Tumamoc Hill is a popular hiking spot and natural preserve in southwest Tucson.
Managed jointly by the University of Arizona and Pima County, the paved, sloping road gains 800 feet in just 1.5 miles - making it an intense cardio workout.
Tumamoc Hill is home to the University of Arizona Desert Laboratory and is one of the most important cultural sites in the region. You can learn more about the history of the site on the Tumamoc Tour (see below).
One yelp reviewer by the name of Barrio H. had this to say, "This hill is more fun than a Stair Climber in a stinky gym. The best part is the top where you have a 360 view of Tucson and beyond."
Melissa J called it, "a perfect cardio workout" and Cheryl M. called it "the best little hike in Tucson."
Tumamoc Hill is immediately west of "A" Mountain and downtown Tucson.
From I-10 and Speedway, drive 1 mile west on Speedway to Silverbell. Turn south (left) on Silverbell and drive 0.2 miles to West Anklam Rd. Turn west (right) on West Anklam and the trailhead is on your left.
Park along the street on Anklam, near the St. Mary's Hospital parking lot. Do not park in the St. Mary’s Medical Plaza II lot; these spots are reserved for patients and you may be towed.
The hike is 1.5 miles one-way; 3 miles roundtrip.
Depends on how fast you want to go. ;) One hour total would probably be a safe estimate.
Hiking/walking/running up Tumamoc Hill is free.
Wear good walking shoes, sunglasses, sunscreen, a hat, and lightweight/breathable clothing. Bring along a sweatshirt if you’re visiting in the winter.
Water bottles, snacks, and a camera are recommended.
Two port-a-potties are available about halfway to the top, but you might as well use the restrooms at home or work before heading to the hill.
October thru April are ideal because the temperatures tend to be more moderate than in the summer months. That said, summer visits can also be fun if you watch the weather and plan your visit accordingly.
7,000+ walkers climb the hill every week so Tumamoc isn't exactly a "secret." That being said, crowds tend to peak at early morning, sunset, and on weekends/holidays.
Early mornings and evenings offer the advantage of being cooler, but anytime of day can be nice, depending on the weather and the time of year.
You may see saguaro cacti, palo verde, ocotillo, trees, deer, or rattlesnakes as you walk, run, or hike up the hill.
Yes, but note that it's a very short hike and it's not really a "picnicking" kind of place. Bring an energy bar or some trail mix if you like, but be sure to stow away all your trash in your bag or pocket until it can be properly disposed of.
You'll probably want to head to the Downtown area for a bite to eat.
Our top picks within a 4-mile radius include:
All ages! We hiked the hill with our 7-year-old, 4-year-old, and almost 2-year-old. Our 7-year-old and 4-year-old are pretty athletic and were able to hike up the hill without assistance. We pushed our 2-year-old in an umbrella stroller. Accompanying us were my husband's parents (who are in their mid-sixties).
The hill is a popular hike for all ages - from kids to college students to retirees.
Sure. The "trail" is asphalt all the way up to the top and was repaved in 2019 so it should be a relatively smooth ride for babies.
No, but there are benches with backs that are available as you walk up the hill that would be just right for a stop with a hungry baby.
Pets are not permitted due to the fact that the hill "can be a dangerous place for them and they can upset the wildlife."
There are two outstanding ways to experience Tumamoc Hill more fully.
(1) There is an ongoing science lecture series, which is free to the public! The Science Café at Tumamoc Hill provides speakers on topics that relate to the science, history, archeology, and educational mission of Tumamoc Hill. The talks are held in the library of the old Desert Laboratory (the buildings that are roughly half-way up the Hill). The staff asks that you make a reservation for the Science Café so they can have sufficient shuttle service for the participants.
(2) Download the FREE hourlong audio Tumamoc Tour. The Tumamoc Tour is divided into six sections that correspond to a distinct portion of the road, each punctuated with music by the band Calexico and paced to coincide with your walk up and down the Hill.
Yes - you can follow Tumamoc Hill on Instagram. Use hashtag #TumamocHill.
You may also be interested in joining Friends of Tumamoc, which will "help ensure that what you love about Tumamoc not only remains but is enhanced."
That just about covers it. Have a great time!
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