Region in Arizona, United States
Tucson Trail Map

Tucson just might be the most underestimated and underrated hiking destination in the state of Arizona. The Old Pueblo is known for its college life and gastronomy, but without even leaving the city limits, there’s adventure to be found. Founded as a military fort in the 1770s, Tucson was the most populated city in Arizona until the 1920s. While Phoenix competed for size and status, Tucson stood its ground as a destination in its own right. For outdoor adventurers, it’s a treat of a hometown, with several mountain ranges flanking the city and a handful of premier outdoor adventure parks accessible without leaving the city.

With the Santa Catalinas, the Rincons, the Santa Ritas, and the Tucson Mountains within reach, adventurers in Tucson are spoiled for choice. Several large designated recreational areas have been developed in the city, including Saguaro National Park East and West, Catalina State Park, and the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area. Hints in these names give away what hikers, mountain bikers, campers, and horseback riders come to see: endless seas of tall saguaros, rugged desert canyons, and jagged desert summits. If the imagery of the Sonoran Desert speaks to you, Tucson is simply the place to be.

Whether you live in Tucson or you’re just passing through, the allure of the desert is obvious. With plenty of trails suitable for beginners progressing to challenging, full-day undertakings, you just might be surprised to see how much the mecca of Southern Arizona has to offer outside its historic adobe walls.

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