Getting Around

Cactus forest loop

NPS Photo

Explore Our Scenic Loop Drives!

Both districts of Saguaro National Park offer scenic drives around the cactus forest. Each invites new sights and experiences, as well as an incredible number of saguaros. (Crazy that there are so many out here at Saguaro National Park, right?)

Along the loop drive in both districts (Cactus Forest Drive - east; Bajada Loop Drive - west), trailers longer than 35 feet or any vehicle wider than 8 feet are not permitted.

Rincon Mountain District (east):

The Cactus Forest Scenic Loop Drive is a paved road that lacks parking for RVs and larger vehicles. The Loop Drive features several trailheads, scenic vistas and pullouts in a total of 8 miles (12.9 km).

Tucson Mountain District (west):

The Scenic Bajada Loop Drive is a popular way of exploring the district’s foothills. This unpaved, graded dirt road offers scenic pullouts, picnic areas, and hiking trailheads in a 6 mile (9.7 km) loop. High clearance or four-wheel drive is not needed to drive the loop.

The Loop begins at Hohokam Road, 1.5 miles west of the Red Hills Visitor Center. Leaving the visitor center, turn right onto Kinney Road. Follow Kinney Road 1.6 miles (2.6 km) to the loop’s entrance on the right.

The Loop ends where golden Gate Road meets Sandario Road. To return to the visitor center, turn left onto Sandario Road. Continue 0.2 mile to the junction with Kinney Road. Turn left. The visitor center is 2 miles (3.2 km) ahead.

Biking is permitted on both the Bajada Loop and Cactus Forest Loop. Keep in mind the difference in terrain between districts, as Cactus Forest (east) is paved, and Bajada (west) is gravel.

chainfruit cholla

NPS Photo / T. Wiewel

Want to Ride?

Rincon Mountain District (east):

Bicycling is allowed on the 8-mile Cactus Forest Drive, as well as on two trails within the park. The loop drive is narrow with many tight turns and steep hills. Use extra caution when approaching the first steep downhill after going through the entrance station! Bicyclists must obey all posted speed limits and stop signs.

Mountain biking is permitted only on the 2.5 mile (4.0 km) multi-use portion of the Cactus Forest Trail, which is circled by the Cactus Forest Loop Drive. The trail may be ridden in either direction, but you may not ride against traffic on the one-way portion of the Cactus Forest Loop Drive if you exit the trail on the north end. Trail riding is also permitted on the 2.9 mile (4.7 km) Hope Camp Trail.

Tucson Mountain District (west):

Bicycling is permitted along the Bajada Loop Drive and all paved roads. Bicycling is not permitted on any trails, except the 0.5 mile (0.8 km) Belmont Multi-use trail and the 2.5 mile (4.0 km) Golden Gate Multi-use trail. Picture Rocks Road (on the north) is not recommended for bicycling for safety reasons.

Bicycles are not allowed in front of the Visitor Center.
Learn more about bicycling in Saguaro.


Let's hike! But first, let's make sure we are safe. Wait... perhaps we should also look at a map? Ok, now let's hike!

horseback riders

NPS Photo

Horseback Riding and Stock Use

Rincon Mountain District (east):

Horseback riding off-trail is prohibited. To protect resources and limit damage, livestock are restricted from certain trails and areas entirely

  • South of the intersection of Carillo and Wild Horse trails
  • Tanque Verde Ridge Trail
  • Desert Ecology Trail
  • Freeman Homestead Trail
  • Mica View Picnic Area
  • Javelina Picnic Area
  • Visitor Center Area

Horse Trailer Parking: Use designated trailer parking. For trails in the Cactus Forest, use the Wild Horse Trailhead. In the Rincon Valley, trailer parking is available 0.4 mile (0.6 km) south of the Loma Alta trailhead. No trailer parking is provided off the Cactus Forest Loop Drive or at the visitor center. Please park trailer outside the park. Learn more about our rules and regulations.

Tucson Mountain District (west):

Stock groups are limited to 15 animals. Stock are prohibited from off-trail travel. To protect resources and limit damage, livestock are restricted from certain trails and areas entirely

  • Desert Discovery Trail
  • Hugh Norris Trail
  • King Canyon Trail from Sweetwater Trail junction to the Hugh Norris Trail junction
  • Cactus Wren Trail south of the Encinas Trail
  • Manville Trail from Signal Hill Picnic Area to Manville Road
  • Bajada Wash Trail from Valley View Overlook Trail to Sus Picnic Area
  • Red Hills Visitor Center Area including the Cactus Garden, Javelina Wash, and Watering Hole trails
  • Sus Picnic Area
  • Signal Hill Picnic Area

Stock trailers should use Cam Boh, El Camino del Cerro, and Sendero Esperanza trailheads.

Rules and Regulations
Rules and Regulations

Rules and regulations for Saguaro National park including topics from general hiking, to drone usage and wedding permits.

Map of RMD hiking trails

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

Last updated: November 30, 2023

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

3693 S Old Spanish Trail
Tucson, AZ 85730


520 733-5153

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