This trail is less than a mile, but still one of the best hikes in Tucson. Saguaro National Park: The Best Hikes are in the Eastern Rincon Side - See 975 traveler reviews, 868 candid photos, and great deals for Tucson, AZ, at Tripadvisor. 11. In the far south of Arizona lies Saguaro National Park, America’s first national park created primarily to protect a plant species. Photographed on the Discovery Desert Trail. If you have more time, add a backpacking trip in Rincon Mountain District. Switchbacks for the last mile get you to the top of Wasson Peak (4687′). Saguaro National Park offers more than 160 miles of hiking trails, ranging from short interpretive hikes to day-long adventures in the Saguaro wilderness (designated in 1976). I will be visiting both the east and west side, so please recommend hikes for both :) His favorite 20.3-mile route - including a 4,500-foot climb - reaches overlooks of Tucson and far beyond. Probably the most colorful lizard we saw in the park! On Tucson's west side, much of the Tucson Mountains are located in Saguaro National Park West, where a forest of saguaros dots the jagged mountainsides. It had been a long time since either of us had hiked in the desert, and we didn’t know what to expect. Perfect Day: Saguaro National Park. 6109 N. Apache Trail, Apache Junction White Tank Mountain Regional Park. In the north of the Rincon Mountain District (RMD), the 5.2-mile roundtrip Douglas Spring Trail begins among towering saguaro cacti but takes you up into the foothills of the Rincon Mountains. The Tucson Mountain District sits 10 miles west of Tucson while the Rincon Mountain District (my personal favorite) lies 10 miles east. Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window). 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. Here, the park's 150-mile network of trails crosses everything from desert scrub to pine forest to snow-capped mountains. For more National Park guides from Kim, check out her 7 day Yellowstone/Grand Teton National Park Itinerary or her 7-day Florida National Park Itinerary. Saguaro National Park is a beautiful park that sandwiches Tucson, Arizona. When Is The Best Time To Visit Saguaro National Park? If you’ve visited Joshua Tree and loved it, then Saguaro National Park might be next on your list – it’s a similar vibe but with big cactuses instead of Joshua Trees, and with a … Saguaro cacti are the largest in the country; they live to more than 150 years old and can grow to over 45′ tall! 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. Home » US National Parks » 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. Best hikes in Saguaro? 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. 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. If you’re looking for an introduction to hiking in Tucson, but don’t have a lot of time, then check out the Valley View Overlook Trail. And rightly so—even though this is a desert area, it’s plants that run the show. A gradual climb through the rocky desert until you get to Sweetwater Trail junction where the trail steepens. The weather can make it uncomfortable in the hot summer months so most visitors go between November and March. The trailhead is at a parking area off East Broadway Boulevard. Saguaro National Park is named for the Saguaro cactus, which grows only in the Sonoran Desert. Check out the 11 best things to do here. Hikes in Saguaro National Park Desert hiking can be a killer, literally. Hiking in Saguaro National Park Though the mountainous desert topography might look intimidating, Saguaro National Park is one of the easier national parks to hike. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! The hike is more about the destination, not the journey, but there are plenty of picture-worthy views on your way. . Tucson, AZ separates Saguaro National Park into two regions – Tucson Mountain District (West) and Rincon Mountain District (East). Entrance Fees: Saguaro National Park Vehicle Weekly Pass – $20.00. We hope they help you plan your trip! Much like we experienced in Saguaro National Park itself, I was pleasantly surprised – this time by the amount of high-quality and different varieties of cuisine we were able to try during our trip. Another option: skip Tucson Mountain District entirely and plan a 3-plus-day backpacking trip in the Rincon Mountain District. Any sources in Saguaro Wilderness are very intermittent streams or springs. 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. The park, as well as the surrounding Superstition Wilderness, is one of the most well-known spots for desert views. This view at an overlook on the Cactus Forest Loop Drive used to have hundreds of saguaros. Like any desert hiking, start as early as possible. Here are our favorite spots in the park, along with some tips for visiting. Admits one single, private, non-commercial vehicle or RV and all its passengers. Saguaro cacti and mountains in Saguaro National Park. Both districts of the park are open to hikers and bikers 24 hours a day every day except Christmas. The remote Miller Creek Trail begins outside Saguaro National Park in Happy Valley on Coronado National Forest land, along FR 35 and about 16 miles north of I-10, exit 297 (Mescal Rd). Saguaro National Park: The Best Hikes are in the Eastern Rincon Side - See 975 traveler reviews, 868 candid photos, and great deals for Tucson, AZ, at Tripadvisor. We recommend at least one full day. 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. If you go to Saguaro, take advantage of Tucson’s proximity to the park. A permit is required for overnight stays in the backcountry, the fee is $6 a night per campsite. Get a high-clearance vehicle, especially if going to the Miller Creek or Turkey Creek trailheads. Saguaro National Park is unique in that its 92,000 acres are actually two different units separated by the city of Tucson. Required fields are marked *. But Southern Arizona Hiking Club guide Steve Singkofer knows better. Saguaro National Park invita al publico atender un programa especial en espanol ofrecido en pedido a grupos familiares y escolares. The trailhead is off Easy Happy Valley Road next to a fenced, private property. 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. Por mas informacion o para pedir este programa concorde a sus planes en visitar el parque, por favor llame al centro de visita oeste (520) 733-5158 y pregunte por el guia Freddy Fernandez. Saguaro U.S. Department of the Interior National Park Service Saguaro National Park Trails in the Tucson Mountain District Red Hills Visitor Center (520) 733-5158 Cactus Garden Trail (100 yards) The Cactus Garden Trail is located in front of the Red Saguaro National Park offers more than 160 miles of hiking trails, ranging from short interpretive hikes to day-long adventures in the Saguaro wilderness (designated in 1976). Remove Ads The best time to visit Saguaro National Park is between October and April-- that's when the weather is ideal, and more park … Saguaro National Park is a beautiful park that sandwiches Tuscon, Arizona and is divided into West and East. Winter might be nice too, especially if you see the rare snow on the saguaro cacti. ... After 5-8 minutes of hiking, look towards the west and see the sun glow over the cacti forest. The Rincon Mountain District also offers plenty of other trails for longer day hikes as well as trips into the high-country wilderness. 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