Brown Mountain

Hike along a gorgeous ridge with stupendous views of the Tucson Mountains and Saguaro National Park.

Hiking Difficult

Distance
7.5 km
Ascent
228 m
Descent
228 m
Duration
1-2 hrs
Low Point
807 m
High Point
944 m
Gradient
Brown Mountain Map

More than just a single peak, Brown Mountain consists of several small summits along a low ridge measuring 1.5 miles long. The route mapped here is a quick but beautiful 4.6-mile lollipop that traverses the entirety of the ridge on visually-stunning, exposed singletrack.

Description

The recommended route wraps around the base of the mountain to reach the northwestern end of the ridge. You'll then climb onto the ridge and traverse up and down the several small summits on your way back to the trailhead. The singletrack along the base is narrow and twisty, ducking beneath towering saguaro cacti and through the beautiful undergrowth that has made the Sonoran Desert so famous.

As you climb toward the top of Brown Mountain, you'll enjoy expansive views of the Tucson Mountains all around you. Despite being located right on the edge of the second-largest city in Arizona, this small mountain range is protected by Tucson Mountain Park and Saguaro National Park. While Brown Mountain isn't technically inside the national park, the western section of Saguaro National Park begins just to the north and is visible from the entire route. Take your time and savor the views as you traverse the ridgeline—you earned this reward!

The final descent off the mountain is steep and technical, dropping through a series of tight, rocky switchbacks that could challenge some hikers. While this trail is bike-legal and you may encounter mountain bikers out here, the short, steep climbs and tight switchbacks on the descent make it most ideal as a hiking or trail running route.

Difficulty

Difficult

Hiking trails where obstacles such as rocks or roots are prevalent. Some obstacles can require care to step over or around. At times, the trail can be worn and eroded. The grade of the trail is generally quite steep, and can often lead to strenuous hiking.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

Features

  • Picturesque
  • Summit Hike
  • Wild flowers

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area