Towering cliffs, evergreen forests and grand views across the San Pedro River Valley reward hikers who try a new trail segment in the Catalina Mountains.

The 1.5-mile path was finished in the spring and is winning fans with its big vistas and sylvan serenity.

From a 7,350-foot trailhead at San Pedro Vista on the Catalina Highway, the new trail heads north and northwest to a connection with the established Incinerator Ridge Trail.

"Part of the plan was to bring it along the ridge top so people could get those awesome views along the cliffs up there," said Gregg Sasek, trails and wilderness field manager with the Coronado National Forest.

He and about 20 crew members built the trail in 12 days of rigorous work in steep terrain, Sasek said.

The trail is considered an extension of the Incinerator Ridge Trail and will share that name, Sasek said.

Hikers Magali and Michael Garnett took a breather during their first hike along the new trail last weekend and scanned the sky for birds. Their reward: the thrilling sight of a soaring hawk.

See the view from the trail / A4

did you know?

The Catalina Mountains north of Tucson are crisscrossed with 236.7 miles of designated trails.

Source: Gregg Sasek, Coronado National Forest

Get to the trailhead

Take Tanque Verde Road to Catalina Highway and follow highway to San Pedro Vista. It's between mileposts 17 and 18. The trailhead is at the north end of the parking lot.

Contact reporter Doug Kreutz at or at 573-4192.