A dog standing on a dirt road holds a leash in its mouth.
All dogs must be kept on a leash with a human attached at the other end.

NPS photo

Pets in the Park


Many threats exist within the park: cactus spines, thorny brush, rattlesnakes, scorpions, and open mine shafts. Heat stroke has lead to death of otherwise healthy animals in the desert. Burned paws from hot desert sands are common injuries, especially to unacclimatized canines. Dogs in unfamiliar surroundings may not drink water even if offered. Pay close attention to paws and noses and ensure they are not exploring in bushes or around rocks at the edges of the roads. This is where they may come in contact with one of the many desert hazards.

Consideration of Other Trail Users

In areas where dogs are allowed on the trail, please be responsible and pack out any waste your pooch may leave behind. Bicyclists are common in Saguaro National Park and may not be prepared for dogs off-leash. So, dogs, please keep your humans on a 6-foot leash at all times.

Impacts on Wildlife

Native animals can be displaced and disturbed by the scent of dogs, and dogs are often perceived as predators. Also, members of the Canidae family, such as coyotes and foxes, can catch common pet diseases such as parvo. This translation of disease is not one-way, though. Just as our wildlife may be affected by your pets, your pets can catch diseases from our animals, too. Diseases pass in both directions, so it is important that you abide by the park's pet rules at all times to ensure the health of all of our beloved animals.

Service Animals

Service Animals are exempt from these rules and may go anywhere their owners are permitted to go. Please note that this does not include comfort animals; rather, only animals serving a vital life function.


Dog Walks In Saguaro National Park

Rincon Mountain District (East)

Mica View Dirt Road is a route that you can start at the picnic area or scenic loop drive turn-off. This round-trip of 1.5 miles provides a trail-like experinece through a lush cactus landscape for you and your pet.

Mica View Trail is .7 miles from Broadway trailhead to the Mica View Picnic Area. Please note that trail is also designed to be accessible to those who use mobility devices or other tools to assist with a disability. This may be an unfamiliar experience with a family dog who has not been exposed to wheel chairs or other equipment. Keep dogs on a close leash when encoutering such situations.

Desert Ecology trail is a paved, 1/4 mile trail, which is also dog-friendly.

Cactus Forest Loop Road is the scenic loop drive around the east district of the park that is paved and dog-friendly. A great area to try is the stretch from North Cactus Forest trailhead to Loma Verde trailhead. This route is less strenuous and has good sight distances for the safety of you and cyclists / motorists.

Tucson Mountain District (West)

Bajada Loop Drive is the unpaved scenic drive around the west district of the park. It is dog-friendly and a beautiful way to experience the cactus forest.

Desert Discovery trail is a .5 mile paved, dog-friendly loop.

Golden Gate Road, between the Bajada Loop and Picture Rocks Road, has been closed and is accessible only by hikers, bicycles, and equestrians. It is also a good spot for a dog walk in the west district.

Since the paved roads in the west district (along and around Kinney Rd.) are heavily used by commuters, it is not recommended to walk those routes.


Learn more about the park's residents including amphibians, birds, mammals, and reptiles.

Map of RMD hiking trails

Our maps help you plan your trip and keep you safe navigating our wilderness.

Last updated: December 1, 2023

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Contact Info

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3693 S Old Spanish Trail
Tucson, AZ 85730


520 733-5153

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