Ventana Canyon Hiking Guide
Whether you’re an athletic, adventurous spirit, or you’re simply looking for a few good trails by which to see the Arizona scenery, Tucson and the surrounding area has plenty of opportunities to quench your outdoor thirsts! Here is your all-inclusive guide to the Ventana Canyon Hiking Trail – a difficult, yet beautiful, canyon hike. This trail tends to be rather isolated, which makes it great for hikers who prefer to avoid crowds.
You’ll find the Ventana Canyon trailhead at the Loews Ventana Canyon Resort. Here, there is ample parking and easy access to begin your journey up the mountain.
The first couple miles offer you an easy, mild introduction to the hike. As you go further along the 9.5 mile trail, the terrain will begin to become steeper and rockier, sometimes requiring you to climb over boulders and other obstacles that may lie in your way.
As the Arizona sun can surely get a little toasty, it’s best to get started on this trail (or any others) early in the morning so you can beat the mid-afternoon blaze. A 7:30am start time may be a little chilly at first, but it will allow you to make your way through the canyon at a nice pace as the sun warms you up along the way. The beginning of the hike doesn’t offer much in terms of scenery, but as you make your way along the canyon, the breathtaking views will soon become readily apparent.
What to Bring
This hike offers beautiful scenery, but the trail can get tough in some spots. Before you head out for the day, be sure you’ve packed appropriate gear to ensure a successful journey into the canyon.
- Hydration is essential, no matter what time of day or year you choose to take this hike. You’ll want to bring at least one full bottle per person, but if you can manage more, you’ll be better off. Parts of this hike can be strenuous, and it’s always best to have ample water on hand.
- Hiking Stick. You’ll find that portions of this trail are still quite natural, meaning you’ll need to navigate some rough terrain to make it to the top. A hiking stick will help stabilize you when the trail becomes steeper and leads to rockier footing.
- If you’re planning to hike the full trail, pack a bit of protein so you can re-energize along the way. At nearly ten miles, this hike can really tire you out, but the scenic views are worth every step. Plan ahead so you have sustenance available whenever you stop. Nuts, trail mix, and jerkies are great backpack snacks.
- You can never be too careful when it comes to UV rays. Pack a tube of sunscreen, and reapply every few hours. Parts of the trail are not shaded.
This trail is great all year around. Winter and summer present unique challenges that you should be aware of before you embark on your journey.
- Fall and Winter. You’re likely to encounter more water, so you’ll have several opportunities to challenge yourself as you maneuver over and around bustling streams.
- Spring and Summer. Desert creatures may accompany you along your voyage. Be on the lookout for snakes and other critters that thrive in the Arizona heat.
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