The View From the Top
The resort community of Dove Mountain sits at the base of and within the foothills of the scenic Tortolita Mountain range. Dove Mountain residents are surrounded by more than 50 miles of popular hiking trails offering magnificent views and leading to rustic ruins, ancient petroglyphs, rugged canyons, wildflower super blooms and more.
Consider a sunset hike.
A perfect trail for a sunset hike is the Upper Javelina Trail (UJT), especially because it ends near the popular Cayton’s Restaurant. Cayton’s is one of the six restaurants at The Golf Club at Dove Mountain. It’s known for gourmet burgers, amazing milkshakes, signature entrées, extensive selection of regional craft beers, and view of the night lights of Tucson.
Timing is everything.
Time your hike late in the afternoon and just in time for a stunning Southern Arizona sunset. It’s best to give yourself two to 2.5 hours to complete the trek. You can also shorten the trip by an hour or so by taking the Hotel Spur Trail from the trailhead. The UJT offers rocky paths with sharp turns that reveal amazing desert vistas.
Follow the signs.
The 4.1-mile, dog-friendly UJT begins at the Wild Burro Trailhead with ample parking and public restrooms. Start off by following the Wild Burro Trail for approximately .6 miles until you come to the junction for the Upper Javelina Trail. The UJT climbs steadily through giant boulders and saguaro cactus for the first mile before getting to the ridgeline and eventual descent. This 2.5 mile section of trail terminates at the Dove Mountain Community Trail, adjacent to the Golf Club at Dove Mountain and Cayton’s Restaurant. Follow the Dove Mountain Community Trail for 1 additional mile to return to the Wild Burro Trailhead.
Enjoy the experience.
The Tortolita Mountains are called a hiker’s paradise for good reason. It’s home to an incredible array of Sonoran Desert wildlife like tortoises, foxes, mule deer and desert-dwelling birds, plus vegetation like towering saguaros, ocotillos, cholla cactus and wildflowers. Best of all there are trails designed for many skill and energy levels.
Meet some new friends.
If you are interested in exploring the Tortolita Mountains with those who know their way through the wilderness, consider joining the Highland Hiking Club. Or you can sign up for hikes guided by Marana Parks and Recreation. You can also download a Tortolita Mountain map.