Summary: This is a great hike that offers something pictures can't show: solitude. Named after David Yetman, Ph.D. (a research social scientist and host of "The Desert Speaks"), this hike gets you out of the city and into the southern peaks of the Tucson Mountain Range. The first section of the trail crosses a sandy creek bed many times as you make your way to the ruins of Bowen Ranch.
Heading down the trail, you cross a saddle that begins a descent into a large valley. There is one notable "Y" in the trail, the cairns on the right side indicate the proper choice.
Once you reach the southern-most part of the trail, you begin a climb west to another valley that sits at the base of Golden Gate Mountain. From here, stick to the wide trail and avoid small trails. The trail takes you over the saddle with Golden Gate Mountain on the left, then down to the other end of the Yetman Trail.
You can have a friend pick you up to make it a 6 mile hike, or it's back the way you came.
Trailhead: From Speedway and Campbell drive 7.1 miles west on speedway past I-10 to where Speedway intersects with Camino de Oeste. Turn left (south) on Camino de Oeste. Follow Camino de Oeste south as it turns into a dirt road then dead-ends at the trailhead parking lot. (Lat:32.22626 Lon:-111.06265)
Trail Guides for Yetman Trail:
Tucson Hiking Guide
by Betty Leavengood (Pruett Publishing)
Best Seasons: 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 mellissa on 7/13/2014
This was more of a stroll thru the desert than a hike (coming in from speedway) until after you pass the Bowen ranch house then it starts climbing. it is beautiful and well worth your day. i loved seeing the house and i was amazed with the pond for some reason. put your name in the tin at the top but be careful as there was a small swarm of bees near there
Reviewed by Tammy on 1/7/2014
Who can tell me about the metal box on top of the hill some one said u put your name in the box
Reviewed by Ron on 1/2/2014
The trail was filled with nice views of cactus and hillsides but was also covered with loose rock which made for a lot of looking down and not at the scenery. Another problem was several groups of mountain bikers. Not appropriate on this trail!
Reviewed by jack briggs on 10/12/2010
had agreat hike ...would like to have david yetman hike with me and tell the story that goes with this trail...ill wait for a reply
Reviewed by GF on 6/14/2010
A wonderful and easy early morning hike. Park is closed from 10 pm until 7 am, but who would wait until 7 am to hike in Tucson in the summer. I hike it from CDO trailhead to Gates Pass and back from 5:30 to 9:30 am. Today I saw a very large deer.
Reviewed by Eric on 4/3/2010
Excellent hike for early spring: The wildflowers are in full bloom and a greener-than-usual desert after a wet winter. Great hike today with the temperature only up to the high seventies by 2:30 pm when we finished. Rated "moderate", but seemed even easier with only a few short uphill sections leading to any real exertion. The expansive views of valleys surrounded by distant mountains are breathtaking. Seems to be a perfect introductory hike to newcomers or those not familiar with the Sonoran Desert. Will definitely be making this trip again!
Reviewed by BDO on 12/15/2009
I run this trail several times a week. A great trail that is easily acessed. I usually start at the Starr Pass parking area and do the loop. Yetman also connects to the 36th street trail, the Morning Wren trail, and the fork near the stone house takes you to 2 trails that bring you out at the Starr Pass resort. All are nice trails. Lots of wildlife in the area...rattle snakes, gila monsters, deer, javelina. In the spring after a wet winter the wild flowers are very nice. During late spring and summer the cactus bloom nicely.
Reviewed by Robert on 5/31/2009
Defining the difficulty of the Yeteman trail as compared to the payback of the deserts nautural beauty is hard to do, the trail is only 6.7 miles long but the grades and turns make it seem longer. My wife and I brought two cars one parked at the gates pass side and one at camino de oeste we walked from the camino side to the gates pass side. It took two and a half hrs at a good pace with the stop at the bowen ranch ruins it was a great time and a good workout will do it again soon.
Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
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