Split into the separate Rincon Mountain and Tucson Mountain Districts, the dry Sonoran Desert is still home to much life in six biotic communities. Beyond the namesake Giant Saguaro cacti, there are barrel cactus, cholla cactus, and prickly pears, as well as the Lesser Long-nosed Bat, Spotted Owl, and javelinas.
The trailhead is well marked. There's some parking but it fills up quick so we ended up street parking. No water or bathrooms at the trailhead.
As another reviewer mentioned, most of this trail is Douglas Spring Trail. After the first mile or so, the incline gets going and it's a lot of "stairs" made out of either rocks or logs. The stairs are a great leg workout, but slow going if you're not in good shape. Most of this trail is on the easy side of moderate if you're even a little bit experienced. The views of Tucson are great as you get higher up.
We came on an overcast/rainy day and didn't have to fight the crowds at all, but I expect this would be a very busy trail when the weather is nicer especially given how close it is to the Tanque Verde Guest Ranch. As of February 19th, there wasn't a ton of water in the falls even though it rained all day the day before. It was still running a little bit though and I'm glad we hiked out to see it.
This trail is clearly marked no dogs, but you can bring horses and there's a hitching post right before you get to the falls.
This trail starts out with the trail to the petroglyphs at Signal Hill. Once you leave that, you'll have the trail to yourselves. This is an incredibly beautiful trail. It is an easy walk through the Sonoran desert saguaro cactus forest. When we hiked this trail we met only one other hiker on the entire trail. It would rate a five star except the western section (which is actually the Manville Trail) parallels a road so there was good amount of vehicle noise. Also, the last half mile or so is in a wash that is open to horses so that section of the trail is pretty torn up making the walk through loose sand a bit annoying. But both those complaints pale compared to the beauty and isolation of the trail.
Started too late (9:45am)! I was shocked at how challenging this was on the way up, coming from someone who runs the sabino canyon tram road (7.4) 3x a week I really thought this would be a piece of cake and I kind of died on this trail in the sun. Made it a measly 3 miles in and killed 2 liters of water at that point, which prompted me turn around. People were just starting to come up as I was going down in 85 degrees and getting hotter holding only 12oz bottles of water. No idea if that's an AZ thing, but holy god, you couldn't pay me to do that.
I'll attempt this again, but way earlier and with 4 liters of water plus filtration. Namaste Douglas Springs-- you owned me today.
This trail starts at the Douglas Springs Trailhead. You follow the Douglas Springs Trail until you see the sign for the Bridal Falls Trail. This Spur off the Douglas Springs Trail is only about .3 miles to the Falls. Well worth a visit. Lots of shade when you reach the falls. Make sure you go over the rocks right up to the falls. Great place to have lunch before you head back down. First mile is relatively flat but then you will have a relatively steep climb for the next mile or so. Do not go without lots of water to drink. There are a few watering holes a long the way for your pets. This was a great trail and I would do it again. Enjoy