Agua Caliente Canyon Loop Hike

Agua Caliente and Milagrosa canyons are beautiful destinations at the base of the Santa Catalina Mountains on the east side of Tucson. Interesting sections of both canyons can be enjoyed as loop hikes starting from the end of Suzenu Road – this weekend we decided to visit Agua Caliente Canyon. Map.

To get to the trail follow Snyder east – after Synder divides look for a left turn onto Suzenu Road. Park on the right side of the road before the T intersection. Start the hike by taking a right – thru the gate – and to the end of the road. At the end of the road continue past a gate (several ‘No Parking’ signs) and across a wash via an old road – after a few minutes (and heading downhill) look for the trail on your left (if you start to cross the wash you have gone too far).

Boulders jamming Agua Caliente Canyon

The trail has great views of the Santa Catalinas and the Agua Caliente Hill area – the trail also has very little shade and can be quite hot (be prepared!). It is fairly easy to follow the trail into the bottom of Agua Caliente canyon. The canyon bottom is unremarkable for the first minutes, but keep hiking and you will arrive at a rocky section with falls/drops/pools. There are several obstacles to bypass down canyon – these will likely require bushwhacking, scrambling and/or following faint trails on the loose/sandy/exposed/bushy side of the canyon (be very careful!). The canyon gradually mellows as you head towards the junction with Milagrosa canyon – we spotted an impressive beehive high on the cliffs during our hike. When you reach the junction work your way back up onto the trail and head back to the parking area.

Reflections of the canyon walls

Update! 2007-10-28 – For another description of Agua Caliente Canyon (and Milagrosa) see Arizona Technical Canyoneering.


3 thoughts on “Agua Caliente Canyon Loop Hike

  1. Richard Jones

    Hi, great website!!! My buddy, girl friend and I are frequent Tucson hikers as well. I actually have a website that I am compiling some detailed hike info at. Currently, I only have two hikes up… the one for Aspen Loop from Marshall Gulch and one for Sycamore Canyon. This Friday we are headed to Butterfly Trail and will update the site with that info as well. Check out: for the two hikes that I have mentioned and the ones that I plan to go on and update.

    It would be awesome if you would consider coming and adding to it with all of your hiking experience… maybe we could all learn from each other and compile a huge library of detailed hike information. Feel free to upload any pictures and things of that nature. Again, great site!!!


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