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Our 15 Best Hikes in Saguaro National Park

Saguaro National Park Hiking and Boondocking Tips

Our favorite 15 best hikes in Saguaro National Park. Saguaro National Park is a fantastic attraction located in southern Arizona. This Park was given the name saguaro because of the large saguaro cactus that grow there. Additionally, this beautiful national park is divided into two, i.e., The Rincon Mountain District and the Tucson Mountain District. The Park was established in October 1994, and it covers an area of around 370 square kilometers. This unique national park is home to some fantastic flora, fauna, and other attractions you can enjoy viewing during your visit.

Further, this park has more than 165 miles of trails that you can use for hiking. Due to the scorching heat in the surrounding areas of the national park, you should carry water with you each time you go hiking along any trail there to keep yourself hydrated. Further, you can visit very early in the morning or later in the evening to enjoy hiking along the amazing trails in Saguaro national park.

Our 15 Best Hikes in Saguaro National Park

Best Hikes in Saguaro National Park

1. Saguaro National Park Hiking At the Mica View – Cholla – Cactus Forest Loop Trail

1. Mica View-1 - Best Hikes in Sauguaro National Park

The Mica View – Cholla – Cactus Forest Loop Trail is considered one of the best hikes in Saguaro National Park. This trail stretches for around 3.7 mi.  The trail is located in Rincon Mountain District, East Saguaro. This is a loop-type trail with an elevation gain of 121 ft meters.

You can easily access this loop-type trail from the Mica View Picnic Area or the Broadway trailhead. While hiking along this trail, you will be able to have spectacular views of the Santa Catalina Mountains to the north. To the east, you will have amazing views of the Rincon mountains, while looking to the south, you will have fantastic views of Tanque Verde Peak and Mica Mountain.

Additionally, there are around four different species of the genus Opuntia along this trail that you will be able to see while hiking there. These four different species of genus Opuntia are the Christmas cholla, Teddybear cholla, Staghorn cholla, and chain-fruited cholla. Further, there are other beautiful wildflowers along this trail that bloom during the spring that you will be able to see during your hike.

While hiking along this trail, you will be able to spot wildlife such as snakes, bobcats, and coyotes. There are various bird species along this popular trail that you will be able to see too. Apart from hiking, other common activities in this trail include walking, running, and even bird watching.

The weather is scorching in Saguaro National Park, and therefore you should hike on this trail very early in the morning or late evening. Finally, never forget to carry a water bottle to keep yourself hydrated and a hat plus sunglasses.

Length: 3.7 mi
Elevation gain: 121 ft
Route type: Loop

Interactive Map

Kid friendly
Hiking
Walking
Bird watching
Running
Forest
Views
Wildflowers
Wildlife
No dogs

Saguaro National Park Trails

2. Saguaro National Park Trails – Valley View Overlook Trail

2. Valley View Overlook Trail – Best Hikes in Sauguaro National Park

This is one of the popular and heavily trafficked trails in Saguaro National Park. The trail spans for around 0.8 miles, and it has an elevation gain of 49 feet.

Additionally, this is an out and back trail, and it is located in Tucson Mountain District, West Saguaro. This trail is accessible year-round. While hiking along this trail, you will have stunning panoramic views of the gorgeous Avra Valley below and spectacular views of Picacho Peak and Newman Peak to the north.

Further, you will have impressive views of the saguaro cacti’s entire valley. Some wildflowers bloom along this trail that you will be able to see when hiking in spring. You will also be able to see a variety of birds as you hike along this trail. Moreover, there are snakes, lizards, rabbits, and much other wildlife along this trail that you should watch out for while hiking.

This entire trail is packed with sand, and there are a few small rocks. The weather is a bit scorching during the day, and therefore it is advisable that you hike along this trail very early in the morning or later in the evening when the weather is a bit cooler. You should bring water in a bottle to keep yourself hydrated and a sunblock/ hat to prevent sunburn. Activities such as walking, nature trips, and bird watching are also common along this trail.

Length: 0.8 mi
Elevation gain: 49 ft
Route type: Out & back

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Kid friendly
Hiking
Nature trips
Walking
Bird watching
Views
Wildflowers
Wildlife
No dogs

Saguaro National Park Trails

3. Best Hikes in Saguaro National Park – Signal Hill Trail

3. Signal Hill Trail - Best Hikes in Sauguaro National Park

Signal Hill Trail is another family-friendly best hikes in Saguaro National Park. The trail is located in Tucson Mountain District. This trail stretches for approximately 0.3 miles, and it has an elevation gain of 26 feet.

The route type along this trail is out and back, and it is found along the Bajada Loop Drive. While hiking along this trail, you will be able to spot interesting petroglyphs at its end. These petroglyphs are several and easily visible on the rocks along this trail.

Additionally, when hiking on this trail during the spring seasons, you be able to spot beautiful wildflowers blooming. You will also spot various species of birds and desert creatures along this trail while hiking. The best time to visit this trail is between March and November since it has multiple activities to offer during that period.

Hiking along this trail is enjoyable early in the morning and later in the evening when the weather is cooler. You should carry water along to keep yourself hydrated when hiking along this trail.

Length: 0.3 mi
Elevation gain: 26 ft
Route type: Out & back

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Kid friendly
Hiking
Horseback riding
Nature trips
Walking
Bird watching
Running
Views
Wildflowers
Wildlife
No dogs

Saguaro National Park Trails

4. Saguaro National Park Hiking At the Mica View Trail to Cactus Forest Trail

4. Mica View Trail to Cactus Forest Trail – Best Hikes in Sauguaro National P

This is another easy hiking trail in Saguaro National Park. The trail is relatively easy, and it is suitable for all skill levels. Additionally, this trail spans around 1.9 mi kilometers, and its route type is a loop with an elevation gain of 68 ft meters.

The trail is located in the Tucson Mountain District. While hiking along this trail, you will get a chance to see wildlife and desert wildflowers blooming during spring. This trail is accessible year-round, and it is suitable for activities such as walking and bird watching, apart from hiking.

Length: 1.9 mi
Elevation gain: 68 ft
Route type: Loop

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Kid friendly
Hiking
Nature trips
Walking
Running
Views
Wildlife
No shade
No dogs

Saguaro National Park Trails

5. Saguaro National Park Trails – Loma Verde and Squeeze Pen Loop

5. Loma Verde and Squeeze Pen Loop-1 - Best Hikes in Sauguaro National P

Loma Verde and Squeeze Pen Loop is our favorite of all of the top 15 best hikes in Saguaro National Park. This trail is ideal for all skill levels, and it is one of the trails in Saguaro national park that you can use even with kids to hike. The trail is around 3.7 mi kilometers long. The route-type along this trail is a loop, and it has an elevation gain of 157 ft meters.

While hiking along this trail, you will be able to see a lot of wildflowers. During spring, you will find the flowers bloom, providing excellent scenery for taking pictures.

Additionally, there is a lot of fauna and flora along this trail. The flora and fauna that you will spot while hiking along this trail include prickly bear, fishhook barrel, barrel cactus, Chola, jackrabbit, coyotes, javelina, etc., deer, plus many more. The area is a bit hot and therefore if you want to enjoy hiking along this trail you should visit very early in the morning or later in the evening.

Length: 3.7 mi
Elevation gain: 157 ft
Route type: Loop

Interactive Map

Hiking
Nature trips
Bird watching
Running
Views
Wildflowers
Wildlife
No shade
No dogs

Saguaro National Park Trails

6. Best Hikes in Saguaro National Park – Garwood Trail

6. Garwood Trail- - Best Hikes in Sauguaro National P

Garwood Trail spans for around 3.3 miles, and it has an elevation gain of 203 feet.

While hiking on this trail, you will be using an out and back route type. The trail is relatively easy; though some moderately challenging areas, it is suitable for all skill levels. The surface of this trail has a mixture of rock and sand. There are no a lot of shades along this trail; hence you should carry a lot of water to keep yourself hydrated and wear a hat and sunglasses to prevent direct rays.

The best time to hike along this trail is always between September and May. You will be able to spot beautiful saguaros, prickly pears, and cholla when hiking along this trail. It would be best to watch out for Gila monsters that are always common along this trail when hiking.

Length: 3.3 mi
Elevation gain: 203 ft
Route type: Out & back

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Kid friendly
Hiking
Walking
No dogs

Saguaro National Park Hiking

7. Saguaro National Park Hiking At the Garwood Dam to Douglas Spring Loop Trail

7. Garwood Dam to Douglas Spring Loop Trail- - Best Hikes in Sauguaro National P

This easy hiking trail is located in Rincon Mountain District and of the best hikes in Saguaro National Park spots in the Rincon area.. This fantastic trail stretches for approximately 6.5 mi kilometers, and it has an elevation gain of 1,135 ft meters.

The route along this trail is a loop-type. Due to this trail’s nature, persons of all skill levels can use it for hiking all year round. While hiking along this trail, you will be able to spot beautiful wildflowers.

Additionally, you will see a lot of saguaros and lizards along this trail too. A variety of bird species can also be spotted along this trail. You should bring a lot of water with you and sunglasses and a hat. It is advisable to hike very early in the morning and later in the evening when cooler temperatures.

Length: 6.5 mi
Elevation gain: 1,135 ft
Route type: Loop

Interactive Map

Kid friendly
Hiking
Horseback riding
Nature trips
Walking
Bird watching
Running
Views
Wildflowers
Wildlife
No dogs

Saguaro National Park Hiking

8. Saguaro National Park Trails – Cam Boh, Prophency Wash, Picture Rocks Wash, and Ironwood Forest Trail Loop

8. Cam Boh- - Best Hikes in Sauguaro National P

This trail spans around 3.2 mi kilometers. The elevation gain of this moderately trafficked trail is 236 ft meters; the route type is a loop. This trail is located near Tucson, and it can be accessed during any time of the year. While hiking along this trail, you will be able to see beautiful wildflowers and other desert plants.

There are a variety of birds along this trail. Apart from hiking, this trail is ideal for walking, bird watching. The temperatures along this trail are scorching, and therefore you should go hiking very early in the morning or later in the evening to enjoy your outdoor expedition fully. You should carry water to keep yourself hydrated.

Length: 3.2 mi
Elevation gain: 236 ft
Route type: Loop

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Kid friendly
Hiking
Nature trips
Walking
Bird watching
Forest
Views
Wildflowers
Wildlife
Rocky
No shade
Historic site
No dogs

Saguaro National Park Hiking

9. Best Hikes in Saguaro National Park – Freeman Homestead Nature Trail

9. Freeman Homestead Nature Trail-1 - wildflowers

This nature trail is awe-inspiring, and it is one of the trails in Saguaro national park. The trail spans approximately 1.1 mi kilometers, and it has an elevation of 108 ft meters.

The route-type along this trail is a loop. When visiting this trail from March until October, you find a number of activity options. When hiking along this trail, you will be able to spot Great Horned Owls and a grove of large saguaros, plus all kinds of desert cacti plants. There are beautiful wildflowers along this trail, too, that you will be able to see during your visit.

Length: 1.1 mi
Elevation gain: 108 ft
Route type: Loop

Interactive Map

Kid friendly
Hiking
Nature trips
Walking
Bird watching
Running
Views
Wildflowers
Wildlife
No dogs

Saguaro National Park Hiking

10. Saguaro National Park Hiking At the Pink Hill, Loma Verde, Cholla Trail, and Cactus Forest Loop

10. Pink Hill – wildflowers

If you are visiting Saguaro national park and do not want to hike in crowded trails, this trail can be an excellent option. This trail is moderately trafficked, and it is located near Tucson, Arizona. This fantastic trail measures approximately 3.3 mi kilometers in length with an elevation gain of 78 ft meters.

Additionally, the route type along this trail is a loop, and it is perfect for all skill levels of hiking. Additionally, you can use horses along this trail. It would be best if you were wary of rattlesnakes and Gila monsters when hiking along this trail. There are a variety of birds along this trail and flora that you will see while hiking. Activities such as horseback riding, bird watching, and walking are also common along this trail.

Length: 3.3 mi
Elevation gain: 78 ft
Route type: Loop

Interactive Map

Hiking
Horseback riding
Nature trips
Walking
Bird watching
Views
Wildflowers
Wildlife
No dogs

Saguaro National Park Hiking

11. Saguaro National Park Trails – Desert Discovery Nature Trail

12. Cactus Forest Loop Drive – wildflowers

Desert Discovery Nature Trail is one of the family-friendly trails in Saguaro national park. This nature trail is located in Tucson Mountain District. While hiking along this trail, you will be using a loop route type. This trail spans around 0.4 miles, and it has an elevation gain of 16 feet.

Additionally, it is one of the trails in Saguaro National Park that you can bring your dog along to hike. Wheelchairs and strollers can also be used along this fantastic trail since it is paved. While hiking along this trail in the evening, you will have spectacular views of the sunset. You can use the covered benches for sitting while having excellent views of the sunset and the surrounding areas.

Further, there are interpretive signs about the animals, plants, and ecology of the Sonoran Desert along this trail. You will also be able to spot beautiful wildflowers, a variety of birds, and wildlife along this trail when hiking. Due to the scorching desert heat, if you want to enjoy hiking along this trail, it is advisable that you visit it very early in the morning or later in the evening when it is a bit cool. You should also carry water to keep yourself hydrated while hiking.

Length: 0.4 mi
Elevation gain: 16 ft
Route type: Loop

Interactive Map

Wheelchair friendly
Kid friendly
Stroller friendly
Hiking
Nature trips
Walking
Bird watching
Paved
Views
Wildflowers
Wildlife
No shade
No dogs

Best Hikes in Saguaro National Park

12. Best Hikes in Saguaro National Park – Cactus Forest Loop Drive

This is one of the must-visit trails in Saguaro National Park if you are visiting with kids. This trail is located in the Rincon Mountain District. The trail spans approximately 10.3 mi kilometers, and it has an elevation gain of 702 ft meters.

While hiking along this trail, you will be using a loop route type. Most of this trail is paved, and while hiking along the trail, you will be able to have stunning views of the park.

Additionally, the tallest cacti in this park are found along this trail. You can climb on top of the Javelina rocks along this trail to have fantastic views of the park and the surrounding areas. Further, there are stunning wildflowers, birds, and animals along this trail that you may see while hiking. Other common activities along this trail apart from hiking are bird watching, scenic driving, and mountain biking.

Length: 10.3 mi
Elevation gain: 702 ft
Route type: Loop

Interactive Map

Kid friendly
Mountain biking
Nature trips
Scenic driving
Bird watching
Partially paved
Views
Wildflowers
Wildlife
No dogs

Best Hikes in Saguaro National Park

13. Saguaro National Park Hiking At the Desert Ecology Trail

13. Desert Ecology Trail- - wildflowers

Desert Ecology Trail is one of the wheelchair-friendly and easy hiking trails in Saguaro National Park. This loop route type trail spans around 0.3 miles, and it has an elevation gain of 9 feet.

Due to the nature of this trail, hikers of all skill levels can use it, plus it is paved and therefore easily accessible by even a wheelchair. When hiking along this trail, you will find a variety of beautiful saguaros and labeled vegetation along the trails. Additionally, there are a variety of birds and beautiful wildflowers along this trail that you will be able to see when hiking. I

n order to enjoy hiking on this trail, it is advisable to visit very early in the morning or later in the evening when the weather is a bit cool. You should also bring with you water to keep hydrated.

Length: 0.3 mi
Elevation gain: 9 ft
Route type: Loop

Interactive Map

Wheelchair friendly
Kid friendly
Stroller friendly
Hiking
Nature trips
Walking
Bird watching
Running
Paved
Views
Wildflowers
Wildlife
No shade
No dogs

Best Hikes in Saguaro National Park

14. Saguaro National Park Trails – Vertical Cliffs Trail to Abington Trail Loop

14. Vertical Cliffs Trail to Abington Trail Loop- - wildflowers

This easy hiking trail in Saguaro National Park stretches for around 3.8 mi kilometers. The trail has an elevation gain of 252 ft meters, and when hiking along this trail, you will be using a loop route type.

The trail is relatively easy and, therefore, suitable for all hiking levels. When hiking along this trail, you will come across beautiful flowers and birds. Other typical activities along this trail apart from hiking are nature trips, walking, and bird watching. You can visit this trail at any time of the year.

You should carry drinking water when hiking along this trail to keep yourself hydrated, and it is enjoyable to hike in the morning and evening hours when the weather is a bit cooler.

Length: 3.8 mi
Elevation gain: 252 ft
Route type: Loop

Interactive Map

Kid friendly
Hiking
Nature trips
Walking
Bird watching
Views
Wildflowers
Wildlife
No dogs

Best Hikes in Saguaro National Park

15. Best Hikes in Saguaro National Park – Douglas Spring, Converse, Garwood, and Wildhorse Loop

15. Douglas Spring, Converse, Garwood, and Wildhorse Loop – wildflowers

If you are visiting Saguaro national park between May and August and you want a fantastic trail that is fairly crowded to hike, then this would be the perfect option. This loop route type trail spans around 3.8 mi kilometers, and it has an elevation gain of 252 ft meters.

There is a variety of flora and fauna along this trail that you may come across when hiking. It is advisable to carry water and sun-blocking gear for an enjoyable hiking session along this trail.

Length
3.8 mi
Elevation gain
252 ft
Route type
Loop

Interactive Maps

Kid friendly
Hiking
Nature trips
Walking
Bird watching
Views
Wildflowers
Wildlife
No dogs

Best Hikes in Saguaro National Park

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