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Tumamoc Hill, AZ
Description 965 Triplogs 0 Topics
RatedFavorite   Wish List Region
 Tucson West
HAZ reminds you to respect the ruins. Please read the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 & Ruins Etiquette
Difficulty 1.5    Route Finding
Distance Round Trip 2.9 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,371 feet
Elevation Gain 730 feet
Accumulated Gain 750 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1 Hour
Kokopelli Seeds 6.65
Interest Ruins, Historic & Peak
Author Jeffshadows
Descriptions 28
Routes 20
Photos 672
Trips 169 map ( 1,088 miles )
Age 37
Location Old Pueblo
Rated Viewed All Mine Friends
4  2014-07-07 mdfabbrini
3  2014-04-11 amcole6
2  2013-05-30 MjoWright
1  2013-01-21 k5agm
5  2012-09-13 MrBadBern
3  2012-09-05 MrBadBern
7  2012-06-20 MrBadBern
1  2012-02-06 writelots
4  2011-08-23 MrBadBern
2  2011-06-16 MrBadBern
7  2010-04-08 cindyl
2  2010-03-02 cindyl
Page 1,  2
Trailhead Forecast
Historical Weather
Backpack - No
Seasons - Early Autumn to Late Spring
Dogs not allowed
Official Route
Alternative Routes
Nearby Hikes Area Water Sources
direct air miles away to trailhead
2.9  Hidden Canyon - Tucson Mtn Park
3.1  Bowen Trail
3.6  Yetman Trail
3.8  Flight Path Trail - Robles Pass TMP
3.8  Sweetwater Wetlands
3.9  Ledge Surfer Trail - Robles TMP
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Short but sweet...
by Jeffshadows

Background: Tumamoc Hill is home to the University of Arizona's Desert Laboratory, and has been home to the Desert Laboratory since it's inception in 1903 under the direction of the US Department of Agriculture. Centuries earlier, the hill was home to the Hohokam and remains a cherished archaeological site due to some of the unique features its previous inhabitants left behind. According to the University of Arizona: Tumamoc Hill, occupied between 300 BC and AD 450, is one of only a handful of trincheras, or terrace hillside sites, in the Sonoran Desert. Its features include terraces, walls, petroglyphs, trails, bedrock mortars and approximately 150 small, circular pit structures. Also present are a number of rocks adorned with petroglyphs. It should be noted, however, that these sites are closed to the public and few are visible from the path. Today, continued access to Tumamoc is in jeopardy due to off-trail travel and general disrespect for usage guidelines.

Hike: The path to the summit of Tumamoc Hill is a paved road, and I choose to include it on HAZ for completeness sake, as much as the fact that it provides amazing views of the Tucson valley and Sentinel Peak. Additionally, Tumamoc is a great afternoon or early morning workout destination for a quick jaunt into the pristine desert and is located near enough to most Tucsonans to provide a real opportunity for such activity. The path is a popular destination for walkers and trail runners. It should also be noted that the path is off-limits between the hours of 0730 and 1730 on weekdays, to protect research activities. Additionally, visitors should understand and respect the strict policy forbidding off-path travel. The area and the research it supports are sensitive, and the research is over a century old.

The path leaves Anklam road and passes a set of pipe gates, which may or may not be unlocked. They may be bypassed to the left. The path heads due south into the Tucson mountains. After a short distance it begins its pattern of long switchbacks, which become progressively steeper. The views of the Tucson valley and the mountain ranges beyond gradually becomes broader, as well. After a mile the path approaches a series of basalt stone buildings that look as though they should be transplanted into Tucson's Armory Park district. Another gate is encountered here, and is also likely to be locked. Walk around to the right. The switchbacks become steeper for the final half-time into the crest. Despite being populated with radio towers and shacks, the views from the summit are sweeping and make you immediately forget the fact that you just walked up a road. Return the way you came.

Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.


Directions Preferred Months Sep Oct Nov Dec
Water / Source:Nope
Preferred Start5 PM Cell Phone SignalYes Sunrise6:13am Sunset6:44pm
Road / VehiclePaved - Car Okay
Fees / Permit

To hike
From anywhere in Tucson, get to Speedway Blvd. and follow it west to Silverbell road. Briefly take Silverbell south and turn right onto Anklam Street. The trailhead is immediately south and is marked by a large green sign identifying it as the path to the "Desert Laboratory." A few parking spaces have been provided along Anklam.
Login for Mapped Driving Directions
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.
page created by Jeffshadows on Sep 05 2008 9:24 pm
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