Friday, February 7, 2014

The High Point of the Tucson Mountains: Wasson Peak

Today we hiked Wasson Peak and we couldn't help thinking of John and Pam; it was one of the big hikes we did together last year at this time. Pam and I were obsessed with finding elusive crested saguaros...I still am, and I know Pam would be if she weren't in Florida this winter. The bonus today was finding a crested that I missed last year!

Here's the map for Saguaro National Park West. We hiked King Canyon, Hugh Norris, Sendero-Esperanza, and Gould Mine trails to make a 7.5 mile loop. Here's a few images from a great day on the trail.

Wasson Peak, at 4,687 feet, is actually behind the mountain in the distance.

We saw this unique crested saguaro last year.

There were a few spots of color along the trail.
Great views looking back towards our starting point.
We had just zig-zagged our way up the hillside.

The last bit of trail along a ridgeline to our destination.

It was a little chilly on top.

Coming down Gould Mine trail I looked up to my left and saw what seemed to be
a crested saguaro on top of the hill .
The trail made its way around the hill and from the other side I could plainly see it was indeed a crested saguaro!

Some pretty, new growth on a cholla. 

Another great day on the trail in Tucson! I'm glad we did this one before it warms up again next week, these hills would have been a lot harder at 80 degrees!


  1. Love that last picture of the colorful new Cholla growth. I've never seen one so purple. We missed out on hiking Wassan Peak last year, so this year it is a must do. Especially now that I know about the two crested saguaros!

    1. There are also petroglyphs if you walk down King Canyon, but we missed the turn near the end of the hike. We'll go back another day just to do the canyon.

  2. I live in Tucson and this is one of my favorite winter hikes. Your photos are wonderful and transport me back there. Great shots of the crested saguaro.

  3. Nice Crested shots. It's always nice to spot them.
    Box Canyon Mark

  4. I've heard of Wasson Peak but never did get a chance to hike there. Now Im getting jealous you are definitely back on the hiking trails while we are just hanging out with gators...

    1. I think the gators are pretty darn exciting!

  5. I do believe that one of your photos going up to the peak was taken in my "accident" area! I really enjoyed that hike. Looking forward to redoing next winter.

    The new crested saguaro is magnificent!!! What a beauty! Did we go by it last year and just miss it or did we take a different trail down? I do remember the first one but you really got a great close up.

    What a great day you had:)

    1. Redoing without the fall! ;-)

      Yes! We did go by it last year! And considering how hard we looked and looked and looked for crested, I am surprised we didn't catch it...though it was hard to see in the direction we were going. I had to look back at it to catch the best view.

    2. Most definitely without the fall. I get butterflies thinking about returning to hike. It was such a new love and I didn't get enough before coming east. Counting the days!!!