Hiking at Saguaro National Park
Laura Bolyard, NPS
Hiking & Backpacking
Saguaro National Park's two districts offer more than 165 miles (264 km) of hiking trails. A hike at Saguaro National Park can be a stroll on a short interpretive nature trail or a day-long wilderness trek. Both districts of Saguaro National Park offer a variety of hiking trails.
The Saguaro Wilderness Area
Looking for adventure? An extended hike into the rugged wilderness brings wonderful opportunities as well as challenges for the adventurous hiker. An overnight trip into Saguaro's wilderness can take you from 3,000' elevation to over 8,000' in about 15 miles. Hikes may be started from any of five trailheads ranging from the easy-to-access Douglas Spring Trailhead at the east end of Speedway Boulevard to the more remote Italian Spring Trailhead accessed through Reddington Pass on the adjacent Coronado National Forest.
The Saguaro Wilderness Area was officially designated as wilderness in 1976. This large, road less backcountry consists of 57,930 acres within the Rincon Mountain District of Saguaro National Park. It is bounded on three sides by the 38,590 acre Rincon Mountain Wilderness Area, which lies within the Coronado National Forest.
Backcountry camping is available by permit. Please download the Wilderness Booklet for more information on backpacking. This booklet contains information you will need in order to start planning a backpacking trip here at Saguaro National Park. At the back of the booklet you will find an application for the permit that is required for overnight stay.
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Did You Know?
Gila monsters are one of two venomous lizards in the world. The other is the similar Mexican beaded lizard. Gila monster venom evolved as a defensive rather than offensive weapon.