Talk about a multi-use trail. One afternoon this week, the Linda Vista Trail northwest of Tucson attracted a human hive of people with a diverse mix of outdoor pursuits including:

  • Hikers
  • Backpackers
  • Trail runners
  • Horseback riders
  • Plein air painters
  • Photographers
  • Bird-watchers
  • Wildflower seekers

And that was just in the first mile or so of the trail at the base of spectacular Pusch Ridge in the Catalina Mountains.

One reason the Linda Vista Trail attracts a large and diverse group of users is that it lives up to its name, which means “beautiful view” or “lovely vista” in Spanish. Other reasons for its popularity include its generally easy hiking terrain and convenient location just 0.2 miles east of Oracle Road in Oro Valley.

The route includes a main segment that’s a little more than a half-mile in length and connecting segments ranging in length from about a third of a mile to 1.5 miles.

Sonoran desert plants — everything from huge patches of prickly pear cacti to tall saguaros stabbing at the sky — offer step-by-step scenery.

As hikers, runners and horseback riders streamed past on the trail, Jerry Strangio, a member of the Tucson Plein Air Painters Society, produced a colorful work depicting rugged Pusch Ridge while other members of the group painted nearby.

“It’s a beautiful area,”Strangio said.

Contact reporter Doug Kreutz at or at 573-4192

. On Twitter: @DouglasKreutz