Outdoor Day Camps in the Park's Wilderness

A group of children and a ranger walk with camping gear on a dirt trail in the desert.
Junior Rangers and staff walking through wash at Saguaro National Park West.

NPS photo

Wilderness and Explorer Camps

These 3-day and 1-day Wilderness Camps for youth 11-14 years old are offered at scheduled times through the year.

These camps offer a variety of fun, hands-on activities such as hiking, exploring, map and compass reading, learning how a GPS helps you navigate through the desert, checking caves and burrows for tortoises and Gila Monsters, and an exhilarating night hike through the magic of the desert after dark. Participants will also learn how to pick a camp site, pitch a tent, cook with a backpack stove, understand hiking safety, and Leave No Trace land use ethics. A high value is also placed on unstructured down time as well where participants chat, eat, and snooze at their "campsite". The camp finishes around a campfire, sharing stories of the adventures discovered during the camp. Each camp experience is structured to be age appropriate and to encourage young people to explore the desert, learn about nature, and have fun in the great outdoors. The ultimate goal is to provide young people with a sense of stewardship for not only National Parks, but for nature and the environment on a global scale as well.

Every evening 30 minutes before pick up we will have a camp fire, hot chocolate, and marshmallows for roasting available while you wait for your child. The view is beautiful, the stats are plentiful, and coyotes may be howling.

Space is limited and reservations are required. Limited scholarships may be available.

2018 Winter Season Explorer Camp

When: February 3, 2018
Explorer Camp Information
Explorer Camp Registration Form
Parent Approval & Medical Authorization Form

2017-18 Winter Season Wilderness Camp

When: December 27-29, 2017
February 22-24, 2018
DECEMBER Wilderness Camp Information
FEBRUARY Wilderness Camp Information
Wilderness Camp Registration Form
Parent Approval & Medical Authorization Form

Please read the Camp Information, Rules & Safety before attending camp.

Printable directions to "The Overlook"

Please feel free to contact Ranger Chip Littlefield at 733-5157 or e-mail us

Junior Ranger Summer Day Camp

This half-day camp allows children (ages 9-10) to explore the park outside in the morning in the cooler temps and then move inside to learn more about these prickly plants and the crafty critters that make the park home. Children will be led by staff on this exploration while completing activities in their Junior Ranger Journal. At camp’s end, they will be sworn in as official Junior Rangers. Camps are scheduled Tuesday mornings through August 1, 2017 from 7:30am - 1:30 pm. The camp fee is $10, scholarships and transportation assistance may be available. Space is limited. Program may continue summer 2018. For inquiry, please contact the Education Director.

Contact park staff, 520 733-5157 to register or get additional information

Last updated: December 5, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

3693 S Old Spanish Trail
Tucson , AZ 85730


(520) 733-5153

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