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breath taking views
King's Canyon Trail is the most direct route to reach Wasson's Peak - the highest summit (4687 ft) of the Tucson Mountains. This is located in the Saguaro National Park - West Unit.
The trailhead is located to the right, just north of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. You begin the hike up King's Canyon - you have 2 options: Take the old mining road that follows King's Canyon or hike up King's Canyon along the wash. If you follow the bottom along King's Canyon, you encounter two locations with petroglyphs; 1st is on a rock right in the middle of the canyon bed covered with desert varnish. You will see a few petroglyphs. Further along you will encounter a dense collection of petroglyphs along both walls. At 0.9 miles, you will reach the Mam-a-Gah picnic area. You will see an abandoned restroom at this point hiking up the wash. Keep to the right and follow King's Canyon another 1.4 miles of fairly steep trail, which intersects with Sweetwater Trail at the ridge. Vegetation is typically Sonoran - paloverde trees, barrel cactus, cholla & mature saguaros Go left at this junction (well signed) climbing up through some steep switchbacks for another 0.9 miles gaining almost 600ft. Along this section of the hike, you will encounter 2 mine shafts (sealed off). A short 0.3-mile spur trail takes you to the summit - Wasson Peak. #60 views abound - Tucson to the east ith the Catalina & Rincon mountains, Kitt Peak, Mt. Wrightson to the west.
The return has a few options: 1) Return the way you came 2) Take The Hugh Norris Trail (Go Right where the spur joins the main Trail). You will go over the saddle and descend westward 1.9 miles, where you will take the Esperanza Trail & head towards the Mam-A-Gah Picnic Area (1.4 miles). Springtime following a wet winter will make this hike a lovely hike through wildflowers. Along this trail you will encounter the Gould Mine (at 1 mile). You can take the Gould Mine Trail to the Kings Canyon Trailhead (~ 7.8 miles roundtrip) or go another 0.4 miles & return via King's Canyon. Hike along Gould Mine Trail takes you past huge tailings pile from the Gould Mine.
Summer will bring extremely high temperatures & this hike is best avoided. There is no water at the trailhead or along the trail. Carry all your water.
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.