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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Kings Canyon Trail, AZ

Guide 116 Triplogs  0 Topics
  3.3 of 5 
566 116 0
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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
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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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
8  2017-09-18
King Canyon Gould Mine Trail loop
14  2017-08-30
SNP West Sweetwater Sendero Esperanza Loop
3  2017-03-11 princez
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5,  6
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  6:33am - 5:45pm
Official Route
16 Alternative

breath taking views
by desertgirl

Likely In-Season!
King's Canyon Trail is the most direct route to reach Wasson's Peak - highest summit (4687 ft) of 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 that is 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 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.

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 pleasurable 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
2019 $20 vehicle, $15 motorcycle or $10 for any individual on foot or bicycle - the receipt is valid for 7 days Fees

Effective January 1, 2020 entrance fees to the park will be $25 per vehicle, $20 per motorcycle, $15 for individual pedestrian or bicycle, and an annual park pass will cost $45.

Map Drive

To hike
Drive towards Tuson on I10 East. To reach trailhead, take Speedway west. This turns into Gates Pass Road. Turn right on Kinney Roadand 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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