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Bactrian Summit and Recoil Peak
Painted Hills Trails Park, Arizona
March 3, 2024

Distance: 4.7 km (2.9 mi)
Cumulative Elevation Gain: 113 m (371 ft)

Despite their high-sounding names, Bactrian Summit and Recoil Peak are low-lying hills west of Tucson. Dinah and I had time in the morning to knock them off before returning to our hotel to check in for our flight the next day.

Our hike began on Mosaic Trail which winds through a vast display of saguaros. As we headed to the spur trail for Bactrian Summit, we were delighted to see hummingbirds darting about. We also spied a cristate saguaro, a mutation that's estimated to occur in one out of 200,000 saguaros.

A gentle climb brought us to the junction for Bactrian Summit with the summit a short distance away. The mountain comprises two bumps; perhaps it's named after the Bactrian, a camel with two humps. The highest bump offers an underwhelming view. Urban sprawl encompasses much of the mountain, and most peaks are too distant to discern. I had to wait several minutes for a group to clear out before I could take a panorama. Afterwards, we studied the beautiful mosaic on a bench at the top, a memorial to Tedra Fox, the sustainability manager at Pima County.

Afterwards, we returned to Mosaic Trail and continued to Recoil Peak. Being 10 m lower than Bactrian Summit, it had little to offer. But as minor as it is, it didn't hurt to add Recoil Peak to our list of summits. It has no bench, but it sports a huge summit cairn. Then we walked back along Mosaic Trail and returned to our car. It was a fine finish to our desert getaway in Tucson before returning to wintery Calgary.

KML and GPX Tracks

Starting up Mosaic Trail

Bactrian Summit is on the left. Recoil Peak is hidden behind it.

Curved-bill thrasher

Heading to Bactrian Summit

A viewpoint by the trail provides a peek at the Santa Catalina Mountains

Ocotillo with flowers (mouse over for a close-up)

Black-chinned hummingbird (mouse over to see the front)

Cristate saguaro (mouse over for a close-up)

Turning onto the trail for Bactrian

On the summit

Elaborate art on the bench at the top

Recoil Peak is close by and has a trail running over it. Left is Wasson Peak (mouse over).

The tall peak is Safford Peak. Below it on the right is Picture Rocks.

The trail to Recoil Peak

Dinah looks down at Recoil's summit cairn

On the way back, Dinah attempts to hug a saguaro

Cat Mountain (2.9 mi, 2782 ft, 210 ft)

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