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Wasson Peak Circle Route

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.1 (21) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Head up King Canyon Trail, down the Hugh Norris Trail and Sendero Esperanza in this strenuous loop.


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Map Key

8.4

Miles

13.5

KM

Loop

4,673' 1,424 m

High

2,914' 888 m

Low

1,905' 581 m

Up

1,912' 583 m

Down

9%

Avg Grade (5°)

45%

Max Grade (24°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Views · Wildflowers

Overview

This route is a tough hike up King Canyon, but the reward is a great view from Wasson Peak and then a terrific and fast descent on the Hugh Norris Trail.

Need to Know

Park in the parking lot across the road from the Desert Museum.

Description

To begin this loop, head up the old jeep trail at the end of the parking lot, which is the King Canyon Trail. About 1 mile up, you'll see Sendero Esperanza coming down in the left. Keep going straight to stick to the King Canyon Trail. Be aware that the climb is tough, ~12%, and pretty rocky. Be aware that you'll likely be slowing down considerably on this route.

At the junction (3 miles from parking lot) with the Hugh Norris Trail, take the right fork to the top of Wasson Peak just a short 1/3 of a mile. Though this short trail is steep, the views at the top are worth it! You'll enjoy scenic views of the whole Tucson basin, making for a perfect place to catch your breath before a fast descent.

Once you've enjoyed the views from Wasson Peak, backtrack and then head down the Hugh Norris Trail - a sandy, and fun trail. Turn left on Sendero Esperanza which is a bit rocky but continues down past the picnic spot to the dry river bed. Continue down the river bed, also known as the King Canyon Wash. That will bring you back to the parking lot, where you can congratulate yourself on completing an excellent and strenuous hike!

Contacts

Shared By:

Sandy Hilton

Trail Ratings

  4.1 from 21 votes

#1007

Overall
  4.1 from 21 votes
5 Star
38%
4 Star
33%
3 Star
29%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#44

in Arizona

#1,007

Overall
58 Views Last Month
3,042 Since Dec 31, 2016
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
38%
0%
63%
0%

Photos

California poppies. EVERYWHERE!
Mar 19, 2019 near Tucson…, AZ
View west from the saddle below Wasson Peak
Mar 28, 2018 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
Looking west from Wasson Peak.
Aug 2, 2017 near Tucson…, AZ
Covering the Gould Mine shaft is a metal grate.
Sep 10, 2016 near Tucson…, AZ
Tucson Mountain from the King Canyon Trail
May 5, 2015 near Tucson…, AZ

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Check-Ins

Oct 2, 2020
Caroline Ulczycki
Jun 1, 2020
Angel Davis
9.2mi — 4h 09m
Dec 11, 2019
Mary Avila
Parked at King Canyon parking — 12h 30m
Jul 5, 2019
Sophie W
https://socalhiker.net/hiking-wasson-peak-in-saguaro-national-park/ Drank 2-2.5 liters RT. Go early to beat the heat! We hiked from 0530-0950. 7.7mi — 4h 20m
Apr 7, 2019
Hugo C
8.2mi — 5h 17m
Mar 10, 2019
Greg Francis
It can get very windy up on the ridge line views are great and the wildflowers on the high Norris trail are beautiful
Feb 20, 2019
Andy Chaffin
You can also finish with the Gould Mine route back to the parking lot.
Jan 25, 2019
Ryan Brouwer