Pima Canyon Trail

MODERATE 198 reviews
#1 of 32 trails in

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 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
666 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

hiking

horseback riding

rock climbing

trail running

walking

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

over grown

rocky

scramble

no dogs

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.

hiking
4 days ago

This is one of the most beautiful trails in Tucson. It goes on and on and on and unveils more and more of the beautiful Sonoran desert.. it really should be done before 1 April. Really really gorgeous enjoyable hike steady uphill not overly challenging.

hiking
17 days ago

First time on this trail. Very nice, good hike. Kids were on the trail and had no trouble climbing the "rock" stairs. (what we call them). We were fortunate to see Big Horn Sheep. Beautiful site

2 months ago

Was nice hike through the low clouds .

2 months ago

Great trail. Did it in the rain today and it was beautiful with the low clouds.

hiking
2 months ago

Perfect trail for a fairly quick out and back . It is kinda anticlimactic when you reach the end to turn around. The trail is well maintained and well trafficked.

2 months ago

relatively easy. beautiful scenery. great morning hike

hiking
2 months ago

Rocky, especially at first. Beautiful scenery that changes throughout the hike. Beautiful views as you get higher in the mountains.

2 months ago

Nice hike but a little overgrown. Long pants recommended

hiking
2 months ago

Great views. Rocky, but so doable. Thought out would be difficult but it was easy going.

trail running
3 months ago

Ran 3 miles up and turned around. Nice scenery. More rocky than I expected.

trail running
3 months ago

One of my favorites!

3 months ago

good cool weather hike, beautiful, variety of desert flora birds!

hiking
3 months ago

No real destination and a bit busy, but diverse foliage and great views.

3 months ago

Very rocky and you need good shoes to protect your feet and provide good footing very heavy travel

4 months ago

Beautiful scenery!!

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike with amazing views of Tucson and up into the canyon. Some fairly technical hiking over loose rock but nothing too bad. We really enjoyed this trail with our 12yr old daughter.

hiking
4 months ago

I did this trail once last Thanksgiving, and once again this Thanksgiving, and boy was it different. Last year we had gotten a lot more water, so once you got down into the canyon it was very lush, complete with a running stream--not so this year! It has been dry since July so it pretty much just looked like regular desert the whole way.

Things I like about this trail:
-It's very easy to get to
-Petroglyphs!
-Nice vegetation and pretty shady after the first mile
-Some good views of the city in the early parts of the trail
-There's a nice big rock about 2.5 miles in, maybe a bit less, with views of the stream bed and some cottonwood trees that is a very peaceful place to sit and rest before turning back.

Things I don't like about this trail:
-Can be heavily trafficked at times which kind of ruins the peacefulness of it.
-Really, really rocky. The first mile, and everything I've done past about 2.2 miles is just walking on big rocks, which you might think is no big deal but my feet are always pretty sore the next day from having rocks poking into them.
-Unless you want to go all the way to the end of the trail, which goes well beyond what is shown here, there isn't really anything that feels like a destination on this trail
-Like most of our trails here, most of it is not very well shaded
-As others have said it is a bit overgrown; go in expecting to get your arms scratched up.

hiking
5 months ago

Eases you into a trail around side of foothill, down to arroyo and some clamber involved. Only went 3 miles out then back, will complete next time!

hiking
6 months ago

Solid hike with some good views of the city. The canyon gives some decent shade to beat the heat as well. Time it right and it's a great way to end the day and catch the sunset on the way back to the trailhead.

6 months ago

Good stuff

hiking
6 months ago

Very gentle quiet trail for first 2 miles. Not the best views since it is low, but great for a low key hike.

6 months ago

Great hike!

hiking
6 months ago

Great hike, but overgrown right now. Needs some trimming

hiking
7 months ago

Great trail for jogging and sight seeing! Would do again!

9 months ago

Beautiful! A little rocky and kind of slippery after a light afternoon rain. Trail gets easier after the first 1.5 miles.

hiking
10 months ago

Good trail with awesome views both close and distant.

hiking
11 months ago

hiking
Saturday, April 15, 2017

Fun hike! Go all the way to the dam it's worth it.

hiking
Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Awesome trail, beautiful canyon! Most commenters don't go all the way up the canyon to pima saddle- hard hike but so worth it!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Nice hike, amazing natural rock "stairs." Water creek running, very cool at bottom of canyon, makes it for a nice hike.

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