Brown Mountain Trail via Brown Mountain Picnic Area

MODERATE 95 reviews

Brown Mountain Trail via Brown Mountain Picnic Area is a 3.9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Old Tucson, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from September until May. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
3.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
659 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

kid friendly

birding

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

no dogs

hiking
1 month ago

This is a surprisingly good hike. Head right and it’s pretty flat with slight inclines for first 2 miles or so. I was pleasantly surprised when it eventually started to go up! I didn’t need my hiking boots for first half but glad I had them on 2nd half. Very quiet and scenic, and I was the only one on the trail at 545p.

hiking
2 months ago

Love these mountains the views are beautiful and it’s very quiet/not busy at all. Be prepared for no cover or shaded areas. Very windy at the top which cools you down but be careful! Very fun hike

2 months ago

Go early ! It’s warm. But a great trial run. Pups loved it.

hiking
3 months ago

This is the 6th time I’ve hiked Brown: twice at the base, twice on the loop, once straight up the S end and back down, and (today) from one end to the other. My hiking buddy and I parked one rig at each end of the mountain. We began at the Trailhead off McCain Loop, and finished at the north end (by the restrooms). We stopped several times, since we hiked during the heat of the day (which I do not recommend). Brown is always a great workout!

3 months ago

Great hike. Go when it’s cool as that last peak is daunting in the heat.

4 months ago

This is a beautiful trail and a fantastic way to see the Tucson mountains. Fairly dense saguaros, varied terrain, and gorgeous views. My only complaint was that I saw several dogs which are clearly prohibited as stated on the sign. Now, I am a serious dog lover and honestly don’t mind them out there, but there were many piles of poo on the trail so either someone’s not picking up after their pets and/or there are some critters about that could seriously harm your pet. Be cautious and courteous if you’re going to bring Fido.

4 months ago

Hiked from Gilbert Ray Campground. Trail to top of Brown Mountain then loops back to parking area. Great views.

hiking
4 months ago

Enjoyed this desert hike in the different cactus. Elevation was not taxing. The trail was fine, but you needed to watch your step. Beautiful 360 view from the peak.

hiking
4 months ago

Really enjoyed this hike. We went counterclockwise on the loop so all the more difficult stuff was at the end.

5 months ago

This trail is NOT open for dogs! Was very disappointed after driving to the trailhead to discover that trails in the Tucson County Mountain Park are not open to dogs except service dogs. Really too bad!

hiking
5 months ago

Done this trail a few times before, and again on NYD this year. Nice mix of up and down for one half, and pretty level for the other. It's a good trail to stay in shape during the week. Takes between 1.5 and 2 hrs, I would think... I start at the trailhead off McCain loop road to the E of the route shown here (The little black dotted line coming off the middle of the white road just below Kinney Rd and meeting the trail). I do the peaks first. Nice views of surrounding desert, and really nice to start just before sunrise. It's pretty much murder in the summer, like everywhere in Tucson, but if you get an early start, or go on a cloudy monsoon day, it's every bit as enjoyable. 3 stars only because there are a million hikes like this in AZ...Extra star for convenience to Tucson, making it achievable during the work week. :)

6 months ago

5 stars = as good as it gets!
There may be better trails, but this novice has yet to encounter them. I feel accomplished after this hike!

Leading up to this trek, I conditioned on 6 previous trails (including 1 trip up Tumamoc and 2 trips along the base of this mountain—between picnic areas). This was a challenge for me, as I have chronic joint pain (mainly knees). That said, I was able to complete the loop with relatively little pain. (However, I use trekking poles, take turmeric and fish oil daily & take Aleve as needed for pain.)

FYI: there are 4 peaks (maybe it was 3, but it seems like there were 4) along this ridge, so keep that in mind, if you are a beginner like me.

TIPS: I recommend starting at the Brown Picnic Area and hiking clockwise back to the trailhead.. There is a RR and water at the 1/2-way mark: San Juan Picnic Area. One could even hike with a buddy and park one vehicle at each picnic area, if need be.

hiking
6 months ago

I really enjoy this hike! I have hiked along the wash (at the base—between picnic areas) twice now. The next time, I am determined to climb to the top and complete the full loop! (I have had to ease into this hiking season, due to chronic joint pain.)

TIP: If you begin at the Brown Mt Picnic area, and want to hike out to the San Jain Picnic Area (where there are RR’s and a water fountain) and back, be sure to veer to the right at The Headless Saguaro. Veering to the left will take you to the top of the mountain.

hiking
7 months ago

If you're looking for something that requires effort, this is not your hike. This is a peaceful meander, thoroughly meditative, in and around beautiful cacti and marvelous views.

hiking
8 months ago

Simple, easy to follow trail once you reach the hills with nice saguaro views. Not as breathtaking as the canyons but I imagine this sunset beats all others (went during the afternoon in October)

8 months ago

Beautiful! If you walk westward down the wash there are stunning purple rocks for quite a ways.

hiking
Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Unless you hike more than two times a month, this trail is not easy. It is poorly marked to start. We ascended the west flank from a rather hard to figure path. A large wash has to be crossed w/o signage. The trail is very rocky, with loose debris as you go. Not for tennis shoes or preteen or dogs. The views and Saguaro cacti are outstanding. When descending the east side, the colored rock is very cool looking but very difficult to proceed downhill. I agree that the trail should be traveled counterclockwise.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Nice ridge hike

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Great trail. Beautiful views. Not very well marked in the valley section. We built a couple of cairns to try to help others out.

hiking
Saturday, February 25, 2017

Good easy walk with great views of the towns below and landscape all around. Easy walk but good cardio in places.

hiking
Saturday, February 25, 2017

Good easy walk with great views of the towns below and landscape all around. Easy walk but good cardio in places.

hiking
Saturday, February 25, 2017

Good easy walk with great views of the towns below and landscape all around. Easy walk but good cardio in places.

hiking
Saturday, February 25, 2017

Good easy walk with great views of the towns below and landscape all around. Easy walk but good cardio in places.

hiking
Thursday, February 16, 2017

Good easy walk with great views of the towns below and landscape all around. Easy walk but good cardio in places.

hiking
Thursday, February 16, 2017

Good easy walk with great views of the towns below and landscape all around. Easy walk but good cardio in places.

hiking
Sunday, January 22, 2017

Good hike, with views. It's easier going counter-clockwise.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Very enjoyable walk a great ridge climb followed by a good meandering stroll in the Leigh of the hill. Lots of birds too. We were walking in a group of 5 and all agreed that it was great to do the ridge first and then the valley. A great introduction to the landscape flora and fauna of the Sonoran desert.

hiking
Friday, January 06, 2017

And hiking. I did a lot better then the first time I walked it. There were a lot of air sucking moments for me but loved the hike and lots of geocaches.

hiking
Wednesday, October 05, 2016

I agree that this is an easy trail. There's a restroom in the middle of it, which is nice. Saw no one, but it's not a trail that takes you 'away', as signs of civilization are all around you for most of it. Saw lots of hawks.
I recommend this for a quick and easy hike when you don't have much time. Good for beginners.

hiking
Monday, October 03, 2016

I don't have much to rate it against since it was my first hike. We hiked across the ridge from the picnic area to the north to the camp grounds to the south. My two year old rode in a back pack for the ride. I think he enjoyed it too. It wasn't too bad, a little rougher than I expected from other reviews. Very enjoyable and beautiful though.

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