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7 Reasons to Hike & Explore the Tucson Mountains

Hiking Trail in the Tucson Mountains

Sweetwater Trail in the Tucson Mountains

The Bowen Homestead Ruins

The Bowen Homestead Ruins

A Saguaro cactus grows on the side of a mountain

Saguaro Cactus

Regardless of interest, conditioning, and experience, there is a trail for you in the Tucson Mountains.

TUCSON, ARIZONA, UNITED STATES, January 27, 2021 / -- Do you love to hike? The Tucson Mountains, with its lush Sonoran Desert landscape and volcanic rock formations, is one of the most unusual hiking locations in the country. For nearly 100 years, hikers from all over the world have enjoyed the 150+ trails that criss-cross this range through local and national parks. Surrounded in a setting so spectacular, it has appeared in more than 400 movies and TV shows.

1. ADA Accessible and Interpretive Trails
Feliz Paseos Park is the first park in Arizona, and one of the first in the country, focusing on universal accessibility. The 56-acre park features a handicapped-accessible trail system with interpretive signs. It includes a paved parking area, a plaza with a large covered ramada, and two ADA accessible family restrooms.

2. Bring Fido! There Many Are Dog-Friendly Hiking Locations
Tucson was rated the most dog-friendly city in America in 2018. Two of the most popular dog-friendly parks are The Sweetwater Preserve and Feliz Paseos Park. Sections of Tucson Mountain Park are open to leashed dogs, including Enchanted Hills Trails Park and The Robles Pass Trails Park.

3. Unusual and Historical Destinations Are a Short Hike Away.
The Picture Rocks Trail will lead you to thousand-year-old petroglyphs carved in stone by the Hohokam Indians. There are 21 known petroglyph locations in the Tucson Mountains.

The Gould Mine Trail will take you to a 100+-year-old abandoned mine now located in Saguaro National Park. An iron grate covers the mine shaft, and the powder house walls still stand. Foundations for the blacksmith shop and mess hall also remain.

The Yetman Trail passes one of the most popular destinations in the Tucson Mountains; the Bowen Homestead ruins built in the 1930s. The home had numerous large windows, two fireplaces, and a bathtub. Only the walls stand today because a fire consumed the roof and interior in 1970.

4. There Are Trails for Everyone.
Regardless of skill, conditioning, and experience, there is a trail for you in the Tucson Mountains.

Hikers looking for a cardio workout can take the Sweetwater Trail to Wasson Peak, the highest peak in the range. Or, they can climb the short, steep Tumamoc Trail for a panoramic view of the city.

For those looking for a moderate workout, the new Painted Hills Park has approximately 4 miles of trails and is known for its picturesque stands of saguaros and many peaks.

The Saguaro National Park-West offers two easy, kid-friendly trails. The Desert Ecology Trail and the Desert Discovery Trail are close to the park's Visitor Center . . . and it's restrooms.

5. The Lush Sonoran Desert
The Tucson Mountains are located in the Sonoran Desert, which is considered the wettest desert in the world. Also, it's the only place in the world where the Saguaro Cactus grows in the wild. Known as the west's universal symbol, the Saguaro is the largest cactus found in the United States.

6. Unique Arizona Wildlife
The Sonoran Desert is the most biologically diverse desert in North America. The Tucson Mountains are a birder's paradise with more than 80 birding hot spots. It's not unusual to catch sight of coyotes, javelina, and mule deer while hiking. Plus, more than 100 different reptiles thrive in this arid environment.

7. Covid
Don't let the pandemic trap you at home! Hiking is a safe activity to get outside, socially distance, and be active.

For more information on visiting, hiking, and exploring the trails in the Tucson Mountains, go to

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