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Saguaro National Park

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J F M A M J J A S O N D

203 mi 328 km of trail 8 Recommended Routes

Gems 5 Gems Easy Trails 40 Trails Intermediate Trails 40 Trails Hard 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. Only found in a small portion of the U.S., these majestic behemoths are preserved in the desert landscape of the park. Visitors have the chance to see these enormous cacti in the two districts of Saguaro National Park which are separated by Tucson's 1 million residents. The Rincon Mountain District to the east and the Tucson Mountain District to the west are approximately 30 miles (45-60 minutes) apart. The Tucson Mountain District boasts large stands of saguaro cactus creating a magnificent saguaro forest, whereas the Rincon Mountain District hosts a breathtaking sky island, where you can find cougars, bears, and the ever elusive coati. Combined, the two districts offer more than 165 miles of trails for visitors to explore.

To learn more about Saguaro National Park, visit www.nps.gov.

Local Info

Visitor Centers:
  • Rincon Mountain District Visitor Center: Open 9 am to 5 pm, daily. Closed on Christmas Day.
  • Red Hills Tucson Mountain District Visitor Center: Open 9 am to 5 pm, daily. Closed on Christmas Day.

Visiting Tips

Saguaro National Park is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The Rincon Mountain District (east) is open to vehicles from 7 a.m. (if staffing permits, gates may open earlier) to sunset daily. The Tucson Mountain District (west) is open to vehicles from sunrise to sunset daily. (Actual times vary throughout the year.)

The peak season for the park ranges from late fall to early spring, when the temperatures are more moderate ranging from the low 50's to high 70's. The summer season from late spring to early fall tends to be less busy, and visitors should come prepared for hot and dry conditions with temperatures ranging from the mid-80's to lower 100's. Be sure to bring plenty of water and sun protection if visiting during the hotter months.

Fees & Passes
To learn more about park fees, click here.

Camping & Lodging

Camping:
Camping is allowed at the six designated campgrounds within the Saguaro Wilderness Area located in the Rincon Mountain District. A permit is required for all overnight stays. All campsites are hike-in only. To learn more about camping in the park, visit the park's website.

  • Manning Camp: 6 sites.
  • Spud Rock Spring: 3 sites.
  • Happy Valley Saddle: 3 sites.
  • Juniper Basin: 3 sites.
  • Douglas Spring: 3 sites.

Lodging:
There is no lodging located within the park. Visitors looking to extend their stay have a variety of lodging options in the conveniently located city of Tucson.

Food & Drink

There are no dining options located within the park. Visitors should come prepared with adequate food and water for their time in the park. There are six picnic areas each equipped with a picnic table, charcoal grill, and pit toilet. Mica View and Javelina are located in the Rincon Mountain District, and Sus, Signal Hill, Cam-boh and Ez-kim-in-zin are located in the Tucson Mountain District. The nearby city of Tucson has a wide variety of restaurants and grocery stores.

Other Activities

Saguaro National Park has a host of recreational opportunities for visitors to explore the amazing desert landscape. Whether taking a scenic auto or bike tour, hiking on one of the many trails in the park, backpacking and camping into the Saguaro Wilderness area, participating in a ranger-led program, or simply having a picnic at a scenic spot in the park, visitors will not be disappointed with the many ways to explore the park. For other activities in the area, check out the great options for mountain biking and bouldering in the Tucson area.

Gems in Saguaro National Park - 5

Trail Run Project is built by runners like you. Add Your Gems

gem Favorite No Photos

Manning Camp

(5) Tanque…, AZ
gem Favorite The rocky summit of Rincon Peak rises out of ponderosa pine forests.

Rincon Peak

(4) Mescal, AZ
gem Favorite Bridal Wreath Falls

Bridal Wreath Falls

(12) Tanque…, AZ
gem Favorite Looking west from Wasson Peak.

Wasson Peak

(13) Tucson…, AZ
gem Favorite Petroglyphs at Signal Hill Saguaro National Park

Signal Hill Petroglyphs

(11) Picture…, AZ

Recommended Routes in Saguaro National Park - 8

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Favorite View west from the saddle below Wasson Peak
Intermediate/Difficult

Wasson Peak Summit

9.4 mi 15.1 km 2,113' Up 644.1 m Up 2,113' Down 644.01 m Down

Flowing…, AZ
Favorite California poppies. EVERYWHERE!
Difficult

Wasson Peak - Hugh Norris

9.8 mi 15.8 km 2,496' Up 760.88 m Up 2,496' Down 760.81 m Down

Picture…, AZ
Favorite December is  fine time to hike Rincon Peak.
Very Difficult

Rincon Peak

14.4 mi 23.2 km 4,288' Up 1306.93 m Up 4,288' Down 1306.92 m Down

Mescal, AZ
Favorite California poppies. EVERYWHERE!
Intermediate/Difficult

Wasson Peak Circle Route

8.4 mi 13.5 km 1,905' Up 580.66 m Up 1,912' Down 582.77 m Down

Tucson…, AZ
Favorite Bridal Wreath Falls
Intermediate/Difficult

Bridal Wreath Falls

5.8 mi 9.4 km 1,066' Up 325 m Up 1,066' Down 324.96 m Down

Tanque…, AZ
Favorite Bridal Wreath Falls
Intermediate

Bridal Wreath Falls Loop

7.3 mi 11.8 km 1,155' Up 351.95 m Up 1,154' Down 351.64 m Down

Tanque…, AZ
Favorite Beautiful view of the desert
Difficult

Safford Peak

3.4 mi 5.5 km 1,490' Up 454.08 m Up 1,489' Down 453.96 m Down

Picture…, AZ
Favorite Looking south toward the Rincons.
Easy/Intermediate

Wildhorse to Douglas Springs Loop

3.1 mi 4.9 km 157' Up 47.95 m Up 152' Down 46.19 m Down

Tanque…, AZ

Trails in Saguaro National Park - 80

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1.2 mi 1.9 km #1Safford Peak Trail
Very Difficult
Picture Rocks, AZ
Very Difficult
Picture Rocks, AZ
4.4 mi 7.1 km #2Fire Loop
Intermediate
Tanque Verde, AZ
Intermediate
Tanque Verde, AZ
3.5 mi 5.6 km #3Sweetwater Trail
Intermediate
Flowing Wells, AZ
Intermediate
Flowing Wells, AZ
3.9 mi 6.2 km #4Miller Creek Trail
Intermediate/Difficult
Mescal, AZ
Intermediate/Difficult
Mescal, AZ
3.2 mi 5.2 km #5King Canyon Trail
Intermediate
Tucson Estates, AZ
Intermediate
Tucson Estates, AZ 11 
4.6 mi 7.4 km #6Hugh Norris Trail
Intermediate
Picture Rocks, AZ
Intermediate
Picture Rocks, AZ
11.0 mi 17.8 km #7Tanque Verde Ridge Trail
Intermediate/Difficult
Tanque Verde, AZ
Intermediate/Difficult
Tanque Verde, AZ
4.0 mi 6.5 km #8Cowhead Saddle
Difficult
Tanque Verde, AZ
Difficult
Tanque Verde, AZ
10.2 mi 16.5 km #9Douglas Springs Trail
Intermediate/Difficult
Tanque Verde, AZ
Intermediate/Difficult
Tanque Verde, AZ
1.3 mi 2.0 km #10Devil's Bathtub
Intermediate
Tanque Verde, AZ
Intermediate
Tanque Verde, AZ
4.9 mi 7.9 km #11Turkey Creek Trail
Difficult
Mescal, AZ
Difficult
Mescal, AZ
3.1 mi 5.0 km #12Rincon Peak Trail
Difficult
Mescal, AZ
Difficult
Mescal, AZ
5.8 mi 9.3 km #13Heartbreak Ridge
Intermediate/Difficult
Mescal, AZ
Intermediate/Difficult
Mescal, AZ
0.4 mi 0.6 km #14Desert Discovery Nature Trail
Easy
Picture Rocks, AZ
Easy
Picture Rocks, AZ
0.9 mi 1.4 km #15Freeman Homestead
Easy/Intermediate
Tanque Verde, AZ
Easy/Intermediate
Tanque Verde, AZ
1.5 mi 2.4 km #16Garwood Trail
Easy/Intermediate
Tanque Verde, AZ
Easy/Intermediate
Tanque Verde, AZ
1.5 mi 2.5 km #17Passey Loop Trail
Easy/Intermediate
Picture Rocks, AZ
Easy/Intermediate
Picture Rocks, AZ
1.0 mi 1.6 km #18Mica View Trail
Easy
Tanque Verde, AZ
Easy
Tanque Verde, AZ
1.9 mi 3.0 km #19Thunderbird
Intermediate
Flowing Wells, AZ
Intermediate
Flowing Wells, AZ
5.3 mi 8.6 km #20Cactus Forest Trail
Easy/Intermediate
Tanque Verde, AZ
Easy/Intermediate
Tanque Verde, AZ

Photos of Saguaro National Park - 262

Trail Run Project is built by runners like you. Add Your Photos

A variety of cacti exist along the Cam-Boh trail.
Jul 19, 2016 near Picture…, AZ
California poppies. EVERYWHERE!
Mar 19, 2019 near Tucson…, AZ
View west from the saddle below Wasson Peak
Mar 28, 2018 near Tucson…, AZ
Just up the trail from Grass Shack there is a large rock off trail that's great for viewing the sunset!
Jun 10, 2019 near Tanque…, AZ
Petroglyphs at Signal Hill Saguaro National Park
Oct 28, 2017 near Picture…, AZ
Looking out over Avra Valley with Sierrita Mountains in the (middle) distance. On the far right you can make out Baboquivari.
Sep 12, 2016 near Tucson…, AZ
Rewarding journey to the top of Signal Hill reveals many petroglyphs. Even the rock squirrel is taking in the view.
May 9, 2016 near Picture…, AZ
Flowering cactus!
May 6, 2015 near Picture…, AZ