“A trail separate from the main Tucson Mountain Park trail system.
— Hillary Mathis
This trail is easily connected to the Brown Mountain
Loop. From the Juan Santa Cruz Picnic area, follow the road to Kinney Rd. Take Kinney Rd to the first paved pullout on your left and the Cougar Trail trailhead is right there. You might not know there is a trail if you aren't looking for it. You can follow Cougar, but it takes a keen sense to see the beginning part of the trail in some parts.
From Kinney Rd, the trail starts to climb and wind up the hillside. A few tricky spots present themselves around some rocks and then it's smooth sailing until the short uphill section just ahead. Instead of the usual winding and switchbacks, this trail chooses to go straight up, and then straight down again. This makes sense since it basically follows the power lines.
Be prepared for lots of loose rocks, and because this trail appears to be rarely traveled, overgrown bushes area waiting to get you. With careful maneuvering all sharp bushes and cactus are avoidable.
Keep heading east on the trail until it dead ends at a T. Turn right and cruise downhill on an easy doubletrack back to Kinney Rd.