Explore the best birding trails in Arizona with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
We did this hike twice on recent trip to Tucson. Valley temps were 90's so great way to escape the heat! I would hike counter-clockwise for nice trek following a stream through the woods. About mid-point You can detour on the Wilderness of Rocks trail (as out and back) for some other views. On the backside there were a few big views. The last part of the decent is rocky and a bit steep. Probably more shade once the leaves come out in spring. This is a busy location so arrive early for parking.
Note: The actual trail does not match up to the Forest Service trail shown on Garmin hiking GPS. The trail is obvious but if you are following the Garmin it will give some doubt the first time you do this trail.
Great loop hike with big views along the way. I would recommend hiking counter-clockwise beginning on the old forest road. This way your assent is on the steep rocky trail and decent on a longer moderate switchbacks. Be aware there is zero shade along the trail! Top can be windy. There are a couple of partly shady nooks at the top for a lunch spot.
I have lived in Tucson for almost 40 years. I have always heard that Tanque Verde Falls were beautiful, but never took the time to see for myself. The pictures I have seen do not do it justice. My teenage son goes there frequently to cliff jump into some of the swollen pools, but I went for the beauty. you definitely need to be careful in the upper falls area, and I can see why so many people have fallen to injury or death there. in the future, I am certainly going to explore this area more, but I am going to wear better shoes.