West Saguaro Hikes: 1. Visiting Saguaro National Park. Saguaro National Park is a beautiful park that sandwiches Tucson, Arizona. Saguaro National Park consists of two districts:  Saguaro West (Tucson Mountain District) and the much larger Saguaro East (Rincon Mountain District).  The two districts, separated by the City of Tucson, are about 30 miles apart;  travel time between districts is approximately one hour. History [ edit ] Saguaro National Monument was initially created in 1933 by President Hoover, and became the 52nd national park in 1994. This one-way, 2-hour drive meanders through the dense forest and offers countless places to pull over for photos, short walks, and long hikes. Now, you might wonder what the difference between Saguaro National Park West (Tucson Mountain) and Saguaro National Park East (Rincon Mountain) is. The western district is much younger and smaller than its eastern counterpart. The Saguaro is only found in a small portion of the United States in the Sonoran Desert and it is something special to stand next to one. NOTE: Saguaro East is a national park and does require a small fee to enter the park. If you are entering on foot or bike the fee is $15 per person. Walk up to the ranger booth, and pay the park entrance fee. The answer is: a lot. The Loop in Saguaro National Park East is a winding 8 mile paved loop, mostly one way, and with very little traffic. Hiking in Saguaro National Park Though the mountainous desert topography might look intimidating, Saguaro National Park is one of the easier national parks to hike. Scenery on the Cactus Forest Drive. Take I-17 South to I-10 East to Tucson and the park. The primary attraction in Saguaro National Park East is the Cactus Forest Loop Drive. The Rincon Mountain District, called Saguaro East, has the scenic Cactus Forest Drive. The Saguaro National Park that we explored is on the south-eastern side of Tucson. The east district has an 8-mile paved loop that gives you a chance to see the beautiful landscape from the comfort of your car. Hike a loop in the giant Saguaro Cactus forest. Between 1936 and 1939, the Civilian Conservation Corps built Cactus Forest Drive, designed as a scenic loop that allowed visitors to experience the unique ecosystem of the Sonoran Desert. The Rincon Mountain District lies to the east of Tucson, consisting of an 8-mile scenic loop drive, and a comprehensive network of backcountry trails leading high up into the heavily forested Rincon Mountains six … The Rincon Mountain District is about 30 minutes east of Tucson, and 1-hour from the Tucson Mountain District. Hike, bike, walk, or drive through the forest of saguaros. Stone wall of mylonitic gneiss cobbles supporting east loop road in Saguaro National Park. Beyond activities, the park itself protects one of the true icons of the American West, the giant Saguaro Cactus. The Saguaro National Park biking is one of the most popular bike rides in the Tucson area. While both Saguaro East and Saguaro West contain high densities of saguaro cacti, the park is also home for numerous other desert species. The Bajada Loop begins at Hohokam Road, one and a … Location: Photo Location Accuracy: Known Location. The east park also has a loop drive, although its only five miles, and fewer hiking trails. Photo Date: February 2020. “A liter an … Located both to the east and west of Tucson, Saguaro National Park is an iconic experience in the American Southwest. The Mica View Trail offers a good introduction to the lowland scenery of Saguaro National Park's Rincon Mountain district, but for a more peaceful and varied hike, a better choice is one of the loops further east, such as the 3 mile circuit of the Loma Verde, Pink Hill and Squeeze Pen trails. Saguaro National Park is divided into two distinct districts. Valley View Overlook Trail. The Saguaro cactus , native to this region, is predominantly found in the dry southern part Arizona, spilling over into the Mexican state of Sonora and Imperial County, California. Saguaro National Park is split into two different "districts" found east and west of Tucson. Saguaro National Park Bike Ride on the east side of Tucson is a real desert beauty! Enter the park. Photo Tags: Rincon Mountains, mylonite, gneiss, Saguaro National Park. The park is open year-round. With two districts, there is more than enough opportunity to appreciate the majestic Saguaro Cactus that covers the park grounds. 8 miler and 5k family walk and run at Saguaro National Park East at 3693 S. Old Spanish Trail Rd. Fees are $25 per vehicle or $20 per motorcycle. 1. Saguaro National Park is located in southeast Arizona, on the east and west sides of Tucson, Arizona. - FIREARMS: The use of firearms is prohibited within the boundaries of the National Park. The scenic Bajada Loop Drive took us to what Brian calls the “Greatest Hits” in Saguaro West, so we were really looking forward to driving the scenic Cactus Forest Drive at Saguaro East. Usually, this graded dirt road is passable in a standard sedan. The two districts, Rincon Mountain and Tucson Mountain, offer stunning desert landscapes, petroglyphs of the ancient Hohokam people, and an abundance of cacti. This hike is less than 1 mile. Saguaro National Park is separated into two districts surrounding Tucson, Arizona. Loop of connected trails at Saguaro National Park East, made up Shantz, Pink Hill, Loma Verde, Cholla and Cactus Forest trails in 2012. Established in 1933 as a national monument, the original park comprised the Rincon Mountain District east of Tucson. Saguaro National Park (East) Map, courtesy of the National Park Service. This part of the park has much higher elevations than the Tucson Mountain District and thus offers different views and scenery from the western part of the park. The scenic drive in the East district (Cactus Forest Drive) is on an 8-mile paved, one-way loop and has several view points with interpretive panels. Doug Kreutz / Arizona Daily Star Saguaro National Park Distance: 0.8 mile round trip Time: 30-45 minutes Difficulty: easy Elevation: 50 feet Trailhead: Along the Bajada Loop Drive Best time to visit: anytime – but there’s no shade so make sure to consider this when visiting in the summer heat!Mornings/evenings would be a much better time to hike in the warmer months Mica View Trail The southern trailhead for the loop hike is at the Mica View picnic area, reached by a smooth, one mile dirt road branching off the one-way Cactus Forest Drive. Take Highway 89 South to I-17 South to I-10 East to Tucson and the park. Saguaro National Park Headquarters and Rincon Mountain District 3693 South Old Spanish Trail Tucson, AZ 85730-5601 520.733.5153. Both the East and West district both have scenic loop drives but there are some big differences. Photographer: Mike Conway. -Drones are not allowed.See the our Laws & Policies below for more details - ATVs: All terrain vehicles are not permitted anywhere in the park. Bike this area early morning and near sunrise to get the best views and to have the least amount of interaction with traffic. The first third of The Loop features steep but short rolling hills, followed by a sustained 4% - 8% climb, with smoother rollers in the last third of The Loop. The History Of Saguaro National Park. You can also purchase a park specific annual pass for $45. Please resist the urge to through yourself in their welcoming, outstretched arms. Overview. The Rincon Mountain District is located east of the city and the Tucson Mountain District is located outside northwest of Tucson. The park is open to bikes and pedestrians 24 hours a day. The course is a challenging 8 mile loop with lots of rolling hills (see course profile in photo to right). Tucson, AZ separates Saguaro National Park into two regions – Tucson Mountain District (West) and Rincon Mountain District (East). In the East-Rincon Mountain District you can find over 130 miles of hiking trails. Saguaro National Park East, Loop Drive, Cactus Forest Dr, Tucson, Arizona For All Patrons:-Rvs do not have parking in the east or west driving loop.There are parking spots at the Visitors Center on the west side. Saguaro National Park: Saguaro East Loop road - See 1,003 traveler reviews, 989 candid photos, and great deals for Tucson, AZ, at Tripadvisor. “Bring plenty of water,” says Fisher. 2. The Rincon Mountain District is known as the “east” park, and Tucson Mountain District is “west” park. This is an intensive 9.5 mile loop ride that gives you a fantastic workout while enjoying the great old west scenery. Park and go in. Doug Kreutz / Arizona Daily Star Saguaro National Park Take in the soaring saguaro cacti at this massive national park in Tucson. There's also a generous assortment of visitor facilities and mind-blowing viewpoints. Saguaro National Park - Tucson Mountain District 27 North Kinney Road Tucson, AZ 85743 520.733.5158 Watch the brief orientation movie, get a map, and ask the Park Ranger or docent about current road conditions on Bajada Loop Drive. Saguaro National Park charges a fee to enter. Getting Here The closest major airport is Tucson, Arizona From the North. Loop of connected trails at Saguaro National Park East, made up Shantz, Pink Hill, Loma Verde, Cholla and Cactus Forest trails in 2012. Ride Description. Being so close to a larger city like Tucson makes Saguaro a very unique place to visit and allows people that wouldn’t necessarily venture to a more secluded park to get out and explore this desert landscape. Know as “The Loop,” to Tucson cyclists. United States ; Arizona (AZ) ... We did the loop drives in each district and hiked several trails from Mica view (parking was scarce in the East district, but we were there on a holiday weekend). Saguaro National Park Scenic drives. Saguaro has trails for every fitness level. Saguaro National Park East, Loop Drive, Cactus Forest Dr, Tucson, Arizona The Tucson Mountain District, called Saguaro West, has the scenic Bajada Loop Drive. Aid stations at approximately 2, 4, 6, and 7 miles provide plenty of relief with Culligan water. Location Map of the east section of Saguaro National Park. There is several things to do at Saguaro National Park located in Tucson Arizona. 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