7 Amazing Hikes in Saguaro National Park

7 Amazing Hikes in Saguaro National Park


Hiking in either side of Saguaro National Park is incredible, but here are some of Shaka Guide’s top recommendations if you’re looking for great hikes on what’s affectionately known as, “Saguaro West.”  Ranging from easy and quick to moderately hard, they’re all going to get you up and close to the best of what this incredible national park has to offer.

1. Sendero-Esperanza Trail to Wasson Peak: 

Sendero-Esperanza Trail to Wasson Peak

  • Distance: 7.6 miles
  • Duration: 4-5 hours 
  • Difficulty: Moderate to difficult 

Approaching Wasson Peak from the north, this moderate-level hike offers incredible birding and lots of reptile sightings as it heads up to a ridge, then follows the Hugh Norris trail up to Wasson Peak, the highest point in the Tucson Mountain District of Saguaro National Park.

Check out this hike on our Saguaro National Park Tour. 

2. King’s Canyon Trail to Wasson Peak 

  • Distance: 6.5 miles
  • Duration: ~ 4 hours 
  • Difficulty: Moderate  

One of the park’s most popular hikes, this route will take you from the trailhead through a canyon peppered with petroglyphs, then up to the park’s highest peak, Mount Wasson. This is a moderate-level hike with petroglyphs and hardly any shade, and gets steep at the summit, so be sure to bring extra water and some sun protection. Most people do it in about four hours. 

RELATED: Ultimate Saguaro National Park Travel Guide

3. Hugh Norris Trail, Kings Canyon Trail to Wasson Peak 

Hugh Norris Trail, Kings Canyon Trail to Wasson Peak

  • Distance: 8 miles
  • Duration: 6+ hours
  • Difficulty: Difficult

This difficult-level hike is a loop that brings you out to the Hugh Norris Trail, along a ridge with beautiful views of either side of the park, and up to the summit for a spectacular 360 degree view. From there, descend down into Kings Canyon and get close to ancient rock art left by the Hohokam culture.  

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4. Discovery Nature Trail

  • Distance: 0.4 mile
  • Duration: 30 minutes 
  • Difficulty: Easy 

An interpretive trail near the park entrance that is paved, flat, and easy for strollers or wheelchairs.  The 0.4 mile loop may have flowers and birds, as well as reptiles. 

Check out this hike on our Saguaro National Park Tour.

5. Brown Mountain


  • Distance: 5 miles
  • Duration: 3+ hours
  • Difficulty: Easy to moderate 

This loop trail takes you around the base of Brown Mountain, just outside Saguaro National Park in the nearby Tucson Mountain Park, affording hikers incredible views of saguaro and fishhook barrel cacti, as well as lots of birds and lizards. The summit is one of the many good spots for sunset or sunrise photography as well.

6. Valley View Overlook Trail 

  • Distance: 0.8 miles
  • Duration: ~ 1 hour
  • Difficulty: Easy 

This family-friendly in-and-out trail takes you through a wash and up to an overlook with a park bench for relaxing.  It takes most people under a half hour, and while it’s not paved, it’s not overly steep or rocky.  There’s very little shade, so be prepared for a bit of sun. 

Check out this hike on our Saguaro National Park Tour. 

RELATED: Know Before You Go, Saguaro National Park

7. Signal Hill Trail 

  • Distance: 0.3 miles
  • Duration: ~ 30 minutes 
  • Difficulty: Easy 

Signal Hill is the site of the park’s best preserved Hohokam petroglyphs and an easy half-hour walk, though there are some rough sections, sand, and a hill.  Stairs make the going relatively easy, but like most hikes in the park, there’s no shade.  Bring water and good walking shoes, but be prepared to be wowed when you get to the top and see the brilliant, enigmatic markings that have survived for centuries.  

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Check out this hike on our Saguaro National Park Tour. 


Things to Do in Saguaro National Park 

Saguaro National Park Itinerary 

Know Before You Go, Shaka Guide's Saguaro National Park Tour

The Origins of Saguaro National Park

The Ultimate Saguaro National Park Travel Guide

Visiting Saguaro National Park? Check out our driving tour

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