Tucson Mountain Traverse


A clearing storm lights up the desert as the main spine of the Tucson mountain lies draped in the shadow of the clouds.   

A clearing storm lights up the desert as the main spine of the Tucson mountain lies draped in the shadow of the clouds.   

A complete Route Map is here

The route starts at Sombrero Peak and heads south through the range to Ajo Way.  Along the way it climbs the three best peaks in the range - Sombrero, Wasson and Antenna.  I had considered also climbing Golden Gate Peak, which would be a good option if you move quickly.  

After climbing the standard route on Sombrero Peak, descend to about 3000 feet, then head south to a gap in a cliff wall, from which you can descend to Picture Rocks Road, and Golden Gate Road, which will take you into Saguaro National Park.  There is no trail and very little evidence of people from Sombrero Peak all the way to Picture Rocks Road. 

Move along Golden Gate Road to the Sendero Esperanza Trailhead, and climb the trail all the way to Wasson Peak. Descend from Wasson Peak for about 0.3 miles, then take the trail going south. Descend to a small saddle and take an abandoned road south (not the Sweetwater Trail) for about 0.4 miles, cutting off the abandoned road when it turns abruptly right and descends.  Climb the ridge and then move right to another obvious ridge which runs south all the way to Antenna Peak.  

Move carefully along this ridge for about two miles to Antenna Peak.  I stayed on the east side of the ridge as it got higher and more difficult.  Expect tough hiking and slow going in the last mile to Antenna Peak.  

Descend along the road from Antenna Peak for about 0.3 miles until the road turns sharply left and descends a canyon to the east.  Leave the road here and continue along the ridge for 0.5 miles, descending to the right as soon as a gully looks hikable. Be careful here as numerous cliffs lie below.  Make sure you can see a clear descent to the valley floor. Expect lots of loose rock on the descent.  

Upon reaching the floor, connect with a dirt road which runs south through the valley. Work your way along trails that parallel the roads to the Yetman Trail, which passes through Golden Gate Pass. Hike through this pass, and eventually into populated areas, then south along roads to Ajo Way.