Baboquivari Peak via Summit Trail

MODERATE 3 reviews

Baboquivari Peak via Summit Trail is a 6.7 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Tucson, Arizona that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
6.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
4064 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

camping

hiking

off road driving

rock climbing

walking

horseback riding

cave

views

wildlife

rocky

scramble

snow

washed out

Fantastic remote hike on the Tohono O'odham reservation. The changing views and spectacular scenery are some of the best in AZ and well worth the trip. Sadly, the peak is inaccessible (without climbing gear and experience), but you can scramble up the rock face quite a ways past the tree line. The trailhead begins on the right side of the Baboquivari Mountain Tribal Park and gradually climbs through lower desert cacti and ocotillos. At one point there are some switchbacks through a "field" of ocotillos that is absolutely stunning in the spring when they are in bloom. The peak is not visible for most of the first half of the hike. Eventually you reach a point where you can look south into Mexico with a spectacular view of the mountain range. The trail continues to climb past a false peak (more of a rock bluff) before you finally get a good look at the real peak, a triangle of white rock towering above you. From here the trail begins to climb more steeply and soon the desert cactus and oaks give way to pines. The trail has some final steep switchbacks. Fortunately this section is nicely shaded in the trees before ending abruptly without much of a view. However, from here it is easy to scramble just a bit higher onto a rocky ledge above the trees. From here the view west across the Tohono O'odham reservation can appear to be a marvelous sea of green in the spring time if there have been good rains. You can follow the rock ledge up and around (however it is very loose footing) to where a trail picks up and then gets lost again in several places. It is possible to continue quite a bit higher to where Kitt Peak and views east become visible, however, the peak is inaccessible without technical climbing and gear. There is also a cave that is considered sacred by the Tohono O'odham people who often leave gifts there for their god, I'toi. The trail for the cave is not marked well, but it starts to the left of the parking area, crosses the wash and then climbs as far as you can go until you are against the rock face of the cliffs. There are many trails that intersect to the cave (many of them made by free ranging cattle). The cave itself is not very deep, with a small opening requiring some maneuvering to get in and out of as it drops down a few feet once you are inside. Finally, there is a turnoff from the road shortly before you come to the mountain park that leads out to a rock fin that rises from the desert floor. If you walk around the rock you can find several ancient petroglyphs. It is also possible to climb atop the rock formation for a great view of the Baboquivari range. A word of caution, mountain lions do frequent the area.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

hiking
Friday, August 14, 2015

My all time favorite hike.

hiking
Thursday, April 16, 2015