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This half day adventure will wind you up the east side of Wasson Peak and offer breathtaking views.

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Out and Back

4,674' 1,425 m


2,814' 858 m


2,113' 644 m


2,113' 644 m



Avg Grade (5°)


Max Grade (16°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Family Friendly The first few miles of this trail are relatively flat and showcase lots of desert vegetation.


The Sweetwater Trail winds through the lower east-side sections of Wasson Peak offering beautiful views of Tucson, desert vegetation, and even across a wash area. After a few miles the slope of the trail will increase and bring you to the saddle intersecting w/ King Canyon Trail. From there you can expect a lot of elevation gain throughout the rest of the hike. The panoramic views from the top are worth the effort.

Need to Know

The parking lot closes at dusk, and there are no restrooms or water fountains. This route leaves you almost fully exposed so be sure to wear your sunscreen.


This trail is very easy to follow, and the trailhead map will help you navigate your way. From the parking lot, you'll head up the hill for a short distance and will arrive at a T intersection. You'll notice the log book here. Once you sign in, you'll want to head left (south) onto the Sweetwater Trail. You'll notice wonderful views looking up at Wasson Peak as you wind along the trail. There is one main wash crossing where water will only be running during a big storm, and it is unlikely to experience any water on this route.

Once you arrive at the saddle connection with the King Canyon Trail, you'll head straight (west) up the hill to experience the steepest section of climbing for this adventure. After a few really well-built switchbacks you'll level out at the top saddle with the Hugh Norris Trail and have a short 0.3 mi jaunt remaining to the summit.

There is another log book here so please be sure to sign in at the summit as well. Enjoy the panoramic views of the entire Tucson area and fuel up before your descent. Look to the north where you'll see Safford Peak and Panther Peak at the northern edge of Saguaro National Park West.

History & Background

Wasson Peak is the highest peak in Saguaro National Park (West).


Shared By:

Niall Murphy

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 28 votes


  4.7 from 28 votes
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in Arizona


92 Views Last Month
10,538 Since Aug 29, 2016
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult



View west from the saddle below Wasson Peak
Mar 28, 2018 near Tucson…, AZ
Looking down the final stretch of trail to Wasson Peak.
Feb 28, 2021 near Tucson…, AZ
Looking out over Avra Valley with Sierrita Mountains in the (middle) distance. On the far right you can make out Baboquivari.
Sep 12, 2016 near Tucson…, AZ
Cholla blossoms.
May 5, 2015 near Tucson…, AZ
Mount Lemmon from the Sweetwater Trail
Mar 28, 2018 near Tucson…, AZ
Looking west from Wasson Peak.
Aug 2, 2017 near Tucson…, AZ



Current Trail Conditions

Add Your Check-In


Nov 22, 2023
Garret Ward
Hiked about 2 miles up and came back down. Saw SO many saguaros. Hike started outside park boundaries 4mi — 10h 30m
Apr 14, 2023
Andrew Rush
Feb 3, 2023
Charles Paige
3h 00m
Oct 22, 2022
Shelly Love
Feb 6, 2022
Charles Paige
2h 52m
Apr 22, 2021
Charles Paige
9.2mi — 2h 55m
Mar 28, 2021
Tom Bateman
9.4mi — 3h 24m
Mar 26, 2021
Jacob Mordock
Started at 1:10, reached the top at 3:33, and finished at 5:40. The trail is extremely well made and easy to follow, and follows a gentle grade — 4h 30m

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