet Out & Back



nature trips

trail running




wild flowers


no dogs

Directions from Tucson: Drive north on Oracle Road (US 89) to Ina Road. Turn right (east) on Ina and drive about a mile to Skyline Road which branches off to the south (right). Follow Skyline (have to make a left to stay on Skyline) to Alvernon Way and turn left (north) to the trailhead and parking lot at the end of the pavement.

18 days ago

Wonderful! - A trail that presents an uphill challenge, but beautiful views at the top are well worth the climb. I wore high top hiking boots and highly recommend the ankle support but it's totally not necessary!

1 month ago

5 months ago

Great views, good challenge. A little difficult to follow in the beginning.

7 months ago

Pontatoc Ridge Trail is a fun and challenging hike. About one mile in there is a gorgeous rock overlook. The next mile is all climbing; 1300 feet up to the end of the trail. The views of Tucson are breathtaking. So is the climb. Bring lots of water and take your time; you definitely don't want to trip and fall on this trail.

9 months ago

Lots of loose, unconsolidated gravel on the path. The path is unmarked and hard to find a times, but if you're willing to explore a bit there are amazing views of Tucson!

9 months ago

it was not too difficult except I don't like hiking in the heat. I'd rather do this trail when it's in the 30s.

10 months ago

Just returned from hike to end of trail #411. It was all I wanted it to be. It was difficult for me (first hike of the year for me during my Spring visit to the family in Tucson) and found myself stopping several times to enjoy the "panora" (malaprop from an old friend of mine) especially since I am travelling from Western NY to the desert SW. Bring lots of water (I sure needed it) but just an amazing experience to see Tucson laid out at your feet. Who knows, may get our grandchildren up here one day.
Directions set forth herein are accurate. I simply wanted to "get to the end of Trail #411" and I was successful and thankful to the cairn builders for guiding this ol' Grandpa.
Really enjoyed the "notch" before the last push to the end. Sorry to see that it appears an old placard has been "removed" (to someone's dorm room, perhaps??)
It was work, but I recommend it. It was accurately rated as "difficult" for me.

10 months ago

Hiked up to the abandoned copper mines at the end of the trail. When you get to the placard saying the trail has ended go right and follow the slightly precarious trail up to the mines... Basically giant holes in the side of the cliff. I went last Saturday. Began hiking at 9 and only saw one small group the entire time. Great hike and awesome finish at the mines!

11 months ago

1 year ago

I've made it to the top once I think while I lived in AZ, it's a great hike:)

3 years ago

This was a very invigorating hike to the top of Pontatoc Ridge. For the most part the hike is very straightforward with nice views of Tucson from the north. The terrain is fairly rugged, but the trail is well built to minimize the necessity for scrambling. The official trail leads almost to an abandoned mine site in the nearly vertical face of the north side of the summit. Before the end of the official trail, an unmarked trail goes off to the right that leads up to the ridgeline allowing you to get to the summit. If you reach the "End of Trail" sign, then you have missed the side trail leading to the summit. If you go beyond the "End of Trail" sign you will get to the abandoned mine site and realize that there is no way to get to the summit from there without scaling the vertical face. Additionally, the trail to the mines is fairly loose along a steep slope. It is not for the faint of heart. If your goal is the summit and you come upon the "End of Trail" sign, turn around and look for the trail leading uphill that you missed less than a quarter mile earlier. The hike to the summit is well worth the effort.

This hike, including our unintended side trip to the mines, took 3 hours of hiking time. Adding in the time we spent taking in the views, our total round trip was a little under 4 hours. All-in-all, this hike was well worth the effort.