Cactus Forest Loop Drive is a 10.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Tucson, AZ that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.
Hike a loop in the giant Saguaro Cactus forest. Enter the park. Walk up to the ranger booth, and pay the park entrance fee. The loop starts there, on the left side. Hike time says 3.5 hours, but take your time and enjoy the scenary. NOTE: Check the rules... dogs allowed only on the main trail and must remain on leash.
This is like your favorite amusement park ride for a road bike. I love it! Be careful of the first downhill turn (the ranger always tells you and there's a sign but in case you go early be aware). There's a gnarly climb on the back side. You'll use every gear on this amazing ride thru saguaros!
Spent a day here just exploring gulches and following javelina tracks around the desert :D . The possibilities in this park are endless.
My family and I did this drive en route between Phoenix and Las Cruces, and it was well worth the detour! The scenery is beautiful and unique, and the entire excursion can be done in around 90 minutes (including stops at overlooks and the visitor center).
I have hiked all the medium / medium hard trails in the park. Stop at the rangers station off of Old Spanish Trail and pick up a map -- the one on the NP website is out of date. Pick any of the three main trial heads (Speedway, Broadway, or Old Spanish trail) and head out. I have not walked the paved trail that this post refers to, but all the others. There are a wide range of difficulty available. Consult with the ranger for specifics.
This loop drive is in the East Unit of the Saguaro NP. You start at the visitor's center, and drive clockwise on a graded loop road. It is quite a scenic drive, and has several hiking trails.
I had never seen such a concentration of cacti and other sesert plants - far more than in NJ! This was a pleasant, scenic drive, with a couple of nice, easy side hikes. Watch out for the cactus needles close to the trail, and bring water!