register help

Baboquivari - Western Approach, AZ

418 38 0
Guide 38 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Tucson > Tucson SW
4.5 of 5 by 19
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 5 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Round Trip 8.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,800 feet
Elevation Gain 4,229 feet
Accumulated Gain 4,254 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 6-10 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 29.77
Interest Peak
Backpack TBD
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Will recalculate on button tap!
24  2019-01-20 chumley
5  2019-01-20 friendofThunderg
15  2018-02-18 GrottoGirl
26  2015-11-27 rvcarter
14  2015-04-18 JuanJaimeiii
14  2015-04-18 chumley
12  2015-04-18 BobP
15  2015-04-11 trekkin_gecko
Page 1,  2,  3
Author brianb
author avatar Guides 9
Routes 0
Photos 164
Trips 3 map ( 0 miles )
Age 51 Male Gender
Location Tucson, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Expand Map
Preferred   Nov, Feb, Mar, Apr → 9 AM
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  6:10am - 6:34pm
Official Route
1 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
by brianb

Western Approach

Baboquivari Peak is one of the most prominent and distinct peaks in southeastern Arizona. Sticking up 1000 feet or more above the surrounding mountains, with its characteristic pyramid-shaped peak, it beckons the curious. On a clear day it can be seen from over 100 miles away. It is not visited much, however, due to its relative isolation and the time/difficulty in getting there. But it is a massive and towering, solid bare rock peak surrounded by beautiful, shorter mountains. It is worth the trip to go see it up close. It is also a very nice hike.

It is perhaps better known as a climbing destination, rather than a hiking one, due to the fact that its summit can only be reached via technical climbing skills (i.e. ropes, etc). However, you can easily hike the trail to the base of the rocky peak, and even scramble, way or so up the peak itself without climbing gear. In either case, it's a wonderful destination not to be missed. Your first view of Baboquivari up close will leave you in awe, that alone is worth the trip.

Baboquivari Peak can be reached via a western or an eastern route. This will cover the western route (which is a longer hike).

From the rear of the parking lot/campsite, look for the trailhead which will be marked with a little wooden sign. Being on Indian land (Tohono O'odham Nation), it is not (to my knowledge) a USFS trail, but it is the only trail out there, and it heads right for the base of Baboquivari Peak.

The trail begins in a typical Sonoran environment (about 2800 feet), but with more reddish soil and rocks, and more oaks than you'd usually see at this elevation. The view is awesome from the word "go". The trail is, in most places, well maintained and easy to follow. Within the 1st mile or so, the trail crosses a wash, look for the sign pointing the way to the trail. This is probably the only place you might lose the trail. The soil and rocks in this area are more reddish in color, which can make for a pretty sight around sunset. You will also see lots of beautiful, purple-colored prickly pair cacti (different species?) and little, red pincushion-type cacti (species?)

Baboquivari Peak itself will fade into and back out of view (mostly out of view) throughout the hike up, especially the first 1/2 of the trip. The trail begins fairly level as you wind your way around the lower peaks, then becomes steadily steeper, getting steeper as you get higher. I would rate the grade of the ascent overall as "medium-steep". If you go all the way to the base of the peak, you are covering about 4000 vertical feet in four miles or so. Plan on a 6-8 hour hike, depending on how far up you go.

It is difficult to arrive at an actual distance for this trip since I have not found any maps with this trail on it, it is not (to my knowledge) a USFS trail. I would put the trek from the campsite to the base of the peak at around four miles. The elevation is also a guestimate, the top of the peak is about 7800 feet and the base is around 2800 feet - and I'd guess that the base of the peak where the trail ends is about 1000 feet below the very top, making it about a 4000 foot vertical trip.

After a mile and a half or so, you will reach several areas where you can finally see the mountains to the east of Baboquivari (which is quite the view), and the valley below and to the south. These areas are beautiful, with a wide variety of trees and plants, and patches of dry grassland. You might also see a deer or two in this area. The peak itself is still out of view at this point.

Further on up the trail you'll begin heading steeply downhill, then back uphill. Shortly you will be rewarded with your first good look at the peak since the beginning of the trip. What a site!! It can take your breath away. There's nothing quite like it in this neck of the woods. The trail will continue to switchback, with the peak coming into and fading from view.

Along this point, the oaks will begin to give way to pines, and you'll even travel through a canopy of pines in several spots. The wind begins to pick up as you travel across a more exposed part of the mountain. The trail begins to thin somewhat here, but is still relatively easy to follow. The trail becomes very steep in parts along here, as well.

From here, you can follow the trail all the way to its end - which drops you off unceremoniously at the base of the rocky peak itself (at the intersection of what I believe are called Lion's Ledge and The Great Ramp, which are self-evident), or you might just want to pick a spot near the top with a nice view of the peak and the surrounding vistas - to rest, eat lunch and return.

You can, however, reach a point roughly half way up the rocky peak, which offers awesome views to the north, west and south. Reaching this point will mean leaving the trail, but you should have no trouble finding your way up and back, there is really only one way up and back down.

Caution: going beyond the end of the trail and up the peak involves a little scrambling on some fairly steep, sheer rock faces. I did not find this part too challenging or dangerous, but if you're not familiar with and/or comfortable with this kind of terrain, you should definitely think twice and use caution. I'm not sure I'd drag my kids up here, in other words.

That being said, you can reach several points, with only a little scrambling and/or minor climbing, which offer some incredible views of the surrounding territory some 4000 feet below. There are a few "mini-peaks" you can fairly easily reach which offer awesome views. Much beyond these, you need technical climbing skills and climbing gear. A few more paces up the mountain should quickly convince you of that. It is cool, however, to get a good look around while you're up there, it's definitely worth the extra time and effort. Just know when to say "when" and don't try to keep going up, you can't, not without climbing gear and experience.

Baboquivari is an awesome destination, but it is also a sacred place to the Tohono O'odham. Please therefore treat this sacred place with a little extra respect, as most of us will be visitors to the Tohono O'odham Nation.

sbkelly beta for those interested in climbing the ladder pitch....

The full pitch (from chains by the tree at the top of the pitch, to the bottom) is just about 100', so a 60m rope, 2 quick draws (for the leader), plus your standard harness/helmet/carabiner/ATC should do the trick on gear. If you've got a bunch of strong and confident free-climbers and downclimbers, you could get away with a shorter rope by only protecting and rappelling the first 30', but the safer route is definitely the full 60m.

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.

2002-02-11 brianb
    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 of 13 deeper Triplog Reviews
    Baboquivari - Western Approach
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    A beautiful hike! We made plenty of stops along the way, including a long break at the summit. The trail was easy to follow, except for finding the start--the gpx track helped with this. Not unexpectedly, we didn't see any other people the whole time!

    As to the climbing element--we opted for the single-pitch forbes route ( ... t-approach). My partner and I felt confident free-soloing the ascent. There are two bolts along the way and no obvious places to place trad gear. The bolts are of questionable quality but the anchors at the top are competent. On the descent I lowered my partner to the base of the pitch and then rappelled myself. We only brought a 40m rope in order to save weight (knowing full well beforehand that this would not allow me a full rappel) and thus I free-solo down climbed the last 20 feet or so. I suspect that a 60m rope would allow for a rappel of the full pitch.

    There is a very nice campground at the base of this route. It had flush toilets, picnic tables, and fire rings. What's more, it was totally free! Just be sure to contact the Baboquivari district office beforehand (520-283-2366) to get permission and file a permit. It would also be appropriate to ask whether or not fires are permitted at the time (we were able to have a campfire!).
    Baboquivari - Western Approach
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Babo from the west has been on our radar for a while. Mike, Frank and I decided to bite the bullit and get it done before it got too cold. Mike had done the SE Arrete a few years back, coming up from the east side and really wanted to try the Western approach. In brief, getting to the TH means going to Sells, AZ, going south about 8 miles on Hwy 19 past Topawa, then east about 10 miles on Hwy 10 (dirt road) to the Tohono O'odhum Nation picnic camping area (restrooms with running water!). The trailhead is at the east end of the CG. We had little trouble up the relatively good, easy-to-follow trail, although there was a lot of grass (mostly trampled down) which hid the little "roller" rocks. The Western approach usually involves the Forbes Ladder route, although one could still split right at the bottom of the ramp and get over to the start of the Arrete route (as trekkin gecko did). Forbes is a much easier, single pitch, 100 foot climb in the 5.5-5.6 level of difficulty. It seemed harder on this day because of the cold temperature and wind.

    I highly recommend using one of the very good HAZ GPS tracks shown on the description for this hike. I didn't even post mine, which was crappy because I left my GPS in my stashed pack a short way up the ramp, when we geared down for the ramp climb. The scramble up the ramp is not to be underestimated. It involves some serious class 3 scrambling; the downclimb will take most people a while. Repeating what some others have posted, the technical part is at the top of the ramp, just around the corner of the cliff, up a black stained area. Remnants of the ladder can be seen up the route. There is a bomber set of anchors with nice chains at the top of what is exactly a 100' pitch from the base. Not much to set pro with on the way up, one 1/4 eyebolt and a few pieces of iron left over from the ladder (which was taken out by rock fall a long time ago). Mike took his time and got up ok and we followed. I've seem some triplogs describing some people doing the up and down without protection. I personally wouldn't take the chance, especially on the downclimb which is always harder. Recommend using climbing shoes but take your boots to change into for the several hundred foot scramble to reach the top. At the top of the technical part (which is on the north side toward Kitt Peak), go right initially then look for the easily visible path up and then left. The final part actually comes in from the east. Look at sbkelly's triplogs for info on gear. We used one lightweight 60 m rope, about 3-4 quickdraws, and 2-3 slings to connect to parts of the old ladder still embedded in the rock. Everyone in the group needs a harness and helmet. Frank and I will be forever grateful to Mike for carrying the rope up.

    The views along the way and from the top are incredible. This is a great time of year to do this hike/climb, but it gets pretty cold at 7700 feet, especially if there is some wind. My toes were numb on the technical climb, which is in the shade. Check the weather before committing to this one. We saw exactly NO ONE the entire hike, and only one person in the CG. The hike took us 15 hours, 5 of which was driving time from Saddlebrooke. We left at 4:30 a.m. (yikes!). We took our time, with lots of stops, but the 4200+ feet of aeg is real.

    Remember to call about the free permit (520-383-2366). Alternatively, you can obtain a permit from the Baboquivari District Office at the intersection of Routes 19 and 10, during business hours. Camping is also free.
    Baboquivari - Western Approach
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Not much to add to what the rest of the group said, but it was great to finally hike (and climb!) with Joe, who wouldn't take my recommendation to lift his leg up to shoulder height to surmount the crux move :)

    A few other observations from the day:

    1) This mountain never gets old, and the Ladder Pitch is a fun lead.

    2) It was a challenge keeping up with this lightning-fast crew, but the terrible song stuck in my head kept me moving. Thanks for the pump-up music on the pitch, guys!

    3) I've been telling people that this route generally takes 10 hours round-trip. I think I need to reconsider that.

    4) Always trust JJ's taco shop recommendations

    Great crew, great day.
    Baboquivari - Western Approach
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    It was great to summit this iconic peak :y:

    Thanks to Scott for leading and doing all the work for the climb and rappel.

    I think if Bob, Joe, and JJ were in charge, the Earth would make a complete rotation in about 17 hours. Not sure they know what the word "slow" even means. : rambo :

    I was happy to have a poofy coat and gloves with me as it might have been in the 40s in the shade. But then it was a toasty oven not much later.

    BobP made a donation to I'itoi a little sooner than planned. Perhaps keeping the helmet on all day is a better plan for next time. :M2C:

    About two hours into the hike JJ was already planning for tacos afterward. [-(

    It was also nice to see that JJ is in fact sort of human. Not sure he'll ever really grasp the concept of using a rope though. :roll:

    Up top we had lunch and a beverage. Good thing the traveling Chumwagon was up there or the only eats might've been the hard candy in the summit register. :roll:

    On the rappel, Joe executed a perfect Forward 9L, and wasn't shy about doing it again either!

    We went in search of the beautiful Babo Blonde, but ended up with some Wet Beaver instead. Not fully satisfied, JJ convinced us that driving 47 miles out of the way would only take 10 extra minutes and be worth it. The time might have been off a little, but it was definitely worth it! Great to top off the day with some BK and DQ.

    All-in-all a pretty good day!

    Two minutes of Joe on the ladder: ... FPlg

    nice ocotillo forest lower 1/3rd
    Baboquivari - Western Approach
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Great to meet the cool, calm, collected sbkelley after eight years on HAZ. Starting in the morning the hike up was shade most of the way. Bob lost a half pint of blood headbutting a tree. All those trophies in his garage speak volumes for the man's ability to get beaten to a pulp without a whimper.

    Despite 90 something in the Valley and late April I was shivering like an ice cube by the time we reached the pitch. Scott was kind enough to share his fleece with the group. Everyone got up pretty easy save myself. It wasn't pretty but I got it on the second attempt with Scott belaying from the top. CHUMS came up last with his pack filled for the group. Outta my league, wtg! Lee couldn't carry the rope, I mean join the group so Scott lugged the weight. Think that always deserves recognition, most appreciated!

    The summit was great. Very different than anticipated. On many southern AZ hikes I've admired Babo in the far distance. You get the sense of it's grandeur heading up. Once up top it does not give gut wrenching feelings of being perched up in the sky on a pedestal. Awesome views makeup for the anti climatic ending with 360 degree views. Most notably what I understood to the east... an unmatched view of Tucson and it's sky island mountain ranges.

    The hike down was toasty. Along the way we shared embroidery pattern secrets and met for tea in Tucson to reminisce.

    Took 3 quarts water, 2.5 back home. Ironically borrowed half a quart from CHUMS :-k

    poppies on the return, a sprig of Larkspur and a slope of blooming ocotillos took the show
    Baboquivari - Western Approach
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    baboquivari has been on my bucket list for a few years, really ever since i started climbing with johnr1
    fletch and mike proposed climbing the southeast arete, which is a classic route
    left town friday afternoon and decided to go in from the west at the last minute
    camped at the reservation campground
    up early saturday morning and set out around 6:40
    fletch wasn't feeling well but she thought she would try it
    started hiking up with us, but had to turn back after about a mile
    mike and i redistributed gear and continued
    nice cool morning for a good amount of elevation gain
    there is an established trail in excellent condition from the campground up to the base of the peak
    the peak doesn't come into view until about halfway up
    beautiful country on the west side, and the entire mountain range provided great scenery along the way
    arrived at the intersection of the great ramp and the lion's ledge
    took a few minutes to drop packs, bringing only the essentials for the climb
    still had to bushwhack along the lion's ledge to the start of the southeast arete
    might have been nice to have long pants on this part
    a little tricky to find the climb
    mike led all pitches; i followed and cleaned
    the first one was relatively short
    the second and third provided challenging climbing and some exposure
    the fourth was another short one
    next came a couple hundred yards of scrambling up to a notch
    mike gave me a hip belay down the notch, but it wasn't necessary
    one more short technical pitch, then a longer scramble to the summit
    i may not have these in the correct order
    topping out was quite a thrill :)
    good sized summit area with the tribute to i'itoi, two ammo boxes and metal remnants of a fire tower base
    views were incredible!
    kitt peak, santa catalinas, santa ritas and other mountain ranges i'm not familiar with
    we read through the summit logs, snacked and took photos for awhile
    descended the forbes route, downclimbing, then rappelling the ladder pitch
    the only struggle i had all day was coming down the great ramp; i was just very slow
    sometimes a bit of a struggle is part of backcountry climbing ;)
    hit the trail, packed up and hiked down
    arrived at camp around 5:30
    a great day and an awesome climb
    camped another night, intending to hit mt. lemmon sunday, but with fletch under the weather, headed home sunday
    it rained much of the night, and we were grateful for such good weather saturday
    random thoughts:
    climbed in a long sleeve tech shirt and shorts, which worked out well - still hard for me to know what to wear/bring sometimes
    had to bring our hiking shoes for the long scrambles
    if you want to summit the peak, the forbes route from the west side seems like the quickest way to do it
    mike has a very good knowledge of this complex mountain, and as always was generous in sharing it
    there is a nice little campsite about 3/4 way up the trail
    we saw a good-sized party there, planning to summit the next day
    heard them in the parking lot at 6:00 a.m. after getting rained out - that would have been a miserable night
    heard two girls coming down at 8:00 friday night, saw their names in the summit log, a long day
    felt fortunate to finish well before dark, as i've read many triplogs and heard stories about long days and late nights on the mountain
    lots of blooming ocotillos on the west side - simply beautiful
    mike and i took pictures with his camera, so it will be a few days before i can post them
    stats are from neurolizer's gps route: [ gps route ]
    this experience ranks in the top four of my arizona adventures so far
    Baboquivari - Western Approach
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    It's amazing to see how this mountain never looks quite the same. With all of the recent rains, erosion has done a number on the trail, and tall grass now obscures it for much of the ascent. The creek was actually running quite well through the campsite/trailhead, and that's the first time I've seen running water on this mountain. Shorts were retrospectively a bad move, at least on the part of Adam and myself. Taylor and Sam were much wiser, and didn't come away with a few dozen catclaw souvenirs, but who knew the normally-dry Baboquivari would turn into a "jungle"?

    3 hours(ish) to the base of the Ramp, and a few scrambling minutes later meant it was time for a reprieve of the Ladder Pitch. Nerves are progressively getting less noticeable each time leading it, but still gets the adrenaline going a little, which is probably healthy. First-time outdoor climbers Taylor and Sam breezed up the pitch, and I think I probably worked harder trying to belay them than they did ascending. Amazing! Adam followed in similar fashion. Now well ahead of schedule, up the trail we went. Well, I think it's a fine trail, but others took issue with my choice of descriptive words for this part of the trip....The sunny, breezy top is always a great perch, and the summit log offers entertainment, although we were joined by about 50,000 unidentified insects that had claimed the summit area for their, uh, summit activities.

    Down to the rappel spot and 3 failed throws later (hey, 2/5 gets the job done in the end), we reconvened at the base of the Pitch with nothing but a sunny hike downhill to go. It's always about this time of day that the words "cooler" and "beer" dominate small-talk. It happens.

    Great group, very smooth day, and the sunset light show on this descent is always a great finale. Hope to see you again, Babo!
    Baboquivari - Western Approach
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    we pull into the camp ground around 10 pm the night befor expecting the camp ground to be empty but we are greated by 2 guys that we went to Zion with last year they planed on doing the east arete but they had came with 4 people who were takeing the same route as we were so they kindly offered to carry the rope for use. we started off at 7 am the next moreing for the hike in. the trail was easy to follow .once you make it to the grate ramp you have to climb a 100 foot long class 4 climb that used to have a ladder there but it it is now in pices at the bottom of the climb. after you get to the top of the climb you have to work your way up the great ramp to the ladder pitch witch is a very easy 5.3 80 foot long pitch. by the time i made it to the pitch the people we meet in the parking lot had allready set a top rope and only half of them had made the climb so it gave me a nice long over due break. after you get to the top of the ladder pitch there are only 2 class 4 climbs left 1 is really easy and the other one is a little akwared but really short and once you get on top of the boulder you have a short hike to the summit. spent about 30 mins on the top eating lunch and reasting the legs for hike out we all left a little offering for our safe journy off the mountian and then started back to the truck . made it down just as the sun was setting.
    Baboquivari - Western Approach
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    I really cannot say anything about this mountain that hasn't been said on here before. It is a very beautiful and scenic range that I have finally gotten to experience and hope to experience again in the future. Having finally stood on the top of this great peak I can only be grateful to my friend Scott for setting this up and not doing this trek without me when problems arose with my schedule and we couldn't go for it last weekend. It was good to meet some new people that I did this with and would have no problem going out on another adventure with them again. My love for southern Arizona is as great as ever and seeing the impressive views from up on top of this one only makes me yearn for more.
    Baboquivari - Western Approach
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Ah, Baboquivari: one of our state's finest mountains. On this trip, we brought a relatively large group of 6: 2 of which (eric and richard) were to split off and climb the SE Arete, while the other 4 of us were to ascend the Ladder Pitch. The plan was to meet on the summit, descend the Ladder Pitch, and hike down together.

    We drove in Friday night, and when I parked at the campsite, I noticed the CR-V was riding pretty low in the back. Flat tire! (well, almost...but it was completely flat by the time we got out). One extra chore to take care of: ah well, just added to the adventure. But there was more! Right as we laid down for an early night, a truck rolled into camp and the two inside knew Richard, Eric, and Alana from previous trips. Small world.

    When we awoke in the morning, Richard and Eric took off before us to get a headstart on the Arete, while the other two outside our group - Joe and Devin - asked if they could use our rope and have us belay them up the pitch. Training for Denali means that I'm required to carry heavy packs these days, so they lucked out :) At 7 a.m., off our group of four went (Ken, Tanya, Alana, and I) while the other two followed later. We hiked up the beautiful trail and made it to the pitch in about 3 hours. Sidenote: the forest fire burn is extensive on the west approach and that upper forest is heavily charred.

    I have to confess: I'd never truly led a full pitch before, but this one was a great starter. It's not difficult, though protection is spotty: I used 2 quick draws on the pitch. I climbed up to the anchor bolts up top and talked through building the anchor with Alana and Ken below. It was actually pretty chilly there in the shade, and I found a nice spot to belay, which was good, since I ended up belaying five people to the top!! Most of our team were pretty chilled, having to stand still for awhile while waiting their turn to climb. The two others had caught up by the time our last climber (Ken) was about to go, so the transition was seamless. All did great on the climb, and we reconvened to finish together.

    By this time, Eric and Richard had summitted and scrambled down to check on us. All 8 were now together as we made our way to Babo's expansive summit. Gifts to I'itoi were plentiful, and swallows buzzed our heads. We lounged for awhile, finally leaving by 2 p.m. to start the descent. Joe set up the rappel, and we all made it to the base of the Ladder pitch by 3:30 p.m. That meant the chances of finishing in the dark were slim - nice! Ken and I hoofed it back quickly so that I could start changing the flat a.s.a.p while the rest of the group could enjoy the sunny, breezy, and flower-heavy descent. By 5:00 p.m., Ken and I had the flat changed and cold beers in hand, as we gazed up at beautiful Babo. What a day and great work by the whole team! Now I need to get that SE Arete done...

    Permit $$
    Special Use

    Call about the free permit (520-383-2366). Alternatively, you can obtain a permit from the Baboquivari District Office at the intersection of Routes 19 and 10, during business hours. Camping is also free.

    Map Drive
    FR / Jeep Road - Car possible when dry

    To hike
    Eastern Approach: From Tucson, south on I-19 to exit 99 / SR86 for Ajo Way. West on SR86 to SR286 and turn left/south. Take SR286 about 30 miles to mile marker 16. Then the first right onto a dirt road near a group of mailboxes. Go 2.6 miles to a fork in the road. Right at the sign(Morman Corral). Stay on the main road towards the mountain. Park off to the side when you reach a white gate. Please be considerate as this is on private property.

    Western Approach: The route to Baboquivari Peak is not always marked and it's easy to get lost if you're not careful. From Tucson, take US highway 10 (South) to US highway 19 (South). Very quickly, take the exit for AZ highway 86 (West), which at that point is also Ajo Way. Follow highway 86 west for approx. 55 miles to the town of Sells. Once in Sells, watch for an "H" sign (for hospital, turn left. This is Tohono Nation highway 19 (or the street leading to it). You must look for the hospital sign, as the turn-off is not marked as being highway 19. (If you find yourself driving all the way through and out of town, turn back - you missed it). After a short distance down this road, look for a right turn at a curve in the road and a sign for the town of Topawa, take a right here. (It is right next to a Basha's store). I believe that here it is marked as highway 19.

    Follow highway 19 for approx 9 miles. Keep an eye out for wandering cattle and dogs, there are no fences out here. Watch for the large white water tower on the left. About 1/2 mile after the tower look for a sign indicating Baboquivari Park on the left; take a left here. The road is called Baboquivari Mountain Rd. If following Google Maps search for "Tohono O'odham Nation Culture center and Museum". This will put you on the correct road. Otherwise you may find yourself winding through backyards. The rest of the trip is down approx. 12 miles of dirt road. About 7 miles down the dirt road, it will fork to the right (and will be marked as the way to Baboquivari). Take a right here. This road will take you straight into the parking lot/campground where you begin the hike. Note; the dirt road is passable by passenger car, but it goes from decent to bad to awful. The distance from central Tucson is about 90 miles, but plan for a 2+ hour trip to get there (from Tucson). Another note; on your way back home down the dirt road, you are presented with several forks in the road, which can be confusing; don't take them ;-) (i.e. keep going "straight" until you reach the points where you know you need to turn).

    Fees; supposed to be $3 voluntary but I didn't see it

    2011-09-13 rvcarter: There is no fee, but you are supposed to stop at the agency building at the entrance to the dirt road (which heads east to the trailhead) and get a car permit.

    help comment issue

    end of page marker