Ventana Canyon Trail is a 9.5 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Tucson, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from March until October.
The first 1.5 miles are relatively flat with a big kick up before maiden pools. The pools are as far and I went- they were beautiful. Water was running but they were a bit dry. Be careful as the rocks are pretty slick thanks to frequent water erosion. There were many water crossings that I could see being challenging when flowing- most of them were totally dry today. Wildflowers were in full bloom and in combination with ventana canyon views made for stunning visuals the whole way. I WILL be back to get to the window!! Over doubling my 5.2 miles with substantial elevation gain will be a hike of a lifetime for me!
Well worth the hike. Beautiful views!
get an early start if sunny. difficult, steep
Beautiful views the entire hike
Feb 1-4, 2017: Ventana Canyon Trail to Esperero Trail to the Window Rock to Window Peak to Cathedral Rock Trail to Sabino Canyon Trail to Romero Pass to Romero Canyon Trail and out at Catalina State Park. Four days and three nights.
Ventana Canyon Trail is beautiful! The hike over the ridge before Maiden Pools is a little steep and we lost the trail for a bit but this app was very helpful. The Maiden Pools are delightful and well worth the effort for a day hike. Since we got a late start, we camped the first night a mile or so up trail from Maiden Pools. The next day we headed up the canyon to the Esperero Canyon Trail and headed to the Window Rock. The trail was quite icy moving up to Window Peak, where we camped on the pass. The next morning we headed down the pass towards Cathedral Rock, continuing on Esperero Trail. The trail was quite snowy with tracks of only one other hiker, but plenty of tracks of big cats. We left Esperero Trail to head up on Cathedral Rock Trail. The south side was clearly marked but a fairly grueling push to the pass. The trail on the north side of the was not well marked and clearly no one had been through in quite some time. This app was very helpful as there were few cairns and the trail coming down was very overgrown and quite snowy. This was probably the most challenging part of the trip. We eventually connected with the West Fork of Sabino Canyon Trail #24 which had some long gentle switchbacks to Romero Pass. The trail was well marked and fairly well maintained--a number downed trees over the trail in some sections that the USFS hadn't gotten to yet though. We camped our third night on Romero Pass, which rewarded us with splendid views down Sabino and Romero Canyon. On our final day we continued down Romero Canyon Trail past the delightful Romero Pools and exited at Catalina State Park. We carried a GPS but rarely used it; this app was very reliable and helped us stay on trail (or find it again) many times.
This hike was beautiful. Be prepared to walk through the water a few times, and bring plenty of water. I wouldn't say it's hard, maybe moderate. Trekking poles may be helpful on the way down as it is quite steep.
Great, hard hike but much longer than 9 miles - I clocked 12 and took about 6 hours, finishing up just after sunset (bring a light). I also carried 3L of water and used 95% of it. The view at the top is terrific, since you can see the city of Tucson as well as the other side of the Catalinas.