Pusch Ridge rises from the desert floor to over 9,000 feet above sea level, affording a clear view over the sprawling metropolis of Tucson. More and more people are climbing Pusch Ridge to take in that view and revel in the cool shade of pine, fir, aspen, and maple. No Wilderness in Coronado National Forest is more heavily visited than Pusch Ridge, and wildlife species there are increasingly disturbed and threatened. It is no secret what attracts people to the region. Here in the essentially dry Santa Catalina Mountains, several streams originate in the high country. Summer temperatures may be 30 degrees cooler than in the nearby city. An extensive trail system provides access to Pusch Ridge. Trailheads near Tucson are easy to reach, as are those at higher elevations along General Hitchcock Highway, which ascends Mount Lemmon. Hikers crossing this extremely steep terrain find themselves among rocky bluffs and towering peaks where solitude can still be found for those who are willing to hike a few miles. Due to the 2003 Aspen Fire, trails may be blocked by fallen trees and visitors are advised to use caution. The fire has made travel in the wilderness more difficult and dangerous. For specific information regarding trail conditions contact the local Forest Service Office.
Leave No Trace
How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Pusch Ridge Wilderness.
Digital and paper maps are critical tools for wilderness visitors. Online maps can help you plan and prepare for your visit ahead of time. You can also carry digital maps with you on your GPS unit or other handheld GPS device. Having a paper map with you in the backcountry, as well as solid orienteering skills, however, ensures that you can still route-find in the event that your electronic device fails.
Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport is generally prohibited in all wilderness areas.
This includes the use of motor vehicles, motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters.