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Brown Mountain Trail via Brown Mountain Picnic Area

MODERATE 144 reviews
#1 of 37 trails in

Brown Mountain Trail via Brown Mountain Picnic Area is a 3.9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near 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. Horses are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
3.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
659 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

kid friendly

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

bird watching

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

no dogs

hiking
3 days ago

Wildflowers in bloom! Beautiful trail. Not a lot of traffic on it. Highly recommend!

hiking
no shade
rocky
4 days ago

Awesome trail but definitely a workout. I highly suggest doing the mountain, uphill, rocky half of the trail first. Do all the hard work first and then the second half of the hike is a breeze. It was a beautiful hike, purple red and orange rocks, lots of wild flowers, and of course cactus. I tracked climbing 50 floors so be prepared. Took us just a little over 2 hours with a couple of stops. Highly recommended but not for beginners

hiking
rocky
10 days ago

A solidly moderate trail. Rocky with switchbacks heading up the mountain on the south side. Shooting range noise until you are able to put the mountain between you and it. Great panoramic views of Tucson Mountain Park from the top. North side of loop is flatter with more solid packed soil.

hiking
14 days ago

Agree with all the prior reviews. Nice hike. Lots of views. Big payoff for not a lot of work.

Lots of plant life. It’s a beautiful walk through a desert garden.

hiking
no shade
15 days ago

hiking
16 days ago

Hiked it today. I recorded 4.53 miles, not the 3.9 per AllTrails. Great hike. Really gets the heart pumping. About 800 feet EC. Lots of Brittlebush in blume but only a small number of poppies. Quite a few folks today, but still felt like you had the place to yourself. Great hike. Took us about 2.5 hours. Not out for a land speed record. Perfect weather.

hiking
18 days ago

Liked this trail so much we decided to hike it again today

hiking
rocky
19 days ago

Awesome trail. Loved the views.

hiking
no shade
rocky
28 days ago

Good trail with two distinct parts. Steep and rocky on the hilltops section, flattish and sandier along the washes and lower slopes on the north side. Lots of spectacularly twisted Saguaro on the lower side. Great views from the hills.

hiking
no shade
rocky
1 month ago

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

Great views to Tucson Mtns and all points west. Rocky in spots.

2 months ago

This is a very nice trail to hike, not to long and not a lot of elevation, just a nice mid hike.

hiking
2 months ago

This was really a beautiful trail. Apparently this area gets more water as the vegetation was lush including green ground cover. Hedgehog cactus were profuse popping up like freckles on the face of the desert. Expansive views as you climb up and out of the Saguaro forest are just lovely

hiking
2 months ago

Lovely saunter. Well tended trails where you traverse along a mild ridge and alongside the desert floor to complete the loop.

hiking
2 months ago

This was a great moderate hike. The ridgeline was fun to hike, the view great, and the plants interesting. Signage would be nice, but the all-trails map made it easy to find.
All & all a good time.

3 months ago

It was an awesome trail. I parked at the Brown Mountain Picnic Area trailhead which in fact is easy to find the trail. There are a few picnic tables and grill stands if you desire. The start of the trail is narrow and not marked. It is only about 150 feet to the main trail after you walk through the wash. It is very easy to find. There is a dead saguaro that is still standing that is your indicator that you are in fast on the correct trail.

Take the trail counter clockwise starting right at the saguaro, since the ascent at the far end of the trail is much easier than the close end.

I would have rated the trail easy/moderate but I definitely agree with the rating of moderate because of the terrain. It is not steep, and provides switchbacks, however the footing is a little treacherous. I wouldn’t recommend running as it may be too easy to skip and fall or obtain another sort of injury. I’m very coordinated and at times had trouble with footing. But not to worry, there were a bunch of older folks on the trail.

Definitely recommended! Pretty views all across the top of the ridge!

hiking
3 months ago

Nice trail with good views but be aware that the trail shown above is NOT from the Brown Mountain Trailhead. The real trailhead in on the right side of the road that also goes to the Gilbert Ray campground area. When you take this trail be aware that you'll need to cross a wash with no signage. The trail picks up about 20 yards to the right of where you enter the wash. While the trail is fairly rated as moderate, it's not one you'd want to take without hiking shoes and some prior hiking experience. Also, be aware that there's lots of cacti leaning into the trail early on. The hike stats above are for the picnic area trail entry. From the main trail head you're looking at closer to 5 miles RT and 900 feet of altitude gain.

5 months ago

WARNING—- attacked by bees 1.5 miles into trail!! There must be hives hanging off the side of the peak. Be very careful when at the lookout areas!!!!

hiking
10 months 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
11 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

11 months ago

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

hiking
Tuesday, March 13, 2018

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!

Thursday, March 01, 2018

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

Monday, February 19, 2018

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.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

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

hiking
Sunday, February 11, 2018

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
Saturday, January 27, 2018

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

Monday, January 08, 2018

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!

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