Top 5 places to watch the sunset in Tucson

a2816sunsetchloergb
Chloe Durand | The Daily Wildcat

Gates Pass on Dec. 15, 2015. Gates Pass is a common place for visitors to watch the sunset and is located near Saguaro National Park.

Tucson is tucked away in the base of the Santa Catalina Mountains, providing a beautiful mountain landscape along with an abundance of saguaro cacti. In addition to being home to the UA, Tucson also offers its residents magnificent sunsets each day. There are several locations around Tucson that are prime areas to watch these sunsets.

Gates Pass

Hidden on the way to Saguaro National Park, Gates Pass is located only a couple of miles from downtown Tucson. The best route to get there is to go west on Speedway Boulevard until the mountain pass becomes visible. The road is very windy and visitors must be cautious when driving at night. There is only a minimal amount of parking and as Gates Pass is a popular destination for sunset watching, it might be best to carpool.

People can watch the sunset on the lower area under the ramada or at a little hut that sits atop a hill adjacent to the parking lot. No matter where you stand, you are guaranteed to have a terrific view of the sun setting over Tucson and Saguaro National Park.

Windy Point Vista

Mount Lemmon is certainly a drive, but it’s worth the time and gas to see the sun set at Windy Point Vista. After taking Catalina Highway to reach the base of Mount Lemmon, keep driving until you eventually find yourself at a clearing with a visitor center. Windy Point Vista is a popular place for tourists during the day, but its true beauty can only be seen as the sun sets. The mountains turn a hue of pink and in the distance you can see the lights of Tucson.

“A” Mountain on Sentinel Peak

Visible from many places in Tucson, this is a perfect location to bring a couple of lawn chairs and watch the sunset. Take Broadway Boulevard all the way west, turn left onto Cuesta Avenue and drive up to the top. This location offers a beautiful view of the entire city. The “A” is most often painted white and was actually created by a UA engineering student in the early 1900s. The lights from the cars on the highway and the lights of downtown Tucson are a great contrast against the sky’s various pinks and purples.

Top of Campbell

This location is great if you are just looking to watch the sunset from your car. This place has no official name, but that doesn’t matter. Just take Campbell Avenue all the way north and you will be able to see all of Tucson against the setting sun. Driving back down Campbell Avenue also provides an amazing view of Tucson at night.

Top of Tyndall Avenue Parking Garage

Most conveniently located near students on campus, you can either take the stairs or drive up to the fifth floor of the Tyndall Avenue parking garage to get a gorgeous view of the sun setting over campus. There is an hourly fee to enter the garage during the week, but on the weekends it’s open to the public for free.


Follow Chloe Durand on Twitter.



Share this article