In celebration of the Great Outdoors Month 2009 there is nothing more pleasurable to experience the great outdoors than a hike. In Tucson, Arizona there is no shortage of trails and places to go in this beautiful desert city. There are many trails that you can choose from, ranging from easy to difficult. Some are free and some require a small fee, but don’t let the small fee deter you it is well worth it. The fees benefit these places by keeping the facilities clean and running. Three great trails to visit here in Tucson are Sabino Canyon, Skyline trailhead and Picacho Peak.
I hiked a trail here just a couple of days ago and it was the first time I visited Sabino Canyon. It will cost you five dollars to get into the parking area. From there, you choose your route. Sabino Canyon offers many trails varying in length for the beginner to the advanced hiker. This Canyon has two main trails the Sabino Canyon trail and the Bear Canyon trail. Each trail has various smaller trails that run off of them. One of the sites you can visit from the Sabino Canyon trail is the Sabino dam. This man made dam offers an oasis in the desert and a cool place to rest your feet. It is kid friendly and a great place to stop to have a picnic with friends or family. You can either take the paved road to this location or veer off and take one of the hiking trails to the dam. A popular hike you will find taking the Bear Canyon trail is the Hutch’s Pool hike. This hike is best suited for the experienced hiker and takes around 8 hours to finish. To get to the starting point of any of these trails you can take the tram, it will cost you $8.00 to ride the tram however you can access many of the trails via the tram. The tram leaves the main station every hour on the hour. This is the kind of place where you could spend an entire summer, venturing through the different paths that Sabino Canyon offers.
Picacho Peak is another favorite hiking spot of mine. Picacho Peak is located about 30 minutes north of Tucson and is easy to spot from the freeway with the defined “peak” it is hard to miss! Access to the trail to the park located adjacent to the peak will run you about $5.00. Picacho Peak also offers camping and picnic sites. The main hike at Picacho Peak is the one that brings you to the top of the peak. The hike to the top is intended for the advanced or experienced hiker. For this hike, I suggest that you wear gloves as you will be climbing up and down cables that have been placed along some of the steeper parts of the trail for assistance, and believe me you will need to use these cables at some point. Don’t be deterred by this however, as the sight is not one that should be missed. You will not be disappointed by the view from the top of this peak as you will have a clear 360 degree view of your surrounding area.
Pima Canyon is another hiking trail. It is very easy to get to. If you plan on doing hike, be sure to get there early as you can as there is a very small area for parking that seems to fills up quickly. An advantage of hiking at this location is that there is no fee. It is free to enter and park in the trailhead parking area. This hike is a medium difficulty hike and is just less than three and a half miles each way. At the top of the trail you will find a dam that sometimes has water depending on the time of the year. The scenery on this hike is excellent. Be sure to keep an eye out for the wildlife including the various desert flowering cacti and other desert plants. Don’t miss out on this wonderful
When hiking in Tucson as well as anywhere else make sure you bring plenty of water. I am a fan of CamelBak hydration systems, especially the ones that offer extra pockets which are great for storing a piece of fruit or a nutrition bar or a small first aid kit. So if you are a Tucson native or visiting the area be sure to check out one of these great locations.