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The Best Hikes in Tucson

23,144 Triplog Reviews in the Tucson
Most recent of 5,613 deeper Triplog Reviews
4 mi • 150 ft aeg
 Picked up my buddy at noon and out to Oak Draw we went.
Headed out to a location on a tip from a friend.
Tip came through ... Awesome native site were we found a total of 15 grinding holes in a very scenic boulder area. Only had a few hours to explore, will have to come back out for a day as I'm sure there is a lot more to discover.
Beautiful out there in the overcast sky desert.
Not many wildflowers yet, but plenty of cattle to moo at.
Gotta love friends who give up there secret locations :y:
2.5 mi • 171 ft aeg
Wildhorse Garwood loop
 Bazillions of cars up and down Speedway. Weird on a Tuesday morning, but I guess it is tourist season. Only place to park was at Wildhorse trailhead. So I took Wildhorse. Just wanted a nice easy hike since I think I’m still recovering from Esperero.

Got caught behind some equestrians on Wildhorse (surprise) but didn’t mind the slow pace. Passed a trail runner and lots of tourists wearing out their cameras on Garwood. Nobody on Stock Bypass.
6 mi • 200 ft aeg
 Afternoon trip.
We first looped pond 3.
Then a drive back out for the Bat Barn loop.

Pond 3 has been closed and drained for a dam valve replacement for the last couple of years. The new valve is in, fishing structures have been put in place and Matt (Cluff Ranch Game & Fish) told us that they hope to start filling the lake with Ash Creek water by the end of March and have the pond reopened by the end of summer :y:

Bat Barn loop was cool as always. We had to build a mini bridge to cross Ash Creek. No bats in the barn yet, they usually arrive in March. We left the Ranch boundary for a bit to show my buddy a cool little set of native ruins. On the back loop out we smelled something foul and came across a big deceased mountain lion and black bear ... WTF? :o
We later found out from Matt that 3 lions and 5 black bears were brought in for a big Game and Fish training class on poaching, necropsy, age ID etc ... all animals used were road kill or poached and kept in a freezer for this event. :o
Ended the loop with another Ash Creek crossing, this time getting our feet wet.

Always a good time out there at the ranch!
So happy Pond 3 will be back again!
Quick stop at Shelby Cake on the way home for Cake & Ice Cream!
9.29 mi • 593 ft aeg
 Well I decided on doing this trail today as there was a biking event going on in Oro valley and a book event in Tucson. Still the trails were very busy but the weather was great. Rowdy seemed to have an issue with one of his paws so I put on his socks and boots and he was fine.
Flowers out here were kinda funny as one spot had these flowers and another had something else. It was really a very nice hike with some great weather and no one complained about Rowdy being off leash even other people who had their dogs on leash.
It really was a very nice hike out but the drive back really is never fun.
I did notice that Route Scout doesn’t list all the trails in this preserve.
3.7 mi • 600 ft aeg
 Tired of seeing the perpetually jammed parking lot at King Canyon (even at midday), I decided to head over to Sendaro Esperanza instead. Pretty full there too, but found a spot. I did not notice any wildflowers on the lower part of the trail, but they began to sparsely show up on the switchbacks up to Hugh Norris. Took a nice 30 minute break at the trail junction, taking photos and chatting with numerous hikers. On the way back, I encountered a large group going up that was stopped for a break. Turns out it was a SNP ranger lead hike to Wasson Peak, part of their moon hike series. :)

Hey Tucson Mountains, Picacho Peak is laughing at you for the paltry flower show! :lol:
I'm sure it will get better soon! : wink :

That was the best I have felt on a hike in a long time. Plenty of energy and no issues. Yay. :D
14.78 mi • 4,564 ft aeg
 Got a late start at the overflow lot of 9am. There were surprisingly few hikers anywhere on the trail for a Saturday. A handful of folks on the way to Cardiac Gap, but I only saw one above that point.

All of the drainages were flowing nicely. There was patchy snow above Cardiac Gap. Esperero was especially flush with snowmelt, though none of the creek crossings gave any trouble. Bridal Veil falls were impressive, as were several other falls along the way, and there was lots of snow on the shady side of the canyon. I made it to Bridal Veil a little after noon, had a nice long lunch, and filtered water. I had the falls to myself too. I thought hey, since I'm here, and the Window is so close, why not try for it? So I did.

Trail conditions to the falls were very good. Above the falls they deteriorated somewhat; I'd say the trail just needed a good haircut. At one point as it was leaving a drainage to switchback up to the ridge, a pileup of deadfall blocked the trail and had a rather elaborate workaround, with some of cairns obscured until you got around the other side of them and looked back.

After the junction with Cathedral Rock Trail, conditions deteriorated further. Lots of overgrowth and occasional deadfall, and a few places where the tread was damaged by erosion post-fire. Patchy snow persisted. Between the falls and Cathedral there was a single set of footprints in the snow, but they stopped at the junction, so I was on my own to keep to the trail after that point.

I made it to the saddle overlooking Montrose Canyon at 2:30pm. It had been burned pretty badly, but the views were broad into Catalina ahead and Tucson behind. The trail was completely obscured by snow after the saddle, and there were impressive ice flows hanging onto the rocks of the canyon walls. I think some of the icicles were twenty feet long, gauging them by the size of the trees around.

At any rate, moving forward that late in the day with no visible trail, icy rocks, and no buddy to call for help seemed a Very Bad Idea. I turned around sad and headed back to the car. I passed only three sets of hikers on the way down, none of whom had been any further than the falls. Esperero Canyon itself and the falls are the highlight of this hike unless you are super invested in something past them, so I totally understand this.

Made it to the car a little before 5:30. My phone told me I'd burned over 4,000 calories, so I picked up a steak dinner for two on the way home and ate it.

A few poppies on the way up to Cardiac Gap. Some verbena between Cardiac Gap and Esperero Canyon. Brittlebush and globe mallow in sporadic bloom wherever they are seen.
10.1 mi • 2,204 ft aeg
Flowers Ice Cream and Scat
 Bruce and I went down to see the Poppies and throw in a hike or two. The hike wore me out but the Lupine and Poppies put on a great show!! The trail was in the normal shape but I think I’ll bring the gloves next time. My hands were slipping a little coming down the chute. After the Picacho loop we grabbed a JJ dessert and headed over to Turd hill.
I did the Turd loop while Bruce hit the summit.
Great weather, hike, flowers, views, dessert and company! Thanks Bruce!! Like HAZ, you rock!!

10.37 mi • 2,349 ft aeg
Flowers Ice Cream and Scat
 Denny through up this as a suggestion. Hoping to score on a flower explosion, I was in.

A 9am start and we started up Hunter. There was sign of many poppies, but it was still too cold for them to be open. Up, up, up, passing a bit of snow on the way to the saddle.

We negotiated the cable sections with little trouble and hit the top with about 10 already up there. After a snack break, we headed back down to the Sunset Vista trail and were lucky to miss any backup on the cable sections.

Once down to the flatter sections the flower show started. Some of the most impressive Coulter Lupine sections I've ever seen. Rock Daisies, Pincushion, Fiddleneck, Scorpionweed, Desert Chicory, Desert Bluebell and Poppies forever.

We made it to the Sunset TH and then continued around back to our starting point.

Being in the area there were 2 more must do's. First, a cherry dipped cone at the DQ. Next, time to cross the Turd off my list. This is an easy 2 mile RT hike, with a better than anticipated summit of the mighty Turd.

I think I set a personal high PPM of 13 on this hike, being in full tibber-mode
5.71 mi • 394 ft aeg
 It was a hard day for me as yesterday I had to put down my rescued cat. At least I got to hold her and tale her home much I loved her as she took her last breath. I rescued her out of a trash dumpster where her three kittens had all ready died from the heat. I had her for 13 years and she always slept on my pillow and I will never forget her.
6 mi • 500 ft aeg
 Solo trip out to the Box today.
So many endless old dirt roads, ranch roads, cow trails and such out there that I doubt I'll ever step foot on 10% of them, but maybe 9% :)
I picked the trail headed north from the Dry Canyon area and took it about 2.5 miles up.
Some excellent views 360 on this one including the overlook views down on Spring Canyon.
Some of the hillsides are now covered with little yellow flowers and there were a few poppies here and there.
This is going to be an awesome year for wildflowers in the Black Hills!
Returned back down the way I came and made a quick side trip to "the rock" for some old native art.
My trip ended down along the Gila River for sunset.
The river is still flowing very good with chocolate water.
This has got to be the best 1 year water flow levels I've seen in my 23 years back in the Gila Valley :y:
Love this place, fun trip!

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