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Prominent Point via Pima Canyon, AZ

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Guide 8 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Tucson > Tucson NW
3.5 of 5 by 4
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Difficulty 5 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Round Trip 8 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,918 feet
Elevation Gain 3,690 feet
Accumulated Gain 3,690 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 8 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 26.45
Interest Off Trail Hiking, Seasonal Waterfall, Seasonal Creek & Peak
Dogs not allowed
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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5  2017-12-29 rvcarter
22  2013-12-31 sirena
12  2013-12-16 rvcarter
42  2013-11-10
Prominent Point
12  2011-10-07 bikeandhike
Author bikeandhike
author avatar Guides 1
Routes 6
Photos 206
Trips 12 map ( 91 miles )
Age 33 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Nov, Mar, Apr, Feb → Early
Seasons   Autumn to Winter
Sun  6:09am - 6:27pm
Official Route
1 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
It hurts so good!
by bikeandhike

Prominent Point is visible from almost anywhere in Tucson as two big slabs of rock immediately to the west of Finger Rock. Despite being a highly noticeable feature, it is rarely visited. There are no trails leading to it, but there are a few doable bushwhacks. Here, I will cover a route that goes over the ridge south of Pima Canyon over to the western summit. This is a very difficult route, but it's the most scenic way to get there.

Restrictions in the Pusch Ridge Wilderness
Dogs are not allowed (except service dogs, but you probably should not attempt this hike if you need a service dog). Off-trail hiking is not permitted between January 1 and April 30.

Don't do this hike if there's any chance of rain. Don't do this hike in warm weather. Don't do this hike without sturdy clothing that fully covers your body and thick-soled footwear. Don't do this hike if you're an inexperienced off-trail hiker. Don't do this hike if you are uncomfortable with extended and exposed stretches of class 2-3 scrambling.

Go down the Pima Canyon Trail until you pass Rosewood Point (the highpoint of the ridge that's to your right as you enter Pima Canyon). As you pass Rosewood Point, you'll notice a canyon on your right. Once you're immediately across from the low point of the canyon (about 1.6 miles from the trailhead), hack your way over to it and start climbing. There are some cairns, but you don't need to follow them closely; just go up. As you approach the saddle that's southeast of Rosewood Point, you'll see that the canyon sharply bends to the northeast. You'll want to keep following the canyon as it bends. This is where things start to get tough.

After you pass the bend, the canyon gets much steeper and the flora gets much nastier. Watch out for spiky things, especially cholla and shindagger. As you approach the top of the canyon, curve up onto the ridge to your left to avoid the cliffs in front of you. Once you're near the top of the ridge, follow it past the cliffs at the end of the canyon. Once you're past those cliffs, continue heading northeast into the shindagger-choked wash that feeds the canyon. Follow this wash until it ends, and then climb straight out of it onto a ridgeline.

Once you've reached the ridge, you'll see that it climbs to a high point with some trees on it. That high point is the western summit of Prominent Point. Getting there is as straightforward as it looks; just follow the ridge until you get up there. Keep an eye out for game tracks and follow them when possible. When the ridge starts to seem sadistically steep, you're almost there.

When you reach the summit (a flat area with some boulders and pinon pines), make sure to walk over to the eastern edge. From there, you'll have a great view of Finger Rock Canyon and the eastern summit of Prominent Point. The eastern summit is a few feet higher, but there aren't any easy routes over there. When you're ready to go, head back the way you came up.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

This is a difficult hike. Arrive fit and prepared or this could get ugly.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2011-10-08 bikeandhike
    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
    Prominent Point via Pima Canyon
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Been lurking on this site for a while and figured it's finally time I contributed. I used the posted GPX file to make my way up to Prominent Point. Plenty of cat claw, shin daggers, prickly pear, and other assorted pointy things to keep me on my toes--even with leather boots and gaiters! Made it up in 3:10 with a 7am start. Visited the East Summit via some fun Class 5 stemming up a chimney. I was the first name in that summit register for 2017. Explored around a bit to see if free soloing Finger Rock was an option--but ran out of time and water so I headed back. Took me another 3:10 to get down. Having a GPS track was nice on the decent to stay "on route". A bit warm but not oppressively so. Didn't see a soul after the first 10 minutes. No sign of the bighorn sheep, either.
    Prominent Point via Pima Canyon
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Started at Pima Canyon, day was pretty hot. Took plenty of water. Grueling trip once you leave the trail. The first wash makes you think you've covered so much ground... You then get to the first slope, the summit seems to be in sight... but, not even close! Trevor and I called this "false prominent." From false prominent you see the actual ridgeline leading to the summit. That ridgeline was actually a blast to traverse. The end gets VERY steep. My legs started cramping up! The summit is awesome. Great views of the other side, nice cliffs, great views of the cleaver, table, pusch, mt. bighorn, and of course, the city! Made it down in about half the time it took to get up. Another great Catalina bushwack, and one I've wanted to do for quite some time.
    Prominent Point via Pima Canyon
    rating optionrating optionrating optionrated 2rated 2
    Tough day at the office; long gaiters are a must. Hike is long and slow. Allow plenty of time. Great views and unique photo ops. Some scrambling but nothing very difficult nor technical. Just need patience to find the best routes up and down. There are few cairns but the route is pretty obvious. Good luck.
    Prominent Point via Pima Canyon
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    I'm happy that I hiked to Prominent Point after spending so much time staring at it from Tucson. The trip up was very scenic and very painful. Despite wearing heavy jeans and a very thick coat, my body accumulated quite an array of small puncture wounds from unfriendly vegetation. Luckily, I only had to yank a couple of pieces of cholla out of my leg. That hurts so much more than getting poked by shindaggers!

    Feeling so completely alone and isolated so close to Tucson is deliciously weird. The views from the W. summit and the ridgeline leading to it are incredible. Popping out of the bushes onto the ever-busy Pima Canyon Trail looking battered up and half-insane is hilarious!

    Permit $$

    Coronado Forest
    MVUMs are rarely necessary to review unless mentioned in the description or directions
    Coronado Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUMs)

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To Iris O. Dewhirst Trailhead
    Drive north from Tucson on the Oracle Road (US 89). Turn east on Magee Road and drive to the parking area and trailhead at road's end.


    From Tucson, drive north on Campbell Avenue until you reach Skyline Drive. Turn left on Skyline, which will eventually become Ina Road. Continue on Ina Road until you reach Christie Drive. Follow Christie Drive north until it dead-ends at Magee Road. Turn right on Magee and follow it until you arrive at the Iris O. Dewhirst Trailhead on your right.

    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 110 mi - about 1 hour 44 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 9.6 mi - about 19 mins
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 253 mi - about 3 hours 50 mins
    page created by bikeandhike on Oct 08 2011 6:26 pm
    3 pack - loud whistle
    go prepared
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