The Tucson Mountains are home for me. In the winter I am in the range almost every free day, hiking or running my favorite trails. I've probably run the Brown Mountain Trail at least a hundred times, and hiked it another 40 or 50. In recent weeks I decided it was time to get out of my rut and explore some areas of the range that I had not seen - to explore as much of the range as I could in a single day. Thus was invented my plan to hike/run the span of the entire range in one winter day, climbing its best peaks along the way.
The route I chose starts at the local icon Sombrero Peak, at the northern end of the range, and ends at Ajo Way, the road that serves as the practical southern boundary. The route is roughly 22 miles long and connects trails and dirt roads for much of its length. About 6 miles of the route is cross country travel across valleys and along ridges; terrain that I knew would prove difficult. Hiking in steep desert mountains without a trail is usually an unpleasant affair. It was important to me that the route climbed the two main peaks on the spine of the range, Wasson Peak and Antenna Peak. Wasson Peak is the high point of the Tucson Mountains and lies within Saguaro National Park. While Antenna Peak, as the name suggests, is home to a mind boggling array of antennas that serve the digital needs of Tucson. Antenna Peak lies within Tucson Mountain Park and is not reached by any trails. A locked road goes to the summit from town - but to traverse along the spine and reach the peak would require tricky off trail travel.
For all the details of the route, and a map, see the Tucson Mountain Traverse page in my routes and maps collection.