Pusch Ridge Wilderness

Special Feature
Santa Catalina Passage - Traversing a desert range along the Arizona Trail outside of Tucson.

Located in the Coronado National Forest in Arizona.

Pusch Ridge Wilderness extends from the desert floor adjacent to metropolitan Tucson to peaks covered with pine, fir, aspen, and maple. This 56,933-acre wilderness was created in 1978. The great variety of vegetation and wildlife found as one ascends from 2,800 to 9,000 feet above sea level is truly remarkable. Lower elevations are extremely steep and rugged with spectacular rocky bluffs and peaks. Water is scarce, but several live streams originating on the highest peaks offer some relief from the essentially dry Santa Catalina Mountains.

There is an extensive trail system, and opportunities exist for day hiking as well as extended backpacking. Access can be gained easily at trailheads near the city, or by driving a paved highway to the upper elevations. One backpacking trip, the Santa Catalina Passage portion of the Arizona Trail, leads you to the top of Mount Lemmon, from a Sonora desert ecosystem to one resembling southern Canada.

For further information contact: Santa Catalina Ranger District - Coronado National Forest

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 26 May 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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