The hiking trails around Tucson offer a surprising diversity that ranges from walking among cactus in the desert to strolling through tall pines in the surrounding alpine areas. You can find a good selection of short or long trails, challenging hikes with large elevation gains, or flat trails that allow for a more modest day of hiking.
Birds and other wildlife are abundant in the surrounding parks and natural areas, so you have a good chance of spotting animals. If you don’t feel like venturing outside the city center, Tumamoc Hill offers hiking right in the heart of Tucson. For an overview of our top picks, see our list of the best hikes in Tucson.
1 Seven Falls Trail
Location: Sabino Canyon Recreation Area
Located in the Sabino Canyon Recreational Area, this beautiful trail takes you from the desert, up Bear Canyon, to a beautiful set of pools. The trail follows a stream, which you criss-cross many times. Along the way, you’ll see saguaro, buckhorn cholla, barrel cactus, and cottonwood trees. Bring your bathing suit for a swim or wade into the water to cool off after you climb the switchbacks near the end of the hike.
The elevation gain is 720 feet, and the total length of the hike from the trailhead is five miles return, if you use the tram. If you leave from the parking lot you will need to add another four miles return to your hike for a total of nine miles and just over 900 feet of elevation gain. The tram, which is an extremely popular way of doing this hike, leaves on an hourly schedule, and there is a fee to ride and a fee to enter the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area. This trail is located near the luxury Loews Ventana Canyon Resort.