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Pima Canyon

Pima Canyon, Arizona 85718, USA
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Hiking to Metates in Pima Canyon Tucson Arizona United States
Hiking in Pima Canyon Tucson Arizona United States
Hiking to Metates in Pima Canyon Tucson Arizona United States
Hiking in Pima Canyon Tucson Arizona United States

Hiking to Metates in Pima Canyon

One of the quickest and most immersive city-into-wilderness hikes is a trip from Tucson to Pima Canyon. From downtown Tucson, it's a quick drive up through the Santa Catalina foothills to the trailhead parking lot—tucked into saguaro-studded estates where neo-Tuscan mansions with glass walls look out over the city. After a bit of rocky scrambling, you'll enter the canyon: lush with cottonwood and mesquite trees. The mesquite seed-pods, when ground, produce a healthy and sweet flour that you can buy in town—perfect for tortillas and cookies.

In pre-Columbian times Native Americans would hike in to search for mesquite seed-pods and then would use the bedrock to grind the pods for flour. A few miles into your hike, start searching for holes near the mesquite trees and you'll see these metates (the grinding holes) that date back to the mid-8th century A.D.

This is an ideal hike for fall and winter--summer is just too hot, unless you go very early, and then you need to watch out for monsoon flash-floods washing down from the higher elevations...

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over 4 years ago

Hiking in Pima Canyon

Is as beautiful and challenging as seeing this gila monster was exciting. The desert has a way of bringing peace to a frazzled soul while kicking your butt on the climbs.