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Saguaro National Park

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Overview

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

In the east district, bicycles are permitted on the Cactus Forest Loop road, the Cactus Forest Trail and the Hope Camp Trail. In the west district, bicycling is only permitted on the roads; there are no trails open to biking in this district. For more information on biking in the park, visit the park's website.

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.

Saguaro National Park Biking

  • 5 Miles 9 Kilometers of Trail
  • 0 Recommended Routes
  • 0 Easy Trails Easy Trails
  • 2 Intermediate Trails Intermediate Trails
  • 0 Difficult Trails Difficult Trails
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Areas Within Saguaro National Park

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Trails in Saguaro National Park - 2

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2.6 mi 4.1 km #1Cactus Forest Trail
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate
Tanque Verde, AZ
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate
Tanque Verde, AZ
2.9 mi 4.7 km #2Hope Camp Trail
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate
Vail, AZ
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate
Vail, AZ

Photos of Saguaro National Park - 7

MTB Project is built by riders like you. Add Your Photos

The rough switchback
Jan 26, 2014 near Vail, AZ
Riding north out of Hope Camp
Jan 26, 2014 near Vail, AZ
Hope Camp
Jan 26, 2014 near Vail, AZ
Cmo. Loma Alta trailhead
Jan 26, 2014 near Vail, AZ
I am on the trail.
Jul 24, 2017 near Tanque…, AZ
Wildlife on the trail.
Jul 24, 2017 near Tanque…, AZ
Water crossing on the AZT
Apr 1, 2019 near Vail, AZ

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