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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Hiking trails to elevate your weekend

    Jessica+Barrientos+21%28Pink%29%2C+Jenessa+Smith+2%2C+and+Vivianna+Gradillas+21%28blue%29+hike+up+Tumamac+Hill+on+Jan.+28%2C+2014.+Tumamac+is+a+very+popular+trail+used+all+year+around+to+enjoy+some+exercise.+
    Cecilia Alvarez
    Jessica Barrientos 21(Pink), Jenessa Smith 2, and Vivianna Gradillas 21(blue) hike up Tumamac Hill on Jan. 28, 2014. Tumamac is a very popular trail used all year around to enjoy some exercise.

    Now that the sun is finally coming out after a bit of winter weather, it is the perfect time to go out and explore Tucson. One of the best ways to get some exercise while adventuring is to hike, and luckily enough, Tucson is home to tons of hiking trails that are both diverse and beautiful.

    Tumamoc Hill

    The first hiking trail, and one of the closest to campus, is Tumamoc Hill. The path is completely paved all the way to the top of the hill, which makes it ideal for hikers of all levels. Tumamoc is open all night, so hiking the trail at night or early morning is a perfect way to watch the sunset or sunrise.

    Tumamoc Hill not only serves as a hiking trail but also as a research facility used to study ecology in the Southwest. The UA purchased more than 300 acres from the government in the ’60s, which it has since used for research and education. 

    The trail is open 24 hours during the weekend and open all weekdays except between the times of 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

    Sentinel Peak

    One of the trails that is more widely recognized is Sentinel Peak, otherwise known as “A” Mountain. The trail provides an immaculate view of the city at all times of the day and allows hikers to get up close and personal with the “A.” The large “A” on the side of Sentinel Peak connects the entire city of Tucson with the UA ever since the “A” was painted on the mountain after a 1915 football victory. At certain times of the year — particularly during the week of the UA versus Arizona State University football game — everyone watches the “A” to wait and see whether it will be painted by the Sun Devils or whether it will remain safe. The main trail on the peak is paved and goes up to almost the top of the mountain. Once the “A” is reached, there is also a small path that goes all the way up to the summit.

    Seven Falls

    When the weather starts to heat up — as it is now — people begin to search for ways to cool down. One of the best ways to exercise and get out of the heat at the same time is to hike Seven Falls. In order to reach the falls, hikers arrive at Sabino Canyon and take the Bear Canyon Trail all the way down. The official Sabino Canyon website says “the trailhead is approximately [two] miles from the parking lot and it takes another 2.5 miles to reach Seven Falls.” This is one of the longer hikes in the area, as it is advised that it will take a minimum of three hours to complete the trail. 

    “The uniqueness of Sabino Canyon comes mostly from the lush trees and grasses that grow along the creek bed that contrast with the steep canyon walls and the desert terrain on either side of the canyon walls,” said Abbey Harman, an employee at Sabino Canyon. 

    Although it is a long hike, the trail passes over Sabino Creek multiple times and ends at Seven Falls, which gives hikers plenty of opportunities to get their feet — or their entire bodies — wet.

    Tucson is full of different trails that fit the needs of every level of hiker, whether it is a casual walk up a paved road or crossing over a partially filled creek. Hiking gives everyone the chance to get outside and explore the city they live in, the parts that they may not see on an everyday basis. There are many places to hike in Tucson; you just have to go out and find them.

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    Follow Chelsea Cook on Twitter.

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