Trail Run Project Logo

Wasson Peak Circle Route



8.4 mile 13.5 kilometer loop
82% Runnable


Ascent: 1,905' 581 m
Descent: -1,912' -583 m
High: 4,673' 1,424 m
Low: 2,914' 888 m


Avg Grade: 9% (5°)
Max Grade: 45% (24°)


No Dogs
Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Trail shared by Sandy Hilton

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

Sandy Hilton

Features Views · Wildflowers


This route is a tough run 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.

Runner Notes

No drinking water on route.


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 run!

Run this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

Flora & Fauna, History & Background

Is something wrong? Let us know. Have photos to share? Help fellow runners know what's here.


Rate This Run

Rate Quality

   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Run

Check In


Jun 2, 2019
Kyla Nicole
Feb 13, 2019
Jason Doedderlein
Splendid trail and run!! Ton's of fun. Good, steep climb and gentle run back down. Like an extended 8.2mi — 2h 10m

Trail Ratings

  4.1 from 21 votes


  4.1 from 21 votes
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Run Rankings


in Arizona


120 Views Last Month
2,581 Since Dec 31, 2016



View west from the saddle below Wasson Peak
Mar 28, 2018 near Tucson…, AZ
California poppies. EVERYWHERE!
Mar 19, 2019 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
Saddle before heading up to Wasson Peak.
Aug 2, 2017 near Tucson…, AZ
Tucson Mountain from the King Canyon Trail
May 5, 2015 near Tucson…, AZ


Trail Run Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Running