History [ edit ] Saguaro National Monument was initially created in 1933 by President Hoover, and became the 52nd national park in 1994. 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. Hike a loop in the giant Saguaro Cactus forest. Saguaro National Park (East) Map, courtesy of the National Park Service. The answer is: a lot. The course is a challenging 8 mile loop with lots of rolling hills (see course profile in photo to right). 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. 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). Take I-17 South to I-10 East to Tucson and the park. The Rincon Mountain District is about 30 minutes east of Tucson, and 1-hour from the Tucson Mountain District. Saguaro National Park is located in southeast Arizona, on the east and west sides of Tucson, Arizona. Beyond activities, the park itself protects one of the true icons of the American West, the giant Saguaro Cactus. The two districts, Rincon Mountain and Tucson Mountain, offer stunning desert landscapes, petroglyphs of the ancient Hohokam people, and an abundance of cacti. Know as “The Loop,” to Tucson cyclists. -Drones are not allowed.See the our Laws & Policies below for more details - ATVs: All terrain vehicles are not permitted anywhere in the park. 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. Getting Here The closest major airport is Tucson, Arizona From the North. Saguaro National Park - Tucson Mountain District 27 North Kinney Road Tucson, AZ 85743 520.733.5158 Walk up to the ranger booth, and pay the park entrance fee. The Tucson Mountain District, called Saguaro West, has the scenic Bajada Loop Drive. Photographer: Mike Conway. 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. Overview. Now, you might wonder what the difference between Saguaro National Park West (Tucson Mountain) and Saguaro National Park East (Rincon Mountain) is. - FIREARMS: The use of firearms is prohibited within the boundaries of the National Park. Saguaro National Park East, Loop Drive, Cactus Forest Dr, Tucson, Arizona Photo Tags: Rincon Mountains, mylonite, gneiss, Saguaro National Park. ... On the east … The Saguaro National Park that we explored is on the south-eastern side of Tucson. Saguaro National Park charges a fee to enter. Tucson, AZ separates Saguaro National Park into two regions – Tucson Mountain District (West) and Rincon Mountain District (East). West Saguaro Hikes: 1. Saguaro National Park Scenic drives. Location: Photo Location Accuracy: Known Location. Each loop drive led us to the “greatest hits” of Saguaro National Park and took about a half day to complete. The primary attraction in Saguaro National Park East is the Cactus Forest Loop Drive. 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. Set on two separate sides of the city of Tuscon, Saguaro National Park showcases the Sonoran Desert. There's also a generous assortment of visitor facilities and mind-blowing viewpoints. 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. Bike this area early morning and near sunrise to get the best views and to have the least amount of interaction with traffic. Saguaro has trails for every fitness level. Visiting Saguaro National Park. The Saguaro National Park biking is one of the most popular bike rides in the Tucson area. 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. Photo Date: February 2020. This is an intensive 9.5 mile loop ride that gives you a fantastic workout while enjoying the great old west scenery. Usually, this graded dirt road is passable in a standard sedan. The Loop in Saguaro National Park East is a winding 8 mile paved loop, mostly one way, and with very little traffic. Saguaro National Park Bike Ride on the east side of Tucson is a real desert beauty! Saguaro National Park is split into two different "districts" found east and west of Tucson. The Rincon Mountain District, called Saguaro East, has the scenic Cactus Forest Drive. Saguaro National Park: Saguaro East Loop road - See 1,003 traveler reviews, 989 candid photos, and great deals for Tucson, AZ, at Tripadvisor. Watch the brief orientation movie, get a map, and ask the Park Ranger or docent about current road conditions on Bajada Loop Drive. Ride Description. NOTE: Saguaro East is a national park and does require a small fee to enter the park. Take Highway 89 South to I-17 South to I-10 East to Tucson and the park. The History Of Saguaro National Park. 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. 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. Valley View Overlook Trail. The western district is much younger and smaller than its eastern counterpart. Doug Kreutz / Arizona Daily Star Saguaro National Park 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. In the East-Rincon Mountain District you can find over 130 miles of hiking trails. Doug Kreutz / Arizona Daily Star Saguaro National Park The Rincon Mountain District is located east of the city and the Tucson Mountain District is located outside northwest of Tucson. The Rincon Mountain District is known as the “east” park, and Tucson Mountain District is “west” park. Enter the park. 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. While both Saguaro East and Saguaro West contain high densities of saguaro cacti, the park is also home for numerous other desert species. Saguaro National Park is divided into two distinct districts. Location Map of the east section of Saguaro National Park. The east park also has a loop drive, although its only five miles, and fewer hiking trails. Hike, bike, walk, or drive through the forest of saguaros. “A liter an … Saguaro National Park is separated into two districts surrounding Tucson, Arizona. There is several things to do at Saguaro National Park located in Tucson Arizona. Saguaro National Park Headquarters and Rincon Mountain District 3693 South Old Spanish Trail Tucson, AZ 85730-5601 520.733.5153. 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. Loop of connected trails at Saguaro National Park East, made up Shantz, Pink Hill, Loma Verde, Cholla and Cactus Forest trails in 2012. Saguaro National Park is a beautiful park that sandwiches Tucson, Arizona. Both the East and West district both have scenic loop drives but there are some big differences. Stone wall of mylonitic gneiss cobbles supporting east loop road in Saguaro National Park. Saguaro National Park, Tucson: Address, Phone Number, Saguaro National Park Reviews: 4.5/5. 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. Loop of connected trails at Saguaro National Park East, made up Shantz, Pink Hill, Loma Verde, Cholla and Cactus Forest trails in 2012. With two districts, there is more than enough opportunity to appreciate the majestic Saguaro Cactus that covers the park grounds. 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 park is open to bikes and pedestrians 24 hours a day. Please resist the urge to through yourself in their welcoming, outstretched arms. Established in 1933 as a national monument, the original park comprised the Rincon Mountain District east of Tucson. The Bajada Loop begins at Hohokam Road, one and a … Saguaro National Park East, Loop Drive, Cactus Forest Dr, Tucson, Arizona The park is open year-round. Located both to the east and west of Tucson, Saguaro National Park is an iconic experience in the American Southwest. 1. 8 miler and 5k family walk and run at Saguaro National Park East at 3693 S. Old Spanish Trail Rd. If you are entering on foot or bike the fee is $15 per person. 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 “Bring plenty of water,” says Fisher. 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 … This hike is less than 1 mile. Aid stations at approximately 2, 4, 6, and 7 miles provide plenty of relief with Culligan water. Park and go in. 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