“Long, tough, rewarding route to Rincon Peak offering great views of southern Arizona.”
— Chris McD
Birding · Views · Wildlife
Pedestrians only (no dogs, horses, mountain bikes) allowed on the trail.
is similar to Mt. Wrightson in the Santa Rita Mountains. Both are prominent peaks easily seen from Tucson. Both routes are long and strenuous, and both offer spectacular views across southern Arizona.
Need to Know
Exit I-10 at Mescal Road (Exit 297). Head north on Mescal Road which eventually becomes FR35. A high clearance vehicle is necessary. Begin your outing at the Miller Creek trailhead.
The Miller Creek Trail
heads in a westerly direction from the trailhead. After about a mile, the trail enters Saguaro National Park East. After approximately four miles, the Miller Creek Trail
intersects the Rincon Peak
trail. Please beware that the Rincon Peak
trail and Heartbreak Ridge
tail overlap for a little bit. Signage usually shows Miller Creek trail connecting with Rincon Peak
trail, but information could exist showing the Miller Creek trail leading to the Heartbreak Ridge
trail for a short distance then Rincon Peak
trail. The Rincon Peak Trail
is an "in and out" trail to Rincon Peak
. The round trip mileage from the Miller Creek trailhead to Rincon Peak
and back is 16.2 miles.
An option to break up the route would be to take the Miller Creek trail to the Happy Valley Campground, set up camp and take a lighter pack to Rincon Peak
, heading back to Happy Valley Campground to spend the night. Visitors could then return to the trailhead the next day. Please remember camping is only allowed in designated areas within Saguaro National Park. One must have a permit to camp anywhere in Saguaro NPS.
Just to be safe, plan on carrying all your water. There might be water in various places along the trail, but no guarantee.
Flora & Fauna
Visitors pass through several transition zones on the way to Rincon Peak