15 Best Hiking Trails in Tucson, AZ

Planning a hike in Tucson, AZ

Tucson is a beautiful city in Southern Arizona that’s known for its warm climate as well as its numerous entertainment and cultural attractions that residents can enjoy. With its close proximity to Phoenix, Tucson offers something for everyone and provides residents with around 350 days of sunshine every year, making it a great place to live for anyone who loves spending time outdoors. Although Tucson is comprised primarily of desert landscapes, the city is surrounded by five small ranges of mountains that make the location ideal for hiking and taking nature walks. While there are a vast array of different hiking trails in and around Tucson for you to consider, following we’ve put together a list of the 15 best hiking trails Tucson has to offer!


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1. Yetman Trail

The Yetman Trail is a lengthy 12-mile trail that’s considered to be moderately difficult. During your hike, you’ll be provided with spectacular views of the Golden Gate Mountain and the valleys beyond as well as a close look at some local wildflowers. While the trail can be used for riding horses and biking, dogs aren’t allowed. In the first section of the trail, consider stopping by the Bowen Ranch ruins for a closer look at the storied past of the area.

To get to the entrance of the Yetman Trail, travel south down Camino de Oeste until you reach a dead end, which is where you’ll find the trailhead and a spacious parking lot. You can find a more detailed map of the trail here, which should help you identify where the trail begins and where it ends. As is the case with most of the trails on this list, the Yetman Trail is open every day from sunrise to sunset.


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2. Seven Falls

Seven Falls is a fantastic 7.9 mile trail that offers varied landscapes, jaw-dropping views, and great options along the way for bird watching. While the trail begins and ends at the same location, the trail will take you out to a picturesque waterfall that’s perfect for snapping photos. The trail is accessible all throughout the year and is considered to be somewhat difficult to hike.

The trailhead is located just off E. Remount Place just before you get to the intersection of N. Sabino Canyon Rd. Right beside the trailhead are two parking lots with ample space as well as an information kiosk if you want to know more about the trail you’re hiking. Dogs aren’t allowed on the trail. A map of the Seven Falls trail can be found here.


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3. Tumamoc Hill

Tumamoc Hill is a relatively short hiking trail that stretches out for just under three miles and is considered to be a great place to go if you want to catch glimpses of some of the local wildlife. The out-and-back trail has a consistent elevation gain throughout, which is why the trail has a moderate difficulty. The trail itself is located on Arizona State University property, which means that it’s the only trail on this list that allows people to hike at night.

The entire trail is paved and begins right around Saint Mary’s Hospital just off West Anklam Rd. The only available parking is within the lot at Saint Mary’s Hospital, which is just across the road from the trailhead. While dogs aren’t allowed on the trail, you can go biking on the route if you want. Because of the lack of shade along this trail, the best time to visit is between the months of September and April. When you’re getting ready to visit the Tumamoc Hill trail, consider looking at this map for a guide.


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4. Ventana Canyon Hiking Trail

The Ventana Canyon Hiking Trail is one of the tougher trails to hike on this list. This 9-mile trail is never too crowded and offers some majestic views of the nearby mountains as well as numerous creeks that run alongside the trail. The high elevation gain of more than 3,000 feet means that you should only hike it with some rugged boots.

If you’re ready for the difficult hike, consider traveling to the end for the best views that allow you to see for miles. The trailhead as well as some parking areas can be found at N. Flying V Ranch Rd., which is nearby both N. Resort Dr. and Canyon View E. As with most trails on this list, unfortunately, your furry friends are not allowed on the trail. The Ventana Canyon Hiking Trail map is located here.


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5. Blackett’s Ridge

Blackett’s Ridge is among the most popular trails in and around Tucson because of the amazing views it offers of the Coronado National Forest. Keep your eye out for some local wildflowers, which are prevalent along this trail during the spring months. While dogs aren’t allowed, it’s possible to take your horse through this trail. This is considered to be a difficult trail to hike that only those with experience should attempt.

The trail is around six miles long and takes you out and back, which means that it begins and ends at the same point. The trailhead for Blackett’s Ridge can be reached by traveling to the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area on Sabino Canyon Rd, which is where you’ll park. When you pay your fee for parking, make sure to ask how to reach the trailhead for this particular trail. This Blackett’s Ridge map should help you navigate your way through the lengthy trail.


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6. Wasson Peak

Wasson Peak is a moderately difficult trail that comes in at a length of 7.1 miles and is a loop trail, which means that you’ll be provided with new sights to see at every step of your journey. This trail is known for its large amounts of wildlife, which should allow for some fantastic photos. You’ll also be provided with some amazing views of the nearby desert during your hike. In order to get into the trail, you’ll need to pay a small fee at the Saguaro National Park visitor center. You also won’t be able to bring your dogs. You can find the trailhead and parking lot to Wasson Peak directly across the street from the popular Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. A map of the Wasson Peak trail can be found here.


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7. Bridal Wreath Falls Trail

The Bridal Wreath Falls Trail is an out-and-back trail that extends for 5.6 miles and offers some spectacular views. While this is a moderately difficult trail, it’s great for nature walks and bird watching. Around two-thirds of the way through the trail, you’ll come across a sprawling waterfall that provides you with a great spot for relaxing and taking in the scenery. There’s almost no shade along the trail route, which is why it’s important to take a substantial amount of water if you want to hike the entire trail. The trailhead can be reached by traveling along S. Freeman Rd. until you reach the East Speedway Blvd. The trailhead as well as some parking spaces will be on your right. Dogs aren’t allowed on this trail. You can view the map of this trail by visiting this link.


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8. Finger Rock Trail

The Finger Rock Trail is a lengthy 8-mile trail that takes you up Mt. Kimball and can provide you with some breathtaking scenery when you reach the top. Because of the 4,000 feet of elevation gain on this trail, it’s rated as difficult. Along the way, you’ll spot a substantial amount of wildflowers and shrubbery, which makes it feel like your hundreds of miles away from civilization. Although horses are allowed on the trail, it’s recommended that you only ride up the first couple of miles because of the steepness of the trail. While horses can be taken with you, dogs aren’t allowed. A spacious parking lot is located on N. Alvernon Way as you approach N. Secret Canyon Dr. The trailhead itself is a few hundred yards away after you cross the N. Secret Canyon Dr. The map to the Finger Rock Trail can be viewed here.


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9. Catalina State Park – Romero Ruins Trail

The Romero Ruins Trail within the Catalina State Park is among the best trails in the park if you’re searching for beautiful scenery and a unique hike. It’s also the shortest trail on this list. Contrary to most trails on this list, dogs are allowed as long as you keep them on a leash. This 0.6 mile loop trail only has 68 feet of elevation gain and can be hiked by all skill levels.

This is a historical trail that provides visitors with numerous placards along the route that detail the history of the buildings and people who inhabited the area. The Romero Ruins Trail is a great place to go when you’re searching for a trail that can be hiked by the whole family. The trailhead as well as some parking options can be found along the Catalina State Park rd. The map to this trail is located here.


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10. King Canyon Trail

The King Canyon Trail is a moderately difficult trail within the Saguaro National Park that extends for 6.5 miles and will provide you with 1,800 feet of elevation gain. While dogs aren’t allowed on this trail, you can take your horse for a ride or hop on your mountain bike. While there’s some loose gravel that you should be wary of along the first mile, this section of the trail isn’t that steep.

The views along the entire trail are among the best in Tucson. Once you reach the top, you’ll be able to see across nearly all of Tucson. The trailhead is found just beside the Gould Mine trailhead, which can be reached by traveling south on Kinney Rd. When planning your visit to the King Canyon Trail, view this map.


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11. Sweetwater Trail

The Sweetwater Trail is a lengthy 8.6 mile trail that’s great for any skill level. Along the way, you’ll be presented with many beautiful rock formations and fantastic views. Although you’re liable to see dozens of different types of wildflowers during your hike, the Sweetwater Trail plays host to the Saguaro cactus, which is native to the area. There’s an elevation gain of around 2,000 feet and the trail can get somewhat steep around halfway in. The trailhead is found at the end of el Camino del Cerro, which is also where you’ll find a sizable parking lot. You can view the Sweetwater Trail map at this link.


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12. Garwood Trail

The Garwood Trail is a 3.3 mile trail that has a mere 200 feet of elevation gain, which makes it an easy trail to hike for all ages. Although there’s no shade cover during the hike, it’s short and flat enough that you won’t need anything but water on your journey. Just beside the trailhead is a visitor center where you can pick up a map of the trail. This map provides a detailed history of the location that may prove entertaining during the hike. The trailhead can be found at the same location as the Bridal Wreath Falls trail mentioned previously. Around 0.2 miles into the trail, the paths will diverge and you’ll be presented with new scenery to view. The map to the Garwood Trail can be looked at by following this link.


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13. Douglas Spring Trail

The Douglas Spring Trail is the lengthiest trail on this list at 16.6 miles, which means that you’ll likely need to take multiple hiking trips to see all that it has to offer. Despite its length, the trail is only moderately difficult to hike. The trail is at its steepest at the very end of the hike before you turn around, which provides you with an elevation gain of 3,700 feet. This trail is in the same location as the Garwood and Bridal Wreath Falls trails. While most people who hike the Douglas Spring trail will stop and turn around at the end of the Bridal Wreath Falls section, the actual end of the trail provides stunning views of a serene waterfall. As with all trails in the Saguaro National Park, dogs aren’t allowed. To reach the trailhead, take the East Speedway Blvd. until you arrive at the dead end. View the Douglas Spring Trail map here.


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14. Linda Vista Trail

The Linda Vista Trail is a moderately difficult loop trail that lasts for 2.2 miles and offers some amazing mountain views. The halfway point of the trail takes you to Pusch Peak, which is where you’ll get the best views of the nearby mountains. Keep in mind that the trail becomes somewhat steep in the last half mile before reaching the peak. Throughout most of the climb, you’ll have ample amounts of shade to keep you cool and comfortable. While dogs aren’t permitted on the trail, horses are allowed. The parking lot and trailhead can be found just off E. Linda Vista Blvd. and Oracle Rd. If you want a visual guide to the Linda Vista Trail, view this map.


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15. Brown Canyon Hike

Brown Canyon Hike is a 5.2 mile trail that has a moderate difficulty level to it because of the large rocks that can be found throughout. This trail is a favorite in Tucson for mountain bikers who are searching for some difficulty without too much elevation gain. This is also a heavily shaded trail that will keep you out of the sun for the vast majority of the hike. Along the way, you’ll travel under large numbers of trees and along beautiful wildflowers and bubbling streams. Unlike most trails on this list, you can take your dogs with you as long as they remain on leashes. The trailhead is located on the right of Ramsey Canyon Rd. just after you pass S. Calle Metate. You’ll find ample parking options there as well. The map for the Brown Canyon Hike can be found here.

Conclusion: Tucson, AZ Hiking & Trails

Tucson has a spectacularly beautiful landscape for you and your family to enjoy outdoor activities, hiking, or playing in waterfalls! If you’re looking to buy or sell a home in Tucson, AZ — browse our inventory of spectacular Tucson luxury homes for sale or get in touch with our team of professional Tucson Luxury Real Estate professionals today and let us help you get the best price for your home!