Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
2,388.00 ft (727.86 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
8.60 mi (13.84 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.

This 8.6-mile out-and-back trail rests entirely in Saguaro National Park. The trail immediately starts to climb once hikers leave the parking lot. The first mile consists primarily of stone stairs and switchbacks. This first mile also consists of the most densely populated area of Saguaro cacti on the trail. The saguaros are beautiful when they are in bloom as well, starting in late April or early May. After the first mile the trail follows the mountainside for as far as the eye can see. For the most part the first 3 miles of the trail are visible along the mountainside and hikers can see where they are going. 

The second mile of the trail continues to ascend following the mountains. After the 2-mile mark the trail descends for a quarter mile until crossing the first of two trail junctions. Continue straight and continue to ascend. After about 4 miles the trail quickly ascends for a half mile through a series of switchbacks. At the top of the switchbacks hikers will find the second trail junction and follow the trail to the left. At this junction hikers will be able to see Wasson Peak and the trail leading to it. The peak is a few hundred yards from the junction. 

After spending some time enjoying the views of Tucson, hikers can return to the trailhead by the way they came. Wasson Peak is the tallest in the Tucson Mountain Range, and the trail is a great way to see the Sonoran Desert and the plant and animal life that live in the terrain. It can get extremely hot in summer, and there are no water sources along the trail.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

Park entrance fee

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Saguaro forest. Scenic views of Tucson.

Cons

No shade.

Trailhead Elevation

2,599.00 ft (792.18 m)

Highest point

4,686.00 ft (1,428.29 m)

Features

Big vistas

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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