Wasson Peak

Tucson, AZ

Tuesday dawned with clear skies and cool temperatures, perfect hiking weather.   We headed west about ten miles to meet Hans and Lisa, who are staying at Justin’s Diamond J RV Park.  After being treated to a great breakfast prepared by Lisa, the four of us headed to nearby Tucson Mountain Park for a day of hiking.

The Tucson Mountains are the smallest of four notable mountain ranges surrounding the Tucson valley. The other ranges include the Santa Catalina Mountains,  the Rincon Mountains, and the Santa Rita Mountains.  Our goal was the top of Wasson Peak, the highest point in the Tucson Mountains at 4,687 feet (about 1,600 feet above the parking area).

The trail began with a fairly flat hike through the desert.

Saguaro Cactus are plentiful in this area, providing an unlimited variety of shapes to view as we hiked.

The trail steadily rose, then went through a series of tight switchbacks, where at times we could look straight up or down to see each other.  Below is a good example of this, where Hans and John have hiked ahead and are high above Lisa and Pam.

At one time this was a busy mining area.  Over 120 sites once were mined extensively for copper, gold, silver, lead and other metallic elements.   Below is a sealed up entrance to one of the old mines.

After hiking up about three miles, we finally had a clear view of Wasson Peak in front of us.

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Zooming the camera, we could see four hikers already on the peak.  We later met two of the hikers on the trail and thanked one for wearing an orange shirt that was so clearly visible from a distance.

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After finally making it up to the peak, we were rewarded with a beautiful 360 degree view of the valleys surrounding us.

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Lisa enjoys lunch on the peak

View of the trail from the peak

After enjoying the view on the peak, we began the hike down, taking a different trail back to the parking area.  This provided us with all new views as we weaved our way down.

As noted, we passed a number of abandoned mine sites.  Below is a picture of two young miners examining an old structure that held explosives for a nearby gold mine.

When we finally returned to the Jeep, we had hiked for five and a half hours and covered over eight and a half miles.  We were all tired with sore muscles, and one of us had some cuts and bruises from a fall near the top of the peak.  This nimble hiker took a tumble that could have been very serious, had it not been for her youth and high degree of physical fitness which allowed her to survive.  We will not name this nimble hiker to allow her to save face, but it is untrue that Lisa pushed her down from behind!

We enjoyed the day and have plans for another hike with Hans and Lisa next week.  More on that later . . .

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11 Responses to Wasson Peak

  1. 8.5 miles?? A car – let me show you it. Very nice shots, despite some attempted foul play.

  2. Lisa says:

    🙂 It’s dangerous out on those trails!!! Gotta watch your back…!

  3. pmbweaver says:

    We stayed at Justin’s RV park. Not a bad park, good location. We liked being able to walk right outside the park and be in the desert. We walked Bella every day there. That is where we saw the rattle snake.

    Evades…how did we miss this trail. What a wonderful hike. You were surrounded by beauty every where.

    I remember those long hiking days. Gives you a great appetite. Think of all those calories you burned. Hope your next hike is as great as this one was. No more falls please, my heart can’t take it.

  4. Gay and Joe Taylor says:

    What a great hike and pictures to show! The view is spectacular! Thanks for sharing….looking forward to more.

  5. How did we miss this trail? Great photos. Hope the nimble hiker is doing very well. Will Picacho Peak be next on the list? Stay safe.

    • placestheygo says:

      The nimble hiker is surviving with scraps everywhere and a swollen knee. Luckily, I still had four and half miles to hike so things didn’t have a chance to tighten up. I had no idea I was going fall…walking along one minute, flat out the next!

      Our next longer hike will be to the Seven Falls in Sabino Canyon. We were going to do it this week but with all the rain and seven creek crossings we thought we should wait. Then, on the Today Show they mentioned that hikers had to be rescued from Bear Canyon (the Seven Falls Trail) in Sabino Canyon because of flash floating. Guess we made the right call!

      • At our hike at Q, I tripped on flat grounds! So it does happen to us once in a while. The Seven falls trail was another hike we missed while in Sabino, so looking forward to your experience there. Good call indeed for postponing it.

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