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Kings Canyon Trail, AZ

Guide 123 Triplogs  0 Topics
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 7 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,923 feet
Elevation Gain 1,785 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,032 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 5 - 6 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 17.16
Interest Peak
Dogs not allowed
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21  2021-04-05
Wasson Peak
11  2021-03-14
Wasson Peak Loop
8  2021-03-14
Wasson Peak Loop
7  2020-09-09
Wasson Peak Loop
5  2020-09-09
Wasson Peak Loop
3  2019-03-20 Scooter63
10  2017-12-20 rwstorm
15  2017-09-25
Mile Wide Mine
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Author desertgirl
author avatar Guides 20
Routes 5
Photos 3,098
Trips 440 map ( 3,112 miles )
Age Female Gender
Location Chandler, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Feb, Mar, Oct, Nov → 8 AM
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  6:11am - 6:26pm
Official Route
16 Alternative

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by desertgirl

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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.

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

2003-02-10 desertgirl
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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
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

To hike
Drive towards Tucson on I-10 East. To reach the trailhead, take Speedway west. This turns into Gates Pass Road. Turn right on Kinney Road and head past the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. The trailhead is located a short distance north of the museum. Parking is off on the right.
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