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Tanque Verde Ridge Trail is a 20 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Tucson, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Length 20.0 mi Elevation gain 5,597 ft Route type Out & Back

Backpacking

Camping

Hiking

Nature trips

Bird watching

Running

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

No shade

No dogs

Waypoints (0)
Contact

Saguaro National Park 3693 South Old Spanish Trail Tucson, AZ 85730-5601 By Phone Visitor Information - Rincon Mountain District (520) 733-5153 Visitor Information - Tucson Mountain District (520) 733-5158 Headquarters (520) 733-5100 By Fax 520-733-5183

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (219)
Photos (248)
Recordings (228)
Completed (262)
Michael Ariz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Jun 29 2020
HikingNo shade

Saguaros, Ocotillos, Cholla, steady incline, beautiful views. Plus the saguaros were all in bloom so we got to eat some of their fruit too.

kayla baldwin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed May 27 2020
HikingNo shade

We did just under half of this trail out and back on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. We were surprised with the solitude on a holiday weekend - even despite COVID. We saw 3 other people all day. Know there is minimal shade, look for the cairns, and I’d recommend hiking pants vs shorts as some of the trail has some minor overgrowth. Its a steady incline but an absolutely amazing view early and often ! Will definitely be back to backpack in and try to get a permit to camp

Tom MostlyGerman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Apr 20 2020
Hiking

Went three miles in and turned. I'm local to Tucson and my first time. I usually hike in saguaro west; king canyon and Sweetwater trails. I really liked this one for a number of reasons. Good climb but not insanely hard. Views are spectacular. I liked the trail itself..good footing. Could be my new favorite trail. Plan to go back.

Jennifer Milam
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSun Apr 19 2020
HikingNo shade
View Jennifer's Recording
Maddie Brown
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Feb 13 2020
BackpackingNo shade

Hiked up and camped overnight at Juniper Basin. Fairly easy to navigate with some well-places cairns throughout the trial. Awesome views, especially on clear days can see all the way across Tucson. Each campsite at Juniper has a bear box to store food in. Flowing stream right by campsite if you need to filter water. Some snow at the peak and campsite so if staying long, make sure to bring layers. Long pants recommended as you do have to walk through some brush on the trail.

Doug Carman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Feb 10 2020
FeeNo shade
View Doug's Recording
James Abel
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jan 16 2020
Hiking

Made it to juniper basin. It’s always fun to hike in saguaro— one of my favorite natl parks.

Sidney McMurray
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jan 10 2020
Hiking

Went 2.5 mi in and turned around at the dome/open area. Continuous climb up. Great views.

View Sidney's Recording
Charles Boenig
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Nov 03 2019
Backpacking

I hiked this trail all the way to the Juniper Basin campground. It was a long hard trail but had truly spectacular views. The trail was VERY hard to follow at times and I only arrived at Juniper Basin just before dark as it took me much longer to reach than I had planned. Juniper basin is a very nice camping area but only had 3 tent areas (you must make a reservation). Unfortunately the outhouse is broken down and disgusting. No roof and only 3 walls and a broken toilet seat. There was a small trickle of a stream near the campground that can be filtered or boiled. Campfires are permitted and there is plenty of wood (but bring a saw or ax).

Eric Ibanez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue Oct 15 2019
Camping

Took this trail about 7 miles in to the Juniper Basin campground and stayed the night. This trail definitely has some challenging spots as the terrain gets rocky with some steep inclines. For the most part the trail is clearly visible and manageable when properly hydrated and in good physical condition. I had an awesome time on this trail. I'd definitely recommend it. 10/11/19.

Larry Barrett
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSun Oct 13 2019
HikingOff trail
Tiffany Ynosencio
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Oct 12 2019
BackpackingOver grown
View Tiffany's Recording
Zoe Laskoskie
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Oct 04 2019
Hiking

Would highly recommend this trail. Not heavily trafficked and has beautiful views. Will come back for a backpacking stint to do the whole length.

View Zoe's Recording
Alvin Tostig
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed May 29 2019
Hiking

Made it to Juniper Campground. Didn't see anyone on this 12 hour hike until I was near the trailhead. Hard hike for sure. Loved it.

Shannon Kaye
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue May 07 2019
No shadeOver grownRocky

My husband and I hiked this 5/4/19. It's a strenuous workout, lots of upward climbing. Take food and more water than you think you will need. We took a gallon each, and wanted more by the end. We got as far as 7.5 miles up, according to my Fitbit. This was the longest hike we've ever done. This time of year the vegetation is exploding. There were beautiful flowers everywhere. Once we hit the grasslands, much of the vegetation was waist high and sprawling, making the trail narrow, but lovely. In our 12 hours we only saw 4 people, deer, squirrels and a plethora of birds. It was very warm toward the end of our descent. If you're hiking it in warmer months, be sure to have electrolyte replacement drinks, as well as plain COLD water. Enjoy, be smart, be careful and be respectful of this incredible but fragile environment. ✌

Michael St Denis
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Apr 24 2019
HikingNo shadeOver grown

Hiked this trail on 21 April. Started on the trail at 0725, reached Tanque Verde peak at 1105, and was back to the trailhead just before 3 pm. Round trip was exactly 18 miles. Bring plenty of water. I brought a full 2 liter camelback and 3 plastic bottle bottles and still went ran out of water with about 2 miles left on the way back down. The trail is very exposed with nearly no shade the entire way on the ridge so wear a sun hat and bring plenty of sunscreen. Trail is fairly easy to follow with rock markers at places where the trail fades a little. Partially overgrown in places with brush so high socks were nice but hiking pants or gaiters maybe would’ve been nice (knees got scratched up a little bit). If I had more time I would’ve camped out for the night at Juniper Basin (beautiful little backcountry camping area set down in a forested river bed 6.9 miles up the ridge). Saw a Gila Monster but not much wildlife otherwise.

Joe Walker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Mar 02 2019
Hiking

First 3.5 miles are not fun. The last 3 miles are long because of the first 3 miles. Every bit as difficult as a Bright Angle out of the GC.

View Joe's Recording
MK Tye
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Feb 17 2019
Hiking

Lots of up and down in the middle part of the trail can get a bit tedious, but worth it for the 360-degrees views from the top of Tanque Verde. Lower part of trail pretty busy, but saw no one past Juniper Basin Campground.

View MK's Recording
David Hydukovich
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Feb 14 2019
Hiking

Greatly enjoyed this trail. Hiked to the dome, about 3 miles from picnic area and parking. Gained about 1500 feet of elevation but was gradual in most places so didn’t seem to steep. Not much traffic, we saw 5 other hikers while we were out. Rain was coming so turned back a little sooner than planned. Would definitely do again.

Jose Hinojos
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Feb 03 2019
HikingRocky

Nice trail,, started early but then the rain got me up there,, was planning on doing more the 8 miles but had to turn around as it was raining pretty hard!! Got back soaking wet even though I had a poncho on!! Lots of wildlife though!! Must try again sometime!!

View Jose 's Recording
Stephen G.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarThu Jan 31 2019
HikingNo shadeRocky
Cory Johnston
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Jan 02 2019
Running

I ran to the peak and back in late December with about 6 inches of fresh snow the last 4 miles. Amazing terrain. Beautiful Arizona views. A true backcountry adventure in the later parts of the year. Don’t expect to see any humans out there beyond 5 miles, and bring plenty of food! Have fun!!

A LR
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Dec 04 2018
Backpacking

Beautiful trail, loved how I could watch the vegetation change with the elevation. I did this with my pack and camped at Juniper Basin. Definitely cold and subject to cloud cover this time of year (December), but no one else was out there so I had Tanque Verde peak to myself.

Liz McDonald
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Nov 18 2018
Hiking

We only went up for 3.5 miles from Javelina Picnic area but it took us a long time because we had to admire and photograph all the beautiful flowers and grasses along the trail, not to mention the view. It’s inexorably upward but there are plenty of switchbacks. There is no shade, but in mid-November, the exposure was reasonable with a wide brim hat and sunscreen. It is a delightful trail.

Ray Chance
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Sep 07 2018
Hiking

This is a challenging hike and it covers 11.5 miles one way. It can be hiked year round, but this is actually too hot to hike in its lower elevations during May through September when temperatures often reach well above 100 degrees in the afternoon. The trail begins at the Javelina Picnic area and ends at Cowhead Saddle. Total elevation gain is over 4000 feet one way. The high point is Tanque Verde Peak. The views from the top are wonderful. Many people just do a day hike from Javelina Picnic area to Tanque Verde Peak and return to the Javelina Picnic area (for a round trip total of 17.9 miles).

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