A great family adventure awaits in Tucson, Arizona, with fabulous hiking trails for every level of adventurer. Surrounded by mountain ranges, the trails offer beautiful views of sandy deserts full of cacti or forests full of aspen and pine trees. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular trails.
When to go Hiking
If you’re planning a hiking trip in Tucson, it’s best to avoid the sizzling summer months, when temperatures hover near the 100-degree mark. But fall, winter, and spring bring moderate temperatures in the 70s and 80s with little rain. You can check for Tucson hotels through Hotel Planner, keeping in mind that hotel rates peak in November and December, but less expensive options are always available.
For a short hike on easy paved paths, check out the Urban Loop, a range of 100 miles that welcomes anything without an engine. Walk, bike, rollerblade, push a stroller or ride horses. These family-friendly trails connect the communities of Marana and Oro Valley to Tucson.
If you’re looking for a little more rugged trail, check out Tumamoc Hill, a 2.9-mile paved trail leading to a University of Arizona research station at the top. Don’t plan a weekday trip on this trail, though. On Mondays through Fridays, the research station does its work undisturbed, so reserve the weekend for this beautiful hike.
A little more difficult, the 12-mile David Yetman Trailsconnect Gates Pass and Star Pass. The hike offers a wonderful view of the city while also providing the peace and quiet of the desert. This trail allows horses, too, and if the 12 miles seems too long, there’s a pick-up spot halfway through.
Tanque Verde Falls offers a short distance, just 1.8 miles, but takes you over steep boulders and across five waterfalls. Be careful, as this trail is susceptible to flash flooding during rains, making it one of the most dangerous hikes in the area.
One of the most popular trails, Seven Falls, winds through Bear Canyon and past seven waterfalls. Hikers have the choice of walking a couple of miles into the park or taking a tram to the start of the trail. This hike is a little more difficult and not the best pick for first-timers.
If you like a challenge, then check out the Finger Rock Trail in Catalina State Park. The trail’s name comes from the rock formations resembling a fist with the index finger pointing up. It’s a difficult, narrow, steep hike including some rock climbing. With beautiful views of Tucson, climbers enjoy the native saguaro cactus and pine trees along the way.
The Window, another challenging trail, offers steep switchbacks that lead to a glorious view in front of a hundred-foot drop. According to hikers, this view of Tucson is like none other, making the hard trek more than worth it.
Whether you wander through the trails on the mountains or try the urban loop in the city, Tucson offers a trek for any level of hiker. Check out the area for your next family adventure.