January always brings renewed resolutions and promises to try new things.
After a season of cocktails, celebratory meals, and cookies, what better way to start out the year than exploring some of our great Tucson hikes?
While Tucson’s food scene has blossomed the last few years, the hiking trails and complementary weather have always been a main attraction for tourists and locals alike.
Here is our list of places to hike and work off all of the holiday treats. But, as a good hike always earns you a good meal, we are also recommending nearby places to indulge (or eat light!) afterward.
Located in the heart of Tucson, this distinctive landmark looks like a closed hand with an index finger pointed towards the sky.
The hike starts out easy and progressively gets steeper as you ascend the side of Finger Rock. The trees provide some much needed shade as you weave your way through the desert landscape.
Take this trail for the full stretch, which is 11.1 miles, or until you decide it is time for lunch and head back to your car.
The Blanco Tacos + Tequila location at Skyline and Campbell is a fabulous post-hike choice. Dig into a bowl of guac or sip on a zingy cocktail while unwinding on the patio.
Their happy hour is one of the best in the city with good eats and drink deals — the Crispy Shrimp “Po Boy” Torta and Nachos are popular choices.
Finger Rock Trail info: alltrails.com
Blanco Tacos + Tequila info: blancotacostequila.com
Heading about 25 miles southeast of Tucson, Madera Canyon is in the Santa Rita Mountains.
It includes miles of hiking trails and is known as a premier spot to camp, picnic or bird watch.
The trails vary from gentle, handicap-accessible paths to steep, extreme treks. The most popular is the Old Baldy Trail, which is a challenging nine-mile hike around the base of Mount Wrightson.
You will not be too far from Elvira’s Restaurant in Tubac. Enjoy one of the classic dishes it is famous for and perhaps a margarita or two.
Madera Canyon info: friendsofmaderacanyon.org
Elvira’s info: elvirasrestaurant.com
Another hike tucked amongst the city, you can take this trail as far out as you would like.
The most common route is to stop at the dam, about five miles in. It gets steeper the farther back you go into the canyon, but the views are well worth the climb.
This is a popular hike for trail running as well.
A great place to head afterward is Village Bakehouse. Known for its pastries and sandwiches, you really cannot go wrong whatever you are craving.
Pima Canyon trail info: fs.usda.gov
Village Bakehouse info: villagebakehouse.com
Sabino Canyon has several different hikes within the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains. You can choose a variety of trails that range from easy to difficult.
If you are up for a challenge, Blackett’s Ridge includes several steep switch-backs that peak with gorgeous views.
The Telephone Line/Phone Line Trail is particularly beautiful during the spring and fall months. For the Phone Line Trail, if you are more inclined to stay on a paved path, you can head up the main road that ascends across Sabino Creek over nine stone bridges.
In Bear Canyon, the Seven Falls Trail is a must. This out-and-back trail ends with a waterfall and is popular year round. If you go in wetter months, your feet are going to get wet (over and over) — consider yourself warned.
After you are done exploring, finish your day off at Commoner and Co.
The fresh dishes and craft cocktails are going to taste delicious after you have explored all the things Sabino Canyon has to offer.
Sabino Canyon info: hikingproject.com/trail
Commoner & Co. info: commonertucson.com
Signal Hill leads you through a series of petroglyphs left among the rocks by the Hohokam.
The rock art is seen throughout the short trail located in Saguaro National Park. The small peaks and gentle climbs make it a great hike for those looking for a short trip with a lot to see.
If you are looking for something a little longer, continue onto the Cactus Wren and Manville trails to see more of the park.
When your hike is over, a great spot to get lunch is Teresa’s Mosaic Café. The authentic Mexican food will help to round out your perfect Tucson day.
Signal Hill trail info: protrails.com
Teresa’s Mosaic Cafe info: teresamosaiccafe.com
If you are in search of some of the best views of the city, head up Tumamoc Hill.
Located on a research station for the University of Arizona, the road up is limited during the weekday. But, it is the perfect place to catch a sunrise or a sunset.
Approximately three miles total, the uphill climb will definitely leave you wanting somewhere to eat when you are done.
We recommend heading to Mercado San Agustin and eating at Seis. Whether you are there for a breakfast burrito or tacos at dinner, it will be the perfect place to relax after your hike.
Tumamoc Hill info: tumamoc.arizona.edu
Seis Kitchen info: seiskitchen.com
This Marana trail starts out fairly mellow, going in and out of a riverbed until you get to an old stone house.
Afterwards, there is a steep climb for a short distance and then it reaches a canyon where you can look back at how far you have come.
The Wild Burro Trail leads into a network of additional trails that loop around and reconnect back together.
The trail will take you right to the Ritz Carlton where several dining options are available. We suggest trying Core Kitchen & Wine Bar for an amazing breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner.
Wild Burro Trail info: hikingproject.com/trail
Core Kitchen & Wine Bar info: ritzcarlton.com