Circuit Hikes of Southern Arizona

Circuit Hikes of Southern Arizona

Circuit Hikes of Southern Arizona is an easy-to-use guidebook, describing the many circuit hikes hidden in the mountains surrounding Tucson and throughout southern Arizona. It is available in both paperback and ebook editions. The paperback edition is pocket-sized so that it is easy to carry on a hike, while the ebook can be used on a smart phone and provides color maps and pictures.

The book includes 32 specific hikes with an additional two dozen options, with hikes ranging from so easy you can take your toddlers to so strenuous you will want to train for weeks beforehand. Each hike comes with an easy-to-read topo map, as well as detailed instructions for route-finding. The guide also provides information about the best seasons to do each hike as well as general information about the history and geology of the surrounding mountains.

The guide not only includes some of the best known circuit hikes of southern Arizona, it also includes a number of previously unpublished trails that take you to places rarely seen by most hikers.

The guidebook’s table of contents:

sample topo
topo map sample

Tucson Mountains
1. Belmont Road
2. Picture Rocks
3. Gates Pass Loop
4. Orcut Dam
5. Brown Mountain
6. Wasson Mountain
7. Tucson Mountains Mine Loop
8. Signal Hill
9. Black Sheep Canyon

Tortolita Mountains
10. Wild Burro Canyon

Santa Catalina Mountains
11. Wilderness of Rocks
12. Aspen Loop
13. Red Ridge/Oracle Ridge
14. Mint Spring/Marshall Gulch
15. Butterfly Loop
16. Mount Kimball
17. Blacketts Ridge
18. Sabino Canyon/Bear Canyon

Rincon Mountains
19. Saguaro National Park East

view descending into Pima Canyon
Descending from Mt. Kimball

Santa Rita Mountains
20. Rogers Rock
21. Josephine Saddle
22. Jack Mountain
23. Mount Wrightson
24. Gardner and Cave Canyons

On the Periphery
25. Kartchner Caverns
26. Oversite and Ida Canyons
27. Ramsey Canyon
28. San Pedro House
29. Murray Springs Clovis Site
30. Millville-Petroglyph Site
31. Fort Bowie
32. Heart of Rocks

The author, Robert Zimmerman, is an award-winning science journalist and space historian who likes to spend his weekends hiking, caving, and in general exploring the hidden outdoor gems of the American southwest. For more information about his other writing and books see his webpage, Behind the Black.

Circuit Hikes of Southern Arizona is also available as an ebook for $9.00 (before discount) from all your normal ebook vendors or from my ebook publisher ebookit. If you buy it from ebookit the author not only gets a bigger share sooner, you provide some needed competition to the big tech companies like Amazon.

To buy your very own autographed copy of the paperback pocketbook:

List price $14.95. Price if purchased here: $12.00 plus $3.00 shipping within the United States.

(For shipping outside the United States please contact us.)

If you wish to buy more than than one copy of this or any of Robert Zimmerman’s books, we will gladly combine shipping. To do so, please contact us at zimmerman at nasw dot org (replacing “at” and “dot” appropriately).


  • Ky Lloyd

    I just wanted to say thanks for this great book that my family and I have recently discovered at Antigone’s on 4th Ave. We find this book easy to follow–for the first time we have had hikes where there haven’t been intensive discussions about being on the correct path.

    We however did want to give a small feedback about the Gates Pass Loop that we have just come back from today. Although listed as easy, we did find the footing very very slippery, the trail was very tight at times and and some of the climbs/decents were quite treacherous–this could be due to trails washing out or just our lack of skill, of course. However we would have greatly appreciated a small note in the description and (despite the isolation and great views) it might have changed our decision to do this particular trail. This is not meant as a criticism, just as a feedback from our experience today.

    However, again, we appreciate the hard work it takes to make a trail guide for people of all skill levels and the effort to make loop trails, keeping the path interesting most of the way! Thank you!

  • If I had to guess, I would bet that the area where you had the most problems was from the Yetman saddle heading back to Gates Pass, the last part of the loop.

    This is a section of official trail, but it is also a section of trail that is very poorly maintained. I myself had to do it about four times to really remember the spots where the trail is easy to miss. I tried to warn people about this in the introduction to this particular hike, but probably didn’t make it clear enough. Thank you for letting me know.

    If you like the book so much, please consider posting a review on I would appreciate it greatly.

  • My grandfather, Andrew Nelson Willis, was a founder of the Southern Arizona Hiking Club and was the original bushwhacker, with a friend of his whose name I have forgotten, of many if not all of these trail hikes. We were blessed to do a lot of them with him as kids in the Sixties. He passed away in 1976. He grew up in Northern Alabama where he was a popular Southern Baptist preacher and farmer and a teacher in high school but moved north with my grandmother, a first grade teacher, during World War II where he worked as a supervisor of the manufacture of airplanes.

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