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Gates Pass Trail, AZ

Guide 14 Triplogs  0 Topics
  2.5 of 5 
17 14 0
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 961 feet
Avg Time One Way 2 hours
Backpack Yes
Dogs not allowed
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
5  2008-11-02 keepmoving
12  2003-03-10 fatoldsun
Author fatoldsun
author avatar Guides 1
Routes 0
Photos 185
Trips 20 map ( 77 miles )
Age 66 Male Gender
Location Glendale, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Nov, Mar, Feb, Jan → Any
Seasons   Late Autumn to Late Spring
Sun  5:35am - 7:26pm
7 Alternative

by fatoldsun

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Gate's Pass is an easily accessible hike whether you live in Tucson or visiting. It is situated in the hills/peaks just west of Tucson, and from several vantage points, you have views of the Tucson area looking in all directions.

Saguaro cactus are prevalent with beautiful vegetation and rock formations everywhere. We spent more time looking around than hiking, but the trails in this area are very well marked and can be as extensive as you would like. You begin the hike by taking the visible trailhead next to the parking area. The grade is moderately steep, to begin with, then tapers off as you approach an intersection of trails, each marked with signs. The Gates Pass Trail continues around toward a suburb off in the distance but then turns away as it skirts the peak in that area.

We chose not to go up to any peaks but to stay on the circumference trail. At one point, we had to stop and take in the view and noticed a large area of gray rock/dirt in the middle of a lot of Arizona red desert terrain. After backtracking from the circumference trail because we were short for time, we headed up a trail toward the gray rock area.

Besides us, we ran into two other groups of people, and that was all, which was not bad for a Saturday. There's a lot to do in this area besides hiking as the International Wildlife Museum is on the way, and Old Tucson is down the road if you continue down West Gates Pass road. There are restaurants and bed and breakfasts everywhere on the way, too, set off in the beautiful Tucson western peaks.

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2003-03-10 fatoldsun
  • 2020 Tucson Mtn Park Trails
    area related
    2020 Tucson Mtn Park Trails
  • sub-region related

One-Way Notice
This hike is listed as One-Way.

When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
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 $$
Pima County-managed trailheads open at dawn and close at dusk, except as otherwise noted (link below). Be aware that trailhead hours may vary according to location and managing agency. The following trailheads allow after hours parking with a permit: Avenida de Suzenu, Bear Canyon, Campbell, El Camino del Cerro, Pima Canyon, Finger Rock, and Ventana Canyon. No after hours parking is allowed at the other Pima County trailheads. Trailhead parking permits are available at no cost.

Permits are required for Cienega Creek Natural Preserve, Empirita Ranch Access, and overnight parking at Pima County trailheads. Please call 520-877-6158 to request a permit or come in to the Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation Administration Building at 3500 West River Road Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Permits are not issued on Saturdays, Sundays, or county holidays. Vist for more information.

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To Gates Pass Trailhead
-10 East to Tucson; turn onto Speedway Blvd going West away from Tucson; at the intersection of Speedway Blvd. and N. Camino De Oeste, Speedway Blvd becomes West Gates Pass Road, continue on this road toward Saguaro National Park. To your right you will see the International Wildlife Museum with a big statue of a lion out front, continue on West Gates Pass Road and the road will start get very windy and the speed limit goes to 25 mph yet paved. Continue past the first parking area to the right, the road will start descending and wind sharply left. The 2nd parking area is to the left after starting the descent and sharp turn. This 2nd parking area is less developed with no restrooms or water available. The first parking area is situated in between some very steep hills on both sides and has water and restrooms with many parking spaces so if you need water and a break you should stop here. At the 2nd parking area a trail head is visible and goes straight up toward some little peaks in the area. You will reach a fork in the trails with signs marking Gate's Pass and other trails. You have a choice either to continue around the circumference of the peaks or heading straight up to the peaks if desired.

From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 114 mi, 1 hour 46 mins
From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 7.8 mi, 15 mins
From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 258 mi, 3 hours 52 mins
90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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