This is a 3.3 mile out-and-back hike with 1500 cumulative feet of elevation gain that takes about 1-2 hours to complete. Valley View Overlook Trail. The Bridal Wreath … There are few options for hiking to the summit. Wasson Peak is the tallest mountain in the Tucson Mountain District of Saguaro National Park.This loop hike travels along ridges with grand desert vistas and through some of the thickest Saguaro forest in Arizona. 80 reviews of Saguaro National Park West "This was the first (and so far only) National Park I have written a letter to thanking them for their excellent Junior Ranger Program. Saguaro National Park surprised us around every turn. of trail — 8 Recommended Routes 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. Start early if you want to park near the trail head. Remember you will find no water on any trails in Saguaro West and water in Saguaro East is spotty and usually only at Manning Camp (check at the visitor center for backcountry permits and water conditions at Manning Camp) which is a 16 mile hike one way and an elevation gain of over 4,000 feet. Difficulty: Moderate. Covering over 24,818 acres, the Tucson Mountain District sits on the park’s west boundaries. If you only have a couple days, explore the Tucson Mountain District. Tanque Verde Falls. Hiking trip report, map, and photos for Safford Peak (Sombrero Peak), located in Saguaro National Park, Arizona. Please be aware of this when planning how far to hike. Close to town. It rises high above Tucson and the Sonoran Desert below. Here, the park's 150-mile network of trails crosses everything from desert scrub to pine forest to snow-capped mountains. 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. 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. If you have more time, add a backpacking trip in Rincon Mountain District. Here are our favorite spots in the park, along with some tips for visiting. Like with most parks, the National Geographic Trails Illustrated map is your best choice if you’re looking for a single detailed Saguaro National Park trail map with topographic lines, trail mileages, and wilderness campsites. The East also has a much higher elevation point with Mica Mt at 8,666ft compared to the West’s highest point: Wasson Peak at 4,687ft. We recommend at least one full day. Favorite Trails . 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) This is an easy park to visit, with scenic drives and short walks among the towering cacti. The Tanque Verde Ridge Trail is narrow, rocky, and steep, with spectacular views of the Tucson Basin. Trails in the Saguaro National Park West SaguaroU.S. Distance:10 miles 2. We generally only post about places we visit for a longer amount of time. Your email address will not be published. Both of these trails can be hiked as a short one or two mile hike with great views. This view at an overlook on the Cactus Forest Loop Drive used to have hundreds of saguaros. Crater Lake: Best Hikes, Itinerary and Planning Guide, Crater Lake: Restaurants & Accommodations, Shenandoah: Backpacking Overall Run & Beecher Ridge Trails, Crater Lake: Cleetwood Cove Trail and Boat Tour. Parking: Free | Trailhead … Like any desert hiking, start as early as possible. A Gila Woodpecker (Melanerpes uropygialis), about to go inside its hole in a saguaro. This hike is less than 1 mile. The trail itself is an out and back 0.8 mile trail with very little elevation gain. 1. Terrain/grade varies. Short Trails in Saguaro East (Saguaro National Park Text). To explore all the U.S. National Parks at our own pace and off the beaten path. Photographed on the Discovery Desert Trail. Saguaro National Park is named for the Saguaro cactus, which grows only in the Sonoran Desert. Probably the most colorful lizard we saw in the park! 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!).. Some are out-and-back hikes, some require a shuttle, but you can combine the King Canyon, Hugh Norris, Sendero Esperanza, and the Gould Mine Trails to make an 8-mile loop. At 0.9 miles hikers pass the Sendero Esperanza Trail junction near the Mam-A-Gah picnic area, named for a Tohono O'odham Indian Chief. Especially when we saw it blooming! It had been a long time since either of us had hiked in the desert, and we didn’t know what to expect. This park is wild, and we ran into a western diamondback rattlesnake in the middle of. They went above and beyond by having backpacks containing pencils, binoculars, and other items chidlren can use while exploring the park and filling out their Junior Ranger books. Wasson Peak is the highest point in Saguaro National Park’s West District. Saguaro National Park is divided into two districts with Tucson in the middle. That … Hiking in Saguaro National Park west . Stay alert. Trail was more crowded on our hike back late morning to mid day. After the park acquired the grazing rights, young saguaro are growing again, but they’ll take years to get to where they used to be. Honorable mention: Tucson food scene. The Cactus Forest Trail is a long 10-mile hike that can be broken down into smaller segments, since there are essentially four starting points for the trailheads. 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. Both districts have plants and animals that are similar, but you will find a Saguaro forest in the Tucson Mountain District (TMD) to the west and possible sightings of bears, cougars and coati in … Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time! The east has more hiking trails and is the only region where backpacking is allowed, the west is the better choice if time is short. The trail is most noteable for it’s abundance of petroglyphys from the prehistoric Hokokam people. 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. We did the best we could, but still ended up hiking during the hottest time of day. We hope they help you plan your trip! (Saguaro National Park Text ). West Saguaro Hikes: 1. Bring more water and snacks than you think you’ll need. Cactus Forest Drive (east) The east district has an 8-mile paved loop that gives you a chance to … Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. There are 31 moderate trails in Saguaro National Park ranging from 2.2 to 20.8 miles and from 2,214 to 7,014 feet above sea level. Saguaro National Park - Contact Park Headquarters and Rincon Mountain District Saguaro National Park 3693 South Old Spanish Trail Tucson, AZ 85730-5601 - or - Saguaro National Park-Tucson Mountain District 2700 North Kinney Road Tucson, AZ 85743 Visitor Information - Rincon Mountain District: (520) 733-5153 Explore more in our professional, high quality trail guides and outdoor reviews. Some tips for visiting Saguaro National Park: *The park is split into two districts, one directly to the east of Tucson, the Rincon Mountain District, and one directly to the west, the Tucson Mountain District. Saguaro National Park lies split with two distinct disctricts with the City of Tucson, Arizona in the middle. Generally speaking, the Tucson Mountain District is more developed, and the Rincon Mountain section is more untouched wilderness. The trailhead is at the end of North Scenic Drive towards the north boundary of the park. The Saguaro National Park East District acreage is 66,947 and Saguaro National Park West District is 24,498 acres. . The eastern section is larger and more mountainous, the western portion is lower in elevation and boasts a denser saguaro forest. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Go during spring or fall, avoid the summer heat. This trail continues to Juniper Basin Campground (6.9 mile mark, 3000 feet elevation) as well as Tanque Verde Peak (8.7 miles, 4000 feet elevation). Your email address will not be published. 3.4 miles – Out and back Amole Peak in middle and Wasson Peak is far left. Winter might be nice too, especially if you see the rare snow on the saguaro cacti. Due to grazing and some cold snaps, a lot of young saguaros died. The top of the mountain has nice views of Tucson, the Santa Catalina Mountains, and beyond! I give you my two favorite trails one in Saguaro East on the left and one in Saguaro West on the right. Both of these trails can be hiked as a short one or two mile hike with great views. It’s a perfect choice for someone looking for an easy to moderate hike with pretty minimal elevation gain and close encounters with large saguaro cactusesalong with fantastic views of the surrounding mountains and desert terrain. Pink Hill Trail 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. An eastern collared lizard (Crotaphytus collaris) on Tanque Verde Trail. An easy family hike (.8-mile round trip) within Saguaro National Park West that reaches a ridge that provides great views within a 35-mile radius. Saguaro trail maps. Give yourself enough time to explore Manning Camp and the surrounding area. The turn to Bridal Wreath falls is 2.7 miles up the Douglas Spring Trail, well depicted on the Gaia base map. Elevation Gain:511 fe… Another option: skip Tucson Mountain District entirely and plan a 3-plus-day backpacking trip in the Rincon Mountain District. If you hike the trails of Saguaro National Park West with any frequency, sooner or later you'll end up on the 4,687-foot summit of Wasson Peak. (69kb pdf file), The first section of the King Canyon Trail follows an old roadway constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. If you go to Saguaro, take advantage of Tucson’s proximity to the park. Tanque Verde Peak, 2.1 miles east of Juniper Basin Camp, is the highest peak in on the Tanque Verde Ridge at 7040 feet. Bridal Wreath Falls Trail (4.4 Rating) Length: 5.6 miles. Saguaro National Park has many interesting trails to hike in both the Eastern and Western districts. Saguaro National Park has many interesting trails to hike in both the Eastern and Western districts. I give you my two favorite trails one in Saguaro East on the left and one in Saguaro West on the right. Easy to follow trail. Hikes & Trails at the Park With about 200 miles of trails -- traversing flat desert landscapes as well as challenging mountainous terrain -- visitors of every ability have … Trail, located near Saguaro National Park (West) - Tucson Mountain District, Arizona is a 1.6 mile hiking, trail running and walking trail with a top elevation of 2725 feet. Scenic Dr. & Belmont Trail Area, Tucson Mountain District (west) For the classic map of the east side of the park, view the link below. The King Canyon Trail connects with other trails to allow you to climb Wasson Peak the highest peak in Saguaro West. 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). The Tanque Verde Ridge Trail is the major route into backcountry camping in Saguaro East. 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. Distance: 0.8 mile round trip Time: 30-45 minutes Difficulty: easy Elevation: 50 feet Trailhead: Along the Bajada Loop Drive Best time to visit: anytime – but there’s no shade so make sure to consider this when visiting in the summer heat!Mornings/evenings would be a much better time to hike in the warmer months The Picture rocks Wash trail is the Major east-west trail on the northeast side of the park and can be used in part as a connector trail to the major north-south trails it crosses. (263kb pdf file), Long Trails in Saguaro East Hiking Signal Hill Trail – Saguaro National Park West. But we also checked out a few smaller sites, events, and hikes in the park that are worth mentioning. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Obviously they are prevalent in many areas of the park, but some trails, like Wasson Peak, have particularly nice views. As the trail gains elevation, the plant communities gradually change from desert scrub and desert grassland to oak/pine woodland. The trail travels through a wide variety of plant and animal habitats. Only found in a small portion of the U.S., these majestic behemoths are preserved in the desert landscape of the park. The falls is another .3 miles off the Douglas Springs trail. Closeup of a rare cristate saguaro; Kristin’s Top 3 in Saguaro National Park Saguaro National Park East is nearly three times as big as the West district. Overview 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. Required fields are marked *. Rincon Mountain District (east) Map. Kristin went in with low expectations, and she ended up loving the park. Desert Discovery Trail There are no backcountry campsites in the Tucson Mountain district … Get a high-clearance vehicle, especially if going to the Miller Creek or Turkey Creek trailheads. The final section ascends a series of switchbacks to the Hugh Norris Trail to reach the top of Wasson Peak, the highest point in Saguaro National Park West. Beyond activities, the park itself protects one of the true icons of the American West, the giant Saguaro Cactus. The Signal Hill Trail is a short hiking trail in Saguaro National Park. Others, like Garwood Trail, had unique sights like a cristate version, and a cluster of 11 saguaros. Distance: 1.8 miles RT | Elevation gain: 436 feet. There is several things to do at Saguaro National Park located in Tucson Arizona. Safford Peak Trail 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. Between both districts there are over 165 miles of trails. Coyote along Desert Loop Trail at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, The Mam-A-Gah Picnic Area en route to Wasson Peak. If looking for a short trail that packs a punch, the Signal Hill Trail … This photo was taken from the Ez-Kim-In-Zin Picnic area in the middle of the park.