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Sombrero Trails, AZ

Guide 7 Triplogs  0 Topics
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 3 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,221 feet
Elevation Gain 1,000 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,200 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 9
Backpack No
Dogs not allowed
Post the 1st photoset!
Author Jim_H
author avatar Guides 61
Routes 58
Photos 8,538
Trips 1,872 map ( 11,217 miles )
Age 42 Male Gender
Location Marana, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Mar, Apr, Oct, Nov → Any
Seasons   ALL
Sun  6:14am - 6:19pm
Official Route
0 Alternative

Sombrero's Training Hike
by Jim_H

HAZ Patch
Sombrero Peak is the steep, rough hike that is relatively popular for hikers to summit year-round for commanding views of the northern Tucson Mountains and surrounding area. It makes a great training hike if you have the time. However, if it requires more time than you may have, and it is in bad shape following rain, and during dry periods, this option exists. So, if you still want to use the Sombrero hike to train, you can get to the base of the cliffs that face due east and enjoy a decent 75 to 90-minute training hike.

This hike is identical to Sombrero, but you are not going around the summit to ascend the last steep slopes, which is also where the steepest and loosest sections seem to be, generally. There is also no scramble on this hike.

From the parking lot, begin hiking on the only trail and follow it towards the low saddle. Take the right fork and go over the saddle, and drop down to the wash. Cross the wash and at the sign for the Pack Rat Loop, take the unsigned trail that heads off to the right towards Sombrero Peak. Follow this trail up to the next saddle, and avoid any social trails that cross over that saddle and descend to Sanctuary Cove.

However, if you want, you can make a shorter loop of about 1.75 miles and 400' of AEG by hiking down towards and through the cove to exit, skipping the hike up to the cliff face. This seems to be rather popular with more pedestrian hikers, and if rain threatens, it is a good bail-out option.

Assuming you want the full cliff face training option, observe the obvious trail which heads upslope towards the cliffs and hike it! Up you go, with the usual heart pumping and legs flailing about, like some cartoon hiker. Probably not.

Once you near the cliff face, the trail starts to level out a bit. It does go up slightly more later on before dropping down, but you lose the east and northeast views. This is where I turn around, and you can, too. Descend the way you came, or go through the Cove, shaving about 1/4 mile and 100 feet of AEG off your hike, if you do.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2021-08-15 Jim_H
  • nps related
  • 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 $$

Saguaro National Park
2020 $25 vehicle • $20 motorcycle • $15 individual on foot or bicycle
Receipt is valid for 7 days
$45 Annual Park Pass View All

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To Scenic Drive Turnaround Trailhead
From I-10 take Cortaro Rd. west (exit 246). Turn right`(north) on Silverbell roughly 1 mile. Turn left on Coachline (at light) go approx. 0.3 miles. Turn right on Pima Farms go approx 1 mile. Turn left on Scenic, this dirt road takes you 0.25 miles to the parking lot (Sanctuary Cove) on your right. (best keep reading...)

2012-02-12 Caretakers sanctuary cove write: Sanctuary Cove parking lot is for guests visiting the chapel and grounds. Parking for the peak is down Scenic Drive in the turnaround space. Any cars with guests hiking off the property will be impounded.

2012-06-24 anonymous writes: Greetings! Sanctuary Cove is no longer the parking area for the Safford Peak hike. There is a turn out on the right side of the road a short distance before the entrance to the Cove. This is where to park now. If you park at the Cove you risk having your vehicle locked in if you are not back by the time the gates are locked - which is at sundown. However, there is a short hike at the Cove where you are welcome to park your car for that one.

From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) - 1 h 35 min (102 miles)
From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) - 22 min (13.3 miles)
From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) - 3 h 37 min (250 miles)
page created by Jim_H on Aug 15 2021 8:30 am
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