Sentinel Peak, "A" Mountain
Sentinel Peak District
Sentinel Peak, also known as “A” Mountain, is a prominent landmark, hiking trail, park and sunset-watching destination in the Tucson Mountains on the west side of Downtown Tucson. Every day, hundreds of people walk, bike and drive on Sentinel Peak Road, which climbs and encircles Sentinel Peak Park. The 2,897-foot mountain is made up of several layers of igneous rock representing various types of volcanic activity, though the mountain itself is not a volcano. Sentinel Peak and the surrounding Santa Cruz Valley have a rich archaeological history dating back over 4,000 years. The area’s first inhabitants grew crops at the mountain's base along the Santa Cruz River, which is known as Tucson’s birthplace. Sentinel Peak was used as a lookout and for signal fires by native Americans prior to and since 1692 and later by early settlers as well as soldiers during the Civil War. The "A" was built by University of Arizona (UA) students in 1916. Every year, UA students and alumni kick off Homecoming festivities with a ceremonial lighting of the “A” on the mountain.