Hiking at Saguaro National Park

A group of students with a ranger sit and stand on a dirt trail in a desert setting.
Freeman Homestead Trail hike

NPS photo/Laura Bolyard

Hiking and 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.
Check out the Safety page, the hiking checklist and regulations to find out how to be prepared for hiking in Saguaro National Park.
There are special restrictions, and a permit is required to camp within the park. Camping is only allowed at the established backcountry sites. (See below for more information). There are no accommodations for any vehicle camping (including RV).

Hiking Checklist
Hiking Regulations
Trails Brochure for Rincon Mountain District (East)
Rincon Valley Area (East District)

Wilderness Hiking

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 Redington Pass on the adjacent Coronado National Forest.

The Saguaro Wilderness Area was officially designated as wilderness in 1976. This large, roadless 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.

Wilderness Use Regulations

Backcountry Camping

Backcountry camping is available by permit. Please download the Saguaro Wilderness Area (PDF) 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. Permits may be obtained up to 2 months in advance, but no later then 12:00 noon on the day of the trip.

PDF documents require Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing. Download a free version.

Last updated: June 14, 2015

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

3693 S Old Spanish Trail
Tucson , AZ 85730


(520) 733-5153

Contact Us