Welcome to SP!  -
Picture Rocks Area Trails
Route

Picture Rocks Area Trails

 
Picture Rocks Area Trails

Page Type: Route

Location: Arizona, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 32.32763°N / 111.13075°W

Object Title: Picture Rocks Area Trails

Route Type: Hiking

Season: Spring, Fall

Time Required: Most of a day

Difficulty: Hike

Route Quality: 
 - 0 Votes
 

 

Page By: nader

Created/Edited: Jan 6, 2012 / Jan 27, 2014

Object ID: 769806

Hits: 5633 

Page Score: 83.69%  - 17 Votes 

Vote: Log in to vote

 

Overview

Picture Rocks is one of a number of dry washes that sits among the hills in the northeastern part of the western district of Saguaro National park. A network of local trails go up and down the hills and into some of the small “canyons” created by the dry washes providing great views of the cactus forest and the nearby mountains. The total length of the trails (as shown in the map below) is 13.6 miles. This allows the hiker to do a leisurely stroll, a long day hike or anything in between.



Map
Map


Getting There

From Exit 248 on I-10 in Tucson, turn west onto Ina Rd. Drive less than 3 miles and turn south onto Wade Rd. In less than a mile, the road turns west to become Picture Rock Rd. You will see the road going up to Contzen Pass, a saddle between two high points. Right after the saddle, there is a hairpin loop with a paved pull-off on the north side of the road. I saw no sign here but this is the trailhead.

Route Description

The 10.7 mile complex loop described here will take you on most of the area trails.

Although most of the trails were well-signed, I noted that some trails were missing signs. Carry a map and study it well.

From the paved pull-off, cross to the south side of the road and enter a dry wash. You will see a sign here. Follow the Cam-Boh Trail 0.4 miles west to the intersection with Ironwood Forest trail.

Ironwood Forest Trail 1.4 miles
Ironwood Forest Trail takes you mostly over a plain. You can look back to see the slopes of Safford and Panther Peaks.







Ironwood Forest Trail
 
Ironwood Forest Trail
 

Ironwood Forest Trail
 


Brittlebush Trail 1.0 miles
Ironwood Forest Trail eventually drops into a small canyon created by Picture Rocks Wash. Head south. After a short distance, the canyon splits. The left branch is Brittlebush Trail and follows the bottom of the canyon.






On Brittlebush Trail
 
On Brittlebush Trail
 

On Brittlebush Trail
Wasson Peak


The trail eventually exits the canyon and goes up a slope to reach a saddle.




On Brittlebush Trail
 


Thunderbird Trail 0.7 miles
The saddle sits to the north of Point 3037 ft. The trail descends into a valley and heads north.






Thunderbird Trail
Point 3037
Thunderbird Trail
 

Thunderbird Trail
 


Cactus Canyon Trail 0.7 miles
You will then reach a junction. Right goes to Gila Monster Trail. Turn left onto Cactus Canyon trail and go up to a saddle and then down into a valley to reach Coyote Pass Trail and eventually Picture Rocks Canyon.




Cactus Canyon Trail
 


Picture Rocks Wash Trail 1.5 miles
Get into Picture Rocks Canyon and follow it south to reach the spot you were earlier.





Picture Rocks Trail
Wasson Peak
Picture Rocks Trail
 



Take the right branch and continue up Picture Rocks Canyon.






Picture Rocks Trail
 
Picture Rocks Trail
 

Picture Rocks Trail
 


The trail eventually gets out of the canyon and goes up a slope to a 2900 ft saddle on the north side of Point 3263 ft.






Picture Rocks Trail
Point 3263 ft

Picture Rocks Trail
 
The 2900 ft Saddle
2900 ft Saddle


Prophecy Wash Trail 2.1 miles
The trail descends on the west side of the saddle.



Prophecy Wash Trail
 


It then gets onto the surface of a dry wash and continues northwest. You will have good views of Safford and Panther Peaks. The trail crosses Golden Gate Road (dirt) and continues another 0.6 miles.







Prophecy Wash Trail
 

Prophecy Wash Trail
 
Prophecy Wash Trail
Safford & Panther Peaks
Prophecy Wash Trail
Safford & Panther Peaks


Cam-Boh Trail 2.0 miles
Turn right and head east on Cam-Boh Trail toward the trailhead. You will cross Golden Gate Road again.






Cam-Boh Trail
 
Cam-Boh Trail
 

Cam-Boh Trail
Contzen Pass


Weather Forecast & When to Hike

See the forecast for the nearby city of Tucson.

Fall and spring are the best time to hike. Summer can become extremely hot.

Images