Hike | Tumamoc Hill | Tucson Mountain Range
Tumamoc Hill is located in the Tucson Mountain Range, a fifteen-minute drive from the University of Arizona campus. From the top, you can also see Sentinel Peak (A mountain) as well due to its close proximity! Since the hill is on university property, night hiking is allowed as well. As a result, this hike is perfect for a sunrise or sunset hike with stunning city views! The path is on a relatively well-paved road that winds up to the peak. On the way, you will pass a research station used for astronomy that has been studied since 1906.
- Length: 2.9 mi
- Trail Type: Out and Back
- Trailhead Elevation: 3108 ft
- Gain/Loss: +947 feet
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Dog-Friendly: Yes
- Fee: $5 for National Park fee (or Annual National Parks Pass)
I have done this hike several times now throughout my four years at the U of A. As this is one of the few closer hikes, the trail is a popular outing for families, friends, and different student organizations as a social event. The way up is a consistent climb of switchbacks that gets pretty steep after the halfway mark of the research station. The degree of incline can be a challenge and will definitely get the heart pumping. However, the paved road makes the hike much more accommodating than others. Length of time for completion will range from 45 minutes to 1.5 hours, depending on how many stops taken and how long you take pictures at the top. Cacti and different native plants line the path along the ascent and Spring/Summer days display the desert cacti’s beautiful blooms. Views of the city dazzle you not only at the top, but also all along the journey up and down.
Some of my fondest memories are accompanying a friend on her first ever hike here, doing the hike at sunrise with members from a new organization I was accepted to, and completing the hike at sunset with my best friend to catch up on each other’s lives. No matter if I go during a weekday night or early morning, the amount of families and people out on the hill to exercise and socialize always amazes me. Also, even with the Tucson/Pima County Lighting code that restricts light use at night for air pollution, you are still able to marvel in the city’s twinkling lights while gazing at the starry night.
I think that many other people in Tucson have had similar fond memories of the hill as well. This is a must do short, yet moderate hike when in Tucson to experience the local community!
Tumamoc Hill is located in the Tucson Mountain Range, a fifteen-minute drive from the University of Arizona campus.