Sendero Esperanza Trail

Tucson, Arizona

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A pleasant hike through gorgeous saguaro forest to a saddle on the rugged Tucson Mountains. This hike takes you across desert flats through fine stands of saguaro cacti. Look for holes in the saguaros, well above the ground, as you walk. Several different birds and animals make their homes by hollowing out these holes. After the cactus dies, falls, and decays, you can sometimes find the intact nests, which are known as saguaro “boots.” The Sendero Esperanza Trail partially follows the route of an old road, as do many trails in the Tucson Mountains. These roads were usually built by miners and prospectors before the creation of the national park. The desert has attracted prospectors since the beginning of European settlement, and prospectors were often the first people to explore a desert area. Prospects are everywhere, usually just small holes in the ground where a prospector explored a likely looking rock outcrop. Some prospect holes are deep enough to be dangerous and are sometimes partially hidden by brush. One giveaway is the heaps of spoil, the dirt and rocks removed from the hole and piled nearby, though sometimes the spoil gets washed away in floods. Special Considerations: During the hot summer months, plan to hike early in the day and carry plenty of water.

Sendero Esperanza Trail Professional Review and Guide

"A pleasant hike through gorgeous saguaro forest to a saddle on the rugged Tucson Mountains. This hike takes you across desert flats through fine stands of saguaro cacti. Look for holes in the saguaros, well above the ground, as you walk. Several different birds and animals make their homes by hollowing out these holes. After the cactus dies, falls, and decays, you can sometimes find the intact nests, which are known as saguaro “boots.” The Sendero Esperanza Trail partially follows the route of an old road, as do many trails in the Tucson Mountains. These roads were usually built by miners and prospectors before the creation of the national park.

The desert has attracted prospectors since the beginning of European settlement, and prospectors were often the first people to explore a desert area. Prospects are everywhere, usually just small holes in the ground where a prospector explored a likely looking rock outcrop. Some prospect holes are deep enough to be dangerous and are sometimes partially hidden by brush. One giveaway is the heaps of spoil, the dirt and rocks removed from the hole and piled nearby, though sometimes the spoil gets washed away in floods. Special Considerations: During the hot summer months, plan to hike early in the day and carry plenty of water."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Tucson
Distance: 3
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate
Local Contacts: Saguaro National Park
Local Maps: Saguaro National Park National Geographic
Driving Directions: Directions to Sendero Esperanza Trail

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May 2018