Tumamoc Hill is a well-known summit located just west of downtown Tucson. This summit is important in many ways to the area. The name implies that the summit is a site of an ancient ruin. Today there are still plenty of clues linking to the past Hohokam culture that lied there 900 years among. The summit is filled with petroglyphs (pictures drawn on rocks) which the past life of the Hohokam tribe. Many of the artifacts from the top of the summit are now located at the University of Arizona.
Tumamoc Hill is also known for its contribution to astronomy. In the late sixties Tumamoc Hill was used to test prototype cameras that were to enter Pioneers 10 and 11. The Bailey Dome was also built here in the sixties. In 1973 the telescope was use to study activity on Jupiter and Saturn. This telescope was used as well in 1985-1986 with the Comet Haley, Comet Hale-Bopp, the moon and Mars.
Along with the great history of Tumamoc Hill is the good hiking that can be done on the summit there are two trails to the summit of Tumamoc Hill. The first way is path that rises from the Sentinel Ridge trail at the height of land on Sentinel Ridge between Tumamoc Hill and A Mountain (class 1 but steep in sections). The other better-known way is from the road (1.5 miles one way) to the top on the north (class 1).
The views on the top of Tumamoc Hill are excellent of Tucson and the Santa Catalina to the east, Mt. Wrightson and the Santa Catalina to the south and the rest of the Tucson Mountains to the west.
Getting ThereVIA SENTINAL RIDGE TRAILHEAD: From exit 258 on I-10 head west on Broadway away from downtown. Stay on road until the road until just before the road veers a sharp right. Make a left on South Cuesta Ave. The road then turns into South Sentinel Peak Road. Halfway up the ridge the parking will be on your right.
VIA TUMAMOC HILL RD: From exit 258 on I-10 head west on Broadway away from downtown. Stay on road and take the sharp veer right onto Silverbell Rd. Take a left on West Anklam Rd and then a right onto North Tumamoc Hill Road.
Red TapeThere are no fees in Sentinel Peak Park. However there is an 8 pm park curfew.
When To ClimbThis mountain can be hiked at anytime. Winter and spring would be the preferred time though due to the heat.
CampingNo camping is allowed on the mountain due to the fact that it is in very close proximity to downtown Tucson.
Mountain ConditionsThe weather is very similiar to Tucson. For more information on the park call Sentinel Peak Park at 502-791-4871. The website below will give you a live daytime shot of downtown from Tumamoc Hill.
Downtown Tuscon View
Summit Picture LogPost your summit mugshot here.
- Site on Ruins on Tumamoc Hill
Site on the history on ruins that were located on the summit of Tumamoc Hill.