Tumamoc Hill

We got our workout today.

Tumamoc Hill is right next to A Mountain that we visited yesterday. Tumamoc means “horned lizard” in the native, Tohono O’odham, language. Legend has it a giant horned lizard suddenly began eating people. They prayed to their god, and he turned the lizard into a rocky hill. Now it is home to the University of Arizona’s Desert Laboratory. There are many radio, television, and public safety transmitters at the top.


Since this is an active research station with people working there during the week the path is not open to hikers during business hours.  We were lucky to be able to hike it today, a Monday,  since this is a government holiday, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and the workers have this day off. The walk is actually up a paved road which makes it nice for the number of people who do this. No dogs allowed.


Tumamoc Hill


Half way up is the Desert Laboratory, a National Historic Landmark.

IMG_1022 IMG_1023

The path continues up past the research buildings. A porta-potty is there for the hikers.


Tumamoc Hill is a research station, not a public park.


Markings indicate the distance walked. It is 1.5 miles all the way to the top, and the road does get steep. I want to say it gets steeper as you get closer to the top, but maybe it just SEEMED that way. The rise in elevation in the 1.5 miles is 600 or 700 feet depending on which information source you read.


1 1/4 Miles

Keep on going, don’t stop now.


The views are fantastic. Downtown Tucson and the surrounding area in all directions. There must have been some interpretive signs along the way years ago. We saw several of these empty frames.


We found three benches along the way.


Yes! We made it all the way to the top. It was a beautiful day for a walk, sunny, but not hot, which made all the difference.


A sign marks the end of the approved walking route. Not everyone makes it up. A few groups gave each other congratulatory high 5’s when they got there, others had to ceremoniously touch the end sign.


Here we are, downtown Tucson in the valley behind us.


The backside of “A” Mountain that we visited yesterday can be seen below Tumamoc Hill.


After catching our breath and enjoying the views for a while we head back down the 1.5 miles to the bottom. The downhill trek was much easier.


Loved it!

  • Gasoline:  none
  • Lodging:   free
This entry was posted in Arizona, Daily Post, January and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Tumamoc Hill

  1. Shirley says:

    All pictures were great – but especially the one of the two of you. Miss you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Raud Kennedy says:

    I enjoy traveling vicariously through you. Where are we off to next?


    • marsbern says:

      Thanks! I’m glad you are enjoying this. We will be going to Tombstone and areas around there soon. But the big deal is the Amtrak train ride we will be taking from Arizona to New Hampshire the end of February, watch for that. When we return to Arizona after a week or so, then we will resume our RV trip to the east coast and then up the coast back to New Hampshire before heading to Minnesota again. After that…who knows? It should be fun!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Linda Lyons says:

    The Kit Peak national observatory has a great evening program. Enjoyed it very much. Check it out.

    Liked by 1 person

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