Sweetwater Trail is a 9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Tucson, AZ that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and trail running and is accessible from October until March.
From I-10, exit Camino del Cerro / Ruthrauff head west on El Camino del Cerro past Silverbell for 2.8 miles to Tortolita Rd. Turn left (south) on Tortolita and drive until it comes to a dead-end. There is a dirt parking lot through a gate on the right. The TH is at the end of the parking lot on the right. If coming from Silverbell, turn West on Camino del Cerro (between Grant and Ina) to Tortolita Rd.
A fairly easy stroll through the desert with great scenery.
I'm new to Tucson and new to hiking.... I didn't complete this trail (when I hiked it late November) because as I got into the shady hills it was pretty chilly. I will say that although there's an incline of 2000 ft, it really doesn't feel too crazy. It's a very gradual incline. I cannot wait to hike this again, I stopped a lot to turn around and vocally said "wow" multiple times haha. But beware of rocks, when you go down, it's a little hard not to fall if you like going fast. I definitely recommend this trail!
Beautiful and easy
This is an absolutely gorgeous trail, while not overly challenging, it has great and varied scenery.
This is a really nice hike. From the start my plan was to take it all the way to the summit of Wasson, and I am glad I did. It adds up to a extra couple of hours, but it is well worth it if you are desirous of a more vigorous workout. The views from the saddle at the end of Sweetwater, and again from the top of Wasson are magnificent. There is also the satisfaction of achieving the highest point in the Tucson Mountains. I highly recommend this trek.
Nice mix of trails for MT bikers. Several rocky areas will make you pay attention, a few short climbs, but also some spots where you can get some speed going. Beautiful setting among all the cacti. This is a mixed use trail so be careful and courteous. Great parking area. The map here doesn't show all the trails, which are well marked at the trailhead and where the loops connect.
I hiked the Sweetwater trail to the Sweetwater Saddle and back, both for the pleasure of a nice hike and to try out the Deuter Act Lite 60+10 backpack. With about 30 pounds of test load in the pack, I started up the trail, and decided this is a decent trail to get a feel for a pack. The trail varies from packed earth through loose rock to solid rock, with varying gradients on the climbs and descents. It's well-marked and easy to follow, and from the Sweetwater Saddle, you can either turn back, continue up the additional 1.2 miles to Wasson Peak, drop down the King Canyon trail to Kinney Road, or a couple of other options. The 6.8 miles listed is for the Sweetwater Trail alone, from the Camino del Cerro parking area to the Saddle and back.
The trail offers some nice views of both the city of Tucson and the scenery of Tucson Mountain Park. For about the last third to half of the trail at the Saddle end, it follows along a ravine about halfway up the slope. With cool December temperatures, the only wildlife I saw were a few birds, but I always enjoy our incredible desert flora and geography.
Easy to find, easy to follow, and a moderate difficulty that lets you know you've been out hiking (two days later, and my calves are still telling me about hauling the extra thirty pounds up and back), this is a nice trail for an enjoyable day hike.
so this is not the start of the bike trail, trust me turn on tortilla or make the mistake of climbing all up hill. Like i did on a single speed 29 :) then to hit trails after i found the right side. Great ride besides the getting lost due to these directions.
The Sweetwater Trail is in Saguaro National Park. Hikers and equestrians are welcome but mountain bikes and pets are not allowed. Those can enjoy the Sweetwater Preserve trails just a few miles east of this trailhead. The directions show are for the Sweetwater Preserve while the map and contact information are for the Sweetwater Trail. If you want to hike with your pet or ride a mountain bike, you want the Sweetwater Preserve (at the south end of Tortolita Road), if you want to hike, without bicycles or dogs, take Camino del Cerro to its end.
Love this trail in the Spring and all the Wildflowers