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Yetman Trail, AZ

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Guide 46 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Tucson > Tucson W
2.6 of 5 by 8
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Difficulty 1 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 6.7 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,674 feet
Elevation Gain 508 feet
Avg Time One Way 3 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 8.39
Interest Off Trail Hiking
Backpack No
Dogs not allowed
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11  2019-01-11
Yetman Trail Loop
4  2018-12-09 fricknaley
15  2018-02-03
Starr Pass Resort Trails
9  2018-02-03
Bowen Homestead
65  2017-01-21
Bren Second Ridge & the Bowen House
10  2017-01-18
Starr Pass-Yetman
1  2016-05-02 wha
11  2016-02-10
Circumnavigate Bren
Page 1,  2,  3
Author Crzy4AZ
author avatar Guides 31
Routes 96
Photos 2,588
Trips 589 map ( 2,119 miles )
Age 46 Female Gender
Location Scottsdale, AZ
Historical Weather
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Preferred   Dec, Jan, Feb, Mar → Any
Seasons   Winter to Late Spring
Sun  6:12am - 6:22pm
Official Route
21 Alternative
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
The Desert Speaks
by Crzy4AZ

I could see the parking area for the Yetman trail a few hundred feet from the bed and breakfast where my husband and I were staying for our five-year anniversary. We spent the day exploring the Tucson Mountain Park trail and took a few accidental and intentional side trips. There are two trailheads for access. This description is from the Camino de Oeste trailhead; however, the signage is easier to follow starting from the Gates Pass trailhead.

The trail is named after David Yetman - an author, environmentalist, and three-term member of the Pima County Board of Supervisors in the 70's and 80's. He is known more recently as the host of KUAT's public television show "The Desert Speaks". I have religiously watched old and new episodes, which led us to explore this name-sake trail while visiting Tucson.

A work-related decision brought us to Arizona in November of 2002, and after three years we thought we should move back "home" to the Southeast. We regretted our decision later and realized that Arizona was our true home. Watching David Yetman on his show was a way to feel connected to Arizona for the eighteen months we were away from the desert. Now back as Arizona residents and on the Yetman trail, I am glad to be in the desert rather than watching it on TV!

Approaching this 6.7 mile one-way trail from the Camino de Oeste trailhead, you will find space for a few cars at the end of a gravel extension in a quiet neighborhood of large acreage homes. (The paved lot at the Gates Pass trailhead has more parking.) The first mile crosses through and in a sandy wash. At 1.2 miles, you come across the ruins of the Bowen Ranch built in the 1930's by an east coast newspaper editor.

Vista Diversion: Around 1.9 miles, you will see a trail that leads up the hill to your right. This is not part of the Yetman trail, but you can add some elevation to this hike and find nice views of Cat Mountain from an overlook about a half-mile up.

Staying on Yetman, continue to a small saddle where the Marriott Starr Pass Resort will be visible to the northeast. At 2.1 miles, stay to the right as the Starr Pass trail (from its east trailhead) intersects with Yetman. Continue another 0.4 miles where the Yetman trail takes a sharp turn to the right (west).

The next 3.7 miles are mostly flat in and out of washes through a wide basin until the last half-mile as you ascend to Gates Pass. Watch out for dead-end side spurs in the section before you go up to the pass. At the pass (highest trail point 3182 feet elevation), you will intersect with the Golden Gate Trail and have beautiful views of Saguaro National Park West. You can continue 0.5 miles down to the paved parking area to complete this one-way hike.

I would recommend this hike as a shuttle with cars at either trailhead rather than out-and-back.

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2007-11-25 Crzy4AZ
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One-Way Notice
This hike is listed as One-Way.

When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
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.

Most recent Triplog Reviews
Yetman Trail
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from camino de oeste trailhead out to gates pass and back. nice morning only got hot on the last couple miles. on the way back past the stone house i kept missing where the trail goes in and out of the washes becuase it's a little overgrown (but certainly not bad) so i just stayed in the wash
Yetman Trail
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Tucson Mountains Tuesday Two-fer
Ah, first hike back in the desert after a week in Anaheim for Disney and beach fun. First off, thanks to Philbeer for posting the tracks for Golden Gate and Bren mountain last week, I saw those and it got me thinking. I have been wanting to hit Golden Gate Mountain for a while, throw in another nearby peak and I am sold. Made it out to the Yetman trailhead about 3 to start my fun for the day. The trip up Golden Gate is very steep, but easy to follow. It is a pretty thin trail in spots, but the trip up is extensively cairned, a little overkill in spots even. Nice summit with good views out to the west and south especially. The weather was getting interesting, but I thought I would have enough time for a second summit before the storm started. Made it back down to the Yetman trail and then on to Gates Pass trail for a bit. I went up the west side of Bren Mountain, and there is no trail whatsoever. I found a drainage and followed it up quite a ways, but then the rocks turned to scree and it was mighty steep. It kept getting steeper, and the lightning was looming, but I actually figured I would be safer making it to the summit and going down the backside which looked to be less steep. I ended up going up a rock face for the last 40-50' up to the peak, and I was really happy to see some semblance of a trail on the other side. Very brief stop up top to see lightning hitting on the slopes just to the east of me, all the motivation I needed to haul butt down the other side. If I hit Bren again any time soon, it will be by way of the North and East route...Made it back to the van no worse for wear other than a few scratches, I managed to miss the abundant cholla up here, but had plenty of bursage to pull out of the socks and boots. Pretty short for my usual offerings, but this one was all work.
Yetman Trail
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I wanted to get in a hike, but nothing too aggressive after doing the Superstition Ridgeline 3 days ago...I started out from the West Yetman trailhead and followed to the south and west around Golden Gate Mountain. took the trail all the way to the junction with the Prospector trail, and then turned around and headed back. Good leg-stretching kind of hike, but nothing too exciting. I am pretty sure just about any hike would have been a letdown after the Ridgeline...:D
Yetman Trail
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Another afternoon hike in Tucson. I started out from the west Yetman trailhead, headed south and east, and then did a clockwise loop with the Starr Pass trail. This is my third time in the Tucson mountains this month, and I have still not seen anyone else hiking. Granted, these have all been Tuesday afternoon hikes, but I can never get enough of the desert solitaire. The Yetman trail has some really nice parts, dry wash beds lined with Mesquites and Hackberries, ample Cholla and Prickly Pear. The Starr Pass trail left a bit to be desired, not too big a fan of having to hike within a few feet of a subdivision, but the mountain pass portion was pretty cool. Outside of a few bunnies, no wildlife was to be found.
Yetman Trail
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Tucson Mountain Park Wander
John (aka SAMBA, aka lafong) put this together at Kim's request. I was just along for the ride. I had no idea where we were going and I still have no idea where we went. The geo-tagged photos help. John said that we probably hiked 8 miles and 1,500 feet of AEG, so that's what I'm putting here. We started behind Starr Pass and winded our way onto many unmarked trails and went off trail a bit, too. Somehow we intercepted the Yetman Trail near the end, as we went by the Stone House.
Yetman Trail
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aside from the stone house, the yetman trail does not have the appeal of many other trails in the area (no peaks, no beautiful canyon pools), but since my ankle was feeling a bit weak, i thought i'd try doing something without too much elevation gain. we did the entire trail from end to end (my first time doing this). we did it as a car shuttle, starting at the western trailhead. it was a great day for a desert stroll.
Yetman Trail
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i've been wanting to check this trail out for years and just never got around to it. unseasonably cool day seemed to be telling me i had one more chance for the season, so i took advantage of it.

this is a nice intro to the area, presenting some surprisingly rugged mountains out there to look at along the way. the trail itself is pretty flat. saw 4 deer. that was quite surprising. :)

blisters are healing... :oplz:
Yetman Trail
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Started between Cat Mountain in Tucson Mountain Park, met the David Yetman Trail went west until we went North up to 2nd Ridge, we met two hikers who directed us to the ammo box at second ridge where the sign in book was, very cool! We then came down and came out at Tucson Estates Parkway. Nice.. Anyone else been there from what I can tell we were about 3400 feet up, is that correct?? I love all the trails in Tucson Mountain park and I've only just begun to explore them.
Yetman Trail
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We did all kinds of intentional and accidental exploring around Yetman and Star Pass trail. We did the out and back, which I would not recommend. I think it's better as a shuttle between the two trailheads. The side spurs won't get you lost - but they can be irritating depending on your goal for the day. Several mountain bikers on the trails - no other hikers.

If you want a cartoon map showing the vista overlook side trail, try this website:

If you are interested in "The Desert Speaks" TV show:

Tucson Mountain Park does not have an official trail map of Yetman. I contacted them, and they referred me to the Saguaro National Park map from National Geographic.

Permit $$
Pima County-managed trailheads open at dawn and close at dusk, except as otherwise noted (link below). Be aware that trailhead hours may vary according to location and managing agency. The following trailheads allow after hours parking with a permit: Avenida de Suzenu, Bear Canyon, Campbell, El Camino del Cerro, Pima Canyon, Finger Rock, and Ventana Canyon. No after hours parking is allowed at the other Pima County trailheads. Trailhead parking permits are available at no cost.

Permits are required for Cienega Creek Natural Preserve, Empirita Ranch Access, and overnight parking at Pima County trailheads. Please call 520-877-6158 to request a permit or come in to the Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation Administration Building at 3500 West River Road Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Permits are not issued on Saturdays, Sundays, or county holidays. Vist for more information.

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
Take Speedway Boulevard west (about 4.5 miles from I-10 in Tucson), and go left (south) onto N. Camino de Oeste. Continue 0.3 miles on paved road and another 0.1 mile on dirt road to the parking area.
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