Soldier Trail

HARD 73 reviews
#5 of 33 trails in

Soldier Trail is a 5 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Tucson, Arizona that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from September until May. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

5.0 miles
1,866 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly




no shade

Beatiful canyons, challenging hike This trail follows the route of an old road and power line from the Catalina Highway to the site of a now-abandoned prison camp. The camp is gone and the power line poles cut down. The trail follows portions of this old route and provides access to an excellent example of Sonoran desert habitat. As the trail winds up the mountain, it visits a few ridge tops that provide good views back toward the city before dropping into Soldier Canyon, where there are some picturesque waterfalls when the stream is running. The boulder-strewn cascades over which those falls tumble are pleasant to spend a few moments by even when they are dry.

29 days ago

Great hike in Tucson! It’s fairly sleep and off putting at the beginning but it was definitely worth it. I loved seeing how the flora and fauna and the geology changed as you went up the. Went mid July, started around 8am and caught the start of a monsoon around noon. There isn’t any cover so be prepared during monsoon season!

1 month ago

Great hike. Obviously better when it is cooler. Went early to beat the heat. Lots of flies this time of year (June). Long sleeves and hat helped.

3 months ago

I loved it! I like challenging hiking trails, and this one was. I only made it half way up. Was interesting to find all the power lines cut down, yet not removed. Will go again for sure. Views were breathtaking.

4 months ago

Nice hike, seemed to be steepest during the initial assent. Fun connector to Sycamore Reservoir and further trails. Great views throughout!

4 months ago

great hike! but if you bring your dog, boots are highly highly recommend. the terrain is very rough and will quickly cause pad damage. also, if you hike during summer, be prepared for your self and dog. Not too many sppts for shaded breaks, heat can really take a toll on your dog if you are not careful.

4 months ago

Great hike/run! Spectacular views leaving desert floor and Saguaros behind to high desert. Amazing options to connect up to AZ trail as well. Make sure you have good shoes.

5 months ago

Definitely tough! I would not bring dogs and make sure you have proper footwear. Very steep and I hope your cardio is on point. Had a blast and loved the challenge.

5 months ago

It's our second time hiking up from the hwy and it was much better. Not hard anymore. We hiked to the canyon where there was nice little falls. Just under 7 miles RT. the temp was in the high 30s starting out and stayed nice and cold until we got down and it was a little warm. Really enjoyed the workout.

6 months ago

Great views of Eastern Tucson. Sadly no flowing water but a great hike for dogs.

6 months ago

Great hike in late January. The first mile is definitely straight uphill, but has beautiful scenery with saguaro cacti and rock formations. The progression from climb to canyon views to grasslands made for a fun hike. Ends at an abandoned prison camp but walk another 0.2 miles to reach a developed area with stables, picnic table and bathrooms. The trail is peaceful and serene and we encountered only a handful of other people along the way.

7 months ago

The first mile is the toughest and if you can get through that the rest will be smooth sailing. The trail is easy to follow and provided some kick ass views. Would not recommend this to someone who has bad knees.

10 months ago

Start early as there is no shade on the trail. Nice views, saw a family of deer. Lots of brush overgrown into the trail right now (after the rainy season) so wear pants or enjoy having your legs get beat up. First part is very rocky and steep, so think twice about bringing your dog if they aren't a regular hiker.

11 months ago

Hiking poles advisable for steep grades. Great views of valley floor below. My dog scraped off the pads of her front paws on the sharp rocks of the steep final descent, so not so "dog friendly".

Friday, August 11, 2017

Lots of gnats and mosquitoes in August. Steep climb the 1st 0.5mi into the hike.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

steep at first but its a good hike. toke my dog with me so that was nice.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Great Hike. First mile or so is steep. Easy trail to follow

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Really steep at the beginning so a little difficult to get into. It's a pretty hike and the waterfalls at the end are nice. I will definitely do it again.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

I'd say this is on the easier side of difficult. Hang a left when you get to the stream at the end to get to the waterfall, which is unusual and beautiful!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017


As other users have mentioned, the beginning is steep. During my hike the wind gusts were strong. The majority of the Northern journey is uphill. The terrain varies from loose rock, to flat soil, to moderately steep rock face. I would not recommend bringing a dog on this trail.

Monday, January 30, 2017

This was a STEEP climb 4 steps from the hwy, but it was worth it and an excellent workout. The parking is actually a pull out area off of the hwy up mount Lemmon just enough room for 3 cars. You should get there very early.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Great trail with great variety of terrain. The initial three quarters of a mile are difficult with steep rocky ascent of about 750ft or so. After that the trail becomes more level while traversing grassland with some less arduous ascents to a saddle and eventually to where it ends, meeting other trails. The views are spectacular.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

I highly recommend this trail if you are looking for a short hike with some good elevation gain. The path is relatively easy to follow and end of Soldiers Trail is very rewarding. The water stream has shaped a very unqiue water fall that is worth checking out. When you come to the clearing and hear water, all you must do is follow the flow of water and it will quide you to the cool rock formations. Added perk is that it's dog friendly so a portion of the hikers will have their cute furry friends along side. Arguably one of the best hikes in Tucson for dogs. If you do bring your dog, be sure to clean up and keep our trails clean. Thank you!

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Amazing views, amazing trail!

Saturday, October 01, 2016

This was a fantastic trail. The first mile or so is a steep incline with large rocks. There are parts where the grass hides the trail a bit, and it can get a little confusing. Great views and a nice change of scenery.

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Beautiful little trail which takes you up into the Catalinas, through a small "valley" with a creek and some tall grass, then up and over a ridge to the nestled prison camp. near the camp ground, the trail splits; taking the left fork brings you through some beautiful slot canyons and nice climbs- go hang out with the climbers at the crags!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

This trail is gnarly the first mile up, but the views are spectacular.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

I LOVE this trail!! It is my go to if I need to clear my mind, don't have a lot of time, it's leg day, you name it. It's one of the first trails as you head up Mt Lemmon and by far it is not for the faint hearted.
I would rate the first mile as difficult, the rest of the way is a walk in the park. That first mile is almost entirely uphill with large rocks. You've texted about 1 1/4 mi when you get to the vista overlooking the canyon.
This can be a point to point however I usually hike it in and out. Also can make this a 3 mi if you continue from the vista and turn around once you've gone down to where you would begin trekking to some campgrounds to the East.
Plus this isn't heavily frequented, I like to take my pups and let them explore. This is also the ONLY trail I've been on that I've seen a Gila monster

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Really good late Afternoon hike. Hit trail at 430 and was back in car at sunset at 730 nice and cool. Dog friendly but I'd say only for bigger heartier dog; this can be a beast hike for smaller dogs. Pretty steep and a lot of loose rock - kind of a pain for the first third of a mile but then the trail kicks in. Nice elevation makes good work out. Actually a good trainer for rim to rim since the elevation pitches are about the same (though nowhere near as long or far). Just a really good short workout hike with great views and low low traffic (at least on a weeknight).

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Hard initially but worth the effort

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

I did this trail in October. Even though the first section is quite steep, it doesn't last long and the rest of the trail is more moderate difficulty. Prior writer about the grass over the trail is true, which would feel lovely in the winter without fear of snakes. At the end, we explored the prison area, which had an excellent display explaining the history. We also went a little extra (took a left up the wash) to a nice saddle where we had lunch and views to the west.

Load More