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Tucson, Arizona 2016

Palisades Canyon Trail Hike - part 4

Our Crazy Post Retirement Wanderings Hiking and Triking

Palisades Canyon Trail Hike to Hirabayashi Campground Part 4

This was a one way hike. It was not at all clear where we should park, so we parked across the street from the palisades visitor center at the trailhead with parking. Overall the trail wasn't too hard to find, except for in a few places up on top where the trail turns into stone, but you can find some cairns from time to time.

We found quite a bit of information about this trail on, It's the Arizona trails website, and it's a great resource for people who are looking for a hiking trail, especially near Tucson, Az. provides lots of very useful information, including distance, elevation, AEG, elevation gain, average duration time of hike, pictures along the trail and a write up of what to expect.

The main idea always is to get fresh air, good exercise and interesting pictures, and that constitutes a good experience and is good for my health, and is a pleasant pastime.

This trail is perfect to hike in the winter when it's sunny, and not too hot... the 70's in the valley is about perfect, because the mountain is about 15F cooler than down in the valley.

One thing to remember about hiking this trail in the summer is that it's located in the desert southwest, and it's really too hot in the summer to do outside exercise without getting a heatstroke. Probably be mostly ok to great from about November to April. The summer wildlife such as rattlesnakes, gila monsters, tarantulas, scorpions, and other things come out in the summer.

It's magical to hike in Arizona in the fall, winter and spring. Only risk in winter is that you can have rainstorms, which translate to snowstorms in the mountains from December- March. Ice and snow on steep trails is the enemy of the mountain hiker. Low friction on steep smooth rocky trail surfaces are not good. Hiking poles and crampons are useful in dealing with snow and ice, but one still needs to be careful in ice and snow. But the rewards are definitely there for the winter hiker that performs careful planning and uses caution.

On the day when we hiked the Palisades canyon trail, we got a start on hiking early enough in the day. The hike loses 4,000 feet along the trail down to Sabino creek, and to the nearest trailhead it makes for a full day hike if not a long day hike. In very much the same way as the Box Camp trail, as you approach Sabino creek, the views get better and better as you can see in the pictures.

One should also bring a headlamp in case one has delays or loses the trail, during the day on the trail, so that one can make ones way in the dark along the trail to ones destination safely without staying the night out on the trail in the dark, or attempting to walk along steep trails without falling over a cliff to ones' death or injury.

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    Last Update: February 22, 2016

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