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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

The Pillars, AZ

73 4 0
Guide 4 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Tucson > Tucson N
4.5 of 5 by 2
Canyons are inherently risky. Flash floods occur without notice on sunny days. Technical skills & surrounding topography knowledge required yet does not eliminate risk.
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Difficulty 4.5 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance One Way 0.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,076 feet
Elevation Gain 1,700 feet
Avg Time One Way 2-4 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 6.17
Interest Off Trail Hiking, Seasonal Waterfall & Seasonal Creek
Backpack No
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
59  2015-12-20 mike85741
5  2010-11-26 Don Graydon
4  2008-11-14 keepmoving
5  2008-11-07 imike
Author imike
author avatar Guides 253
Routes 0
Photos 6,930
Trips 2,467 map ( 21,513 miles )
Age 68 Male Gender
Location Cloudcroft, NM
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Expand Map
Preferred   Jan, Feb, Nov, Dec → Early
Seasons   ALL
Sun  7:05am - 6:10pm
0 Alternative
Nearby Area Water
Soldier Canyon
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same trailhead
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1,245 ft
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Prison Camp via Soldier Canyon Loop
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2,351 ft
Soldier Trail #706
Soldier Trail #706
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Agua Caliente Canyon
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La Milagrosa / Agua Caliente Canyon Loop
La Milagrosa / Agua Caliente Canyon Loop
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1,440 ft
La Milagrosa Ridge
La Milagrosa Ridge
1.1 mi away
10.5 mi
2,212 ft
Babad Do
Babad Do'ag
1.3 mi away
4.7 mi
1,430 ft
Babad Do
Babad Do'ag Drainage
1.3 mi away
4.6 mi
1,300 ft
Santa Catalina Mountains - AZT #11
Santa Catalina Mountains - AZT #11
2.1 mi away
18.5 mi
5,681 ft
Sycamore Reservoir Trail #39
Sycamore Reservoir Trail #39
2.1 mi away
3.3 mi
821 ft
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Up, Up...and Away!
by imike

Likely In-Season!
This is a great, fast getaway hike that gets the heart pumping and offers limitless possibility for boulder playing. Out of Tucson, You drive up Catalina Highway towards Mt. Lemmon. Pull over and park in the large, paved side road pulloff prior to the first hairpin curve in the first mile of the hiway up the mountain.

Cross the road and enter the drainage, heading upstream. This is a popular climbing area and the first few hundred yards may have a number of people playing, but you come to a drainage split after a few hundred yards... head left (straight) up the wash and begin enjoying the various rock challenges that will slowly move you further up and up... eventually reaching the crack in the cliff faces far above (The Pillars). There is some route finding to do as you get closer to the cliffs, mostly minor choices regarding loose rock and shrubbery.

As you enter the split in the cliffs you will be at a great spot for the day's picnic. You can proceed on and up through the cliffs to the top of the mesa, but the route choices may become more demanding. The real potential lies in playing around with the various bouldering challenges to be found below the Pillars... a really great place to get a full body workout while practicing skills. Some hikers consider this hike dangerous... and at each potential challenge care should be taken to pick the route best suited to your skill levels, but there are always options, and usually an easy alternative to take. The bouldering aspects include numerous 7' to 15' obstacles, with a bit more potential exposure right below the Pillars opening into the cliffs. This one is exciting right from the car door exit to the final plop down for the well deserved meal up in the cliffs. Once completed, forever after you'll note your route as you drive down Mt. Lemmon Hiway... and go "! I was up there!"

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

2008-11-07 imike
  • sub-region related
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.

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 canyon trip
Drive from Tucson out Catalina Highway towards Mt. Lemmon. Before milepost 1 on Mt. Lemmon Highway, pull off and park on the right in the large paved pulloff before the sharp hairpin turn.
page created by imike on Nov 06 2008 9:21 am
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