Cougar Trail

MODERATE 12 reviews

Cougar Trail is a 7.8 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 March until October. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

7.8 miles
898 feet

dog friendly

kid friendly



mountain biking

nature trips

trail running


horseback riding


wild flowers


Saguaro National Park - - (520) 733-5158

2 months ago

Okay. The Cougar trail starts at pullout K15, across Kinney road from the parking area. It ends at pullout K23, same side as the parking area. The actual distance is closer to six miles in and out. The whole trail basically follows a utility easement and is usually a well defined unpaved service road. at about 1.85 miles, there is a large wash, and the trail spikes away from the power lines. It is easy to miss the continuation over the wash and continue onto the Ringtail Trail where you may find yourself back on Kinney Road at pullout K19, so keep an eye out for the trail - remember it follows the power lines.

After this wash, there are some good climbs, with the last revealing a view of the Tucson Desert Museum, and the highest spot on the trail. From here, you're basically at the end, and can go downhill a few hundred feet to pullout K23 as described above. The hike back is a bit weary, especially after the sun comes up! But mostly downhill with a few shady spots to rest (good for the doggy!)

The Tucson Mountains are your backdrop most of the time, with some good sweeping views of the valley. Also some dense underbrush in the washes and behind the Archery Range (The trail runs the backside of that). There are too some nice groves of saguaro, but overall I'm giving this trail 3 stars. It has poor and nonexistent markings, a number of unmarked side trails, and it is an easement. The power lines are almost always in the view.

Good hike to warm up for something bigger.

2 months ago

The Trailhead is not Brown Mountain Trail. It is at the Western terminus of Gates Pass Road, just North. The diagram on Alltrails shows a loop consisting of part of the Cougar trail (N) and the low portion of the Brown Mountain trail. There is a trail marker on Brown Mountain trail just after you clear the wash that directs you to the Cougar trail, but you intersect it about 1/2 way. Maybe that's where the confusion lies. It got dark on me while I was figuring this out...So tomorrow's another day.

There and back on the Cougar trail looks more like 5.6 miles. I'll be doing the whole stretch tomorrow for a complete review.

3 months ago

Friday, August 19, 2016

A relatively flat trail through the Tucsons that is good for dogs. The section of the trail north of Kinney was a bit obscured from time to time, so mainly follow the light poles. Despite having to bushwhack a few times, it was a nice hike. Views of the mountains, wildflowers. lizards, and birds. I did encounter a couple of rattlers and a swarm of bees without incident, so be on the lookout.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Friday, May 22, 2015

Starting point is K-19 (Kinney). Parking is on the right and is limited. Trail is well laid out.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Nice easier return to starting point after hiking Brown Mountain trail. Only real difficulty is finding where it branches off near Juan Santa Cruz picnic area.

Friday, July 27, 2012

took the Cougar Trail bout 1800 today & really not impressed. don't get me wrong we have a beautiful desert, Saguaro's, Cactus, Chollas etc etx but the trail was very short. this is an ideal trail for a quick 37minute walk not 2hrs... No signs of critters :(

Friday, June 01, 2012

Nice trail off main trail. Can either take wash back to main trail or head to brown mountain trail. Saw ringtail cat on wash trail

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Nice scenic trail that leads you right into brown mountain trail.