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Wasson Peak Summit



9.4 mile 15.1 kilometer out and back
81% Runnable


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


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 run. 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.

Runner Notes

This is a fantastic trail to run and offers about 2,500 ft of gain in less than 10 miles.


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 29, 2019
Norikazu Imahori
Mar 17, 2018
Travis Atwood
Jul 22, 2017
Steven Terry
9.1mi — 1h 58m
Oct 28, 2016
Ian Crombie
Start earlier 9.4mi
Aug 3, 2016
Jul S

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 18 votes


  4.7 from 18 votes
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in Arizona


223 Views Last Month
7,318 Since Aug 29, 2016



View west from the saddle below Wasson Peak
Mar 28, 2018 near Tucson…, AZ
Cholla blossoms.
May 5, 2015 near Tucson…, AZ
Looking west from Wasson Peak.
Aug 2, 2017 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
Tucson Mountain from the King Canyon Trail
May 5, 2015 near Tucson…, AZ
Mount Lemmon from the Sweetwater Trail
Mar 28, 2018 near Tucson…, AZ


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