The greater Tucson area encompasses hundreds of trails. You could hike a different trail every day for a year and still have more to see. Whether you prefer challenging climbs or scenic strolls, there are trails for every interest, age and ability. This series will introduce you to some of the many available options, including short walks, nature trails, birding trails, biking trails, scenic trails, historic trails and trails to test your stamina. Read on, then get out there and explore!
The saguaros are the highlight of this national park, of course. The scenery is spectacular and captures the beauty that is so unique to the region. Saguaro National Park is divided into two segments in Tucson: Saguaro East (Rincon Mountain District) and Saguaro West (Tucson Mountain District). Both districts have their own visitor center and hiking trail systems.
The east-side park includes a one-way paved road drive, the Cactus Forest Scenic Loop, that winds through the spectacular saguaros and is easily navigable by RVs under 35 feet long and less than 8 feet wide. This 8-mile loop includes several trailheads, picnic areas, scenic vistas and pullouts. You may want to stop at the visitor center for a guide to the natural and cultural history that can be viewed along the drive. This forest of impressive saguaros is a must-see when visiting the Tucson area.
West (Tucson Mountain District):
- Cactus Garden Trail — 100 yards, one way; easy
- Desert Discovery Trail — 0.5 miles, one way; easy
- Valley View Overlook Trail — 0.8 miles, one way; easy
- Signal Hill Petroglyphs Trail — 0.5 miles, one way; easy
- King Canyon Trail — 3.5 miles, one way; moderate
- Hugh Norris Trail — 4.9 miles, one way; moderate
- Sendero Esperanza Trail — 3.2 miles, one way; moderate
- Cam-Boh Trail — 2.7 miles, one way; moderate
- Ringtail Trail — 1 mile, one way; moderate
- Sweetwater Trail — 3.4 miles, one way; moderate
- Cactus Wren Trail — 1.5 miles, one way; moderate
East (Rincon Mountain District):
- Mica View Loop — 2 miles, round trip; easy
- Loma Verde Loop — 3.4 miles, round trip; easy
- Deer Valley Loop — 4.1 miles, round trip; moderate
- Garwood Loop — 5.6 miles, round trip; difficult
The Rincon Valley area, near Saguaro National Park East, includes several additional trails. For trail information, see http://www.nps.gov/sagu/planyourvisit/upload/Rincon-Valley-Area-2011-2.pdf.
Saguaro West is approximately 21 miles northwest of Lazydays Tucson. The park is located at 2700 N. Kinney Rd., Tucson, AZ 85743. GPS: 32.251281, -111.186276
Saguaro East is approximately 14 miles east of Lazydays Tucson. The park is located at 3693 S. Old Spanish Trail, Tucson, AZ 85730. GPS: 32.178379, -110.738028
The West district has RV parking available, but there are limitations on accessing some of the roads in certain areas of the district. The East district has a 27-foot maximum vehicle length with very limited parking available. No hiking trails are available directly from any RV parking in either district. All trailheads require a car for access.
$10 for any privately owned vehicle or motorcycle (receipt valid for 7 days); free with a National Park annual pass or lifetime pass. Entrance fees are charged to enter either district of Saguaro National Park.
Full details on both Saguaro National Park districts can be found at http://www.nps.gov/sagu. Download a trail brochure for Saguaro West (Tucson Mountain District) or call 520.733.5158 for visitor information. Download a trail brochure for Saguaro East (Rincon Mountain District) or call 520.733.5153 for visitor information.
Note: All trail lengths and difficulty ratings are estimates only; always confirm your route in advance of each hike. Be aware that park and trailhead hours may vary by location, season and managing agency, so be sure to check before you go. If you’re new to Tucson’s trails, heed our hiking tips for the safety and comfort of you and your hiking companions.