Solo Hiking Tucson Arizona – Wildlife Photos

Tucson Arizona offers many opportunities for solo hiking the option of desert or mountain hikes. Enjoying nature as well as more time for hiking were part of my decision to adopt a nomadic lifestyle earlier this year. I started out my solo road trip adventure with a couple of weeks visiting small towns in West Texas and some fantastic hiking at Big Bend National Park.

Next I lived in Tucson Arizona for seven weeks and enjoyed solo hiking at Mt Lemmon, Sabino Canyon, and the Saguaro National Park.

Many of the locals told me that I had picked a good time to visit Tucson. The hot temperatures of summer continued into early fall. I arrived in Tucson in mid-October. Thankfully this is when daytime temperatures became comfortable for hiking and outdoor activities around Southern Arizona.

Seems like every day that I go hiking or spend some time immersed in nature I feel like I’ve been rewarded with a cheap therapy session. There is something magical and meditative about observing nature. And I am not the only one that has adopted this belief – there is a field of study known as ecopsychology. Some researchers believe that one’s connection with nature can improve relationships and overall well-being.

My solo hiking around Tucson included desert hikes and mountain hikes. While I prefer hiking in the mountains, the desert hikes are a great way to become familiar with some of the wildlife and the plants of the desert. It’s interesting learning about how the various plants and animals  have adapted to life in the Sonoran Desert.

Here are some of the animals I captured with my camera while doing some solo hiking around Tucson Arizona.


Saw this Cactus Wren hopping about the cholla cactus while solo hiking in Tucson

Cactus Wren on a teddy bear cholla cactus – Tucson Arizona


Desert cottontail rabbit foraging for food in Tucson Arizona - Sonoran Desert

Desert cottontail rabbit foraging for food in the Sonoran Desert


Solo hiking Sabino Canyon - hummingbird sits on a branch - Tucson AZ

Hummingbird sitting on a branch – 7 Falls Trail – Sabino Canyon


Harris's Antelope Squirrel - recognizable by the narrow white strips along the side - Tucson AZ hiking

Harris’s antelope squirrel – Tucson Arizona


Lesser Goldfinch is a small bird with bright yellow breast and dark face and head - Tucson AZ hiking trails

Lesser Goldfinch sitting on a tree branch – Tucson Arizona


Solo hiking Sabino Canyon - 7 Falls Trail - a Canyon Tree Frog is well camouflaged while resting on a rock

Canyon Tree Frog blends with the granite rock he sits upon at Sabino Canyon – 7 Falls Trail


Stark contrast of a raven with light blue sky in the background and the white bark of an Aspen tree at Mt Lemmon - Tucson AZ

Raven in Aspen tree at Mt Lemmon – Tucson AZ


Large butterfly with rust colored wings and black and white spots - resting on a rock at Sabino Canyon - 7 Falls Trail - Tucson AZ

Butterfly on a rock at Sabino Canyon – Tucson AZ


House Finch with a seed in it's beak - Tucson Arizona

Red face and breast – the tiny House Finch munches on a seed


A tiny House Finch beside a barrel cactus - Tucson Arizona - Sonoran Desert

House Finch beside a barrel cactus – Tucson AZ


Grey and black lizard resting on a rock at Molino Basin - Mt Lemmon - Tucson AZ

Lizard at Molino Basin at Mt Lemmon – Tucson AZ


Bright yellow face of the Verdin bird - sitting in a tree - Tucson AZ

Bright yellow face of the Verdin bird – Tucson AZ


Lizard blends with rock background - Saguaro National Park - Tucson AZ

Lizard at Saguaro National Park – Tucson AZ


Red crowned female Cardinal feeding on seeds - Tucson AZ

A female cardinal feeding on seeds – Tucson Arizona


Grasshopper on a rock at Sabino Canyon - Tucson AZ

Grasshopper on a rock at Sabino Canyon – Tucson AZ


A male Gambel's Quail feeds on yellow flowers - Tucson AZ

Gambel’s Quail feeding on flowers – Tucson AZ


Gila Woodpecker sitting atop a Saguaro cactus in Tucson AZ

Gila Woodpecker sitting on top of a Saguaro Cactus – Tucson AZ


Tucson Arizona offers many trails that are excellent for solo hiking and there is plenty of interesting wildlife to see along the way. Sabino Canyon was my favorite hiking destination but I enjoyed all of my hikes in Tucson. Southern Arizona is a great place to enjoy the outdoors from autumn through early spring.

Best solo hiking trails in Tucson Arizona

Sabino Canyon

  • 5900 N Sabino Canyon Rd, Tucson AZ
  • $5 parking fee per vehicle (FREE with National Parks pass)

Sabino Canyon features both desert and mountain hikes. My favorite hike at Sabino Canyon was Bear Canyon to 7 Falls.

Saguaro National Park

2 locations located east and west of Tucson:

  • Tucson Mountain District  is known as Saguaro West – 2700 N. Kinney Road, Tucson AZ
  • Rincon Mountain District is known as Saguaro East 3693 – S. Old Spanish Trail, Tucson AZ

Admission fees to Saguaro National Park:

  • $15 per vehicle (good for 7 days)
  • $10 per motorcycle (good for 7 days)
  • $5 per individual on foot or bicycle (good for 7 days)
  • $35 annual pass to Saguaro National Park
  • $80 annual pass for all National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands (FREE to active military personnel and only $20 for seniors aged 62 and over)

All of the hiking trails at the Saguaro National Parks are desert hikes. Be prepared for you hike with water, snacks, hat, sunscreen, etc.

Mt Lemmon

Located in the Coronado National Forest near Tucson AZ

Some areas of the National Forest require either a National Parks pass or Coronado Recreational Pass. Check the Forest Service Coronado National Forest page for details.


Explore other destinations for your next solo travel adventure

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About the Author

Susan Moore's first solo travel experience was traveling around SE Asia for 7 months in 1993. It was life changing and extraordinary. Currently Susan is living a nomadic life, working and roadtripping around the USA and Canada. Read all about Susan » You can reach Susan Moore at Facebook or Twitter or Instagram

1 Comment

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  1. The Travel Team says:

    Nice! I’m looking forward to visiting this thrilling place.

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