Hiking amongst the tall Saguaro cacti is an experience like no other. Fortunately, in Tucson, there are more than enough places to explore these magnificent desert plants native only to the Sonoran desert. The Sonoran truly is a spectacular exotic place, lush with desert scenery which you will not get to see anywhere else in the world. I highly recommend all nature lovers and hikers to visit Arizona to take in this truly one-of-a-kind ecosystem.
The best part of hiking in the Tucson region is the diversity of trails. Many of these trails are short enough to be enjoyed by everyone. In a insanely hot, sunny climate, like that found within the Sonoran, keeping hiking to a minimum is crucial. When you want to enjoy the desert without going all out, there are still tons of options. This is what I love most about Tucson.
This hike is located in Oro Valley, a gorgeous suburb just north of Tucson. The grand Santa Catalina mountains tower over the area, creating a picture-perfect backdrop for hiking. Of all the hikes in Tucson (and there are many), Linda Vista is one of the most picturesque, and fortunately, also one of the shortest.
Linda Vista – a short trail suitable for all fitness levels
Linda Vista is a short loop trail of just under a mile, so perfect for anyone seeking an easy nature trail with spectacular mountain vistas. Here, you can explore the exotic desert plant life up close, take in breathtaking mountain scenery, and get in a little workout, all without risking heat exhaustion and dehydration.
Be on the lookout for bobcats!
To date, the Linda Vista trail is one of only 2 Tucson area hikes where I have seen a bobcat upclose – literally less than 20 feet from me on the trail. Despite being located in a suburban environment, it is not unusual to see wildlife here, especially during the early morning or evening hours.
A gorgeous place to watch a desert sunset!
Seeing a cactus silhouette is one of the more memorable and photo worthy experiences you will have in the desert. Linda Vista is the perfect place for a sunset hike. The trail is always quiet and the views are even more tremendous in the evening. Plus, you have the added bonus of slightly cooler temperatures without the harsh sun in your face. It’s the perfect place to soak in the desert scenery in a tranquil, tourist-free setting.
Grab a delicious local coffee before your hike!
After your hike swing by for a coffee at local roaster Savaya, located just a few minutes down the street. They serve fantastic single origin, fair trade coffees which you can sip on a beautiful patio facing the Catalinas. This is the perfect place to relax before or after your hike, while still enjoying the beautiful mountain scenery.
Where to grab a bite after your hike
Unfortunately, most of the dining in the area consists of chains, although I will admit the Panera Bread and Chipolte in the plaza right next to the trail offer some incredible views via their patios. In terms of local restaurants nearby, Beyond Bread is a decent local Panera Bread-esque chain. Here, you can treat yourself to a sandwiches made with homemade bread, a cup of soup, and a fantastic housemade pastry.
Location: 730 E Linda Vista Rd, Oro Valley, AZ 85737. The lot is small although typically not overcrowded. Parking is free!
Distance: A little under a mile, with options to extend the hike.