Explore the most popular hiking trails in Saguaro National Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

This is a challenging hike and it covers 11.5 miles one way. It can be hiked year round, but this is actually too hot to hike in its lower elevations during May through September when temperatures often reach well above 100 degrees in the afternoon. The trail begins at the Javelina Picnic area and ends at Cowhead Saddle. Total elevation gain is over 4000 feet one way. The high point is Tanque Verde Peak. The views from the top are wonderful. Many people just do a day hike from Javelina Picnic area to Tanque Verde Peak and return to the Javelina Picnic area (for a round trip total of 17.9 miles).

It has been awhile since we have hiked. Really loved the views. It was not overly congested with people.

Very scenic hike - from the perspective of the mountains themselves, the breathtaking views from elevation, and the vegetation. Not difficult from a climbing perspective, but a long slog with virtually no shade (was like a long cool drink of water when a cloud passed over on the way back) - recommend doing in early morning or when temps are a little lower.

make sure you bring you water. no shade. will definitely come back in the winter/spring when the falls are more than a dribble.

hiking
1 month ago

It's a very long trail along the ridge. You can continue to hike after the end of this trail. I hiked for 3 miles and went back. A good place to see the saguaros.

It was a good hike. Make sure you bring some sort of hat for all the wasps. I carry our 10 month old in a deuter, trekking poles were a must for keeping balance while clambering over all the rocks. Happy Hiking!

We went on this easy, short hike at 8am on a weekday in August. There was great cloud cover and temperatures were around 80 degrees. We were the only people out, and we saw a lot of birds including a pair of great horned owls and a Harris hawk. We also saw a desert tortoise burrow, many lizards and butterflies, and a beautiful shiny black snake called a coach whip!

There were signs along the way identifying the iconic plants of the desert, and everything was green due to rains the night before.

If you go during monsoon season, bring bug spray as there are many mosquitoes. Even though this is a short hike, water and sun protection is needed.

We took our time, and the whole loop was about a 40 minute walk with a few steps down and up.

It was more than moderate.... I thought it was a tough hike.

nature trips
1 month ago

Beautiful hike with lots of potential wildlife sightings. Went last weekend and saw a Ringtail! Tried to find him again today but no luck. Saw him near an overlook at just under the first mile mark.

Dogs are allowed.

I don't really have anything to share that others have not expressed already. Take plenty of water. My biggest piece of advice is to preplan your trip here! My brother and I hiked this as it sits right outside his neighborhood. The views are great and you will be rewarded for your efforts just plan ahead and familiarize yourself with the route beforehand otherwise you may/will get frustrated with the lack of directions. I would wear a good hiking shoe, he lent me a pair of his as I only had cross trainers and couldn't believe the difference it made.

Easy walk through Saguaro country.

Steep at times and the heat can make it that much more challenging. Bring plenty of water, take breaks, and be ready to be in the sun the entire time. Levels off after a while and the hike is easier. Headed towards the falls, but they had dried up. Some great views on the way back down.

This was an excellent hike. The trail is flat after a short walk down from Signal Hill. There was a lot of cactus debris on the trail, so we spent a good amount of time with our eyes on the trail. The views are fantastic and we did see some wildlife; lizards, rabbits and a diamondback right in the middle of the trail! There is no shade on this hike, so go early to beat the heat.

hiking
3 months ago

Nice easy hike. Beautiful!!

One of my favorites in the Tucson area. June 1 and other than meeting two early birds on the way down, had the trail to ourselves. Started at around 9am ...97 degrees. Lots of “stairs” and this is a leg workout. Logged 6 Miles in a little under three hours.

No water at falls this time of year. Great hike though! I need to do this in the wet season.

Easy, short hike especially during golden hour. Gives you an idea of what the whole NP has to offer. The informational placards were nice.

3 months ago

Best hike in Saguro

Nice hike with plenty of blooming cacti! Super hot with no shade coverage, bring sunscreen and water. Pretty flat the whole hike.

Great flat hike with tall Saguaro Cacti

Easy trail for the most part. Not always well marked. Got off the trail a view times, but found my way back. Good trail for your off workout days. No shade, very hot in the summer.

Awesome views

20-Years ago, before dawn I would run to Spud Rock (great view), from there you can go a little further to Mica Mountain where there once was a lookout tower.

You can continue on through a fern meadow to Reef Rock and then to Manning Camp where you can refill water from a spring or the Ranger Station and sign a guestbook. I signed in as the Naked Hiker and was kind of a legend among the summer trail workers ‘cause I’d do this hike every Saturday when it was too hot to go on the Tanque Verde Falls to Chicago Falls loop trail.

After Spud Rock and at Mica Mountain you can take another trail to Manning Camp. I would walk back slowly or take a nap and arrive back to Douglass Spring Trailhead after sundown to avoid peak heat at lower elevation.

Be prepared for summer monsoon rainstorms, bring a rain jacket to avoid hyperthermia.

Awesome hike with lots of wildlife. I would love to hike this at nighttime too with a black light. Always carry water and a multi-tool should any have a run in with cactus.

4 months ago

Love this trail. Not very difficult and an ideal trek for the solitary hiker. A variety of flora along the way and water in the Rincon River when we were there. It would be a good hike when the cacti are in bloom.

hiking
4 months ago

Really great afternoon hike. Tons of wildlife including lizards, rabbits and a Gila Monster =)

Want to go back with more than a trickled of water

Little water from falls but would be 5star when water is running in creek and falls.

Beautiful and quite easy trail. A lot of wild flowers and flowering cacti.

hiking
5 months ago

No water in the falls in early April but the Sagauro’s everywhere were insane!! A totally alien experience for someone who’s never been to the Arizona desert!

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