Hiking Project Logo

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


Your Rating: Rating Rating Rating Rating Rating      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty:
Your Favorites: Add To-Do · Your List
Zoom in to see details
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

  4.3 from 28 votes

#545

Overall
  4.3 from 28 votes
5 Star
50%
4 Star
29%
3 Star
21%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#31

in Arizona

#545

Overall
48 Views Last Month
4,012 Since Dec 31, 2016
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
39%
13%
48%
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 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
Looking west from Wasson Peak.
Aug 2, 2017 near Tucson…, AZ
Saguaros dotting the Arizona desert-scape on a cloudless day.
Apr 6, 2021 near Tucson…, AZ

0 Comments

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

All Clear 85 days ago
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Feb 29, 2024
Brian L
Up on Canyon Trail, down on Gould Mine Trail 7.9mi
Jan 12, 2023
Randy Turner
Sep 25, 2022
Nate B
May 28, 2022
alex carlton
Incredible hike through forests of saguaro leading to epic 360 overlook of Tucson saw several lizards and turkey vultures also there way a coyote — 12h 00m
Apr 20, 2022
Mary Anderson
Beautiful panoramic views. Saw petroglyphs and mine. Took Gould Mine Trail instead of wash back 7.8mi — 5h 20m
Apr 9, 2022
John Hobbs
Left the boys behind to run back the left hand way with beautiful flowers, cacti, and slipping down the dry wash — spotting the glyphs!
Mar 9, 2022
Kristina Coleman
Mar 19, 2021
Paul Brunton
Welcome

Join the Community

Create your FREE account today!
Already have an account? Login to close this notice.

Get Started