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.
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
Great trail. We parked at King's Canyon trailhead, took the wash along King's Canyon rather than the official trail where we saw tons of petroglyphs, took Sendero Esperanza trail across to the mine where we walked up the tailings to see some gorgeous views, and then came back down the tailings and headed back on the Gould Mine trail. 2.8 miles total. We did this hike with 6 kids, ages 4-14 years old. Everyone loved it.
We started at 10:30 am and arrived at the top at 1:30. Only the last 1.2 miles were steep and a bit challenging
It's a long hike around 11miles round trip. Bring lots of water and start early. Great views from the top. Some of the best views I have seen in Tucson. No water on trail, very dry surroundings. Not much shade either.