A Mountain (Sentinel Peak), Tucson

3.6
#2 of 7 in Historic Sites in Tucson
Sentinel Peak is a 2,897 ft peak in the Tucson Mountains southwest of downtown Tucson, Arizona. The valley's first inhabitants grew crops at the mountain's base, along the Santa Cruz River. The name "Tucson" is derived from the O'odham Cuk Ṣon, meaning " base of the black ". In the 1910s University of Arizona students used local basalt rock to construct a 160-ft-tall block "A" on the mountain's east face, near its summit, giving the peak its other name, "A" Mountain. The peak is part of a 272-acre park, the largest natural resource park in the City of Tucson.Early historyThe fertile land at the base of Sentinel Peak was used for agriculture from circa 2000 BCE until the 1930s. Bedrock mortars found on the sides of the peak are believed to have been used to grind corn and mesquite beans into flour. In the 1690s the O'odham people living in the area were visited by Father Eusebio Francisco Kino, who established the nearby Mission San Xavier del Bac. After Presidio San Augustin del Tucson was constructed in 1775, sentinels were stationed on the peak to watch for raiding Apaches.GeologySentinel Peak is made up of several layers of igneous rock representing various types of volcanic activity, though the mountain itself is not a volcano. It is one of a cluster of outcroppings at the eastern edge of the Tucson Mountains that are primarily the remnants of 20-30 million-year-old (Ma) lava flows that once extended west towards the Tucson Mountains and east into the Tucson Basin, where the city is now. Erosion and faulting are responsible for the peak's conical shape.
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A Mountain (Sentinel Peak) Reviews
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  • The drive from the city is short. It is cool to see the A that was constructed in 1915. There are places to pull off to get a view. The hick to the summit was fun but there is broken glass everywhere.  more »
  • We arrived before it was open to the public and decided to walk our dogs on one of the trails near the parking lot. However, there was scattered glass in various areas preventing us from doing so. We ...  more »
  • It's easy and quick to locate as it is just about 5 minutes from downtown, and offers really cool views of the city and surrounding area. Definitely worth checking out if you are here for any more tha...  more »

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Where to stay in Tucson

To discover the tranquility of the Sonoran Desert, book your stay at an inn just a short drive from Tucson. Staying on the outskirts of the city allows you quick and easy access to some of Arizona's wildest areas, though it does require a car if you wish to enjoy Tucson's shops and restaurants. For the ultimate in indulgence, consider one of the city's award-winning luxury resorts, which feature full-service spa and fitness centers, championship golf courses, lighted tennis courts, and indoor swimming pools.
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