Esperero #25

Esperero Trail

Many hikers start out along this trail, that includes several miles of hard climbing, because it leads to The Window, a 15 by 25 foot hole in a fin-like ridge that extends out from Window Peak on Pusch Ridge. For those who get all the way to the top, this notable creation of gravity and frost frames an unforgettable view of Tucson and the mountains and valleys beyond. For those who choose to stop at points of interest which can be reached with less effort, there are plenty of rewards as well. Esperero Canyon Trail starts at the Cactus Picnic Area in the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area or just opposite Sabino Canyon Shuttle Stop #1, where Rattlesnake Canyon joins Sabino Canyon. If you come on any except the hottest days of summer, you’ll be surprised at the amount of wildlife there is to see in the desert. From its starting point, the trail passes through stands of saguaro cactus as it climbs up and over a low ridge into Bird Canyon. This serves as a warm-up for the lung-busting scramble up a particularly rocky section of the trail that takes you up and over a second ridge and finally drops you into Esperero Canyon. The trail then dodges its way up-canyon into Geronimo Meadow, crossing the creek on several occasions. Water can be found along this stretch during the wettest times of the year, but don’t count on it! Above Geronimo Meadow, the trail climbs steeply up and out of the canyon to the ridge near Window Peak, and finally to the Window itself. Take care when you get there. CAREFUL..there is a sheer drop of over a hundred feet just outside that window.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: From January 1st to April 30th, traveling more than 400 feet off this Forest Service system trail is prohibited due to the bighorn sheep lambing season. 36 C.F.R. § 261.53(a) No animal may be brought, or allowed to enter, into the Restricted Area at any time during the year. This prohibition includes, but is not limited to, dogs, domestic sheep, and goats. 
Usage: Light
Restrictions: Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport are prohibited. This includes the use of motor vehicles, motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters, unless provided for in specific legislation.

Dogs are prohibited in the Bighorn Sheep Management Area portion of the Pusch Ridge Wilderness.
Operated By: Santa Catalina Ranger District
Information Center: Santa Catalina Ranger District  520-749-8700


Day Hiking

Desert canyon. Access to top of Pusch Ridge. Spectacular views. Watchable wildlife. 9 miles of the trail are in the Pusch Ridge Wilderness. This trail is long and steep, not a good one for summer hiking. USGS Map(s): Sabino Canyon, Mt. Lemmon.
Elevation desc 2,700 - 7,400 feet
Difficulty Level: More Difficult

Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Area/Length : 
10.1 miles

  Elevation : 
2,700 feet - 7,400 feet