Hiking is a favorite past-time of many. Tucson, bordered by five mountain ranges, is the perfect place to get out and hike. With much of the area protected by city, state, federal parks and national forests, the public can find plenty of hiking trails with rewarding views.
The Tucson Mountains are on Tucson’s West side and offer trails that range from easy to moderate. The majority of the mountain range, and trails, are located in Saguaro National Park West and noted by a forest of saguaros lining the mountainsides.
On Tucson’s East side you will find the Rincon Mountains, part of the Saguaro National Park East. Hikers can find not only a number of trails but also Colossal Cave Mountain Park. This underground labyrinth is not only interesting and massive but it is one of the largest dry caves in the world. There are several strenuous hikes in this area so be sure you choose the trail that is best suited for your skill level before heading out.
Bordering Tucson on the North are the Santa Catalina Mountains. Mt. Lemmon is the popular spot within this area with beautiful trails through the tall pines. Try the Mt. Lemmon Meadow Loop hike. It is an easy hike that gives you amazing views complete with a lookout tower.
The most challenging trails are found in the Santa Rita Mountains on the far South side of Tucson. With trails leading all the way up to the highest point in the Tucson area, Mt. Wrightson at 9,453 feet elevation, there are some spectacular views. Experienced and expert hikers are best suited for these trails.
Anytime you head out for a hike, be sure to keep safety in mind. If you are hiking alone, stop by the front desk and let us know where you are going and when you expect to return. And don’t leave without plenty of water! Temperature are soaring so water is EXTREMELY important!