A FalconGuide to Saguaro National Park and the Santa Catalina Mountains  by Bruce Grubbs

A FalconGuide to Saguaro National Park & the Santa Catalina Mountains Guide Book

by Bruce Grubbs (Falcon Guides)
A FalconGuide to Saguaro National Park and the Santa Catalina Mountains  by Bruce Grubbs
From magnificent "forests" of saguaro cactus on the desert hills to tall stands of fir and pine on the nearby "sky island" mountain ranges, an astonishing variety of terrain makes the Tucson area a recreational and natural wonderland. A FalconGuide to Saguaro National Park and the Santa Catalina Mountains guides you to the best trails for walking, hiking, and horseback riding; great campgrounds; unforgettable scenic drives; and fascinating attractions in Tucson itself.

© 2006 Bruce Grubbs/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "A FalconGuide to Saguaro National Park & the Santa Catalina Mountains" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 33.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 33.

A short day hike to a viewpoint overlooking the rugged Wilderness of Rocks area. From the trailhead, start the hike on the Marshall Gulch Trail, which ascends Marshall Gulch west past Huntsman Spring to Marshall Saddle and a multiple-trail junction. Take the leftmost trail, the Aspen Trail, which heads south around Marshall Peak. There is an exceptionally good viewpoint on the small hill just southwest of the trail at 1.6 miles.
Tucson, AZ - Hiking,Horseback Riding - Trail Length: 3
This scenic drive starts at the Red Hills Visitor Center and winds through the foothills of the Tucson Mountains, passing though a fine saguaro forest. The drive is about 9 miles, including 3 miles of paved road and 6 miles of graded dirt road, portions of which are one-way. The dirt road is normally passable to all vehicles. There are two picnic areas, a nature trail, and several other short trails that are accessible from the scenic drive. In order to fully appreciate the Sonoran Desert, the drive is best done in the cooler weather of fall, winter, or early spring. If you do the drive in the summer, plan to do it early in the morning.
Tucson, AZ - Scenic Drives - Trail Length: 9
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A walk to famous Seven Falls, a series of seasonal cascades in Bear Canyon. Special Considerations: During the hot summer months, plan your hike for early in the morning and carry plenty of water.
Tucson, AZ - Hiking - Trail Length: 7
Using the Douglas Spring Trail, this hike takes you to a seasonal waterfall in the foothills of the Rincon Mountains. Special Considerations: Carry plenty of water during the hot summer months.
Tucson, AZ - Hiking,Horseback Riding - Trail Length: 5.2
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An easy hike in Tucson Mountain Park along the top of a desert ridge with 50-mile views. Special Considerations: During the hot summer months, plan to hike early in the day and carry plenty of water. Head south toward the east end of Brown Mountain, staying right at two unsigned trail junctions. After the second junction, the trail turns sharply northwest and starts to climb the east slopes of Brown Mountain. As you climb, the views expand. Visible to the southeast, at the foot of the mountain, is the Brown Mountain Picnic Area, and beyond it, Gilbert Ray Campground. Once on the ridge crest, the trail more or less follows the crest northwest. There is a great variety of saguaros along the trail, including a number of young saguaros only about 5 or 6 feet tall.
Tucson, AZ - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.8
A day hike across the northeast slopes of the Santa Catalina Mountains. Special Considerations: Although this is a relatively cool and shady hike, carry plenty of water during the warm summer months.
Tucson, AZ - Hiking,Horseback Riding - Trail Length: 6.6
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Starting from the Rincon Visitor Center, the Cactus Forest Loop Drive winds for about 6 miles through a classic section of the Sonoran Desert Valley, with large stands of saguaro cacti as well as expansive views of the Rincon Mountains. The entire loop is paved and most of it is one-way. In the summer, plan your drive for the cool of early morning. Take a picnic and plan to have lunch at one of the picnic areas, and take a walk along the very short Desert Ecology Nature Trail or a short distance along one of the other trails. Highlights: This scenic drive provides access to the short Desert Ecology Nature Trail and several picnic areas, plus views of saguaro cacti and the Rincon Mountains.
Tucson, AZ - Scenic Drives - Trail Length: 6
This trail starts from the scenic loop drive and wanders north through gentle desert terrain past magnificent stands of saguaro cacti. The first portion of the trail, inside the scenic loop drive, is open to mountain bikers. Special Considerations: Carry plenty of water during the hot summer months.
Tucson, AZ - Hiking - Trail Length: 8.4
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The Catalina Highway starts in Tucson, from East Tanque Verde Road just east of Pantano Road, and climbs about 31 miles to Mount Lemmon. There is a fee for use of this paved road, payable at the entrance station. There are several campgrounds (see above) and picnic areas, as well as scenic overlooks, along the drive. The drive is pleasant any time of year, though in winter you may encounter ice and snow on the upper portion of the road, as well as snowstorms and other winter weather.
Tucson, AZ - Scenic Drives - Trail Length: 31
This self-guided nature trail loops through a small section of desert plains and features small signs that inform you about the plants and animals of the Sonoran Desert. Look for several examples of dead and fallen saguaros, which reveal their inner structure. Unlike trees, saguaros are supported by a ring of woody, individual ribs just under the outer skin of the plant. The interior consists of a moist pulp, which is protected by the ribs. Unlike some desert plants, saguaros do not use deep groundwater to survive dry periods. Instead, these huge cacti have a shallow root system that collects water rapidly after rains. The entire plant expands as it stores water and gradually contracts as internal moisture is used. Because the shallow root system is incapable of supporting the plant, saguaros are literally balanced on their bases, which some people have found out the hard way after vandalizing a saguaro. In at least one highly publicized case, someone shot at a saguaro with a shotgun from close range. The cactus rocked back and forth a couple of times before falling on the perpetrator and killing him.
Tucson, AZ - Hiking - Trail Length: 0.4
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A paved, wheelchair-accessible interpretive trail with signs explaining how desert plants and animals deal with the arid desert.
Tucson, AZ - Hiking - Trail Length: 0.7
This rugged trail takes you into one of the more remote Front Range canyons to a seasonal waterfall. Special Considerations: Although there is seasonal water in Esperero Canyon, carry plenty of water, especially during the hot summer months.
Tucson, AZ - Hiking,Horseback Riding - Trail Length: 10.6
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An alternative route to the summit of Mount Kimball, using the trail up Finger Rock Canyon. This trail is shorter than the Pima Canyon Trail. From the Finger Rock Trailhead, walk a few feet north up the road to the Finger Rock Trail, which heads north along the national forest boundary into the mouth of spectacular Finger Rock Canyon. The trail climbs the gentle slopes at the mouth of the canyon through typical Lower Sonoran vegetation—catclaw, mesquite, and saguaro and cholla cacti. Special Considerations: This hike has 4,110 feet of elevation gain. Carry plenty of water during the hot summer months as the trail stays well above the canyon bottom with little access to seasonal water.
Tucson, AZ - Hiking,Horseback Riding - Trail Length: 8
This nature trail explores the homesteading period in what is now Saguaro National Park.
Tucson, AZ - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.1
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An easy walk through Sonoran Desert foothills to an old dam site. Special Considerations: During the hot summer months, plan to hike early in the day and carry plenty of water.
Tucson, AZ - Hiking,Horseback Riding - Trail Length: 3.6
This popular hike follows the main crest of the Tucson Mountains for an exceptionally scenic hike to the highest peak in the range. Special Considerations: During the hot summer months, plan your hike for early in the morning and carry plenty of water. The trail climbs more than 2,000 feet.
Tucson, AZ - Hiking - Trail Length: 7.8
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An alternative route to popular Wasson Peak using the King Canyon and Sweetwater Trails. The USGS topographic map of this area shows the Mile Wide Mine on the slopes to the east, and you can see the scars of several old roads built to reach mines on the steep hillsides. Although initial reports in 1916 were optimistic that the mines in the head of King Canyon would be major copper producers, little copper was produced and the mine works were eventually abandoned. Special Considerations: Carry plenty of water during the hot summer months. This trail climbs 1,700 feet.
Tucson, AZ - Hiking - Trail Length: 6
These roads provide the main access to Saguaro National Park West and Tucson Mountain Park, but they are also scenic drives in themselves. This drive takes you past several trailheads, picnic areas, a campground, the Arizona– Sonora Desert Museum, and numerous pull-outs and scenic overlooks, all on paved roads. Gates Pass Road is not suitable for trailers or motor homes—use the southern portion of Kinney Road instead. Highlights: On this drive you’ll pass trailheads, picnic areas, the Arizona– Sonora Desert Museum, and scenic overlooks.
Tucson, AZ - Scenic Drives - Trail Length: 6.9
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This is a backpack trip over the summit of the Rincon Mountains via two branches of the Arizona Trail. All the springs on this route are seasonal except Manning Camp Spring, and they dry up during the summer and fall dry seasons. Check with the Rincon Visitor Center before your trip to get the latest information on the springs and other water sources. Spring, after snowmelt, is a good time to do this trip as there will normally be plenty of water sources. From the trailhead, the Miller Creek Trail (the route of the Utah-to-Mexico Arizona Trail) follows Miller Creek, a seasonal stream, west through the oak woodland in the Rincon Mountains foothills. After passing the Saguaro National Park boundary, the trail starts to climb the steep eastern slopes of the Rincon Mountains in a series of broad switchbacks. The trail is rocky and steep in places as it works its way through complex terrain with granite cliffs, large boulders, and chaparral brush. Pinyon pines and junipers start to appear as you climb, and the view of the wild country to the east expands.
Tucson, AZ - Hiking,Horseback Riding - Trail Length: 20.2
A hike through a beautiful saguaro cactus forest through Sonoran Desert hills, using the Ironwood Forest and Picture Rocks Wash Trails. These trails are in the northern portion of the Tucson Mountains, in Saguaro National Park West. Special Considerations: During the hot summer months, plan to hike early in the day and carry plenty of water.
Tucson, AZ - Hiking,Horseback Riding - Trail Length: 5.4
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