Pima Canyon Trail is a 3.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Tucson, Arizona that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, rock climbing, and horses and is best used from September until May. Horses are also able to use this trail.
Located at the Northwest side of Tucson on the edge of front range of the Santa Catalina Mountains lies the Iris O. Dewhirst trail. Also commonly known as the Pima Canyon Trail #62. This well traveled and well known trail is popular among trail runners, hikers, and day trippers of the Tucson area. Though the stream in Pima Canyon is dry for most of the year, it supports an excellent example of a desert riparian habitat located conveniently close to the Tucson metropolitan area. Unfortunately, that accessibility has resulted in significant overuse of this beautiful and fragile area, especially during the winter, its season of highest use. From the trailhead, located among suburban ranchos, the trail ascends a V-shaped notch carved along the south face of Pusch Ridge. Views down the canyon get better as you climb, encompassing the city of Tucson as well as distant mountains and valleys. The riparian area on the floor of the canyon provides excellent birdwatching for a wide variety of resident and migratory species that make use of this most productive of all desert habitat types. Other desert creatures you may encounter in this area include javelina and jackrabbits, but the real viewing prize of Pima Canyon and the entire Pusch Ridge area are the desert bighorn sheep that maintain a surefooted existence here among rocky crags and rugged canyons. Beyond Pima Spring, the trail becomes steeper and harder to follow as it continues to climb to the upper slopes of Mt. Kimball. Incentives for persevering here are good views of Window Rock and Cathedral Rock. Trail #62 ends at its junction with the Finger Rock Trail #42.
Nice hike, amazing natural rock "stairs." Water creek running, very cool at bottom of canyon, makes it for a nice hike.
Very rocky trail in places. Not sure it's a good one for real beginners or those who are a bit gun-shy about clambering over rocks. Trail is narrow in many places so moving off to let people pass is tricky in a few spots. We didn't encounter anyone on horseback but it would be very important to find a good spot to let horses pass without spooking them or landing yourself into a cactus. Beautifully peaceful early in the morning. A lot of hikers use this trail and most seem to talk the whole way up and back.
Not my most favorite hike here in Tucson. I walked about 2.1 miles before coming to a small falls. Not much water in the stream despite it having rained the day before. 3/4 of the hike was very rocky. I loved the challenge but probably missed some of the scenery because I had to keep my eyes on the trail because of the rocks. Not sure how anybody could run on this trail. While I'm not in the best shape I do do a lot of cycling and walking. I would say this trail is moderate.
This is a fun and varied trail -- mostly easy-moderate and not too challenging but with steep sections, stream crossings, loose rocks and small boulders, and fantastic views both up and down. I recommend wearing hiking boots that offer ankle support because of the rocks and angled sections of the trail. It's well traveled, so go early.
Sandra Dee K.
Great trail! Over rocks, sand, multiple small stream crossings all along side a small stream. Beautiful views of mountains towering overhead. Does not feel like the desert at all!!!