The off-trail areas and/or unofficial trails used by this hike are currently OPEN - from January 1 to April 30 off-trail travel and use of unofficial trails is prohibited due to Bighorn Sheep Management Area Restrictions.
Pusch Peak and the Ridge to the top. December 2011.
Off-trail hiking in the Santa Catalina Mountains can be hazardous and challenging - make sure you understand the skills you need to stay safe, be cautious and know your limits!
Pusch Ridge Wilderness: Motorized and mechanized vehicles and equipment, including mountain bikes, are not permitted in Wilderness.
Bighorn Sheep Restrictions: January 1 to April 30: Travel more than 400′ off of designated Forest Service Trails is prohibited. All year: Dogs are prohibited (except for seeing-eye dogs and handi-dogs), the maximum day use group size is 15 and the maximum overnight group size is 6.
The mileages and elevations below are approximate (don't expect the values below to match your GPS exactly).
0.0 miles, 2900′: Park at the Iris Dewhirst Pima Canyon Trailhead. This hike starts on the Pima Canyon Trail (the only trail the leaves from this trailhead – the trail leaves from the east side of the parking lot). [Waypoint PC TH]
0.5 miles, 3100′: Roughly .5 miles along the trail look for the best place to leave the trail and head up a ridgeline to a large rock outcropping (this outcropping is visible from the parking lot and shown nicely in this blog post) [Waypoint PPSE01]. I am not aware of a clearly defined trail or clearly ‘best way’…
1.0 miles, 4500′: The rock outcropping is a good landmark on the way up and down [Waypoint PPSE02]. Hike to the NE end of the outcropping – a nice spot for a break!
From the NE end of outcropping head up the hill onto a ridge, as you get higher you will start to have views of Pusch Peak and the path along the ridgeline to the top.
Follow the ridgeline to the top! 2.2 miles, 5350′ – [Waypoint PP].
Pusch Peak is named for George Pusch who purchased the Steam Pump ranch on the west side of the Santa Catalina Mountains in 1874 – see the Pusch Ridge Wilderness for more details.