Tucson is a great place to experience the Arizona you’re always picturing in your mind. Namely, you get to see an Arizona filled with mountains, desert landscapes, and even giant Saguaro cacti. But some of these views are best seen from on high — and that requires a hike. A hike is also a great option if you’re trying to work off some delicious authentic Sonoran food — of which sunny Tucson has plenty. Whatever your reason, it’s time we set you up with a list of the best spots to go hiking and see some natural beauty in Tucson.
Tucson, AZ 85745
A short hike by all accounts, Tumamoc Hill is only 3 miles round trip to the summit. However, the incline gets nice and steep past the midpoint of the path laid out for people who want to journey to the site of this desert laboratory. Tumamoc Hill is situated on a reserve that belongs to the University of Arizona, so take care as you climb and don’t stray from the paved road ahead of you. Avoid bringing pets, smoking, and anything else that would disturb the ecology of this area. But you should definitely bring tons of water and absorb the natural beauty of this reserve, especially if you reach the top!
1001 Sentinel Peak Rd S, Tucson, AZ 85745
Tucsonans also know this as “A” Mountain, but whatever you call it, Sentinel Peak is the perfect place for a view of Tucson from above. In fact, the mountain towers 2,900 feet above the town, with mostly paved paths on the way to the summit. The whitewashed stone “A” is a perfect spot for an indulgent Instagram post. However, if you’re just trying to get your steps in, you will be more than happy to come to Sentinel Peak! There’s a ramada but no restroom along the way, so make sure you’re prepared for your hike when you get there.
Tucson, AZ 85712
Twelve miles long, Rillito River Park gets its name from the riverbanks it follows in a linear fashion. This park is also quite accessible, even hikeable for those with small children or pets. With drinking water, exercise stations, and the riverside to enjoy, this is an easy place for anyone to take in the sights or fit a workout into your schedule with little effort.
3590 W Anklam Rd, Tucson, AZ 85745
No reason you can’t enjoy a short hike with a lot of great views. That’s what you get at Painted Hills Trails. This 285-acre open space allows leashed dogs, and it’s not too far from civilization. You can expect to see some mule deer as well as many enormous Saguaros standing over you as you go along the trails. You might even happen upon some other wildlife, so stay cautious.