Hiking Tucson: Brown Mountain & Sweetwater Trails

In keeping with my weekly hikes and exploration of the Tucson Mountains, I’ve walked along the Brown Mountain & Sweetwater Trails.

Brown MountainBrown Mountain was supposed to be a 6+ mile hike because I was supposed to start at one spot and hike to a picnic area and then hike back, but I ended up doing the 3.6mi loop that starts at the Juan Santa Cruz picnic grounds.  The first part of that trail is very flat and manageable and feels more like a nature hike, that you might do from, I dunno, the Desert Museum (which is what some fellow hikers on the trail were actually doing).  For parts of it, the saguaro are so thick, you even kind of feel like you’re in a forest.  Kind of.  Then it becomes more moderate as you climb the ridge.  There’s some pretty good views from the top of the ridge and then an easy hike back down to the picnic area.   Total time = 1.75h

The following week, I got the genius idea into my head that I would do the Sweetwater Trail, which was rated as a difficult trail in my book…after working three nights in a row…after only sleeping three hours…and finishing only 2h before I got my wisdom teeth yanked out.  I did not hike all the way to Wasson Peak (that would have added another 2.4mi round trip and I didn’t want to miss my appointment), not to mention I was completely delirious and much of the beautiful flora, that is supposed to be one of the highlights of this hike, was kind of lost on me.  Another interesting aspect of Sweetwater is that it’s one of the few hikes in the Tucsons that originate on the East side of the mountains (I actually chose it because of the trailhead’s proximity to where I work).  Sweetwater is an in-and-out hike totaling 6.4mi and I would rate it as moderate difficulty.  Total time = 2.25h.


In other news, I think I want a new pack for these short day hikes (I think it would also be useful if I ever suck it up and shell out the money for a new bike).  I’ve been using a Jansport pack that I used to use for school, but it’s a little bulky for what I’m doing.  In case anyone feels like buying me a present, I’m thinking the Osprey Daylite Daypack.  According to A, this is also perfect canyoneering size.

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One Response to Hiking Tucson: Brown Mountain & Sweetwater Trails

  1. Kim says:

    We have this one which we love, cause it’s super light and good for day hikes:

    I recommend getting tested for fit too cause I’ve had great packs fit wrong and it’s the worst! When are you coming back to the Bay for more hiking?? Also I know this is out of your way but when I was in Arizona I loved loved loved Canyon de Chelly, you need to road trip there if you haven’t already!

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