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Wasson Peak via Sweetwater Trail, AZ

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Guide 32 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Tucson > Tucson W
2.5 of 5 by 2
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 9.2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,810 feet
Elevation Gain 1,870 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,180 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 4 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 20.1
Interest Off Trail Hiking, Historic & Peak
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
Dogs not allowed
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
15  2017-09-01
Sweetwater Mines 'n' Such
14  2017-08-30
SNP West Sweetwater Sendero Esperanza Loop
2  2016-08-17 Mountain_Rat
15  2015-12-22 Mountain_Rat
Author Mountain_Rat
author avatar Guides 10
Routes 86
Photos 550
Trips 192 map ( 1,893 miles )
Age 55 Male Gender
Location Tucson, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Jan, Dec → Any
Sun  7:00am - 6:16pm
Official Route
3 Alternative
Nearby Area Water
Thunderbird Trail - Saguaro NP West
0.0 mi away
2.1 mi
470 ft
Thunderbird to Peak 3022 Loop
Thunderbird to Peak 3022 Loop
0.0 mi away
6.3 mi
1,052 ft
Sweetwater Trail
Sweetwater Trail
0.0 mi away
9.2 mi
1,887 ft
Brittlebush Trail - Saguaro NP West
Brittlebush Trail - Saguaro NP West
0.8 mi away
1.3 mi
277 ft
Gila Monster Trail - Saguaro NP West
Gila Monster Trail - Saguaro NP West
1.3 mi away
0.6 mi
120 ft
Picture Rocks Wash Trail - Saguaro NP West
1.6 mi away
2.4 mi
99 ft
Coyote Pass - Saguaro NP West
Coyote Pass - Saguaro NP West
1.7 mi away
0.8 mi
42 ft
Yuma Mine Route - Saguaro NP West
1.8 mi away
1.3 mi
230 ft
Cactus Canyon Trail - Saguaro NP West
Cactus Canyon Trail - Saguaro NP West
1.8 mi away
0.9 mi
170 ft
Mule Deer Trail - Saguaro NP West
2.4 mi away
0.3 mi
28 ft
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Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
This could be a better way
by Mountain_Rat

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.

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

2015-12-22 Mountain_Rat
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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 $$

Saguaro National Park
$15 vehicle, $10 motorcycle or $5 for any individual on foot or bicycle - the receipt is valid for 7 days Fees

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To Sweetwater Trailhead
In Tucson take I-10 to exit 252 (El Camino del Cerro/Ruthrauff) between Marana and Tucson. Head west on El Camino del Cerro six miles and do not deviate from the roadway until you reach the trailhead. The entire route is paved. No visitors' center on this side. Trailhead closes at 9pm unless a permit is obtained.

From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 111 mi - about 1 hour 52 mins
From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 9.5 mi - about 19 mins
From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 255 mi - about 4 hours 6 mins
page created by Mountain_Rat on Dec 22 2015 4:00 pm
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