Harvey Barrison. Saguaro National Park surprised us around every turn. If you come upon a part of the hike that’s too difficult, there are several great spots where you can relax and take in the scenery. Don’t forget to bring your dog with you as long as you keep them on a leash. Remove Ads. Your email address will not be published. Saguaro National Park is a dream destination for those that want to feel humbled by the environment and have an obsession with all things desert (that’s me!).. It was strenuous, difficult, and a blast. The trail is relatively open with minimal shade, which means that there are many opportunities for taking photos of … Saguaro National Park is named for the Saguaro cactus, which grows only in the Sonoran Desert. While the trail is mainly used for hiking, it’s also a great place to go when you want to spot some local wildlife and plant-life. . With a 528-foot elevation gain, the hike can become somewhat difficult towards the end. The History Of Saguaro National Park Established in 1933 as a national monument, the original park comprised the Rincon Mountain District east of Tucson. If you are in need of some new BOOTS, a new TENT or SLEEPING BAG, TREK POLES, etc. All Rights Reserved. Be sure to check out our gear recommendations as well as we earn a small commission on every item sold that helps keep the site up and running. Although she has a strong presence in the Tucson Luxury Market she enjoys working with clients at all price points, from first time buyers to retirees. Most trails in the Rincon Mountain district of Saguaro National Park are in the northwest corner - a few along the one road through the park, the Cactus Forest Drive, one in Rincon Valley to the south, and a complex network of inter-connecting routes on the north side of Tanque Verde Ridge. Though the saguaro may be the park's centerpiece, after wet winters the spring wildflower display can be breathtaking. The beautiful weather and spectacular scenery that Tucson is known for is on full display throughout the myriad of picturesque hikes that can be found in the area. AllTrails has 66 great hiking trails, trail running trails, views trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Rangers do not recommend hiking at all in the summer, when temperatures frequently reach a scorching 115°F (46°C). Most of the hike follows the top of the ridge line on your way up to Tanque Verde Peak so the views are pretty hard to beat. Tumamoc Hill This easy hike (3.1-mile round trip) up a well-paved hill offers fantastic views of the city as well as a perfect spot for watching the sunrise and sunset. The final mile of this trail can be somewhat steep, which you should prepare for by wearing hiking shoes. This 5.6-mile trail is moderately difficult, which means that you’ll want to use some good hiking shoes and bring an ample amount of water. The trailhead can be found towards the end of Turkey Creek Rd. The Saguaro Wilderness Area of 71,400 acres was added in 1975. until you reach a dead end. Tucson, AZ separates Saguaro National Park into two regions – Tucson Mountain District (West) and Rincon Mountain District (East). The main difference between the park’s two sides is that the western portion receives slightly less rainfall and sits at a lower elevation than the eastern Rincon Mountain District. Official Website. Saguaro National Park lies split with two distinct disctricts with the City of Tucson, Arizona in the middle. The trail itself extends for 6.5 miles and is open all throughout the day. Being so close to a larger city like Tucson makes Saguaro a very unique place to visit and allows people that wouldn’t necessarily venture to a more secluded park to get out and explore this desert landscape. There are several spots where you can park your car before you head out on the hike. The trailhead is at the end of North Scenic Drive towards the north boundary of the park. Continuing on, a dirt and gravel road takes riders from the Cactus Forest Loop Drive to the Mica View picnic area. Kristin went in with low expectations, and she ended up loving the park. When you’re searching for the start of the trail, it’s important to remember that this trail is a part of the Douglas Springs trailhead, which is where you’ll need to go. The Saguaro is only found in a small portion of the United States in the Sonoran Desert and it is something special to stand next to one. The most notable element of this hike is the waterfall found at the very end, which opens up to a sizable pool with large rocks where you can sit and enjoy the scenery. Many experienced hikers find that this trail offers hikers the best opportunity to spot local wildlife. If you’re thinking about taking a trip to the Saguaro National Park and want to prepare by jotting down a few trails to check out, the following provides a thorough guide to 11 of the best hiking trails in the Saguaro National Park. I created ‘Trailhead Traveler’ for those wanting to know the can’t miss hikes on their next upcoming trip; the trails that will stay in your memory long after you’ve left. Wasson Peak is the tallest mountain in the Tucson Mountain District of Saguaro National Park. You can take your dog with you as long as you keep them on a leash. please consider buying after clicking on one of the links on our site! This is an out-and-back trail, which means that it begins and ends at the same place. This is a steep trail to the summit of Stafford Peak offering great views of Tucson and the entire West district of Saguaro National Park. 5 Gems 40 Trails 40 Trails 8 Trails Saguaro National Park is home to the giant saguaro, a universal symbol of the American west and the nation's largest cacti. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. This trail provides hikers with classic desert scenery along with fantastic opportunities for bird watching. Nearly halfway through the trail, you’ll reach the picturesque Box Canyon river. Thank you. The trail can be accessed at all times of the day. to the right, which is soon after you pass the North Avenida Aguila Rd. The trailhead is off Easy Happy Valley Road next to a fenced, private property. Click here for more National Park hikes!You can also view some of our most popular Gear Recommendations here! It’s only half a mile long but is the perfect introduction to what this park is all about. The trailhead is at a parking area off East Broadway Boulevard. When you’re trying to get to this 3.3-mile out-and-back trail, the trailhead is the same one as the Douglas Spring Trail, which is located right at the end of the East Speedway Blvd. Hey you! While the first half of the hike is relatively simple and straightforward, the second half can get steep with an elevation gain of more than 1,000 feet. https://www.alltrails.com/parks/us/arizona/saguaro-national-park/backpacking Recorded April 22-23, 2017Saguaro National Park is in southern Arizona. At 2.3 miles, it’s a relatively short trail that can be hiked at any time. The luxury market is Susanne’s specialty. Happy Hiking! It’s a great place for trail running and backpacking if you want to get in some strenuous exercise. The large rocks in the immediate vicinity of the waterfall are great for relaxing and having a quick bite to eat before you turn around for the second half of the hike. The Bridal Wreath Falls Trail is a beautiful out-and-back trail in the heart of the Saguaro National Park that features a pristine waterfall as well as many picturesque desert flowers. There are few options for hiking to the summit. While the park is hot and relatively unmanageable during the summers, it is a great place to take advantage of the many hikes in Saguaro National Park in winter and other times of the year. Unlike some of the other national parks, you can explore a lot of highlights of this park in just a few of days, which makes it a great weekend getaway. The waterfall at the end of the trail is considered to be the best feature of the hike. The trailhead is on Bajada Loop Drive 3.5 miles north of Red Hills Visitor Center. You’ll come upon a gate that offers access to a parking area with sizable sycamore trees. Saguaro cacti are the largest in the country; they live to more than 150 years old and can grow to over 45′ tall! Because this trail is best known for its scenery, the best times to hike this trail would be during the spring and fall months. The Saguaro is only found in a small portion of the United States in the Sonoran Desert and it is something special to stand next to one. Licensed in the state of Arizona. There’s also an ample amount of shade along the trail, which should keep you cool and comfortable. Saguaro U.S. Department of the Interior National Park Service Saguaro National Park Hiking in the Cactus Forest Rincon Mountain District Visitor Center (520) 733-5153 Leave all plants, animals, rocks and other natural and historic features undisturbed. The Loma Verde and Squeeze Pen Loop trail is a relatively short loop trail that extends for 3.7 miles and offers fantastic opportunities for bird watching as well as a variety of fun activities. HEY YOU, reading this page! A half day is all you need to see the highlights, but with more time you can tour the entire park, go on a day hike, or camp in the backcountry. Disclaimer: We do not claim ownership of any media used in our blog posts and we do our best to use only royalty-free stock photography, content licensed from other third party apps or social media, and content that we've produced in order to provide our visitors with the best possible user experience. This out-and-back trail begins and ends at the same place, which is an easy-to-spot trailhead that’s located at the end of the S. Camino Loma Alta Rd. The trail travels on for several more miles but I think this marks a good point to head back. Those planning to do any serious hiking at Saguaro National Park are strongly advised to talk with rangers about their plans before setting out, and then to carry at least a gallon of water per day per person. The trailhead is the same as the Ridge View Trail at the end of the S. Camino Loma Alta Rd. The Tanque Verde Falls Beach trail is likely the easiest trail to hike on this list and is considered to be a nature trail. Displays talk about the ecology and native plants and wildlife of the Sonoran Desert. This is a very scenic trail that offers plenty of opportunities for taking pictures even when the creek is dry. While we alway prep for our hikes, there are some extra ways we prepped for the Valley View Trail and the other hikes in Saguaro. Highlighted with great views with Avra Valley below and Picacho Peak to the north, this is a short and easy trail that shouldn’t be missed. Saguaro National Park is separated into two districts surrounding Tucson, Arizona. High temperatures from May through September often exceed 100 degree Fahrenheit. The Rincon Mountain District is located east of the city and the Tucson Mountain District is located outside northwest of Tucson. There is a lot of information out there about the great outdoors but not all of it is useful. There is several things to do at Saguaro National Park located in Tucson Arizona. The Douglas Spring Trail is among the most popular hiking trails in Arizona. Get a Scenic View from the Valley View Overlook Trail (west) This hike is only 0.8 miles and relatively easy. Subscribe to Phoenix for all the latest and greatest stories. The Garwood Trail is a beautiful trail that’s considered to be easy to hike and great for admiring the scenery. It is never a bad time to explore some of the below hikes in Saguaro National Park, just make sure to bring along plenty of water! The Mica View Loop Trail is an easy yet somewhat lengthy 3.7-mile hiking trail on the edge of the Saguaro National Park that’s perfect for hikers of all skill levels. I would return to the park just to do this trip again, and we definitely will someday. There is several things to do at Saguaro National Park located in Tucson Arizona. This trail continues to Juniper Basin Campground (6.9 mile mark, 3000 feet elevation) as well as Tanque Verde Peak … This is an easy park to visit, with scenic drives and short walks among the towering cacti. If you’re traveling south on Redington Rd., the trailhead can be found to your left, which is also where you’ll find a parking lot. Welcome to Saguaro National Park Tucson, Arizona is home to the nation's largest cacti. The Mica View Loop Trail is an easy yet somewhat lengthy 3.7-mile hiking trail on the edge of the Saguaro National Park that’s perfect for hikers of all skill levels. There’s a spacious parking lot located a short distance from the trailhead, which usually has spots open. Hiking in Saguaro National Park Though the mountainous desert topography might look intimidating, Saguaro National Park is one of the easier national … 11 Best Hiking Trails in the Saguaro National Park There’s nothing better to do in Tucson during the warm summer months than to spend time going hiking on the amazing hiking trails in the city. © Grogan & Grogan Real Estate 2015. Beyond activities, the park itself protects one of the true icons of the American West, the giant Saguaro Cactus. Assume you're carrying all your own water, a gallon per person, per day. The east and west districts of the park offer more than 165 miles of hiking trails for campers and visitors, meaning there is so much for hikers to enjoy on the park’s trails. Although Tanque Verde is one of the best hikes in Saguaro, this along with Rincon Peak Trail (below) are gradual inclines the entire time so know your limits and bring plenty of water. Covering over 24,818 acres, the Tucson Mountain District sits on the park’s west boundaries. Arizona's Saguaro National Park is known for two things: its vast forest of 100-year old saguaro cacti, and its incredible diversity of terrain. Only found in a small portion of the U.S., these majestic behemoths are preserved in the desert landscape of the park. Saguaro National Park: Day Hikes at Saguaro West - See 972 traveler reviews, 867 candid photos, and great deals for Tucson, AZ, at Tripadvisor. These majestic plants, found only in a small portion of the United States, are protected by Saguaro National Park, to the east and west of the modern city of Tucson. This trailhead is clearly marked at the end of the East Speedway. The trail is moderately difficult but can be harder towards the end because of the 3,700-foot elevation gain. There are many different wildflowers throughout this trail, which include such scenic flowers as the hedgehog cactus, the owl clover, and brittlebush. Best backpacking trails in Saguaro National Park 316 Reviews Explore the most popular backpacking trails in Saguaro National Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you. The trail itself is known for the presence of the Sonoran Desert Scrub as well as the waterfall that’s found at the conclusion of the Bridal Wreath Falls trail. Its 2 sections are on either side of the city of Tucson. To get to the trailhead, go south on Cactus Forest Dr. until you reach the end of the road, which is shortly after you pass the Freeman Homestead trailhead. Required fields are marked *. Due to its high difficulty, it’s only recommended for hikers who are highly experienced. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time! Saguaro National Park has many hiking trails. Saguaro National Park is named for the Saguaro cactus, which grows only in the Sonoran Desert. Combining Mica View, Mesquite, Cholla, and Cactus Forest Trails, hikers get an easy, relatively short hike through the desert landscape. The elevation gain is around 5,600 feet and can get very steep at times. Apart from the enormous cacti you’ll see along your journey, the highlight of this trail is Bridal Wreath Falls – a beautiful sight in the middle of the desert. It rises high above Tucson and the Sonoran Desert below. There are no backcountry campsites in the Tucson Mountain district of Saguaro National Park since it is small in area, and the longest single trail is 10 miles - well within the range of a day hike. This is a fun hike for all ages and one that can quickly be completed if in the Tucson area and looking to see what the park has to offer. The trailhead can be found at the end of Signal Hill Road off of Golden Gate Road. A half day is all you need to see the highlights, but with more time you can tour the entire park, go on a day hike, or camp in the backcountry. Here, the park's 150-mile network of trails crosses everything from desert scrub to pine forest to snow-capped mountains. Video Guide. One of the shortest hikes in Saguaro National Park is the Desert Discovery Trail. The park is open year-round. A crested saguaro (at mile 2.5) is a unique view, as well as "the Dome" (a large exposed surface at mile 3) offers even more breath-taking views. Head back via Hugh Norris and Sendero Esperanza to make a loop of the area. For instance, you can dip your toes in the water around half way through at the Rincon Creek. Travis’ Top 3 in Saguaro National Park. Accessible trails make exploring and learning about Saguaro National Park easy for all hiking levels. Short and easy trail leading to ancient petroglyphs on a rocky hilltop. This is an easy park to visit, with scenic drives and short walks among the towering cacti. Saguaro cacti and mountains in Saguaro National Park. Great hiking opportunities are available at Saguaro National Park in both districts. When you’re visiting this park to fulfill your hiking needs, you’ll notice that there are a wide range of trails situated throughout the park from low to high difficulty. Read More about Tucson News & Market Updates ». Desert Discovery Trail There are no backcountry campsites in the Tucson Mountain district … Going all the way to the top of the park, from the lower desert elevation to a high elevation conifer forest. The Garwood Dam to Douglas Spring Loop Trail is a wonderful hiking trail that’s notable for the prevalence of wildflowers found throughout. Saguaro National Park was created from these areas in 1994 and currently encompasses 91,327 acres in its two districts. Switchbacks for the last mile get you to the top of Wasson Peak (4687′). Desert hiking can be a killer, literally. At this dead end is the trailhead that’s noted by a sign as well as a substantial amount of parking. The trailhead is located just off the E. Broadway Blvd. And over the years she has consistently maintained the highest average sold price in the entire city. While the Bridal Wreath Falls marks the end of the hike for most people, you can continue past this spot for some spectacular views. If you’re looking to move to this wonderful city, feel free to get in touch with our local team of Tucson real estate professionals at Grogan & Grogan Tucson Luxury Real Estate! There’s nothing better to do in Tucson during the warm summer months than to spend time going hiking on the amazing hiking trails in the city. The hike is more about the destination, not the journey, but there are plenty of picture-worthy views on your way. Here are our favorite spots in the park, along with some tips for visiting. A gradual climb through the rocky desert until you get to Sweetwater Trail junction where the trail steepens. The Eastern Rincon Mountain District rises to over 8,000 feet and includes over 128 miles of trails. Plan a Trip To Saguaro National Park Saguaro National Park is a perfect destination for travelers who enjoy hiking… without missing out on the comforts of home. The parking lot is sizable and should never be full when you’re looking for a place to park. There are a few stairs to traverse, but it leads you to an amazing view overlooking a valley full of Saguaro Cacti. Case in point: Saguaro National Park. Your email address will not be published. The Turkey Creek trail is a highly popular trail in the Saguaro National Park that extends for nearly six miles and is considered to be moderately difficult. Our Saguaro National Park Hiking Tips. Beyond activities, the park itself protects one of the true icons of the American West, the giant Saguaro Cactus. While there’s only 350 feet of elevation gain, it can get rocky towards the end, which is why it’s considered to be moderately difficult to hike. If you are the owner of any content used on our website and would like us to remove your content, please contact us immediately and we will promptly remove this content from our website. Images on this blog are copyright to its respectful owners. This is an out-and-back trail, which means that you can turn back at any time. Saguaro National Park offers visitors the chance to view native plants and animals while surrounded by the spectacular scenery of the Sonoran Desert. Hope Camp is a fantastic trail that’s open to horses and extends for just over 6.5 miles. With two districts, there is more than enough opportunity to appreciate the majestic Saguaro Cactus that covers the park grounds. Between 1936 and 1939, the Civilian Conservation Corps built Cactus Forest Drive, designed as a scenic loop that allowed visitors to experience the unique ecosystem of the Sonoran Desert. The weather can make it uncomfortable in the hot summer months so most visitors go between November and March. To get there, you will need to take the Douglas Spring trailhead at the end of the East Speedway Blvd. That makes Saguaro a true four-season destination. Saguaro National Park in Arizona is home to giant saguaros, a handful of trails, and views for days. The brilliant gold of the Mexican poppy is often the first-noticed bloom, while penstemons, lupines, desert marigolds, brittlebushes, and globe mallows contribute their lively col… The trail is accessible 24/7 and is open to dogs. With a high number of popular hiking trails available to you, it’s possible to choose one for the amazing scenery or to select another for the strenuous workout that it provides. Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window), Trailhead Traveler - HIKE CALIFORNIA - Unisex T-Shirt, Trailhead Traveler - HIKE MONTANA - Unisex T-Shirt, 6 Best Day Hikes in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, 9 Best Day Hikes in Sequoia National Park, 6 Best Day Hikes in Crater Lake National Park, 10 Best Day Hikes in Grand Teton National Park, 4 Best Day Hikes in Pinnacles National Park, Best Hikes in San Juan National Forest (CO), Best Hikes in Rio Grande National Forest (CO), Best Hikes in Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forests (CO), Best Hikes in White River National Forest (CO). Tucson, AZ separates Saguaro National Park into two regions – Tucson Mountain District (West) and Rincon Mountain District (East). Arizona's Saguaro National Park is known for two things: its vast forest of 100-year old saguaro cacti, and its incredible diversity of terrain. The trailhead can be found just off Cactus Forest Dr, which is also where you’ll find some parking spaces. However, there’s practically no shade along the way, which is why you must take several bottles of water. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. A popular way to enjoy the park is to bike around one of our scenic loop drives. Saguaro National Park was one of our first experiences in desert hiking. Information contained herein believed accurate, but not guaranteed. Whether you're hiking or just driving through (gotta love the AC, especially in the middle of summer when it's not advisable to take an extended hike in the extreme heat) you'll definitely gain a new appreciation for this mysterious, arid wilderness of Arizona. 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