In southern Arizona’s Tucson, you can find an abundance of hiking trails—both in the urban and the outlying areas. One of the region’s exciting ongoing developments is “The Loop,” which when completed will be a 131-mile route through parks and along paths that will be shared by hikers and runners, bicyclists, skaters, and equestrians—anything without a motor. It will connect Marana, Oro Valley, Tucson, and South Tucson. More than 110 miles of paths have already been completed. You can find excellent maps and updated developments here.
Another way to enjoy Tucson is to explore its urban core on a self-guided walking tour. The points of interest are shown on a map by UniquelyTucson.com.
For an short, but unique walk, look for the Rattlesnake Bridge—a covered bridge for pedestrians and bicyclists that is designed so that you enter through the snake’s fangs, walk through its stomach, and exit through its rattles. You’ll find it east of Tucson’s downtown at Broadway Blvd. and Euclid. Click here for map.
Just outside of Tucson is the renowned Arizona – Sonora Desert Museum, which is open daily and suitable for visitors of all ages. You’ll find an informative museum, outdoor exhibits with flora and fauna of the Sonoran desert, and various educational programs such as the raptor show. Within the grounds are almost two miles of trails. Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, 2021 North Kinney Road, Tucson. phone: (520) 883-2702.
Other places to hike:
Sabino Canyon is in the Santa Catalina Mountains and the Coronado National Forest north of Tucson. It’s both a popular and beautiful place to hike. As with all hiking in the desert, carry plenty of water, some snacks, and dress appropriately for the conditions—which are extremely hot during the summer. Due to Sabino Canyon’s popularity, arrive early to find parking. Many visitors take a narrated, educational 45-minute, 3.8 mile tram tour into the foothills and then get off at one of the nine stops along the way in order to hike one of the many trails. Visit the Sabino Canyon tour site here. Others prefer to walk up and back the entire way. Entrance to the canyon is at 5900 N. Sabino Canyon Rd, Tucson, AZ.
More places to hike in Coronado National Forest are given here: http://www.fs.usda.gov/attmain/coronado/specialplaces
Other places to hike near Tucson are here:
Every Trail http://www.everytrail.com/best/hiking-tucson-arizona
And finally, Tanque Verde Falls is a popular site, including among those who want to swim in the buff. Warnings are given regarding the possibility of flash floods through the slot canyons and the risks of diving; a hike in this area can be treacherous—check here or here and go at your own risk.