Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
211.00 ft (64.31 m)
Trail type
2.20 mi (3.54 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Mosaic Trail in the Painted Hills Trails Park on the west side of Tucson leads to a short spur trail to the top of the Bactrian Summit. This out and back hike is 2.2 miles in length and takes hikers through beautiful Sonoran Desert habitat and provides sweeping views of the city of Tucson and surrounding mountains.

The 285-acre Painted Hills Trails Park is the northern extent of Tucson Mountain Park and is open from dawn until dusk. Unlike Tucson Mountain Park proper, dogs on a leash are allowed on the trails at Painted Hills Trails Park. Be aware that you may encounter dogs that are off leash despite the rule requiring a leash.

The Painted Hills Trailhead is located off West Anklam Road about 0.4 west of North Players Club Drive. There is parking for about 20 vehicles at the trailhead. There are no amenities here, so be sure to bring plenty of water and carry out any trash.

The trailhead for the Mosaic Trail is located on the east end of the parking area. The trail is on the natural desert surface with some small rocks. The Mosaic Trail gradually gains evaluation on its way to the spur trail the Bactrian Summit. Beautiful stands of saguaros and other Sonoran Desert plants can be seen from the trail. Wildlife that may be viewed include mule deer, bobcat, javelina, coyotes, and the Gila monster. After about a third of a mile there is a short loop that is marked Santa Catalina Vista that provides a nice view of Santa Catalina Mountains in the distance. Around the one-mile mark there is a spur trail to the right that leads to the top of Bactrian Summit. The tenth of a mile trail to the top is more challenging with larger loose rocks and a steeper climb. The Bactrian Summit offers stunning 360 degrees of the surrounding mountains and the city of Tucson.

After taking in the views from the Bactrian Summit, return the way you came or explore other trails at Painted Hills Trails Park.


Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Scenic views of Sonoran Desert.


No amenities at the trailhead.

Trailhead Elevation

2,592.00 ft (790.04 m)

Highest point

2,785.00 ft (848.87 m)


Big vistas
Family friendly

Typically multi-day


Permit required




Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.