The Best Day Hike You Can Take With Your Dog In Arizona

Old Baldy Trail
Coronado National Forest • Tucson

The climb up 9,453-foot Mount Wrightson is Southern Arizona’s favorite hike to escape the desert heat. Two routes conquer the highpoint of the Santa Rita Mountains - the Super Trail is less formidable but longer; Old Baldy Trail is more popular and spends more time in the cool and shady confines of the Ponderosa pines in Madera Canyon to offset the added difficulty.

The Old Baldy Trail tags the Mount Wrightson summit in 5.4 miles, al- though Seaman will be excused if he barks that it feels longer, especially with an elevation gain of 4,000 feet. You can also be forgiven if you forget you are in Arizona, especially when the ferns start proliferating on the forest floor. The trail name recalls the mountain’s original moniker, given for its distinctive rocky peak. Seaman will reach those bare slopes below the summit at Baldy Saddle where you meet the canine hikers coming up the Super Trail.

The final mile takes it time switching up 700 more feet on the treeless, rocky path. When you make the last twist shake paws with Seaman because you’ve earned a spot of congratulations. There used to be a fire tower up here, built in 1928, and you can see why - the panoramic views extend to several other mountain ranges: the Huachucas, the Rincons, and the Sierra San Jose in Mexico. Only a concrete base remains today. It is a big summit with plenty of spots to sit with Seaman away from the crowds for a good spell before heading back down.

HIKING TIME: 5-6 hours

(from the book 300 Day Hikes To Take With Your Dog Before He Tires You Out: Trails where you won’t be able to wipe the wag off your dog’s tail)


National Parks with Hiking

Canyon De Chelly National Monument
Dogs are not allowed on the trail to White House Ruin, the only public trail into the canyon; 
dogs can walk on the short trails overlooking the canyon

Chiricahua National Monument
Dogs are allowed on the Meadow Trail but no trails beyond the Visitor Center

Coronado National Monument
Dogs are not allowed on the trails in this park

Fort Bowie National Historic Site
Dogs are allowed on the main trail to the fort ruins

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

Grand Canyon National Park
Dogs are not allowed on the trails below the canyon or in the backcountry

Navajo National Monument

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

Petrified Forest National Park
Dogs are allowed on the trails except for the overlook trail at the Visitor Center;
dogs are not allowed in the backcountry

Pipe Spring National Monument

Rainbow Bridge National Monument

Saguaro National Park
Dogs are not allowed on the unpaved trails but there are a few short paved trails available where dogs can walk

Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument

Wupatki National Monument

Hiking With Your Dog In Arizona