Summary: This is a really nice hike that gives a sense of why the Tucson Mountains have been dubbed "The Tucson Chaos" by some.
The first leg of the trail starts at the Cam-Boh picnic area and follows the Cam-Boh trail for 1.25 miles to the Panther Wash. Following the Panther Wash north, you will quickly approach the beautifully rugged ridgeline of both Panther and Safford Peak.
The current theory regarding the origins of the Tucson Mountains is that they were a volcanic top that rested on top of the granite Santa Catalina Mountains. Over many millennia the Tucson Mountains slid 20 mile west leaving the Tucson basin in between (still looking for a good citation).
At the foothills of Panther Peak the wash connects with the Roadrunner Trail which takes you back to the Cam-Boh picnic area. This leg of the loop is aptly named; I spotted at least 5 roadrunners on my trip.
Trailhead: From Speedway and Campbell drive west on speedway to the I-10 Frontage Road. Turn right (north) on Frontage Rd. During I-10 construction follow Frontage Rd. to W Ina Rd. Turn left at W Ina Rd and go 2.8 miles. Turn left at N Wade Rd which takes a slight right onto W Picture Rocks Rd after half a mile. Following W Picture Rocks Rd for 3.5 miles you will see a dirt road that takes you to the Cam-Boh picnic area. (Lat:32.3198 Lon:-111.16686)
Trail Guides for Panther Peak - Roadrunner Loop:
Tucson Hiking Guide
by Betty Leavengood (Pruett Publishing)
Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Winter,
User Groups: Hikers, Horses,
Ranger Contact: Saguaro National Park - www.nps.gov/sagu - (520) 733-5158
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Jeff Branscum, who has posted 27 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Submit your own review
Reviewed by O.W. on 6/17/2014
Did the Road Runner Trail to Panther Peak Trail. Starting at Cam-Boh parking area making the circle and back to Cam-Boh. Did not see any Road Runners so maybe wrong part of day, or we were talking to much. If you want to study mounds of horse dung the Road Runner Trail is definitely the trail to walk as they are plentiful. The wash is great if you want to get a good leg workout in a short time. After leaving the wash and crossing Picture Rocks road it was a nice walk back to Cam-Boh. All the trails are great of course and there are many I want to repeat, but not this one.
Reviewed by Bill on 4/5/2014
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Reviewed by Karen on 2/21/2010
The desert was beautiful, green and healthy. We enjoyed the hike until we got to the wash. Hiking in the wash wasn't as pretty, too sandy and low to see the beauty of the desert. (Kids might enjoy exploring the wash) We found a trail that wasn't maintained that looked to go up to panther peak. We followed it for a while then went back down to the wash and finished the loop. If I do it again,I would hike to the peak and hike back the same way I came and skip the wash.
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