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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.

Pusch Peak, AZ

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475 197 4
Guide 197 Triplogs  4 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Tucson > Tucson NW
Rated
4.3
4.3 of 5 by 36
 
5
Statistics
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Difficulty 4 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Round Trip 3.9 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,685 feet
Elevation Gain 2,676 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,645 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 3 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 17.13
Interest Peak
Dogs not allowed
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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5  2018-12-24 Jim_H
13  2018-03-09
Pusch Peak
markthurman53
5  2018-02-25 JuanJaimeiii
12  2017-08-17
Pusch's Flatiron
Mountain_Rat
6  2017-08-15 rvcarter
7  2017-01-19 GeeEss
2  2016-12-29 Pivo
2  2016-12-01 uphill_junkie
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5 ... 8
Author fricknaley
author avatar Guides 93
Routes 383
Photos 3,724
Trips 2,745 map ( 18,154 miles )
Age 44 Male Gender
Location Tucson, AZ
Historical Weather
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Preferred   May, Sep, Oct, Nov
Seasons   Spring to Early Winter
Sun  6:11am - 6:22pm
Official Route
 
3 Alternative
 
Water
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Flatiron of Tucson
by fricknaley

Likely In-Season!
I've been waiting for my dumb hamstring to heal well enough to finally climb Pusch Peak. I finally decided I no longer cared today and went for it. This hike is a blast. While it remains one of the most distinctive peaks in Tucson (it is the western-most peak of Pusch Ridge jutting into Oro Valley) it seems to be a relatively well kept secret. That or an unknown gem. Either way this hike may be Tucson's answer to the Flatiron. A short, nasty screamer of a climb to a fabulous vista with views everywhere. Sounds cool huh?


At the trailhead the trail splits, go left and begin an easy climb up the foothills of Pusch Ridge. You climb up typical Catalina Foothills desert here, all the while mocked by the peak. After about 10 minutes or so the trail forks, go right and continue your easy climb. Now you come upon a drainange to your left, which you basically follow along for about 10-15 more minutes. As you can now see, there is a huge canyon feeding up into the northwest side of the peak and this will be your route of attack. After about 1/2 to 3/4 mile the trail will switchback to your right, while a clear trail also takes off to your left. Take this left. Immediately you see a rusted sign on your right marking the break off for the informal climb to Pusch Peak. Here we go.

The trail almost immediately starts climbing for real. This is not a maintaned trail, but I must say it is surprisingly easy to follow nonetheless. As you climb up the right side of the canyon, the trail at times becomes comically steep. Keep at it. Little side trails split off here and there but they seem to always join back up with the main climb. I just always stayed left for simplicity sake. After about 15 minutes of serious climbing you come to a gray granite chute that is basically vertical for about 12-15 feet. Climb up this and keep going. Soon you come to a clearing and there is a nice saddle and campsite to your right, overlooking all of northern Tucson. Nice place for a break. I surprisingly got caught by two older gentlemen at this saddle (looked to be in their late 50's or very early 60's). They asked to climb with me, so together we went. As a side note these guys were just incredible company, and it was all I could do to keep up with them...they were bad dudes to be sure.

There are two distinct trails east from this saddle. Take the lower one. The one at the saddle clearly heads up to the summit of the adjacent peak (avoid this one). The trail continues up from here always climbing at a nearly ridiculous incline. Three strong we laughed at the audacity of the trail as we climbed on a more easterly track towards the peak.

Quite quickly tou cross the canyon wash and walk over to the east or left side of the prominent gulley you have been climbing. Now you actually hike away from this canyon as you can start to see where this trail is taking you. I must say all along I was waiting for the trail to basically fade away to nothing, but it never really does. It climbs impossibly steep at times (many times actually) but it is always distinct. I should mention that all along the views in front of, and behind, you are always wicked. As you keep going a false summit ahead and slightly to your left is the goal.

As you finally reach the false summit you can finally see that the true peak is actuaaly not that far away. Puff those last crazy switchbacks and you are there. A stunning 360 panorama awaits you at the top. There is a register for those who like. Take a breather and savor the climb, looking off to the east at Mt. Kimball and Mt. Lemmon. You have a knee breaking descent ahead of you on the way down, but it is so steep it really goes by fast.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Note
This is a moderately difficult hike.

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

2005-12-30 fricknaley
    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 62 deeper Triplog Reviews
    Pusch Peak
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Did some off-roading with Roy along the western-most spur of Pusch Ridge (AKA The Flatiron by some of us). We took the general route of the original trail, which nature has mostly reclaimed. There's an interesting story behind this route and our visiting it today, but lacking so many details, the story will have to wait for now.

    Anywho, it was a great little adventure that I will definitely be revisiting. The views are indescribable and quantify one's perspective of the area, as you hop from high point to high point. Though a good deal of blood and sweat went into it, there were no tears. This was quite a memorable outing.

    At the southern end of our route to the ridge, is a site, where for decades two quartz monuments stood. I had visited the monuments in 2013 [ photo ] , then noticed them missing the next year. Seems some do-gooder decided for the rest of the world, that they didn't belong there, and obliterated them. Today, in their stead, we gathered what we could find of the remnants, and reassembled them into one. While not near as grand as the originals, this was the best we could do with what we had [ photo ] .

    [ photo ] RIP gentlemen.

    Great day to get out and cover some ground.
    Pusch Peak
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Since I had seen 4 Bighorns on this trail on Sunday, and only had my iphone for pix, I decided to take a better camera and try to get better images. I looked and looked but did not spot any. Otherwise had a good hike to the top, for a change. I normally turn around on my workout hikes before getting to the last steep push to the top. I'd heard that the trail was hard to follow near the top, but even with the monsoon growth, it was pretty easy to find. Not much chance of getting significantly off-trail anyway, because of the terrain.

    There is a sign in container now. Views are terrific from this peak. One of my favorite views is the shot NE with the Cleaver, Bighorn, Table, Kimball, Lemmon, Samaniego and north to Oracle.
    Pusch Peak
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Bee Alert!!! Many wondering about the dreaded Pusch Peak Bees should wonder no more, they are alive and thriving. I have very good luck with bees, but for those who might show any angst in their presence, I would avoid this one for the next few months. More of a strain today were the relentless wasps. They punished us the whole way, making sure that we stopped for nothing. The breeze at the top kept them back, but that was the only refuge the entire time. Saw at least 8 sheep, and possibly 12 in a round trip. Only 1 with a collar.
    Pusch Peak
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Veteran's Day hiking, starting with a dawn climb of the excellent Pusch Peak route. Then a quick drive over to the Tortolitas for a clockwise Superloop on the manicured official trails. The unofficial route between Cochie Springs and Wild Mustang is a bit tricky to find and follow in places, but its well-cairned and a fun challenge.

    To all our vets and active military - THANK YOU!!!!!
    Pusch Peak
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    My go to hike to get into shape. Excellent short but steep hike. The trail is coming back after being snowed in with grass in many spots. You have to watch the turns in a few areas but otherwise not too bad. As my hiking buds say, just keep going up. Only saw 1 other person on this week day. A little warm but a great day.

    I'm always impressed with the views up Pusch Ridge, starting with The Cleaver, then Bighorn, Table, then Lemmon. Never tire of them. I just realized that my time for 4 miles was about the same as JJ's for Battleship. I'm going to have to work harder. :)
    Pusch Peak
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    As I had 3 weeks ago, I again took a client with. 3 weeks ago was his first real hike, and he was hooked. Since, he has done a number of milder hikes and knocked Pusch off on his own last week. He's UBER Proud and in love with his new hobby. His time today was 20 minutes faster than 3 weeks ago, so a notable improvement. Being only 40, he'll be kickin my butt all over the Catalinas soon.

    Not much to report trailwise, but that the weather was perfect, oh and we did run into a gaggle of bees just where you cross canyon, but not a single aggressive one among the hundreds buzzing the bushes either side of the trail.
    Pusch Peak
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    I've had this client bugging me for some time to take him on a hike, so today I did. I figured if he survived this one, he would never again ask. I think it all may have backfired though, as he seemed to have caught the bug. Now he wants me to brief him on gear and trails... :?
    It was nice to punch out a little AEG, but it took 4-1/2 hours to do, so I never even ended up in my high aerobic zone. I'm not sure that I got a workout, but I did sweat like a pig. Good to see Ol' Man Pusch again. :)
    Pusch Peak
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    At this time yesterday, I wasn't feeling overly ambitious, so I made plans to wake up whenever, go feed my sister's cat, then meander over and do Pusch Peak. Well, something happened overnight and I was up and in the shower before 0500. I ran up to feed my sister's cat and toss it a toy for a bit then headed to the trailhead. Still thinking that Pusch would be my limit, I started off just before 0700.

    Let me rewind just a bit. My Fenix 3 lets me race against any recorded track that has all the time coding included, and that's what I wanted to do, so I picked out a track that seemed challenging yet not impossible and I downloaded it. Just about that time, Windows decided to hold my PC hostage while it forced some updates on me, rebooting and updating several times. Ultimately I gave up for the night, deciding I would have plenty of time in the a.m. This morning came and now I was feeling more ambitious. I was unable to find the track that I had downloaded last night, so now, in a rush, I jumped online and re-downloaded the track again.

    Now, back to the trailhead. I went to load my track and noticed that the mileage was right but the time seemed awfully short at 2:04. This can't be right, I thought, but as I hit the go button, the race was on and I immediately started loosing ground. It was not long before I figured out what the malfunction was. I had downloaded one of JJ's tracks :sweat:

    I did not know what to do, other than ride it out and I did my best to. I beat my self down racing this guy. I was drenched in sweat. I pushed and pushed and just couldn't catch up. I literally stopped for 4 minutes the whole hike; about 2.5 to take pictures of sheep and about 1.5 signing the new register at the peak.

    The final number was 2:15:08, bringing me in 11 minutes behind. This may seem tragic to some, but I considered it quite a success, which is why I shot home and loaded up for another showdown. :)
    Pusch Peak
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Matt and I tied the two approaches to Pusch Peak together by starting at Linda Vista trailhead and ending at Pima Canyon Trailhead. We wanted to do this before the Bighorn Sheep restrictions kicked in. Check out the description I just posted to HAZ, and Matt's triplog and track. A little cool at the start but nice after getting started. If you do this, be sure to include the scramble to the top of the very prominent rock formation about 1/3 mile up the ridge from the Pima Trail. It's very easy to see. :)
    Pusch Peak
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Used this hike as a training / workout hike. Have not done this one before but this will now be a go to for some fast up and down with super easy access and spectacular views at the top. Went alone and was able to really put the gas on. Completed the up time in 1 hour and 5 minutes. Spent a good long while at the top taking in the views. The first leg of the trail prior to the turnoff was a great trail to jog. Once I hit the turnoff though it became a fast uphill climb. The trail for the most part was pretty easy to hike and follow until you get towards the top where I just needed to pay a bit more attention. Pretty overgrown in a lot of spots so being aware of your legs and the cactus is a must. I would say this is definitely not for beginners or people who are not sure footed. A lot of scrambling. The hike down is definitely prime ankle breaking territory. Be sure to bring a warm layer for the top as it was incredibly windy and very cold with sweat soaked clothing. Overall a fantastic local Tucson hike! Can't wait to hike this again and try to get up faster!

    *Notes: Start your hike at Linda Vista TH and immediately go left. At the first fork about 1/10 of a mile up (what looks like a little wash) go right. At the next junction take a left. You'll come to a Forest Service sign stating that beyond this point is not an FS maintained trail. Go right and up the canyon. From that point on you'll be heading up, up, up, towards the peak on your left.

    Permit $$
    None

    Coronado Forest
    MVUMs are rarely necessary to review unless mentioned in the description or directions
    Coronado Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUMs)


    Directions
    Map Drive
    or
    Road
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    Take the Ina Road exit off I-10 in Tucson (exit 248) and head east towards the Catalinas. When you get to Oracle Road hang a left and go north. Take Linda Vista Blvd right at the light. If you reach El Conquistador resort on your right you went too far. After about 1/4 mile on Linda Vista there is a small paved parking area on your right. This is the Linda Vista Trailhead.
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