Tucson Yoga Hikes: 4 Trails to Entice You to Take Your Practice Outside

Melissa Cohn on Romero Canyon Trail

Get outdoors and into your practice with these Tucson yoga hikes.

From the Catalinas to the Tortolitas, the Rincons to the Tucson mountains, beautiful trails—and peaceful places to practice yoga—abound in the greater Tucson area. Fortunately for Tucsonans and visitors alike, Tucson yoga hikes range from easy to difficult, so there is one right for you. Grab your yoga mat, don some hiking shoes, and let nature inspire your practice.

Suburban Starters: Tucson Yoga Hikes for Beginners

Honey Bee Canyon Park, Loop Trail Yoga Hike

13880 North Rancho Vistoso Boulevard

If your time is limited, you still can take in some great views of Pusch Ridge, Samaniego Peak and Mt. Lemmon from the Honey Bee Canyon Park Loop Trail in Oro Valley. Walk down the concrete ramp at the west the end of the parking lot and follow the signs for the 1.1-mile loop on the south side of Rancho Vistoso Boulevard.

The trail crosses over sandy Honey Bee Canyon Wash before meandering through a saguaro and cholla forest. Afterward, there is a rocky trail before you loop back down into the wash shaded by canyon walls. Finally, the trail passes through an old rock dam on the way back to the parking lot.

Melissa Cohn at Honey Bee Canyon Park Credit: Scott Cohn)

Melissa Cohn at Honey Bee Canyon Park (Credit: Scott Cohn)

Practice Spots

From .3-.5 miles, you are on top of a ridge with multiple flat spots and off-shoot trails that offer gorgeous views of the Catalina Range and on clear days Kitt Peak. On hot days, the canyon that runs from .6-.8 miles offers refreshing shade and the occasional glimpse of a napping great horned owl. If you have only 30 minutes, walk through the arch on the east side of the parking lot, turn left and take your mat to the edge of the gravel for some saguaro and Catalina views.

Details

  • Total time: 1 hour (30 minutes of yoga)
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Fee: Free

More info at orovalleyaz.gov

Tucson Mountain Park, David Yetman Trail Yoga Hike

8451 West McCain Loop

Live closer to downtown or on the west side? Check out the David Yetman Trail in Tucson Mountain Park. Yetman has two trailheads and may be hiked one-way, but my partner and I prefer a 1-mile round-trip from the west trailhead to Golden Gate Mountain and back.

From the parking lot just west of Gates Pass, climb through classic Sonoran Desert terrain with Golden Gate Mountain to your right and Bren Peak to the left. Retrace your steps to the parking lot or follow one of the unnamed trails that parallels it slightly higher up on Bren. The trails have plenty of loose rock, so you may want to bring your hiking poles.

Melissa Cohn on the David Yetman Trail Credit: Scott Cohn)

Melissa Cohn on the David Yetman Trail (Credit: Scott Cohn)

Practice Spots

On quiet days, short off-shoot trails early in your hike offer views of Saguaro National Park West toward Avra Valley to the North. Alternately, you can settle in at the edge of Golden Gate Mountain, enjoying the broad views of Big Cat and Little Cat Mountains to the South. On busy days, numerous large rock outcroppings or wide spots on one of the parallel paths may be a better option.

Details

  • Total time: 1 hour (30 minutes of yoga) or slightly longer if using trails on Bren
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Fee: Free

More info at pima.gov

Local Favorite: Moderate Tucson Yoga Hike

Catalina State Park, Romero Canyon Trail to Romero Pools Yoga Hike

11570 North Oracle Road

Catalina State Park offers an abundance of hiking options with several trails crossing into the Coronado National Forest. The popular Romero Canyon Trail to Romero Pools is one of these. With a steep top section, we recommend that you add hiking poles to your gear for this one.

Once you arrive at the park, drive to the furthest parking lot, which is across the street from the trailhead for the Birding, Nature, Sutherland and Romero Canyon Trails. From the trailhead, cross the Sutherland Wash, which flows seasonally. Next, follow the signs that direct you up the hill to the left. Cathedral Rock will be dominant to your right as you approach the path to Montrose Pools.

Past this point, the trail narrows and turns rocky as you wind your way up another 900 feet over 1.7 miles. The path rises and falls as you make your way down to the first set of pools. Should these be filled with fun-loving hikers splashing in the cold water, cross on over and pick up the Romero Canyon Trail. With a 10-minute walk, you’ll find a quieter set of pools. When you’ve finished your practice and soaking in the beauty of the wilderness, use the same trail to make your way back to the parking lot. The descent is where those hiking poles come in handy.

Scott Cohn on Romero Canyon Trail Credit: Melissa Cohn)

Scott Cohn on Romero Canyon Trail (Credit: Melissa Cohn)

Practice Spots

On quieter days when the Sutherland Wash is flowing, sitting on the bank next to the water with the mountain range looming large is cathartic. At 1 mile, a side trail to Montrose Pool offers several large boulders which are great for meditating or practicing pranayama. Near 1.9 miles, a small shaded spot beside the trail offers respite on warm days. The pools themselves are surrounded by large, somewhat smooth rocks that can accommodate a full practice.

Details

  • Total time: 5 hours (30 minutes of yoga)
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Fee: $7 per vehicle (up to 4 adults)

More info at AZstateparks.com

Sweet Solitude: Advanced Tucson Yoga Hike

Coronado National Forest, Agua Caliente Hill Trail Yoga Hike

3798 North Camino Cantil

If you enjoy a path less traveled, Agua Caliente Hill is for you. With a trailhead at about 2,900 feet, you’ll climb to 5,377 feet over 4.5 miles with amazing views of the Santa Catalinas, the Rincons, the Santa Ritas, the Galiuros and Tucson far below. From the parking lot, you’ll pass through a gate and ascend the first ridge via some steep steps and a rocky trail. The trail hugs the ridge line before descending to Cat Track Tank, a small reservoir.

Leaving Cat Track, you’ll climb up another ridge to the junction with Forest Road 4445. The high point in sight is aptly named False Hope Hill since the trail goes around the base of False Hope and leads you to a grassy plateau with expansive views.

In the last half-mile, sections of the trail reach 25% grade, and you may wonder why you took this trek. It’s all worth it when you reach the top. When you’ve finished your practice at what seems like the top of the world, use the same trail to make your way back to the parking lot. Hiking boots, hiking poles, and 3-4 liters of water are a must if you plan to summit the trail.

View of Tucson from the summit of Agua Caliente Hill Credit: Scott Cohn)

View of Tucson from the summit of Agua Caliente Hill Credit: Scott Cohn)

Practice spots

At 1 mile, a rock seat a few steps off of the trail offers broad vistas of the Sonoran Desert, Rincons and Santa Ritas to the south. With ridges encircling it, the Cat Track Tank 1.7 miles in, provides solitude, glimpses of wildlife, and—in early spring—wildflowers. From 3.2-3.7 miles, the level grassland area may be wandered freely with varied vistas. The summit is a relatively wide area with a 360° view.

Details

  • Total time: 7.5 hours (60 minutes of yoga)
  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Fee: Free

More info at pima.gov

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