Hike Tucson: Awesome Day Trips
You’ll experience the stunning beauty and wonder of this region when you hike Tucson. On these unique adventure and conservation oriented hikes, you will get a taste of the geology, the botany and flavor of the Sonoran Desert and Sky Island mountains. Enjoy this five minute video spotlighting of what we call The Land of the Southwest Monsoon.
Hike Tucson and you’ll experience what is arguably some of the best hiking in the world. The city and surrounding environs serve up lush Sonoran Desert vegetation and picturesque mountain ranges, the drawing cards to what attract hikers to this corner of the world. As you gaze upon towering saguaros and beautiful sky island mountain ranges in the distance, you will understand why hiking in Tucson should be on every adventurer’s travel bucket list.
The diversity of climate, flora and fauna and landscapes in this region is second to none. Within this area, you are surrounded by peace, tranquility and splendor. From the staggering scenery atop Mt. Lemmon to the often snow-capped Santa Rita Mountains, few places on the planet provide the variety of terrain coupled with indescribable beauty as Tucson does. At Southwest Discoveries, we know the best trails available to you based on your level of experience.
It’s a well known fact that Arizona is spectacular, often breathtakingly so. Tucson and vicinity contains some of the most awesome, wondrous and secluded hikes in the southwest, a staggering diversity of landscapes, perfect for Arizona Day Trips and adventures. But with so many amazing places to trek, just where to you draw the line? Allow us the opportunity to present to you the most breathtaking hikes, perfect destinations for your next hiking adventure.
We will provide everything needed, including transportation, water, beverages, lunch and experienced knowledgeable guides. We offer half day or full day or multi-day guided hiking and adventure excursions throughout Tucson, Phoenix, the Grand Canyon and the great southwest. Our rates range from $100 for a half day to $150 for a full day of hiking. Here are a few samplings of our offerings:
Half Day Hikes – moderate hiking
La Milagrosa Ridge Trail – 5 miles
An incredibly beautiful guided hike near the bottom of Mt. Lemmon in Tucson. You will enjoy stunning scenery where the desert wildlife blends with the pines of the forest.
After a mile of scenic hiking, we will reach the high point of the trail with spectacular views up and down the gorge. During wet times of the year, numerous little waterfalls will spill off the rocks at La Milagrosa canyon below. Our route will head northeast along the ridgeline and in 1.5 miles, we will descend into Agua Caliente Canyon which falls away hundreds of feet to our right. After enjoying a sumptuous lunch at this awesome location, we will climb up the other side of the canyon and return to the trailhead by way of a loop trail, capping an invigorating day taking in the sights, smells and textures of the Sonoran Desert.
Wild Burro Loop – 7 miles
A beautiful hike along the Wild Burro loop in the rugged Tortalita Mountains north of Tucson. You will enjoy a guided walk along a scenic network of trails that allows for a variety of moderate loop hikes. We will combine the Wild Burro and Alamo Springs trails, a route that winds 7 miles adjacent to 500 million year metamorphic granite rock. Our guide will discuss the geography, geology and flora and fauna in these mountains, featuring more than 600 plant species.
We will observe rare crested saguaros as well as ocotillos, ironwoods, palo verde, sotol, agave and jojoba, a wonderful assortment of lush Sonoran Desert plants. In the spring, many wildflowers dot these hills including Mexican Gold Poppies, penstemons, larkspurs and lupines. At our lunch break, we will observe the remains of an old cabin and will keep our eyes peeled for birds such as falcons, gnatcatchers and kit foxes, bobcats and Gila Monsters.
Full Day Hikes – moderately strenuous hiking
Mt. Wrightson – hiking Tucson’s loftiest summit – 12 miles
We’ll start our hike on the moderate and well graded Old Baldy Trail where we will take in exceptional mountain vistas. The trail originates at Madera Canyon, a world renowned birding spot.We may spot the rare and beautiful Elegant Trogan, a prized species on many bird watcher’s life lists.
About a mile from the top we will reach Baldy Saddle, a great place to rest and enjoy a delicious lunch. Among meadows, spruce and ponderosa pine trees, our guide will discuss the geology, flora and fauna of sky island mountain ranges of the southwest. We will enjoy the splendor and solitude of deep canyons, lofty ridges and sloping grasslands. The final ascent will be steep and rocky but taking it slow and easy will allow us to reach the mountain’s glorious pinnacle no worse for the wear!
The views from the peak are outstanding. They extend more than 60 miles into Mexico and encompass much of southern Arizona. At Wrightson’s distinct rocky peak, elevation 9450, we’ll peer off into the distance at other sky islands such as the Rincons, Baboquivari Peak, the Santa Catalina mountains and dozens more.
On our descent back to the trailhead, we’ll veer off on the slightly longer and equally scenic Super Trail. We may spot bears, javelinas and deer bounding off into the woods, a bonus to an already exceptional and wonderful hike!
Aspen and Marshall loop – hike among the pines atop Mt. Lemmon – 8 miles
On the Marshall Gulch trail, the setting is a classic pine forest. We will enjoy hiking in the cool of Mt. Lemmon, enjoying stands of aspen, ferns and maple along a flowing creek. Your guide will point out the botany and geology of this incredible sky island mountain range in southeastern Arizona.
After veering off the Marshall Gulch trail and climbing slowly but steadily on the Lookout trail, your senses at this point will be on overload at the never ending beauty along the way. This is one of Arizona’s finest loop trails and features awe-inspiring views in all directions.
You’ll see quite a few different species along this trail, showing off the changing life zones as it loops around Marshall Peak. You’ll hike among aspens, Douglas-fir and white fir, Gambel and silverleaf oaks as well as madrone trees. As an added bonus, along the pathway there are rocks sparkling with flakes of mica and quartz. After taking in the wide angle overlooks at Lunch Ledge and Marshall Saddle, both of which include overlooks of the Wilderness of Rock area, we will return by way of the Mt. Lemmon and Aspen trails.