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blue Wasson Peak Summit

  4.7 ( 18 ) Favorite


9.4 mile 15.1 kilometer out and back


Ascent: 2,113' 644 m
Descent: -2,113' -644 m
High: 4,674' 1,425 m
Low: 2,814' 858 m


Avg Grade: 9% (5°)
Max Grade: 28% (16°)


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Trail shared by Niall Murphy

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

Niall Murphy

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).


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Dec 22, 2019
Stone Patrick
May 19, 2019
Clare Carr
Apr 25, 2019
Marisa Fujinaka
Bring poles! Ran into a few rattle snakes on the trail. Also start early, it gets super hot by noon and there is no shade or water. 9.1mi — 4h 30m
Mar 3, 2019
Joshua Waits
Spectacular 360 degree views of Tucson and outer lying areas as far as the eye can see. 9.2mi — 4h 19m
Feb 19, 2019
Charles Clark
Jan 21, 2019
Gina G
Jan 21, 2019
Adam Thornberry
Jan 7, 2019
Caverdude O'Cicero
My GPS showed only 9.2 miles to the summit. It's a great beginner hike as you can stop at the first saddle if you don't feel like hitting the summit. 9.2mi — 3h 20m

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 18 votes


  4.7 from 18 votes
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