Ever since my first experience in Arizona several years ago, desert hiking has held a special place in my heart. I got to enjoy the exquisite red rocks of Sedona, the high desert near Flagstaff, and mountain parks near Phoenix. I returned a couple years ago and enjoyed hiking in the Tucson area.

Growing up in coastal northern California with its beautiful forests, it might seem surprising that I enjoy desert hiking so much. There are so many opportunities locally that I’ve been able to enjoy over the years, and many fantastic trails and parks. But the desert has a unique charm. It’s so vast, so different, and so incredibly amazing.

I plan to follow up with details on some of the best hikes I was able to squeeze into my few days in Arizona. But for now, I offer Tucson hiking in 10 photos.


a landscape of a desert with a house and cacti

Bear Canyon Trail, looking back toward the Catalina Foothills and Tucson.

Tucson Hiking

Morning hike on the Phoneline Trail loop.

a lizard on a rock

Lizard encountered along the Bear Canyon Trail.

Tucson Hiking Saguaro National Park

View of Tucson from Wasson Peak.

a landscape of a desert with cactus and rocks

Bear Canyon.

a rocky path with trees and mountains in the background

Brush Corral Trail, Mount Lemmon, Coronado National Forest.

a landscape of a desert with cacti and mountains

Desert view from Kings Canyon Trail, Saguaro National Park.

a snake on rocks

Rattlesnake encountered along the Bear Canyon Trail.

a view of a valley and mountains from a mountain

San Pedro Valley view from Green Mountain Trail, Mount Lemmon

Tucson Area Hiking

Desert sunset hiking Wasson Peak