Tumamoc Hill is a natural preserve and home of the University of Arizona Desert Laboratory. Tumamoc is managed in partnership by the University of Arizona and Pima County.
The paved, sloping road gains 600 feet in just 1.5 miles – making it a super steep hike and an intense cardio workout.
The top of the hill is home to many radio, television, and public safety transmitters, as well as a research and education facility.
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.”
According the the official website, “Some well-traveled walkers even claim Tumamoc is the best walk in all North America.”
Where is Tumamoc Hill located?
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.
Where should I park?
Along the street on Anklam, near the St. Mary’s Hospital parking lot.
What is the length/distance of the hike?
1.5 miles one-way. 3 miles roundtrip.
How much time should I allot for this hike?
Depends on how fast you want to go. ;) One hour total would probably be a safe estimate.
What are the hours?
Anytime EXCEPT between 7:30am and 5:30pm, Mon-Fri.
Why would I visit Tumamoc Hill?
- To walk (or run – if you’re crazy!) up a desert hill
- To get a free cardio workout
- To take in an incredible view of the city
- To be immersed in and learn from one of the world’s longest running research stations, the UA Desert Laboratory at Tumamoc Hill
How much does it cost?
What should I wear?
Good walking shoes, sunglasses, a hat, and lightweight/breathable clothing. Bring along a sweatshirt if you’re visiting in the winter.
What should I bring with me?
Water bottles, snacks, and a camera are recommended.
Are bathrooms available?
One port-a-potty is available about halfway to the top, but you might as well use the restrooms at home or work before heading to the hill.
What is the best season for visiting Tumamoc 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.
What are the most and least crowded days of the week to visit Tumamoc Hill?
Sunset is an especially popular time. We read somewhere that 7,000 walkers climb the hill every week.
What is the best time of day to visit Tumamoc Hill?
Early mornings and evenings offer the advantage of being cooler, but anytime of day can be nice depending on the weather.
What kinds of plants and animals will I see?
Saguaro cacti, palo verde trees, deer, rattlesnakes.
Is outside food allowed?
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.
What dining venues are available on-site?
What restaurants are located NEAR Tumamoc Hill?
You’ll probably want to head to the Downtown area for a bite to eat.
Our top picks within a 3-mile radius include:
- eegee’s, 1209 W. St. Mary’s Rd. (1.4 miles away) – sub sandwiches, french fries (with ranch dressing!), slushy-style drinks
- La Cocina, 201 N. Court Ave. (2.0 miles away) – indoor + outdoor seating, American + Vegetarian cuisine
- El Charro Cafe, 311 N. Court Ave. (2.1 miles away) – tacos, enchiladas, burritos, $3.95 children’s menu
- Hub Restaurant & Ice Creamery, 266 E. Congress St (2.3 miles away) – fun atmosphere, burgers, salads, sandwiches, pasta, beer + wine, really good homemade ice cream
- Cafe Poca Cosa, 110 E. Pennington St. (2.3 miles away) – “imaginative Mexican cuisine in an upscale, et casual, bistro setting”
BABIES & KIDS
What ages would be best suited for a hike up Tumamoc Hill?
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.
Should I bring a stroller?
The “trail” is asphalt all the way up to the top. Note, however, that the surface is a little “bumpy” so a jogging-style stroller might make for a smoother ride for baby.
Is there a designated area for moms to feed their 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.
Are changing tables available?
What about my other “baby” (dog, cat, etc)?
Pets are not permitted due to the fact that the hill “can be a dangerous place for them and they can upset the wildlife.”
Can I have my wedding on Tumamoc Hill?
How can I learn more about Tumamoc Hill’s history and mission?
There is an ongoing science lecture series. Free to the public!
Is Tumamoc Hill on Facebook and Twitter?
What else do I need to know before I hike Tumamoc Hill?
That just about covers it. Have a great time! Feel free to leave any additional questions in the comments and we’ll respond ASAP.