7 Best Dog Friendly Hikes in Tucson

One thing for sure about Tucson, Southern Arizona, is that there are plenty of breathtaking hiking trails.

But the problem here is, not every single one of them welcome dogs.

So, we think it may be helpful to list down trails that allow you to explore with your furry friend.

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And below, you will find the 7 best dog-friendly hikes in Tucson.

1. Catalina Canyon Loop Trail

One of the must-visit places in Tucson is, of course, the Catalina State Park. There are multiple routes in the park, and the most popular one is the Catalina Canyon Loop Trail.

You will see lots of beautiful desert wildflowers and plants like the cholla cactus, also known as jumping cactus, prickly pear, and saguaro. This trail is only 2.3 miles long, well maintained, and easy to follow, making it perfect for beginners.

2. Black Rock Loop Trail

Sweetwater Preserve is another popular place you can hike with your dog. There are plenty of trails you can do there, but the Black Rock Loop Trail is perhaps the best, and is more popular than the rest.

You will be hiking through the saguaro forest filled with gorgeous wildflowers and blooming cacti in spring. This trail is pretty easy, and can get lots of visitors on the weekend, so you would probably want to go there early to beat the crowd.

3. Wild Burro Trail

The Tortolita Mountain Park in Marana is only about 35 minutes away from Downtown, Tucson. Not a long drive, and certainly worth the trip as the scenery is breathtaking, not to mention you will also have access to other connecting trails within the system.

This particular trail, Wild Burro, can get quite steep when near the ruined stone house, which is also the hardest part of the entire trail. Fortunately, there is a large cottonwood tree at the top, where you can rest and catch your breath, so don’t let that climb discourage you.

4. Mount Lemmon Lookout Trail

If you want a strenuous workout, look no further than the magnificent Mount Lemmon, which stands 9,157 feet tall, and is the highest point in Santa Catalina Mountains.

The Mount Lemmon Lookout Trail is 8.6 miles long, starts from the summit, and that means you will climb down and hike back up to where you started. While it surely is challenging, especially when making your way back to the parking lot, you will be rewarded with extraordinary and incredible views! 

5. Madera Canyon Nature Trail

Madera Canyon is an excellent place for hiking, also a popular spot for birdwatching. This trail is a 5.3-mile out-and-back trail that follows a gurgling stream for the first 1.5 miles, and offers stunning views on the ridge.

What’s more, there is a hidden waterfall that allows you and your pup to cool off post-hike. The waterfall is only about 3 minutes walk from the Proctor parking lot, which you will find an unpaved trail on the right that leads to it. 

6. Agua Caliente Hill Trail

The Agua Caliente Hill Trail is another great trail for hiking with your furry friend, and is only about 35 minutes drive from the city. This trail is 9.1 miles round trip, easy to follow, and the last half mile can be a little bit difficult as it will start to get very steep, and there are lots of loose rocks.

Once you get to the summit, you will have spectacular 360-degree views of the Catalina Mountains, Rincon Mountains, and Tucson.

7. Soldier Trail

Want a challenging dog-friendly hike? Check out the Soldier Trail. It is a 5-mile out-and-back trail and is almost entirely uphill with a steady incline. While it is hard, you will have amazing views all along the hike. And make sure both you and your pup are in good shape before hitting this trail.

Conclusion

No matter which trail you take, make sure to follow the leash rules and clean up after your fido. Also, there are a lot of rugged rocks on the trail in Tucson, Arizona. So, you would probably want to get your four-legged friend hiking boots to protect their paws. And if you are new to hiking with dogs, you may want to check out the tips and gear list to ensure a positive hiking experience.