Mountains of Southern Arizona


Day Hike - Mountains of Southern Arizona

Saguaro National Park West: Kings Canyon to Wasson Peak Loop (with options for extended mileage) Day 2 of 3 hikes near Tucson, Arizona

  • Moderate
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 7.4 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 2,143 ft

Meet at the Kings Canyon trailhead in the Saguaro National Park at 8 am.

A National Park Pass is required for entry

This is the second of 3 day hikes in the Tucson area from Feb 7-9th.  We will be exploring three regions in the area:  Saguaro National Park East, Saguaro National Park West and Sabino Canyon where we will see the best of the canyons, views, falls, geology and nature in the Tucson Basin.

Richard DuBois (co-leader) will be offering extended hiking options for this hike

Pace will be moderate, with plenty of time for taking in the scenery. 

Featured in the Best Loop Hikes Arizona, this trail climbs to the highest summit in the Tuscon section of Saguaro National Park. We will travel the King Canyon, and Sweetwater trails to reach the summit and return via Hugh Norris, Sendero Esperanza and Gould Mine Trails

King Canyon Trail is a wide and stony path, ascending the side of a canyon with Wasson Peak in clear view ahead.  This trail boasts a diversity of plant life, including creosote bush, jumping cholla, prickly pear cactus, ocotillos, palo verde, and, of course, saguaros.  Several abandoned mine shafts make this climb interesting as the switchbacks end at the junction of a spur trail to the peak.

Part of this hike is consistently uphill on rocky terrain. Bring plenty of water, sturdy hiking footwear, sun protection and hiking poles.  The Sonoran Desert houses venomous insects to be aware of when hiking (snakes, bees, scorpions and spiders).

Option to visit the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum after the hike as it is just across the road from the trailhead.   The museum features animals of the Sonora desert, as well as information about the geography, geology, history, flora, and fauna of this region.

February is the cool season with high's around 70F, dry and sunny.  Some plants and wildflowers may begin blooming.  

Participants are responsible for their own transportation and lodging, although carpooling options to the trailhead can be arranged.  Leader has secured a 3-bedroom home through Airbnb that can be shared with several participants (send me an email if you are interested).  The Tucson airport would be the most convenient to fly into.  There will be options for dining together and sharing free time activities.


Mountains of Southern Arizona

  • Green Trails Santa Rita Mountains No. 2962S

    Green Trails Saguaro No. 2910S

    Green Trails Santa Catalina Mountains No. 2886S
  • See full route/place details.
Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials

  • Navigation
  • Headlamp
  • Sun protection
  • First aid
  • Knife
  • Fire
  • Shelter
  • Extra food
  • Extra water
  • Extra clothes
Trip Reports