Wasson Peak

Distance9.2 miles
Elevation Gain1800 feet
Difficulty LevelModerately Strenuous
Approx Hiking Time5 hours
Best SeasonsFall, Winter, Spring
Cost per person
(two person minimum)

This hike leads to the highpoint of the Tucson Mountains on the west side of Tucson. It is one of the few peak hikes on which the peak is actually visible from the trailhead.

Departing from the trailhead at the western end of Camino del Cerro Road, the level trail meanders through typical desert habitat. A few minutes after leaving the trailhead, we turn left at a signed intersection and drop into a deep wash. From this point it's uphill all the way to the top of Wasson Peak. Don't worry, though. There are a few level areas along the way where we can catch our breaths.

After crossing the wash, the trail climbs a ridge that provides clear views of Tucson to the east and our destination to the west. If you pay attention, you'll notice thousands of saguaro cactus of all ages along the trail and spreading across the Sweetwater Canyon. Keep your eyes peeled, as well, for the first sighting of shindaggers. If you don't know what those are, you'll find out soon enough. After a bit more than three miles, we'll stop at Sweetwater Saddle for a short break before tackling the climb to the peak.

From the saddle, the trail climbs steeply for another 1.2 miles to the very top of Wasson Peak, the highpoint of the Tucson Mountain range. Once we get to the top, we'll take another break, enjoy a snack and the views of Tucson on the east and Avra Valley far to the west. You can also clearly see Picacho Peak from here, and that's more than forty miles away!

This hike is perfect for the moderately experienced hiker.