The trail up Blackett's Ridge on the northeastern edge of Tucson leads to a rocky 'island' in the sky, some four thousand feet high, perched above two desert riparian canyons. Arizona's second largest city feels a world away from up here, even though the trailhead is only a thirty-minute drive from downtown.
Drive toward the Santa Catalina mountains up any main arterial in the eastern part of the city until you get to Sunrise Drive, then turn right until it 'tees' into Sabino Canyon Rd. Turn left and immediately on your right is the National Forest Service parking area for Sabino Canyon.
Blackett's Ridge Trail will take you through classic saguaro cactus forest before ending, after steep shadeless climbing, in a patch of high desert grassland at the ridgetop. Bring plenty of water & sunscreen, and don't hike this in the summer!