Explore the most popular backpacking trails near Tucson with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

nature trips
22 days ago

Beautiful hike with lots of potential wildlife sightings. Went last weekend and saw a Ringtail! Tried to find him again today but no luck. Saw him near an overlook at just under the first mile mark.

One of the tougher trails in the Tucson area. The cooler option hangs a left and back-countriez up to the gaurd above finger rock.

cross country skiing
1 month ago

I spent a lot of time trying to stay on the actual trail very poor job they have done at marking it. Past the second set of pools trail seems to end. I wandered around for awhile finally able to find out that you cross the creek to the right and the trail picks up again. I had this happen multiple times. I made it in about 7 miles and determined that I wouldn’t have enough light or water left to finish the 18 mile loop. The first half of the 18 miles is majorly up steep inclines so plan accordingly for water. I had 6 liters to start, probably needed another 2-3 if I would have done whole trail. After first set of pools I saw no one, which is what I like. Overall I liked the hike because it was a good challenge, good inclines no people. Hells gate is the hardest one I’ve done so far, which really isn’t what I would call that difficult. This trail is definitely challenging. I will be back next Saturday to conquer it. This time no more wasting time with finding the trail.

This is a wonderfully hard and satisfying uphill hike! It is 10 miles total. I’ve never seen horses on this trail nor would it be a good trail for them. 4,200’ of elevation gain.

20-Years ago, before dawn I would run to Spud Rock (great view), from there you can go a little further to Mica Mountain where there once was a lookout tower.

You can continue on through a fern meadow to Reef Rock and then to Manning Camp where you can refill water from a spring or the Ranger Station and sign a guestbook. I signed in as the Naked Hiker and was kind of a legend among the summer trail workers ‘cause I’d do this hike every Saturday when it was too hot to go on the Tanque Verde Falls to Chicago Falls loop trail.

After Spud Rock and at Mica Mountain you can take another trail to Manning Camp. I would walk back slowly or take a nap and arrive back to Douglass Spring Trailhead after sundown to avoid peak heat at lower elevation.

Be prepared for summer monsoon rainstorms, bring a rain jacket to avoid hyperthermia.

Tough hike. Don’t let the short distance fool you-this joke gets up in a hurry. Beautiful views-especially on the way up. You’ll be surprised how quickly you gain elevation.

Awesome hike with lots of wildlife. I would love to hike this at nighttime too with a black light. Always carry water and a multi-tool should any have a run in with cactus.

This trail is just relentless and awesome! There's no boulder climbing--just a challenging hike. As soon as you get a little break, the trail just keeps going up. I'm not a huge fan of heights, but I had no issues at all. Only stupid thing I did was start the hike at 2p on the hottest day of the year so far. It was brutal for the first half, but you noticed a significant cooling half way up. That got me through!
I'm in good shape, but it still took me 3 hours to top with frequent water breaks due to the heat. Took me a little over 2 hours to get down.

Very tired but worth it. The sight on the top is excellent!

Beautiful hike in north Tucson. Made it maybe 3-4 miles in but had to turn back due to time constraints. Gorgeous views of Tucson. Amazing Mountain View’s. Rocky but not sure why it’s rated as hard, maybe I didn’t make it far enough up the trail. Easy trailhead to find. Looking forward to going farther when I have more time.

This is one of the toughest hikes in the Catalinas. If you are afraid of heights and cliffs: many people have to turn back at one of a few sections that are bare rock, narrow, and along a drop-off. My hiking partner had to crawl and hands and knees the first time we did it. It's steep and there are quite a few areas where you need to haul yourself up over rocks. BUT it is so worth it! It's great cardio day, amazing views, the pines smell wonderful along the last mile on a warm day. Coming down takes about as long as going up (which is not true of most hikes). Agree with the others - start early because it will take all day. For a half day trip, go to the Linda Vista lookout which is about 3 miles up (watch for the intersection and take two rights).

Went on a day hike. This is a difficult trail, but the views at the top are amazing. You can even see the biosphere 2 from the top. Bring a monocular and a camera! Also, be sure to wear sturdy shoes, start early (we started at 8:15... we wished we started at 7), bring sunscreen, some salty and high protein snacks, and bring plenty of water. We went through ~4 liters each.

If you’re not ready to go the whole way, there are fantastic views all along the way, and a great cave that is shady in the morning hours ~2.5 miles out. Our first hike out on this trail was 2.75 miles and 2 liters of water was plenty for that. Tip: we leave an insulated bottle of iced water in the car for when we get back from the trail. Enjoy your hike!

Did this bad boy on the last day of March! Temperatures were topping off at 90. It also took me 3 hours ascending like the person below, definitely bring tons of water!!! I drank about a gallon. I was pretty shaded going up due to the shadow of the canyon, but the way down is brutal in the sun. I would definitely recommend water, sunscreen, and trekking poles. I stayed at the summit for awhile, just me and another older gentleman admiring the views! I am from Denver so this was definitely a great hike to see some beautiful Arizona mountains and get some training in for 14ers.

Happy hiking!

hiking
4 months ago

Only did 800 feet climb up to about the 2nd knob on the ridge. Saw a tortoise.

Un trail con excelentes vistas, gran altura.

Beautiful view from the top. It was an 8 hour hike. Take plenty of water and food.

Awesome adventure! My sister and I completed this in April on a day that was to hit mid 80s. We began at 6am and it took us 3 hours to reach the summit. I went through 6 quarts of water and was very comfortable.
If you enjoy a challenge this is the hike for you!

What a great hike! I took my 2 older kids 13 and 15, they found it difficult but worthwhile. Views where amazing. We went up old baldy and down old baldy. We made the peak in 4:20 and back down in about 3 hours.

After a total of 107 switch backs, several water breaks, I still managed to reach the top of the summit which I really enjoyed. The views were magnificent. Don't let the short distance fool you, be prepared....bring lots of H20, protein foods to include raw honey, bagels, nuts, etc...and of course pack enough for at least an overnight in case of emergency. Be safe.

Difficult, but loved it!!!

Tough trail, but well worth it! The views are amazing!

hiking
5 months ago

Difficult but the spectacular views from the top are worth it!

Very hard hike. Bring enough water and don't go when it's hot- I made that mistake

Great trail. Spectacular views. Only went up to the view at a little after 3 miles. Will be back soon to try to go all the way! Pretty rocky and tough on the way up. Coming down is a little hard on the feet and knees, totally worth it though!

Hiked up Old Baldy came back on the Super Trail. Lot of ice on the North side, snow 2 feet deep toward the summit. Very soft snow on the South side. Have been up there several times before but this was the best. A real adventure. January 2017

Great hike for all those who are capable of handling a gradual incline. The views are fabulous and the air crisp in the early morning! It was beautiful after the rain.

Make sure you don't lose the trail. Crosses a gulley about a half mile in. I spent two hours bouldering down there before getting back on the trail. Amazing views around sunset.

Great winter hike. Steady elevation gain. Pano views of major peaks. Enjoy the dome rock scenic overlook at mile 2.6.

hiking
6 months ago

great day hike to Juniper basin, gorgeous views! highly recommend! leave about 8 hours if you plan for stop and lunch. perfect winter or early spring.

Gorgeous. Deserving of the difficult rating though. Started at 6am and didn't see anyone else until about 830.

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