Wasson Peak

Climb to the highest peak in the Tucson Mountain.

Hiking Difficult

Distance
15 km
Ascent
632 m
Descent
632 m
Duration
3-4 hrs
Low Point
854 m
High Point
1.4 km
Gradient
10˚
Wasson Peak Map

While the Tucson Mountains don't soar nearly as high as the Santa Catalinas on the opposite side of the city, the moderate elevations mean that the trails here generally stay snow-free all year long. Wasson Peak, featured here, is the tallest of the peaks in the Tucson Mountains and the highest point in Saguaro National Park, rising to an elevation of 4,687 feet above sea level.

Description

The climb to the summit begins on a wide, rocky trail that slowly climbs through the desert. After a couple miles, the grades get considerably steeper as the trail climbs up a canyon, making for the summit in earnest.

Soon you'll reach a saddle between two mountain peaks, with Wasson Peak to your right. From the saddle, you'll glimpse your first views to the west of the Tucson Mountains. The expansive vistas of Saguaro National Park spreading out below you are definitely camera-worthy!

From the saddle, turn right for the final, steep ascent to the summit of Wasson Peak. You'll have to scale a few steep, rocky switchbacks along the way, but before you know it, you'll find yourself on top of the Tucson Mountain Range.

"From the top you can see all of the Tucson Mountains, the city of Tucson, the Santa Catalina Mountains, the Rincon Mountains, and if you've already hiked Picacho Peak, you should be able to pick out its distinct shape out to the northwest," writes Richard Oppelaar on SoCalHiker.net.

This version of the climb to Wasson Peak follows an out-and-back route on the Sweetwater Trail. Return the way you came to get back to your vehicle.

Sources: https://socalhiker.net/hiking-wasson-peak-in-saguaro-national-park/ https://www.theoutbound.com/arizona/hiking/summit-wasson-peak https://www.summitpost.org/wasson-peak/151398

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

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area