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Saguaro National Park

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203 mi 326 km of trail 7 Featured Hikes

Gems 5 Gems Easy Trails 61 Trails Intermediate Trails 20 Trails Hard Trails 5 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.

Outfitters, Tours, & Shuttles

Saguaro National Park offers a variety of ranger-led programs that vary by season. All programs, unless otherwise specified, are free and open to the public. To learn more about these ranger-led programs and to see the current events calendar, click here.

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.

Maps & Guidebooks

To download a variety of free brochures to help plan your visit, click here.

Gems in Saguaro National Park - 5

Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. Add Your Gems

gem Favorite The rocky summit of Rincon Peak rises out of ponderosa pine forests.

Rincon Peak

(4) Mescal, AZ
gem Favorite A wonderful place to relax and enjoy your day on the trail. You can see the amount of water that can be in there at times.

Bridal Wreath Falls

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

Wasson Peak

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

Signal Hill Petroglyphs

(10) Picture…, AZ

Featured Hikes in Saguaro National Park - 7

Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. Add Your Hikes

Favorite View west from the saddle below Wasson Peak
Intermediate

Wasson Peak Summit

9.4 mi 15.1 km • Out and Back • 2,113 ft Ascent 644.1 m Ascent

(18) Flowing…, AZ
Favorite Looking west from Wasson Peak.
Intermediate/Difficult

Wasson Peak - Hugh Norris

9.8 mi 15.8 km • Out and Back • 2,496 ft Ascent 760.88 m Ascent

(8) Picture…, AZ
Favorite Looking at Rincon Peak from the start of the trail, near Happy Valley Campground.
Difficult

Rincon Peak

14.4 mi 23.2 km • Out and Back • 4,288 ft Ascent 1306.93 m Ascent

(7) Mescal, AZ
Favorite View west from the saddle below Wasson Peak
Intermediate/Difficult

Wasson Peak Circle Route

8.4 mi 13.5 km • Loop • 1,905 ft Ascent 580.66 m Ascent

(19) Tucson…, AZ
Favorite My impression of a giant saguaro.
Intermediate

Bridal Wreath Falls

5.8 mi 9.4 km • Out and Back • 1,066 ft Ascent 325 m Ascent

(19) Tanque…, AZ
Favorite Fantastic saguaros near the summit
Difficult

Safford Peak

3.4 mi 5.5 km • Out and Back • 1,490 ft Ascent 454.08 m Ascent

(8) Picture…, AZ
Favorite Looking south toward the Rincons.
Easy

Wildhorse to Douglas Springs Loop

3.1 mi 4.9 km • Loop • 157 ft Ascent 47.95 m Ascent

(3) Tanque…, AZ

Trails in Saguaro National Park - 79

Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. Add Your Trails

1.2 mi 1.9 km #1Safford Peak Trail
Extremely Difficult
Picture Rocks, AZ
Extremely Difficult
1.2 mi 1.9 km Picture Rocks, AZ
4.4 mi 7.1 km #2Fire Loop
Intermediate
Tanque Verde, AZ
Intermediate
4.4 mi 7.1 km Tanque Verde, AZ
3.5 mi 5.6 km #3Sweetwater Trail
Intermediate
Flowing Wells, AZ
Intermediate
3.5 mi 5.6 km Flowing Wells, AZ
3.9 mi 6.2 km #4Miller Creek Trail
Intermediate/Difficult
Mescal, AZ
Intermediate/Difficult
3.9 mi 6.2 km Mescal, AZ
3.2 mi 5.2 km #5King Canyon Trail
Intermediate
Tucson Estates, AZ
Intermediate
3.2 mi 5.2 km Tucson Estates, AZ 10 
11.0 mi 17.8 km #6Tanque Verde Ridge Trail
Intermediate/Difficult
Tanque Verde, AZ
Intermediate/Difficult
11.0 mi 17.8 km Tanque Verde, AZ
1.3 mi 2.0 km #7Devil's Bathtub
Easy/Intermediate
Tanque Verde, AZ
Easy/Intermediate
1.3 mi 2.0 km Tanque Verde, AZ
10.2 mi 16.5 km #8Douglas Springs Trail
Intermediate
Tanque Verde, AZ
Intermediate
10.2 mi 16.5 km Tanque Verde, AZ
4.9 mi 7.9 km #9Turkey Creek Trail
Difficult
Mescal, AZ
Difficult
4.9 mi 7.9 km Mescal, AZ
4.6 mi 7.4 km #10Hugh Norris Trail
Intermediate
Picture Rocks, AZ
Intermediate
4.6 mi 7.4 km Picture Rocks, AZ
3.1 mi 5.0 km #11Rincon Peak Trail
Difficult
Mescal, AZ
Difficult
3.1 mi 5.0 km Mescal, AZ
5.8 mi 9.3 km #12Heartbreak Ridge
Intermediate
Mescal, AZ
Intermediate
5.8 mi 9.3 km Mescal, AZ
0.9 mi 1.4 km #13Freeman Homestead
Easy/Intermediate
Tanque Verde, AZ
Easy/Intermediate
0.9 mi 1.4 km Tanque Verde, AZ
1.5 mi 2.4 km #14Garwood Trail
Easy/Intermediate
Tanque Verde, AZ
Easy/Intermediate
1.5 mi 2.4 km Tanque Verde, AZ
1.0 mi 1.6 km #15Mica View Trail
Easy
Tanque Verde, AZ
Easy
1.0 mi 1.6 km Tanque Verde, AZ
4.0 mi 6.5 km #16Cowhead Saddle
Difficult
Tanque Verde, AZ
Difficult
4.0 mi 6.5 km Tanque Verde, AZ
5.3 mi 8.6 km #17Cactus Forest Trail
Easy
Tanque Verde, AZ
Easy
5.3 mi 8.6 km Tanque Verde, AZ
0.6 mi 1.0 km #18Bajada Vista Trail
Easy/Intermediate
Tanque Verde, AZ
Easy/Intermediate
0.6 mi 1.0 km Tanque Verde, AZ
0.7 mi 1.2 km #19Pink Hill (West)
Easy
Tanque Verde, AZ
Easy
0.7 mi 1.2 km Tanque Verde, AZ
1.4 mi 2.2 km #20Ironwood Forest
Easy/Intermediate
Flowing Wells, AZ
Easy/Intermediate
1.4 mi 2.2 km Flowing Wells, AZ

Photos of Saguaro National Park - 256

Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. Add Your Photos

Fantastic saguaros near the summit
Dec 26, 2017 near Picture…, AZ
On the way down from the summit - 1400 steep feet above this point.
Dec 26, 2017 near Picture…, AZ
Petroglyphs at Signal Hill Saguaro National Park
Oct 28, 2017 near Picture…, AZ
A variety of cacti exist along the Cam-Boh trail.
Jul 19, 2016 near Picture…, 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
Snow and rain in the Desert - on the Tanque Verde Ridge Trail
Apr 29, 2015 near Tanque…, AZ
View west from the saddle below Wasson Peak
Mar 28, 2018 near Tucson…, AZ
View of the Sonoran Desert along the Ironwood Forest trail.
Aug 23, 2016 near Flowing…, AZ

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