Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
715.00 ft (217.93 m)
Trail type
2.89 mi (4.65 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.

Tumamoc Hill is a 3107 foot tall hill in Tucson, Arizona. It is a National Historic Landmark and ecological preserve. This hill is also home to the University of Arizona’s Desert Laboratory and Steward Observatory. 

The out-and-back hike to the top of Tumamoc hill is just under 3 miles long and gains over 700 feet of elevation. The trail is paved the whole way, making it very easy to follow. The trail starts with a slight uphill that gradually gets steeper. As you travel up the hill you will see saguaro cacti, ocotillo, and various other desert plants. The trail also has many informative signs regarding the history, flora, and fauna of Tumamoc Hill.

After about 0.8 miles of trekking up the trail, there are portable toilets and a water fountain. The trail gets a bit steeper here, but it is just 0.6 miles to the top. From here you will continue switchbacking up the hill and will get better and better views of Tucson and the surrounding mountain ranges. 

Once you have endured the last few switchbacks through the beautiful Sonoran Desert, you are greeted by a gate with a “stop walking” sign which signifies the end of the trail. On a clear day, the Rincon Mountains and Santa Catalina Mountains are visible on the other side of Tucson. You also can see the Santa Rita Mountains to the South. From here, you will retrace your steps down the paved path and back to the start of the trail.

Tumamoc Hill is open for hiking from 4 am to 10 pm and does not have any associated fees. Pets are not allowed on this trail. There is limited parking along the street by the start of the trail.

This trail has no shade and can get very hot. The hike up Tumamoc Hill is great due to its accessibility, historical significance, and terrific views.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Paved. Great views.



Trailhead Elevation

2,363.00 ft (720.24 m)

Highest point

3,085.00 ft (940.31 m)


Potable water
Big vistas

Typically multi-day


Permit required




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