Hiking Brown Mountain Trail – Tucson, Arizona

Hiking Brown Mountain Trail came out of the blue and ended up having some beautiful scenery. We had hiked in northern Arizona last year and people kept asking us about the safety of our dogs and cholla. We didn’t see any up there and we were a bit confused. We kind of assumed that the hiking would be the same down here. We were wrong! Those chollas are not joke! This landscape was so different from anything else on our travels. As soon as we drove into southern Arizona I was amazed by all the cacti. I was speechless and sat silent for quite some time just looking at them all. Brown Mountain Trail is a great hike to put on your list if you are in the Tucson area.


We weren’t even going to stop in Tucson, but good nomad friends of ours mentioned they could meet for a couple days there, so of course we said yes. After we settled in our friends immediately wanted to go for a quick walk. Right across the street from our RV park was Brown Mountain Trail. It ended up being a 3.5 mile hike up and then down. Our preferred landscape are mountains and thick forests, but this was so new to us that it blew us away.

There is a small parking lot and you can’t miss the sign.


Continue to follow the signs, you can’t miss the trail head.


The trail starts out flat and you are walking amongst the Cholla. They look so cute and fuzzy until you get close. This trail is dog friendly, but make sure that they are good with staying on the trail. If not, just bring a pliers. Don’t try and grab with your hands! We had 3 dogs and no incidents and saw other dogs on the trail that were just fine.

Don’t stray off the trail, you may see different areas that look like a trail, but they are not. The trail will take you directly to a dried up river, go to the right and  then take a left you will start to climb!

Stop every once in awhile for the views!


It is a beautiful hike up. The Saguros are everywhere and once you reach the top it’s views of the mountains and the never ending Saguros.

We started the hike at the RV park that we were staying at, so we headed back and it was a 3.5 mile hike. If you park at the trail head you can continue on and it’s becomes a loop with a total of 4.5 miles.


RV Park: We stayed at Gilbert Ray Campground. It is $20/night for RVs and $10/night for tents. There is E&W but no dump at each site, just available at each loop. It is first come first serve with a 7 day stay limit.


Location: Outside of Tucson, AZ ♦ Trail: Brown Mountain Loop Trail ♦ Total Miles 3.5 ♦ Total elevation: 767′ ♦ Uses: Hiking, running and mountain biking. ♦ Difficulty: Moderate: ♦ Fact: The mountain was named after C.B. Brown who is considered the founder and savior of the park and land.

What has been your experience travelling in Arizona? 

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