This could be a better way
Wasson Peak is without a doubt, the best known in the Tucson Mountains. It’s funny to me that there are so many approaches to this peak, but only on description to which everyone has logged their varying adventures. Today, I’ll do my part and write a description for the way I go. It seems that most people make a 30 minute drive over 15, slow-n-go miles to the side of the mountain opposite Tucson. I too thought that this was how it was done until my sister clued me into the El Camino Del Cerro Trailhead, located at the west end of El Camino Del Cerro. From this trailhead, it’s a whopping 6 mile hike to the Desert Museum, from which so many tend to launch for this summit. In my case, it’s a difference of a 30 minute drive versus 9 minutes. When picking your trailhead, this may make the difference.
From the parking lot, head due west for 2/10 mile where you’ll come to trail register. Your trail, the Sweetwater breaks south, carrying you gently back and forth, up and down (though primarily up) through the Tucson Foothills. The first 1-1/2 miles are real beginner type miles, but whoever laid out the trail decided to kick it up a bit here with a little steeper grade for the next 1-1/2 miles. Soon enough, you’ll come to a level spot, several hundred feet long, where 3 trails intersect. These are signed, but just so you know, take the rightmost trail. You are now on the King Canyon trail and are beginning the steepest 3/4 mile stretch of the hike. It’s really not too bad if you’re even a semi-regular hiker, in fact, I talked with a couple who still tag the summit on occasion and they’re both 91 years old. He said it just takes him longer now. Finally, at about 4 miles in, you start crest out as you cross a saddle, round counter clockwise just below the summit, to the final switchback. Just yards from the summit is another register, and now it’s time to suck up the incredible views.
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.
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.
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