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Blackett's Ridge

Blackett's Ridge

Blackett\'s Ridge

Page Type: Route

Location: Arizona, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 32.32520°N / 110.7916°W

Object Title: Blackett's Ridge

Route Type: Hiking

Season: Spring, Fall, Winter

Time Required: Half a day

Route Quality: 
 - 1 Votes


Page By: Sarah Simon

Created/Edited: May 8, 2012 / Nov 7, 2012

Object ID: 788974

Hits: 1750 

Page Score: 77.48%  - 8 Votes 

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View from the top!
View from the top!

This is a great, on-trail hike to the summit of a rugged desert peak in the Tucson metro area. The trail gets rocky at times, but it is well-marked and the switchbacks take some of the suffering out of the uphill tugs. The lower reaches feature close-ups of Sonoran Desert flora, and the upper reaches treat the visitor to jaw-dropping views. Hike this one when the poppies are blooming for an extraordinary visit.

Roundtrip Distance: 6 miles
Elevation Gain: 1,900 feet
YDS Class: 1+ (rocky steps along the trail)

Mom negotiating the rocks
Mom along the upper part of the ridge

Getting There

Visitors center signage
Visitors center signage
Just starting the climb
Just starting the climb

Per Friends of Sabino Canyon:
From the intersection of Kolb Road and Tanque Verde Road, turn right on Tanque Verde and travel less than a mile to the intersection with Sabino Canyon Road. Turn left onto Sabino Canyon Road and travel north 4.5 miles. The park entrance will be on your right, just after the intersection with Sunrise.

The Sabino Canyon parking lot can fill up on nice weekends, so get there early or park on the side of the road near the entrance.

Mom on the broad ridgeline
Mom on the broad ridgeline
Blackett s Ridge Route Map
Mom on the descent
Mom on the descent

Route Description

Crossing Sabino Creek
Crossing Sabino Creek
Rocky steps on the trail
Rocky steps on the trail

The earliest parts of this trail across the flatlands are the most confusing sections of route-finding. A maze of service roads and footpaths radiating from the visitors center can cause confusion, but just keep heading east toward UN 4409…you’ll get there.

• From your vehicle, head to the east end of the parking lot, through the visitors area to the far back right of the facilities. You may see a large brown sign pointing toward “Hiking Trails” in general, and the Phoneline Trail, specifically.
• Follow a broad dirt path eastward away from the visitors center for roughly ½ mile.
• Follow this broad dirt path across mostly level terrain to a paved road and continue eastward on the paved road. Fork right, and follow the paved road down to Sabino Creek, where the road crosses the creek via a bridge. Note a bathroom to your left.
• Cross Sabino Creek and keep your eyes peeled for a small sign to the Phoneline Trail #27.
• The trail turns sharply north to begin a gentle ascent toward the base of Blacketts Ridge.
• Continue on this trail for roughly ½ mile to a trail junction. Head right on Blacketts Ridge Trail #48.
• The trail climbs steeply through sometimes rocky, steppy terrain until it gains the ridge where the slope relents.
• Continue over a few false summits along the broad ridge, enjoying stunning desert mountain views, until the trail ends abruptly.
• A short clamber up a light-colored stone outcrop puts you on the summit of UN 4409!

Typical Trail Conditions

Typical trail conditions (1)
Typical trail conditions (2)
Typical trail conditions (3)

Summit Views!

Summit Views (1)
Summit Views (2)
Summit Views (3)
Summit Views (4)

Essential Gear

Watch your step
Watch your step
End of the Trail!
End of the Trail!
Pushing up the hill
Pushing up the hill

In addition to standard hiking gear appropriate to the season, the following are recommended when summitting this peak:
• A lot of water (more than you think you’ll need). There are no water sources at the trailhead or along the route.
• Sun-protective clothing, particularly long-sleeves and a brimmed hat, and sunscreen.
• Salty snacks
• Comfortable shoes that protect your feet from the rocky terrain and prickly plants.