Where to hike to see the sunset near Tucson, AZ
March 16, 2012 3:09 PM   Subscribe

Where's a good place to hike to see the sunset near Tucson, AZ? Must involved at least 2 miles of hiking, could be more.
posted by rzperllian to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: These:
Picacho Peak (Sunset Vista trail)
Saguaro National Park West
... are the two I can think of offhand that ensure you're facing west.
posted by parilous at 3:54 PM on March 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

Are you prepared to walk back in the dark? If not, it makes things more complicated.

I'd recommend Sabino Canyon, take the trolley ($8) to the end, then take the phoneline trail back to the visitor center. It's an easy hike of about 4-5 miles, mostly level after the first mile, but a couple hundred feet above the canyon with great views generally facing West the whole way. When the sun sets, you'll be close enough to the visitor center you won't have to walk in the dark.

If you're okay walking back in the dark, I like the Tanque Verde trail. You can hike as far as you want, watch the sunset and then turn around. I can't remember the name of the trail, but the one at the very end of East Broadway is a nice easy trail with great overlooks on the rocks. It's also free unlike Saguaro East.
posted by skewed at 5:15 PM on March 16, 2012

The loop trail at Catalina State Park is only a mile or so, but there's a trailhead on the backside of the loop that will take you up under Pusch Ridge and present a really rather breathtaking view all the way out to Kitt Peak.

Bear Canyon up towards Seven Falls ought to get you up the face of the Catalinas far enough to see over the Tucson Mountains as well.

Cam-Boh Trail is one I've always wanted to hike so I can't give you a first-hand account. But I believe it crests the ridge of the Tucson Mountains, giving a panoramic view of the Saguaro National Monument West.
posted by carsonb at 5:52 PM on March 16, 2012

Hugh Norris trail at Saguaro West (from the Hohokam trail head). It starts out fairly steep, and I think you hit a crest after about a mile (satisfying the 2mi rule). When I did this I hiked all the way to Wasson peak, and on the return chased the sun as it dipped below this last ridge. The final part of the hike is pretty spectacular, as you descend down to the trailhead with the sunset unfolding in front of you. Happy trails.
posted by eddydamascene at 10:12 PM on March 16, 2012

As an aside, the Photographer's Ephemeris can help determine the exact moment of sunset once you have decided on a destination.
posted by vac2003 at 2:11 AM on March 17, 2012

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